enlarger lens for 8x10

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any suggestions for a sharp enlarger lens for an 8x10 enlarger with a cold light head. thanks.

-- howard schwartz (howards@ameritech.net), January 03, 2002


I've been equipping an 8x10 enlarger, and I recently purchased a 240mm Componon made in the 70's for a very reasonable price. This is the minimum focal length that you can expect to cover 8x10.

The most up to date Schneider lens is a Componon-S. For a little extra focal length, one could purchase a 300mm. Make sure what you get will fit on your enlarger. The size of these lenses increases substantially with focal length.

Schneider Componon-S 240mm is a good choice. Or, one could get a 300mm, to get a little longer focal length. But, these lenses can get large, and it may depend on the size opening you have in your enlarger. I know that I ran into this problem on mine.

If expense is an issue, a Schneider Componon from the 70's would make a decent lens. You can find them on EBay.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), January 03, 2002.

Howard: When I bought an 8X10 enlarger I went with the Beseler HD APO 240mm f:9 lens. It is very, very sharp and has been completely satisfactory. This is a Rodenstock lens, though in a few moments Bob S. will point out that it isn't as good as other Rodenstock lenses. All I can say is it works great for me in my application. These go for very little on Ebay, though they are $600 something new. More recently I saw a very inexpensive El-Nikkor 210 lens on Ebay and bought it. This is a HUGE chunk of multicoated glass, and I did have to do some minor machining to mount it on a Beseler lens board to get it to fit my enlarger. (Mostly taking an edge off the retaining ring.) Though I bought it for 5X7, I thought I'd check and see how much of an 8X10 negative it covers. It covers evenly and with excellent sharpness to the edges. These usually go for well under $200, I paid about $115 for mine.

-- Kevin Crisp (KRCrisp@aol.com), January 03, 2002.

I use a Rodagon 240 on my Zone VI 8X10 VC cold light enlarger, and have generally been pleased. I chose this rather than 300 because I wanted larger prints (close to 30X40) with less need to cut holes in my ceiling (my wife would have objected). It's very sharp, cheaper than the Nikkor equiv (though not cheap new), but does show some light falloff at very large print sizes (the largest I can do with my enlarger is 27X34). This is easily adjusted for, and I have made exhibition prints of this size with this lens, and been quite happy with them.

I would buy it again.


-- Nathan Congdon (ncongdon@jhmi.edu), January 03, 2002.


You must have shares in Ebay! Maybe that's why you got so upset with me for mentioning the Goerz Lenses that I had for sale here!

Wouldn't it be better if we could buy and sell items between ourselves and cut out the middle men?

-- Nigel Turner (npturner@earthlink.net), January 03, 2002.

I fully support this site's policy of not permitting advertisements for equipment. There are other places better equipped for that purpose, EBay being the premier example.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), January 04, 2002.

NO NO NO! Let's not start this again. Aaaagh!

-- Kevin Crisp (krcrisp@aol.com), January 04, 2002.

Comparing Rodagon 240mm to Repromaster 240mm to Schneider Componon-S 300mm to Nikkor 305mm (process lens) to Schneider Componon-S 360mm I doubt most people could differentiate which print was made with which lens, especially if they are stopped down a couple of f/stops and care was taken in focusing and ensuring proper alignment of the lens, negative and baseboard..

For me, the longer the focal lenght, the easier it is to focus. Meaning, the 360mm gives me far fewer focusing errors.

-- Roger Urban (roger_urban@yahoo.com), January 04, 2002.

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