135mm Focal Length for 4x5 enlarging?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by marco_vera|1, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. Will a 135mm Schneider Componon 135mm (older chrome model) have
    enough coverage to print a 4x5 negative?

  2. Yes, I have used that lens in printing of 4X5 negatives. I did later,however, change to a 150 mm El Nikor and noticed a marked improvement. Hope that this gives you the information to make a decision. Good luck.


    Donald Miller
  3. Marco,

    I too am using the older chrome model Schneider 135mm enlarging lens on a Zone VI 45MXT cold light unit. I have nothing else to compare it's performance with, but I'm very satisfied with the sharpness of my B & W prints.

    As a side note: As a "general" rule-of-thumb the enlarger lens used should match the 'normal' lens of the format of the camera. A 4x5 'normal' lense is about 150mm. A 135mm in 4x5 is slightly wide. This will cover fine and permit you to project an image to the baseboard so that the enlarger head is not as high up on the column. (As might be necessary with a 150mm). Helps if you are not an orang-utan (sp?) Ape.
  4. Would the 135mm have less - too little - coverage for small enlargements, when the lens is further from the negative?
  5. Oops - cancel that post from me above. I think I've got it wrong way round.
  6. I use a 135mm Schneider Componon-S on a 4x5 Speed Graphic to do copy work at a 1:10 copy ratio. The lens tests of mine had great illumination when using 4x5 lith film; which is very sensitive to brightness varations. The best aperture was between F16 to F22; with always good sharpness.
  7. My understanding is that a 135mm enlarger lens is best suited
    for the smaller 9x12 cm European sheet film format (yes this format still exists !!). However a 6-element enlarging lens will cover more than the diagonal of the format, coverage increasing when stopped down. Hence
    the good results reported for 135 lenses used to enlarge 4"x5". Actually manufacturers like Schneider or Rodenstock do recommend the 135 for enlarging both 9x12 or 4"x5"

    My conjecture is that a 4-element Tessar-type 135mm enlarging lens would be OK for a 9x12 cm but somewhat soft in the edges for a 4"x5". For tessar-type lenses, coverage does not increase that much when stopped down. This is a well-known limit of the tessar formula for view camera movements : excellent results as a standard lens with limited movements, very limited as a wide-angle lens or when shifted.

    A tessar-type enlarging lens of same focal length as the format diagonal will yield excellent results at f/11-f/16, but for enlarging 4"x5".
    a tessar-type sould be a 150mm.
  8. I just forgot to mention that the Schneider Componon
    being a 6-element lens like the Rodenstock Rodagon, it will cover 4"x5". The more recent Componon-S opens one f-stop more (f/4 instead of f/5.6 as a 80mm used for 6x6 negs) but when stopped down as recommended, a 135 Componon will yield excellent results on 4"x5".

    4-element enlarging lenses are called 'Componars' by Schneider
    and 'Rogonar-S' by Rodenstock. I'm not sure that they still exist in 135 and 150, those focal lengths being mostly for professional use.
  9. Actually I think the Componon without the "S" like his older chrome version is a 4 element anastigmat and the Componar is 3 element entry level. Should work fine on 4X5. jg
  10. I think most modern 135mm enlarging lenses are designed to cover 4x5. At work we have enlargers with 135mm EL-Nikkors next to enlargers with 150mm EL-Nikkors and have never noticed any loss of print sharpness or coverage with the 135s. I do have a 150mm on my home enlarger though. The chrome Schneider Componons are fine lenses too- not so long ago they were "state-of-the-art". If your print corners are too light, that would be the indication of lack of coverage. Make sure that your enlarger is correctly aligned before thinking that the lens isn't sharp enough.
  11. The non -S 135mm Componon was listed as a 6 element lens in my 1970 Schneider brochure

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