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"Rodenstock Apo-Ronar-CL 240mm 9.5" f9 4x5 Enlarger Lens"

Mark Moen , Aug 05, 2004; 02:34 a.m.

That was the heading on the lens I just purchased for 192.00 from E-Bay. I jumped the gun, I saw APO Ronar, and I'm hip to those lenses, so I bid. Here's the issue, I sold my darkroom 2 years ago when I finally and completely converted to a digital workflow. I started to yearn for some really good B/W prints, and I just don't know how to get them w/ o being in the darkroom--me personally myself--so I purchased a 4x5 camera, and I'm slowly putting together a darkroom, just won the bid on a Durst L1200. I've never done large format before, I stuck with medium and 35mm, so I'm unfamiliar w/ this big enlarger and the 4x5 transparency. I do know that a 150mm is considered standard? But will the 240mm work for me, will I have to raise the head too far? Thanks for any knowledge gleaned in advance, Markass


M. Kevin Johnson , Aug 05, 2004; 07:25 a.m.

A 240 should work but you will not be able to get the X factor you would with a 150. Is the 240 the only lens you have? If you need a smaller lens drop me an e-mail and I can see if we have an extra.

Kevin www.AerialPhotoLab.com

Robert Davis , Aug 05, 2004; 07:59 a.m.

240 might be too long for the enlarger. If you ask Durst they should be able to tell you. But even if it's okay you're a full stop slower then most enlarger lenses so you'll have that to deal with. What size is the mount on that thing? Must be at least 50mm likely bigger. If it's bigger then you'll need a custom lens mount for the enlarger. That 240mm might be okay for an 8x10 enlarger. Beseler sold a 240mm which I think was made by Rodenstock.

If it was me I'd consider selling it and looking for a 150mm.

Post a message in the general forum with a heading for "Bob Salomon" If he sees it he should be able to answer any questions about that lens.

Michael Briggs , Aug 05, 2004; 09:49 p.m.

The 240 mm should cover a 4x5 negative, but there are several possible issues because of the longer focal length. Compared to using a 150 mm lens you will need to raise the head higher for a given print size. Similarly, at the max height of the head the size of the print will be smaller, so the max possible print size will be reduced. Finally, the lens will have to be farther from the film for a given print size -- to make a smaller print the lens has to be farther from the film and so the longest possible bellows extension of the enlarger will limit the smallest size print that you can make.

There may be an additional inconvenience. Many enlargers have lensboards that have through holes -- the lens is retained by a nut applied from the other side of the lensboard. The Durst way is to have female threads in the lensboard so that the lens threads directly into the lensboard without needing a retaining ring/nut. For a longer focal length lens, you want a flat lensboard, which Durst calls "Lapla". These are currently available with 39, 42 and 50 mm threads. If the male threads on the end of the 240 mm Apo-Ronar aren't one of these threads, then an off-the-shelf lensboards won't work. You or a machinist will have to adapt a lensboard.

If none of the three off-the-shelf lensboards fits your Apo-Ronar, my advice is not to bother trying to overcome the problem, because after your efforts you might find that one of the possible issues of the first paragraph will because an actual problem. Its probably easier to buy a 150 mm lens. Most current 150 mm enlarging lenses have one of the three threads. I think the 150 mmApo-Componon-HM does NOT, and there is an old (not current) version of the 150 mm El-Nikkor which does not.

Some people do use Apo-Ronars as enlarging lenses, but Rodenstock didn't market them for this purpose -- Rodenstock considered them to be Process lenses, for the graphic arts and printing trades.

P.S. You can find a list of currently available accessories, including lensboards, at http://www.jobo-usa.com/products/durst_l1200.htm.

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