Printing Puzzle: Nikon EL 50mm F2.8 Enlarger Lens

By chris, March 21, 2010

Having plans of actually having a home darkroom made me acquire several pieces of the printing puzzle. I've already gotten hold of a Meopta Axomat 4a enlarger for quite sometime now. I found out that the Meopta Anaret 50mm F4 lens that came with the enlarger seems to be quite hazy so I opted to get a new one which should be decent enough.

There aren't much details on both of the lenses available so I hope this post will be useful to some of the readers.
The Nikon EL 50mm F2.8 lens thead size is 39mm while Meopta Anaret 50mm F4.5 lens is smaller at 23.5mm. This means that you will need a proper lens board to be able to fit the Nikon lens to the enlarger.

 The lens comes in a small bubble jar and the lens is held in place by foam and a packet of silica gel. Shown below is how the Meopta Anaret 50/4.5 compares to the Nikon.

Next is the enlarger lens compared to its big brother, Nikon 50mm F1.8 Series E. The main difference that I can see between these two lenses apart from the size and the mount is that the enlarger lens lacks a focus ring.

I have heard that some people are using the enlarger lens for taking pictures. Since it is using a 39mm mount, it should fit in some cameras or an adaptor will be necessary. Focusing will be a challenge then since the lens does not come with any focus ring.


Mount Size: 39mm.
Aperture Range: f/2.8-16
Click-Stops: Yes
Illuminated f/Stops: Yes
Magnification Range: 2x-20x
Elements/Groups: 6/4
Filter Size: 40.5mm
Dimensions (HxW): 2 x 1.5" (51x39mm)
Weight: 3.7oz. (105g)

If you are interested in building your own darkroom, here is an excellent checklist.
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