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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Leitz Enlarger Questions for Da Man
Old 05-15-2008   #1
Ben Z
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Leitz Enlarger Questions for Da Man

Tom, I read where the condensers on the Valloys and Focomats have to be scratch-free or else they show up on the prints. If there are scratches on the condenser of an otherwise-good Leitz enlarger, would it be possible to either air-abrade the surface or use spray-on glass frosting and "convert" it to a diffusion-type? Or is it easy to DIY polish the condenser surface, assuming the scratches aren't deep or it isn't chipped?
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Old 05-15-2008   #2
Tom A
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One way to "cover" scratches is to get the Anti Newton filter for the Valoy/Focomat. It "backs off the condensor sufficiently to hide them.
As the condensor is part of the "holding the neg flat" - i.e it lands smack on the neg, any scratch on the surace will degrade the image.
Converting it to diffusion by abrading the surface could be tricky. Unles it is done absolutely evenly. it can show up as uneven densities in the print.
Scratches on the top are not so critical and can be filled with black paint. Cuts down on the light transmission, but not enough to affect printing times.
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Old 05-15-2008   #3
boilerdoc2
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Where can you get an Anti Newton filter for a Focomat, Tom?
Steve
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Old 05-16-2008   #4
Ben Z
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I saw a picture of the spacer, but I wondered if because it left a space that meant the film wasn't pressed as flat.

About the ANR filters, I haven't seen any come up in a while. I wonder, if they work to hide scratches like Tom said, if I can't find one, could I just set a piece of tempered glass (of the correct thickness, does anyone know the thickness of the ANR filters?) on top of the negative...or would the condenser crack it? Does the condenser have to be repositioned up farther when the filters are installed? Also, would perhaps a piece of vellum over the neg mask the scratches and convert to diffusion with an even density?
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Old 05-16-2008   #5
Tom A
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The vellum of mylar drafting film might work too!
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Dust and Newtons Ring
Old 10-29-2008   #6
petecam
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Dust and Newtons Ring

Hi Tom,

I tried to leave you a post earlier but it went to a different category. I purchased a Focomat 1C without the lens adapter. The Nikkor 50mm f2.8 is deep into the housing so I can't see the f-stops and I have to count the f-stops which is not impossible. Do you know a source for the rings? My worst problem is dust from the glass/film surfaces and I can's keep them clean. Any suggestions? Secondly I'm getting Newton's rings and can't see them until after the print is developed. I believe they made anti-newton ring inserts for the neg carrier but I imagine they are impoosible to find and very expensive if you do. Any suggestions? BTW love your regular and mini soft releases--I have them on all my Leicas and CV's!

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Old 10-29-2008   #7
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DO NOT TRY repolishing the condenser lens to get a matte finish.

(Do not ask, either, how I know this, except to day that the condenser in question was a scratched spare from a scrapper).

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R.
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Old 10-29-2008   #8
eli griggs
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My Valoy II has the brass spacer for the condenser. It lifts the glass ever so slightly and is formed with a 'groove' for the negative that lines up with the negative carrier.

I've been wondering if using the anti-Newton glass from 6x6 glass slide holders will work in contact with the condenser?

Tom A., what do you think?

Eli

Last edited by eli griggs : 10-29-2008 at 09:53.
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Old 10-29-2008   #9
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Tony Rose has a Focomat for sale. Looks like it has the A/n glass. Kinda high though.
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Old 11-04-2008   #10
Tom A
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As I said on the other post of RFf - you can make a spacer out of a thick mylar or plastic (those clear dividers in binders work) or simply build up along the edges of the negative carrier. Even masking tape works - just ensure that the film fits flat between the spacers.
Later Focomats and some of the really late Valoy II's had a anti-newton surface on the condensor (looked like a acid treatment or fine "etching" with airblasting.
Most of the problem with newton rings ocur with "green" film. This is film that is developed,washed and dried, but there is always a bit of residual moisture left and when the condensor meets the film, you get a round looking disturbance on the negative. Unfortunately it rarely shows up on the easel, only after the print is nicely washed and dried!!!!
My ELCAN enlarger is very prone to this! The negative carrier is glass on one side (top-side) and unless I space the glass with thin tape - it will create nice "halo's". The spacing probably reduces some of the resolution, but as it will do 275 lp/mm and the paper barely can do 25lp/mm - I am not to worried.
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