Old 06-28-2010   #41
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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
LED as a point source? The spectrum of an LED is too narrow.
I would prefer using the LEDs with a diffuse light source and a mixing box, and using LEDs of different colours for split-grade printing - red for focusing, blue and green for controlling gradation. People have been using, building and selling such systems quite successfully and for quite some time.
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Old 06-28-2010   #42
Edward C. Zimmermann
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The advantage of the Grey Ic with the tall post is that it has a bigger baseboard and a bigger diameter post, which makes it a bit more rigid for large prints. I usually make a clamp for the top and brace it against the backwall too.
The large laminated baseboard of the late 1c is not larger than the large wooden multiplex baseboard that it replaced. The post too is not of a different diameter. The Ic that I use has a long gray era post mated to my late 1950s era Focomat Ic 250w head---- a then popular option for newsrooms--- and its large baseboard. My 1940s Focomat has both a very large baseboard but also a tall larger diameter post. It was, however, clearly designed for non fine arts applications.

I don't see any advantage of bracing the top of the column to the wall. In my darkroom we made a heavy plywood "table" and mounted it on the wall. The baseboard sits on this and is thus de-coupled from the floor. For large enlargement factors I can swing things over and project onto the floor.

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There are new "high power" LED available that can substitute the small, high intensity 50w bulb on the point source IIc.
But only a narrow band of radiation. For variocontrast papers you need at least 2 LEDs.
Is the Leitz really only 50w? My Durst Variopoint is, I think, 100w.
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The Elcan enlarger is basically a inverted microscope with 6 aspherical condensors above the negative stage and a "micro" focus ring on the mount.
And not designed for photography.

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Resolution, according to Elcan is 275 lines/mm!!!! Kind of overkill as the paper barely resolves 25-40 lines!
But if you are interested in large scale enlargements of small portions of a negative it can be useful. Scientists and submini enthusiasts tend to like point-source.
The most popular point-source enlargers--- save MINOX which all used a modified point source illumination system (interestingly even their colour model)--- were probably from DURST.
Conversion of Durst enlargers to point-source is quite simple.
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Old 06-28-2010   #43
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I would prefer using the LEDs with a diffuse light source and a mixing box
That's not a problem. LEDs can excel here. Diffuse illumination is, however, quite the other end of the chart from point-source. With point source the radiation must come from as small a point as possible. One typically focuses the system upon the lamp filament so that its image coincides with the entrance of the enlarging lens. That's why the diaphragms can't work to control light magnitude. A smaller aperture just results in less resolution. One is limited by diffraction.
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Old 06-29-2010   #44
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The ELCAN 121 was designed and built in Canada for the US Navy. They used it to produce detailed blow-ups on Technical Pan film (sheet form - up to 30x50"). It can be used for "normal" photography - but the results are not pretty. Distinct grain and harsh contrast. However, the resolution is astonishing - you can see details in the print that would not be visible with even the best of other enlargers!
I have had this monster for about 20 years. Not used it much as a/the massive control panel has a electronic "bug" and the designer (who started Uni Blitz in Rochester,NY) dies without leaving a schematic and b/ It barely covers a 24x36mm negative!
I did talk to the Navy's Image Center and got some information about these. In 1974 Leica charged them $40 000 for it (negative carrier alone is $1200!!. They were supposed to be supplied with 3 lenses, a 25f4,a 50f2 and a75f2. The 25/50 were shipped, but the 75 was never supplied as a "stock" item. The 50 was reworked DR Summicron type and I dont know the set-up for the 25.
Mine is #4 (all parts are numbered and matched) - and according to Elcan and the US Navy maybe 10-12 were built - though nobody seems to know,
The upright is 2 Focomat IIc posts welded together (48" tall - and weighing in at 40 lbs)
One day I am going to get rid of it - as it really does not serve much of a function, except cluttering up my office floor. My "regular" Ic and IIc works just fine and nothing I do needs to be that sharp!
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Old 06-29-2010   #45
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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
Diffuse illumination is, however, quite the other end of the chart from point-source. With point source the radiation must come from as small a point as possible. One typically focuses the system upon the lamp filament so that its image coincides with the entrance of the enlarging lens.
If I understand that correctly, if you want to maintain precise focus your enlarger either needs to move the lamp together with the lens when focusing, or you need to refocus your lens setup every time you focus your enlarger on the paper, or every time you change the projection size. And since your lamp filament is not a point, you get its structure projected onto your final image.

In principle you can also use a condenser setup to focus a diffuse light from a mixing box into the enlarging lens, people have been doing that with LED enlargers. It's probably a bit fiddly with the focus, for basically the same reasons as outlined above.
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Old 06-29-2010   #46
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The Valoy is a very good, rigid enlarger, and there is a model that has an extra large baseboard, longer column, and an extra cooling bonnet so that you can use 150W bulbs. I've been using it for over thirty years. Get a good lens (I don't care for the Focotar, YMMV). No auto-focus, but that's no big deal.

For true 6x9 (Plaubel Veriwide) I use a Focomat IIa. Funny, but I don't see many of them around.

Ah! Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to 'bay the Focotar.

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Old 06-29-2010   #47
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One day I am going to get rid of it - as it really does not serve much of a function, except cluttering up my office floor.
If people would collect enlargers in the manner they collect cameras.... In many ways they are much more interesting artifacts than much of what Leica collectors are hunting and digging deep into their pockets for....
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Masking Frames
Old 06-29-2010   #48
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Masking Frames

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As for the easel clamp - it is great if you use the Leica easels with the correct slots in them, but for anything 11x14" or larger I use Beseler Pro easels on the 1" base. They are heavy enough to stay put and are 4 bladed to boot.
The old Leitz frames were good. I think the heavy wooden models were mainly made by Andreas Veigel in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. They are of incredible quality and workmanship. The connection between Leitz enlargers and Daimler is, I think, quite interesting.. Andreas Viegel, for example, made the first tachometers.. The V in VDO was originally intended to be "Viegel" and not "Vereinigte" (United). Mercedes, Porsche etc. all sourced their tachometers from Viegel. Kienzle today still does metalworking and one of their specialties over the last decades has been working with Plexiglass and, more recently, polycarbonates.

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I do have a couple of the late Leitz 8x10" easels that I use with the IIc (it still has the clamping attachement).
Masking frames with the bird-tails were made all the way up to 30x40cm in size.
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Old 06-29-2010   #49
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For true 6x9 (Plaubel Veriwide) I use a Focomat IIa.
Their 95mm Focotar, however, don't tend to cover 6x9.
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Old 06-30-2010   #50
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Wow! What a great, informative thread this turned out to be! I'm proud I started it!
I already have a focomat Ic and I'm really enjoying it. It is the older model with a first version focotar. I'm looking to upgrade for a Scheneider apo-componon or a Rodenstock apo-rodagon. Can anyone tell me why the Schneider is so much more expensive and hard to find than the Rodenstock equivalent? Is it that much better? And how to these compare with the focotar 2?
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Old 06-30-2010   #51
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I tried bot the apo-componon and the apo Rodagon against my Focotar-2's. Not enough difference to warrant the hassle of changing.
If you can live without the auto focussing - one of the best lense for 35mm work is the Nikkor 63mm f4 (I think it also came in a 2.8). Even light and marginally sharper in the corners than the Apo Componon/Apo Rodagon and even the Focotar-2.
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Old 06-30-2010   #52
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I'm looking to upgrade for a Scheneider apo-componon or a Rodenstock apo-rodagon. Can anyone tell me why the Schneider is so much more expensive and hard to find than the Rodenstock equivalent?
Its, I think, some specific feature of your local market. In Germany, I think, they were similar.. Schneider perhaps even a tiny bit less expensive..

Among the 50mm.... On the used market both Schneider and Rodenstock are easy to find.. Among APOs.. Rodenstock, of course, are easier as... not only were Rodenstock APO Rodagons very popular and widely considered the best general purpose 50mm.. but Schneider did not make a 50mm APO and instead opted for 45mm and it came out well after Rodenstock came to completely dominate the market. The Schneider APO Componon HM 45mm btw. will not auto-focus on a Ic.

Schneider versus Rodenstock? They are all good.. I probably own, however, more Rodagons than Componons.. When one compares one should compare them as part of your total optical system. We are, after all, splitting hairs.. and what might show better performance in one enlarger might seem slightly inferior in the next... I am familiar with also showdown tests against Nikon El-Nikkors and others.. and sometimes the one.. sometimes another "wins".. Its neck and neck and a literal "photo finish".. :-)

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Is it that much better? And how to these compare with the focotar 2?
Absolutely not. On the Ic I know of nothing better--- resolution, contrast, mechanics etc.. While they are not called APO---- and to be honest all those APO Rodagons and Componons are not really aprochromatic--- its colour correction is at least if not better than many APOs. What makes the Focotar-2 so interesting is their quality level. With Rodagons and Componons the difference between two samples can be greater than the difference between APO and non-APO.. The Focotar-2 samples seem very consistent.. I suspect that they were selected.. a not terribly uncommon practice.. and they are mechanically superior and provide on a Ic a little bit better "ergonomie"..
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Old 06-30-2010   #53
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A valoy has a short distance from column to lens which limits the print size. No anti newton ring glass can be fitted under the condenser unless you jury rig it which is what I did. I also made an extension to put the head out further from the column.

You NEED the scarce as hens teeth short neck bulbs for even light distribution.
The VC filter was discussed above..

If you still want one, PM me. $100 will get you a excellent one. No AN glass or lens.

V35 is much better and comes with a decent lens. Set up properly it is just as bright as a condenser model. Getting the $1000 voltage regularor is the issue. Took me 25 years to find one

The only IC to consider is with the grey oblong head so it takes standard bulbs.

You want either the large front element lens of the Focotar II . The otiginal lenses were starting to go soft at 8x10 as they were optimised for 5x7 prints.
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Old 06-30-2010   #54
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I have three Focotar -2's (50mm). One I bought in 1975 and had it sent back to Elcan to be optimized for 11x14 (this was the days when they did things like that, in two weeks and at no charge!). The other two Focotar-2's have come with various Ic's over the years.
They are truly outstanding lenses and the difference between the re-collimated one and the "regular" ones is small (slightly better edge performance for wide-open prints - other wise I cant tell them apart).
The Apo- Componons and Apo- Rodagon's can have decentered elements. For some reason they suffered a lot from this. I went through 4 Apo Componons and 3 had distinct problems. One Apo Rodagon was off too. The good thing was that these were bought new and under warranty, so they were exchanged with a minimum of fuss.
The Nikkor 63 mm was used on a Valoy II for years as I found it very good for 11x14 and larger prints. I got rid of the Valoy - but kept the lens and I used it on the ELCAN 121 for point source stuff.
The other good lens to look for is the Minolta CE 50 mm. This was the preferred enlarging lens for Eugeen Smith (on a Valoy). It wont fit the Ic due to the large diameter barrel though. I have used them before and last year I got one, brand new in the plastic container at a swap-meet for $15. It is also a good macro lens on the Leica Bellows II - as is the Focotar-2.
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Old 06-30-2010   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
No anti newton ring glass can be fitted under the condenser unless you jury rig it which is what I did.
You NEED the scarce as hens teeth short neck bulbs for even light distribution.
I have used a Valoy II for many years. It has an AN-condenser as standard. Normal bulbs - Philips photocrescenta 75 watt, made in Holland - are no problem at all. I've tried many 50mm lenses on it, my favorite was the EL-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 from the Nikon rangefinder era.
I've never noticed any difference between the original Focotar and the Focotar II lenses, apart from a difference in focal length. The Focotar II was exactly 50mm while the older Focotar was about 52mm.

Erik.
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Old 07-01-2010   #56
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Absolutely not. On the Ic I know of nothing better--- resolution, contrast, mechanics etc.
I've looked for them on eBay and only found a mint one at 400€! Is that the price they are supposed to go?


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V35 is much better and comes with a decent lens. Set up properly it is just as bright as a condenser model. Getting the $1000 voltage regularor is the issue. Took me 25 years to find one
Tell me more about the V35. I actually bought one of those too without lens though. Why do most people don't like it? Is it just the build quality, the ergonomy?
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Old 07-01-2010   #57
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V35 is much better and comes with a decent lens. Set up properly it is just as bright as a condenser model.
Its diffusion and wide angle versus half-condenser (1c, Valloy). Its also 75w (V35) versus as much as 250w tungsten.. and with even brighter and/or more flexible illumination choices..
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Getting the $1000 voltage regularor is the issue. Took me 25 years to find one
If your AC mains line is poor you could as research labs have done for maybe 70 years or so... used a ferromagnetic line conditioner.. In the U.S. the most popular brand is Sola.
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The only IC to consider is with the grey oblong head so it takes standard bulbs.
They all take "standard" European opal bulbs. The oblong head was intended--- and offered as as option since the 1950s--- for higher wattage bulbs. It was a popular option in newsrooms and professional studios and drugstores.. Time was of the essence and 250w bulbs made for very short printing times...
Today, of course, its not a issue.. There are many more illumination options than opal bubs.. Agfa and Wallner color heads too are not too difficult to find.. Ilford also made 400 and 500 series systems for the 1c but they were not terribly common. Aristo made also a cold light but its quite uncommon in Europe.

Between Valoy, 1c and V35 the best bang, I think, is the 1c. The Valoy was an amateur enlarger. In today's market I would not bother with one.. The V35 tend to still fetch relatively high prices. If we want to talk, however, about bulbs... the V35 models CAN have a bulb problem.. the original V35 models used a 75w bulb (Phillips 6604) that is now out of production and quite difficult to even source on the 2nd hand market. Later models (and those upgraded, demanding among other things the socket replaced) use the Phillips 13139. These bulbs are available but not terribly common.
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Old 07-01-2010   #58
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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
There are many more illumination options than opal bubs.. Agfa and Wallner color heads too are not too difficult to find.. Ilford also made 400 and 500 series systems for the 1c but they were not terribly common. Aristo made also a cold light but its quite uncommon in Europe.
Wallners seem to be the most common aftermarket head made for the IC. If you are looking for a straight bolt up and go option, a Wallner would probably be your best bet (FWIW the Wallner and the Kienzle head look very similar to eachother...I am assuming that the two companies are/were somehow connected). Cosar Mornick also made a dandy little color head that could be used on the 1C (this head seems to be much more scarce than the wallner). As far as the Ilfords are concerned I don't think they ever made a 400 series head for the focomat IC (I could be wrong, but I think that the 500 head was the only one offered by Ilford to fit the IC). Unfortunately the compact version of the 500 head is nearly impossible to find. The ilford heads were crazy expensive when new so I imagine that very few people/labs bought the dedicated 35mm head, but instead opted for the much more versatile 35/120/4x5 multi-format 500 series head. Trying to adapt a beseler or omega color head from one of their smaller enlargers would probably be the easiest/cheapest option (the only real limitation would be the weight of the head - most fullsize color heads are too heavy and overpower the spring on the focomat 1c).

Last edited by dap : 07-01-2010 at 08:16.
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Old 07-01-2010   #59
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Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
I
The other good lens to look for is the Minolta CE 50 mm. This was the preferred enlarging lens for Eugeen Smith (on a Valoy). It wont fit the Ic due to the large diameter barrel though. I have used them before and last year I got one, brand new in the plastic container at a swap-meet for $15. It is also a good macro lens on the Leica Bellows II - as is the Focotar-2.
Seconded!
Trulyy a difference to my 4.0/50 Rodagon, contrastier, sharper, more "bite". feels good to work with.
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Old 07-01-2010   #60
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Wallners seem to be the most common aftermarket head made for the IC.
Depends upon the market.. More Wallner heads were sold than Agfa. Agfa heads were quite expensive, intended exclusively for professionals and sold for a comparatively shorter period of time--- all well before color took off among amateurs. As many darkrooms over the past decade have been dismantled some of these heads have been rescued from the dumps... They are very good. Their biggest problem is their use of obsolete P28s base projection lamps. Since the lamps were once commonly found in many projectors they are still being stocked by a number of motion picture specialist dealers. The Wallner/Kienzle, by contrast, uses a pedestrian 12v 150w halogen reflector lamp.

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If you are looking for a straight bolt up and go option, a Wallner would probably be your best bet
The Agfa actually is easier since one just removes the top with the opal bulbs and plop it down. To mount the Wallner one typically removes the lower housing bits as well.


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(FWIW the Wallner and the Kienzle head look very similar to eachother...I am assuming that the two companies are/were somehow connected).
Wallner was taken over by Kienzle in 1982. The heads now branded as Kienzle used to be branded Wallner.

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Cosar Mornick also made a dandy little color head that could be used on the 1C (this head seems to be much more scarce than the wallner).
I've only seen it in Agfa literature.

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As far as the Ilfords are concerned I don't think they ever made a 400 series head for the focomat IC (I could be wrong, but I think that the 500 head was the only one offered by Ilford to fit the IC).
There was a 400 although I've never seen it. The 500 HLZ was then made specifically for the 1c but many people have used the 500 H with both Ic and IIc models. The main problem with using the 500 H is its weight as the brake on the Ic slips. A counterweight solves the problem.
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Unfortunately the compact version of the 500 head is nearly impossible to find. The ilford heads were crazy expensive when new so I imagine that very few people/labs bought the dedicated 35mm head, but instead opted for the much more versatile 35/120/4x5 multi-format 500 series head.
Yes. The 500H head can actually go beyond 4x5 with a bit of metalwork..

There were, of course, other heads sold for the IIc. Durst, for example, sold mounting hardware to use their CLS 201, CLS450, CLS500 and CLS501 heads..

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Trying to adapt a beseler or omega color head from one of their smaller enlargers would probably be the easiest/cheapest option (the only real limitation would be the weight of the head - most fullsize color heads are too heavy and overpower the spring on the focomat 1c).
Its not the spring but the brake. That's why many remove the whole housing--- which is really quite heavy. Easier (and more flexible) is, however, to just add a counterweight.
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Old 07-01-2010   #61
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Depends upon the market.. More Wallner heads were sold than Agfa.
I does seem to depend on the market. Aftermarket heads for the Focomat 1c seem to be very rare in the US. Of the few heads sold here Wallner seems to be the most common (by far) on the 1c. I have never come across an Agfa head for the 1c. Focomat users in Europe seem to have been treated to a greater number and variety of aftermarket heads than US focomat users.

In any case if you are in the market for a used aftermarket head I would advise everybody to buy sooner rather than later. Most enlarging equipment is ending up in the dump (at an alarming rate). In 5 years I would imagine that it will be pretty hard to find some of the more specialized/unique items.

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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
There was a 400 although I've never seen it. The 500 HLZ was then made specifically for the 1c but many people have used the 500 H with both Ic and IIc models.

Was this a special compact version of the 400 or just a regular full size 400 adapted to the 1c?

I tried using a regular 500h before I found a Hlz. It works but it is a bit of a Kludge...It turns a nice nimble balanced machine into a bloated top-heavy one. If somebody's heart is set on using the 500h you would be better off mounting it on a more substantial enlarger frame (focomat 2c or durst/omega/beseler/devere).


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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
not the spring but the brake. That's why many remove the whole housing--- which is really quite heavy. Easier (and more flexible) is, however, to just add a counterweight.
When I had the 500H mounted on the 1c the brake held well enough (when adjusted to compensate for the added weight and kept in a very clean/oil free state), but the spring was not strong enough to assist in the raising/lowering of the head. It was workable, but left much to be desired. I never thought of using a counterweight (that is a "duh" moment on my part ), but I did discover that Kienzle makes stronger springs that can be substituted (made to withstand the heavier weight of their 250v heads). The replacement springs are very expensive and a counterweight seems like it would be just as effective for MUCH less money.
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Old 07-01-2010   #62
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I have never come across an Agfa head for the 1c. Focomat users in Europe seem to have been treated to a greater number and variety of aftermarket heads than US focomat users.
Perhaps because these enlargers---- Focomat and Varioskop--- were also more common. In the US the most common enlargers were the Omegas.. and then the Beselers.. and loads of older brands like Solar (Burke and James), Elwood, De Jur and even Kodak... Most of these that one finds in Europe were brought over by Americans... mainly GIs.

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Most enlarging equipment is ending up in the dump (at an alarming rate).
And most of us have our darkrooms already filled to brim.

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In 5 years I would imagine that it will be pretty hard to find some of the more specialized/unique items.
I've noticed the supply has diminished significantly over the past 5 years. Before that the market was literally being flooded as archives, studios and labs closed down their darkrooms... A lot of companies also shut down.

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Was this a special compact version of the 400 or just a regular full size 400 adapted to the 1c?
I don't recall.
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Old 07-02-2010   #63
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......If you can live without the auto focussing - one of the best lense for 35mm work is the Nikkor 63mm f4 (I think it also came in a 2.8). Even light and marginally sharper in the corners than the Apo Componon/Apo Rodagon and even the Focotar-2.

I have the 63mm f3.5 Nikkor. I bought it new in the late 1970s and it's a terrific lens (for 35mm). I use it all the time except when I need a shorter fl for big enlargements.
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Old 07-03-2010   #64
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The Nikkor 63 mm was used on a Valoy II for years as I found it very good for 11x14 and larger prints.
How would it compare to the EL nikkor 50mm 2.8?
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Old 07-03-2010   #65
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The difference betwen the various EL Nikkors is small. The 2.8 can be easier to focus with a dense negative.
I suspect that part of the image quality of the EL Nikkors comes from very good quality control. I never had one that had centering problems. They were all even focus across the easel, even with large prints (16x20). The slightly longer focal length helps too.
With the Valoy II it was very good, as the housing was slightly "higher" than with a 50mm lens - less chance of banging your forehead into it when checking focus!!! This is a case with the IIc - printing 8x10 puts the head right at forehead level - and checking details or focus, usually results in painful contact between the head and lamphousing. Of course, with the IIc - it doesn't shake or vibrate when this happens - your brain tends to get a bit scrambled though! I am surprised that I dont have the Leica logo permanently impressed on my head!
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Old 07-03-2010   #66
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Informative AND funny as always. Thanks, Tom
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Old 07-04-2010   #67
Edward C. Zimmermann
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The difference betwen the various EL Nikkors is small. The 2.8 can be easier to focus with a dense negative.
The difference in prints with all of these are small--- but there.

Is there an advantage to using 60mm for 135 film?

With a well designed and correctly aligned enlarger illumination system there is no advantage to using longer focal lengths than needed for coverage. In some cases, depending upon the design of the condenser, it can be a disadvantage.


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the housing was slightly "higher" than with a 50mm lens - less chance of banging your forehead into it when checking focus!!! This is a case with the IIc - printing 8x10 puts the head right at forehead level - and checking details or focus, usually results in painful contact between the head and lamphousing.
Another argument for the upright designs deployed by Durst and others.

The whole point, I think, of the double parallelogram linkage is to allow one to precisely but also very quickly raise and lower the head. On the Focomats going from a 9x13cm to a 20x30cm is extremely quick. This was quite important back in the days when drugstores printed in their back rooms.. Another, more modern, approach was offered by Schneider and Rodenstock with their Betavaron, resp. Vario-Rodagon, zooms.

To today's "fine art" approach it does not matter if it takes [me] a bit of time to crank up or down the head. For that matter.. auto-focus is not that important either.. [even if its something I tend to want]. For stability and damping the modern rectangular columns and counterweight is, in general, superior... Leitz btw. when it mattered used 2 columns and counter-weights..
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Old 07-04-2010   #68
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On the Focomats going from a 9x13cm to a 20x30cm is extremely quick.
Another lovely feature of the Focomat IIc is the small film clip in the negative carrier. When printing 35mm and using the special 35mm carrier one positions really quickly the negative exactly in the carrier. There is no need to check or alter the position of the negative when it is pushed back into the enlarger. One simply positions the easel and is then ready to print. No other enlager, not even the Focomat Ic or the Valoy II, has this feature.

Erik.
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Old 07-04-2010   #69
Edward C. Zimmermann
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Another lovely feature of the Focomat IIc is the small film clip in the negative carrier. When printing 35mm and using the special 35mm carrier one positions really quickly the negative exactly in the carrier.
Note the predicate "special". The standard carrier is just a double glass carrier with metal masks for each format. While the special carrier might dramatically improve 135 film handling ....
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There is no need to check or alter the position of the negative when it is pushed back into the enlarger.
Only the vertical can be mechanically aligned. The user--- or some electronics--- must always optically align the horizontal frame position as there is no standard relationship in 24x36mm between sprockets and frame--- only the relative relationship that there be 8 sprocket holes advance for the next frame (and this is not always 100% as there are some 35mm cameras that don't use perforations).
Vertical alignment? With the Ic each film format gets its own masking bottom carrier--- the top glass being the condenser and glassless bottom. For each film format there is a track and/or pins for the negative. One just slips the negative in and its vertical position is always perfect. For negatives where this is not possible--- such as single frames--- there is a double glass "envelope" and a carrier. For formats larger than 24x36mm (e.g. 4x4cm) there are even glass carriers. Standard slides (5cm) too are printable via a slide-in holder. One can even use the Ic as a very crude copy camera.

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One simply positions the easel and is then ready to print. No other enlager, not even the Focomat Ic or the Valoy II, has this feature.
Different but the feature is wide spread. My Durst, for example, has a double glass carrier with little movable (with click positions) "stops" to allow one to more easily align various standard negative widths. The mask itself is user controllable via 4-blades. There is another carrier, its "glassless" and takes a number of masks for both top and bottom. The top mask can also be a piece of (anti-newton) glass. The bottom masks are, not unlike the Focomat 1c, specific to each film format and available in sizes from 8x11mm (MINOX) to 6x9cm. Alignment, of course, is only along the width (vertical frame position in mask).
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Old 07-04-2010   #70
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I love the Durst adjustable negative carrier. The adjustable four blade glass mask on the negative carrier has two adjustable knobs. Turning it will 'center' the top and bottom blades towards the middle, the other knob will turn the left and right as well in concert towards the middle. This makes sure the negative is alway centred. I tend to remove the bottom glass if my negatives are flat ( which means when I have them under it's own weight for a few days ).

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Different but the feature is wide spread. My Durst, for example, has a double glass carrier with little movable (with click positions) "stops" to allow one to more easily align various standard negative widths. The mask itself is user controllable via 4-blades. There is another carrier, its "glassless" and takes a number of masks for both top and bottom. The top mask can also be a piece of (anti-newton) glass. The bottom masks are, not unlike the Focomat 1c, specific to each film format and available in sizes from 8x11mm (MINOX) to 6x9cm. Alignment, of course, is only along the width (vertical frame position in mask).
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Old 07-05-2010   #71
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How do you compare the focotar-2 50 with the focotar 40? And between the 40s what are the other good alternatives besides the focotar? I read somewhere that the schneider apo-componon 40 was actually better. I need a lens to my v35. I know most people don't like the v35 that much but, (regardless of handling, ergonomics, its feel or whatever) concerning image quality alone, how do you compare it with the Ic?
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Old 07-05-2010   #72
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How do you compare the focotar-2 50 with the focotar 40?
The same way one compares anything.. The only thing specific to the Focotar 40 is that one needs to compare it either to other 40mm on the V35 or against others, including 50mm, on another enlarger using diffuse light.

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And between the 40s what are the other good alternatives besides the focotar?
Schneider APO Componon HM.

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concerning image quality alone, how do you compare it with the Ic?
Sure one can.. the same way one compares.. Its a question of resolving power, contrast, edge-to-edge .. The Ic needs, however, to have its bulb correctly aligned for even illumination etc.. Then the V35 despite its Ulbricht-Kugel is less even than the 1c.. Of course, on the other hand, the V35 is a bit less prone to show dust spots.. And contrast can be compensated for these days not just in development but with via modern vario-contrast papers... Recall people have been hotly debating diffusion, cold light, condenser, half-condenser etc. for longer than most of us have walked the planet.. and not to get into that ..
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Old 07-05-2010   #73
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How do you compare the focotar-2 50 with the focotar 40?
I like Focotar 2 better. At 10x enlargement it projects very detailed picture. WA-Focotar 40 showed some field curvature in corners resulting in slightly fuzzy grain.

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And between the 40s what are the other good alternatives besides the focotar? I read somewhere that the schneider apo-componon 40 was actually better. I need a lens to my v35.
I compared Focotar 2 with APO-Componon at 10x enlargement and they were nearly indistinguishable. I liked the F-2 image better for some undescribable reason. But Componon is designed for high magnifications (HM) and sings at maximum height. I was able to enlarge very small crop from 35mm negative into 40x30 cm in acceptable quality.

There is also WA-Rodagon 40/4 which is supposed to be better than WA-Focotar 40, too. Anyway, the Focotar 40 is very good all-purpose lens.

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I know most people don't like the v35 that much but, (regardless of handling, ergonomics, its feel or whatever) concerning image quality alone, how do you compare it with the Ic?
I don't have Ic but IIc and I can say that V35 is much easier to work with, especially with variable contrast head. Because I don't have permanent darkroom, V35 is very easy to move and setup, glass carrier is easy to clean from dust. Overall it is dellcate but solid piece and joy to use.
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Old 07-05-2010   #74
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Sorry, didn't mean to upset you with all those questions. Of course, I read from people who prefer the Ic and others how prefer the v35 and I know they are quite different in the way they render images. So when I say compare I don't mean "tell me what is best" but rather, tell me which one do you prefer and why. I hope that, getting to know what people like about them would help me find out which one I would prefer based on my tastes and preferences. Ultimately, since I have both, I'm sure I will get to know them well and maybe keep both because one may suite better some images rather than the other. Mr. Edward C. Zimmermann, you've been enriching this thread greatly with your knowledge and I thank you for that. I'm sorry if I didn't put my questions in the best manner.
Regards!

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Old 07-05-2010   #75
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Originally Posted by Edward C. Zimmermann View Post
With the Ic each film format gets its own masking bottom carrier--- the top glass being the condenser and glassless bottom. For each film format there is a track and/or pins for the negative. One just slips the negative in and its vertical position is always perfect. For negatives where this is not possible--- such as single frames--- there is a double glass "envelope" and a carrier.
It is very hard to position a negative into a Focomat Ic or Valoy II that is at one of the ends of a piece of film with five or six frames on it. The ones in the middle are easy to position as one can pull at both ends of the film. When one tries to position the last frame in the enlarger, there is only ONE end of the film to pull at. One can pull at it, but not push it into the enlarger. It can take quite some time to position the frame correctly into the enlarger.

The Focomat IIc special 135 film carrier solves this problem, because with the small clip you can fix the film firmly at any position before sliding it back into the enlarger. The early Focomat IIc has a small light box with wich one can check the position of the negative in the carrier. No other enlarger has this feature.

Erik.

Last edited by Erik van Straten : 07-13-2010 at 10:48.
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Old 07-12-2010   #76
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Then the V35 despite its Ulbricht-Kugel is less even than the 1c..
I read that there are differences in the condenser of the v35: the older ones had only one condenser and the newer had two condensers for more even illumination. So the double condenser model is less even than the Ic too or is it just the single condenser one?
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Old 07-12-2010   #77
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I read that there are differences in the condenser of the v35: the older ones had only one condenser and the newer had two condensers for more even illumination. So the double condenser model is less even than the Ic too or is it just the single condenser one?
http://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/pho...m#Light%20Path
They did in the late 1980s change the mixing box but it was to try to address the poor center edge illumination differences--- they also need to compensate for the effects of the wide angle 40mm used. It did not quite work. The change was add another lens to reduce the center illumination even more. Its really an odd design. Instead of using a mixing box and diffusor they use a simple EPS (styropor) box--- which actually works--- to scatter the light coming from the right (without a mirror). The combination with lens to creates the effect of an Ulbricht half-sphere using a box. The whole point of the design was to try to (with a min. of effort and cost) and create highly diffused and bright ilumination. Since its either/or one pulled a simple optical trick.
Leitz wanted a color enlarger and they got one. They needed such as design to keep in the game against the dominance of Durst and other German players such as Kaiser and Dunco with well accepted color enlargers. The mid to late 1970s was not just the era of Ramones, Television, Sex Pistols, Bonny-M, Barry Manilow, Abba, Donna Summer, Patty Smith, Eagles and Queen but also color film and video and the consensus that b&w and film were dying.
Even without the wide-angle the center-edge difference of the V35 is greater than with its "obsolete" and "old fashioned" predecessors. They, however, were much less suitable--- outboard color head or not--- for the kind of printing their potential customers wanted to make.. More importantly.. they were hardly changed from the 1950s and horribly un-modern..
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Old 07-12-2010   #78
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I don't think the nerd title has ever been claimed by anyone more deserving. Very interesting by the way, I'll have to check what version I have.

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Old 07-14-2010   #79
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I don't think the nerd title has ever been claimed by anyone more deserving. Very interesting by the way, I'll have to check what version I have.
Agreed! You should write books about this!

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More importantly.. they were hardly changed from the 1950s and horribly un-modern..
That's a god one... Those old enlargers are works of art!
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Old 09-14-2015   #80
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Several times in the past years I have come back to this thread. It may well be the most practical and historical piece of information that exists about these beautiful enlargers. I have used them (IC, IIC and Valoy II) professionally since the late 70ties and I still do.

Thank you, those who contributed here !

Michael
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