Bestwell Minisight grain focuser

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Sam S, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Sam S

    Sam S Member

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    I recently lost my Magnasight grain focuser after 20 years. To replace it, I picked up a like-new Bestwell Minisight without box or instructions thinking it worked the same way as the Magnasight. Well, it doesn't work the same way and I am unable to figure it out.

    Can someone explaine how it works?

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  2. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    What seems to be the problem? No image?
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Should be the same ... one places the grain focuser on a piece of paper of the same thickness as the paper to be printed, turns on the enlarger lamp with the film in lace, and focusess on the aerial image of the grain itself - or at times, a "boundary edge", if the grain is too fine.

    Do you have the lens in the grain focuser adjusted to your eye? There should be some way to move the eyepiece lens in or out to provide a sharp, well-defined image of the reticle ... usually a circle.
     
  4. Sam S

    Sam S Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    The Minisight has an horizontal wire in the finder that I assumed was to focus to the individual's sight. I got it perfectly clear, but then realized that the actual projected negative can't be seen. I'm unable to see the baseboard at all. This made me believe that the wire has something to do with focusing the negative and is not only used to adjust for the user's vision.

    Sam
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  6. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    mine has a thin black line that you get in focus by adjusting the eyepiece via a thumbscrew on the side. If it's a similar model, loosen that thumbscrew slightly and move the eyepice up or down so that the black line is sharply in focus then lock the thumbscrew off.
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    ??? You shouldn't be able to see the "baseboard" (I assume you mean the surface of the easel, or the print). Grain focusing works on the aerial image. You do have a mirror in that thing, don't you? - Right in the optical path?.
     
  8. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I am with Ed on this as something doesn't make sense with what you are saying???????

    First the minisite is a grain focuser that you put your eye close to and at 10x you look for sharp grain and may not be able to see actual image. It should have a mirror that reflects the light that comes from the negative into the eyepiece. You are not looking at the baseboard.

    The Magnasite that you lost is an image magnifier that you use by focusing the "image" at much lower magnification. It also allows you much more eye relief meaning you don't need to get as close as with the Minisite. I happen to use the Magnasite most of the time as I find it is easier.

    To use the Minisite - First focus that line as described previously. Then project an image onto the baseboard or easel and rough focus it with the unaided eye. Then place the mirror part of the Minisite at a dark area in the center of the image and look through it to see what looks like grains of sand. Focus to get sharp grains of sand.

    With my enlarger it is easier to focus on the grain with the lens stoped down several stops. At f2.8 it is so bright I sometimes have trouble seeing the grain especially with light negatives. At f8.0 it works well. Also with that unit you can't use it out at the edges of the projected image, it must be close to the middle or you will see nothing.

    Hope this helps and isn't more basic than you needed. Just thought I'd cover all bases since you are used to the Magnasite.

    Bob