Enlarging lens choice.

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by poppers, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. poppers

    poppers Member

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    Good evening I have recently purchased a Leitz Valoy II that came with a Minolta 50mm f4 enlarging lens. Is it worth using or should I try and get an original focotar or try a nikon 50 el2.8?

    Also does anyone know how to remove the original wiring loom. I can unscrew a bolt on the lamphouse which seems to allow adjustment of the bulb position but I need to remove it completely and install new wiring but can't work it out?

    Regards

    M

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've used a Minolta 50mm f4 and it's as good as most other enlarger lenses even those selling for very much more. I still have one and no hesitation using it despite having Nikons, Durst (Pentax & Schneider), Vivitar (Schneider), Schneider & Rodenstock lenses. I do use 50mm throught tpo 300mm enlarger lenses :D

    Ian
     
  3. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I also had an example of that lens. It was very good. I gave it to a friend to upgrade his enlarger. I would try it out to see how you get on. There are lots of other good lenses available quite cheaply at the moment if it doesn't suit your taste. Alex


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  4. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Great enlarger! I still have mine even though I use a V35 for 35mm these days. The original focotar is nothing special. Just about any six-element schneider or rodagon or fujinon would be better. Sounds like that Minolta is better than the focotar, too, according to Ian so you may want to stick with that. You can always upgrade later.

    I replaced the cord on my Valoy II, also. I don't remember there being anything special about it and it's packed away in a box now that I'd rather not dig out. Can you post a picture of the problem?
     
  5. Zathras

    Zathras Member

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    I use a 50mm Minolta on my Valoy II and I'm extremely pleased with it. It is a lens that I will NEVER get rid of.
     
  6. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    minolta f4?

    Not familiar with the f4…. but the Minolta C.E. Rokkor-X 50mm f2.8, was W.Eugene Smith's Favorite on his Valloy. I have the set of 30mm, 50mm & 80mm Rokkor-X's and find them = to or better than any other 6 element, I have …
     
  7. poppers

    poppers Member

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    In that case I'll give it a go. it's actually a 4.5 not 4 note I've looked again. If I find its too dark I'll perhaps try a faster one. Thank you for the replies

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  8. poppers

    poppers Member

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    image.jpg

    Here is a picture of the head. I wonder if I need to loosen the small screw in the knurled knob?
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You're right it's an f4.5, I've had two the first was used in a commercial darkroom and became scratched (the glass is relatively soft). I picked up a second more recently.

    Yes loosen the small screws it should all come apart easily.

    Ian
     
  10. poppers

    poppers Member

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    There are some very small screws like you get on glasses where they hinge. I think these might hold the knob in place as it doesn't budge.

    Is It ok to clean the condenser in warm soapy water. If not what's the best way to clean it. Also I've read about an extension tube for none Leitz lenses but mine doesn't seem to have this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2013
  11. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Is there something inside the head that screws onto the assembly and holds it tight? If you take the bulb out, something around the base of it that unscrews?
     
  12. poppers

    poppers Member

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    Not that I can see, it loosens enough to adjust the bulb centering but not enough to pull it through. There is a brass sleeve that screws in and hold s the bulb but that's it

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  13. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Hmm ... maybe you could splice the old cable with the new cable and use heat shrinks and electrical tape. Then you don't have to remove the bulb assembly. That may be what I did. I wish I could remember.
     
  14. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Minolta lenses are probably the most underestimated in existence. During the 70s they were (wrongly) considered somewhat inferior to the Nikons and Canons. Time proved that truism untrue. Leica chose Minolta to manufacture one for use in their CLE. And, by the way, Minolta was one of the few camera manufacturers who made its own glass. - David Lyga
     
  15. poppers

    poppers Member

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    I would be open to that idea if the wiring wasn't in such a bad condition. When testing there was a loud crack and a flash where the inline switch is situated. Closer inspection revealed the outer sleeve has deteriorated exposing the inner cables which shorted.
     
  16. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Subscriber

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    I use a 15mm extension tube with my 50mm f2.8 El-Nikkor on a later model Valoy II. Don't believe the enlarger would focus properly without the extension.
     
  17. pstake

    pstake Member

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    The original Leica part was DOORX. That's the extension part and it can be found at reasonable prices if you don't have one.