Focomat Ic

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by baachitraka, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Hello there,

    I may get LEITZ WETZLAR Focomat Ic with Focotar 1:4,5 lens. But, I have no idea about this enlarger in general and whether it has any provision to use multi-grade filter. Please help.
     
  2. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    You are getting a build quality that leaves nothing to chance. The solid machine will last forever. But...

    You are also getting something that might not make you happy. First, the negative is going to be touching the upper glass which, as far as I am concerned, spells trouble (dust, Newton's rings, etc). I don't want that. And, there is no filter drawer so you will have to contend with optically pure (and very, very clean) 'under the lens' filtration.

    Sorry for the castigation of almighty Leica but different engineering modes necessitate this downplay. Instead, you just might be happier with a very cheap Bogen or Beseler (just stay clear of the Cadet models) or Omega. The Japanese condenser models built for the 'masses' are really good instruments. Just make sure all is there and nothing is broken.

    Long live Japan and long live Germany but pragmatism forces this dichotomy. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2011
  3. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    A leica anti newton rings glass (rare) will take care of the rarely occuring newton rings. It's not a big deal, Imo.

    The filter being under the lens is not a problem. Dust doesn't show unless you really decide to make it a bread crumbs holder or a bird feeder. That's a myth. I know, I use a focomat Ic on a daily basis and my filter is dusty under the enlarger's light and my prints are beautiful.
     
  4. docchilie

    docchilie Member

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    I agree with NB23. I've used a Ic for over a year now, and I've never experienced any Newton rings, or problems with filtering. It is a great enlarger, and worth grabbing.
     
  5. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Well, practice is, perhaps, more relevant than mere theory. I have not used such an enlarger but I am still afraid to as I am immaculate when it comes to dust. True, the enlarger (Focomat) would not have been so prominent (in a previous age) unless it delivered. But I still do not want one. The slight advantage of having the top of the negative flatter is 'undone' when you stop down the lens. Just a thought here. - David Lyga
     
  6. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    You have to stop Really a lot for dof to take over. Really a lot!
     
  7. ooze

    ooze Member

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    By the way, some Focomat Ic's do have a filter drawer. You may need to check the enlarger in question. Also, there are two versions of the enlarger head, one round shaped, and another egg shaped. From what I've read on the net the round shape type uses an obsolete bulb type (aka short neck bulb). So, I would make sure that it's got the egg shaped head.

    Newton rings may be a problem - they were, initially, with my focomat - but there are solutions for it.

    I use a Focomat Ic alongside a Meopta Opemus with a MG diffusion head. I prefer the latter for various reasons, however the Focomat is useful with its condenser (hard) lightsource when using graded paper and the soft light of the Meopta isn't punchy enough.
     
  8. LouisG

    LouisG Member

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    NB23 and Docchilie are correct: below lens filters work fine with the focomat 1c without too much fuss about dust. I bought a very early model a few years ago for the equivalent of less than 50 USD to use alongside my Focomat V35 (lamps for the 1c are much easier to get here than those for the V35). I use the 1c when I want black borders -- it does them perfectly. The glass of the condensor and the Focotar 50 mm f4.5 lens as well as the anti-Newton glass is excellent, and the autofocus is spot-on after I adjusted it according to the instructions. I use the 1c when I want black borders. Print quality between the two enlargers is practically identical.
     
  9. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    I have two, both with anti Newton ring plates and I understand they usually come with these plates - One of mine does not have a filter drawer, some later models did, but I just lift up the lid and pop a filter in if I need to - The acme of these enlargers for me is one with an Ilford Multigrade head, jut perfect - I have never been in the august company of a V35

    Regarding dust, flip up the 1c head with the side lever, have the enlarger light on and you will see any specs of dust glowing at you and asking to be flicked off with a fine brush - Do not blow spit on your neg'

    If you are having to change filters on a regular basis and are working with similar subjects check your neg' exposure and development - When that is right you should be able to print on multigrade paper without a filter
     
  10. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    OOZE is a reread please. Black round heads need the short neck bulb, the grey oblong can take the common long neck bulb.

    I got Newton rings all the time. You need the AN "filter" that clips under the condenser. These cost as much as the enlarger.

    Grey heads have a filter opening, but not necessarily the hardware to make them work ( there needs to be a rod out the right side). I made a filter carrier to go into the opening. You can also lay a filter over the condenser.

    The original Focotar lens is optimized for 5x. 8x10 starts getting poor. There is a large front element Focotar lens and the Focotar 2 which are much superior.

    Get more info on it before you buy.
     
  11. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The 1c is the best designed small enlarger for -135 format. I prefer the 1c size to the larger V35 and how the 1c condenser sits on the negative. My enlargements are normally less than 8x and I only work in B&W. The 1c is perfect for my needs. If I projected enlargements greater than 10x I would pick the V-35.

    Ilford sells a universal box-like filter device intended to attach around the enlarging lens of many enlargers. My 1c was rigged with this device. The filter bracket is attached to small .5 to .75 inch thick wood spacer glued to the parallelogram arm horizontal link extending below the lens of the 1c. I slip a 3x3 inch filter on top of the under-the-lens filter device.

    I never experience Newton rings. The enlarger is always aligned. The elevation changes butter smooth. After setting the focus it never drifts. I imagine the oblong head is an improvement but they come with a baseboard elevation indicator cluttering up workspace.

    I raise the centering fitting (with bulb) to the highest position in the head and experience no noticeable unevenness of negative illumination. The bulb is a GE P11/212 and not the correct short neck OSRAM bulb.

    The older Focotars have the long physical length making a change of aperture easier than the shorter El Nikkor nested higher in the helical. Clean Focotars are hard to find and are not better than a modern Schneider/Nikon 6 element 50mm/f2.8.

    I love my 1c. At my desk I'm looking at a 5x7 portrait. I used a hooded 1956 Leitz 50mm Sumicron at f/4. Film was Tri-X @ EI 200, souped in D-76 1:1 for 11 min. Enlarged with the 1c using Ilford Fiber WT toned in KRST. Wow!! The image has a smooth/sharp look with open shadows. What a classic look. The old timers know what I mean.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2012
  12. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    No matter what I do I cannot bring the image to the size 8"x10"(20x25cm).
     
  13. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    This enlarge I have has Focotar 50mm f/4.5. May I know what does it mean starts getting poor for 8"x10".
     
  14. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Can't imagine a Focotar being poor anywhere! Mine was excellent, but I replaced it with an El-Nikkor 2.8, much easier to focus. The 1C is a great enlarger to use (I also have a V35) but I found that I had to use the anti-Newton ring filter over the condenser. I also have the truly excellent Ilford Multigrade head on mine, and this makes it much nicer to use than the V35. Lately I have fitted the 1C with a 63mm El-Nikkor which is great for doing full frame prints on 10x8 paper, you do need an extension tube for this though.
    When I had the standard head on mine (it was round and grey) you could use multigrade filters in a drawer above the condenser, was a bit fiddly though, and you couldn't split grade because the drawer was a bit tight and the enlarger would move a bit.
     
  15. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    My ignorance, I thought I can able to project an image of size 8"x10" with an offset +/- 1/4" on 8"x10" paper.

    But now, I came to know this enlarger @7x mag can reach 6.72" x 10.08".
     
  16. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I bought ILFord Multigrade filter set 0-5(no 00) seems very old. Nevertheless, I cannot able to fit the filter holder under the lens. No chance at all...I am little disappointed now.
     
  17. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The 1c requires the extension tube labeled DOORX to be screwed into the end of any 50mm enlarging lens. The parallelogram arms controlling head height is attached 1/3 up the column. The assembly is secured with a metal pin through a column opening. I easily make 8x12 inch prints.

    I have the multi-grade under the lens holder attached to my 1c. The filter holder is glued to a wood spacer glued to the metal cylinder which links the two lower parallelogram arms. I place 3 inch by 3 inch filters on top of the filter opening.

    I believe you can remove the red/orange filter in the under lens swing-out filter. Place flat contrast filters on top of the glassless circular frame.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2012
  18. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Also, I found there is a filter tray available for Ic as listed in http://www.glennview.com/leitz.htm unfortunaltey it was sold. Nevertheless, I will try to hold it with the hand and see how things goes.
     
  19. Bigpaul

    Bigpaul Member

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    Agreeing with Richard's point, I've found the easiest way to add filtration to a 1c without a drawer (I've actually got the 1b, none of which had a filter drawer) is to remove the red filter from the under-lens swing filter and simply place the required filter on that and swing it into place. This is quite simple, and the under-lens filter sets usually include a red "safe" filter which can be used in lieu of the original, should you require. These earlier autofocus Leitz enlargers are excellent........very sturdy and, with a Leitz lens, a very accurate and stable autofocus mechanism. I don't have any anti-Newton glass, but only find Newton rings to be an occasional problem in certain humidity conditions. Dust can be a problem, though, so good darkroom practice is a must! I've found that the later Focotar 2 50mm lens works really well with this enlarger.......worth finding one if you can.
     
  20. ooze

    ooze Member

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    If Newton Rings are a problem and you can't find the AN filter, there is a very cheap and efficient solution. The aim is to place a tiny bit of space between the surfaces of the neg and the condenser. So, what do you do? Well, with a scalpel just cut a hole slightly larger than 24x36mm into the center of a strip of 120 film. You may need to give it a few tries to get a decent cut. Once you have that done, you simply secure the neg with tape on the neg carrier in order that it stays nicely flat; put the perforated strip of 120 film on top and finally lower the condenser. Works great for me. I also have the AN glass, although with bit of muck on it that won't come off, so I prefer this method.
     
  21. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The grey oblong head, normally with filter drawer in the head, was designed for an alternative 150 watt bulb. The higher watt bulb would be useful for color printing or very big enlargements. The older back heads are fine with recommended replacement bulbs. Raise the socket to the highest position for added safety.

    I never experience Newton rings with my 1c. The 1c silver slider which raises the condenser can be position so all the condenser's weight is not on the negative. In effect a spacer.

    I did experience rings one time with a Valoy. The Valoy condenser rested firmer on the negative. When I figured it out I created a thin shim on the negative carrier. I could also keep the condenser raised slightly but it is not as convenient as on the 1c.

    The 1c makes it easy to spot dust on the negative. There is a clear view of the negative when you tilt the head back. The helical vs bellows reduces hiding places for dust. Once the condenser is positioned on the negative there is little opportunity for dust to migrate onto the negative from outside the enlarging head.

    I agree. I had a V35 and sold it for the less expensive, smaller 1c.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
  22. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Mine has 75 watt bulb with fixed head. The negative carrier is plastic and the condensor part sits firmly when slider is moved. I did not see any Newton-Rings yet but I see dust strands very clearly. Hopefully, it is possible to clean by blowing compressed air.
     
  23. jbphoto

    jbphoto Member

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    Does anyone have a picture of a good solution (film, paper or otherwise) to newton rings from their Ic?
     
  24. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I don't have a picture. When I first saw them I thought I had bad paper. The print looked mottled. I saw what seemed to be a smudge. It is easy to eliminate Newton rings by just raising the condenser off the negative. Rings are more likely in high humidiy.
     
  25. thomasw_

    thomasw_ Member

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    I find it very simple and easy to use multigrade filters on my focomate Ic w/o a filter draw is to place the filters on the condensor just below the bulb. There is no optical 'impurity' problems in this way. The head slips on/off very easily. Try it, it might work well for you.