Focomat IIC enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Hans Mulders, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Hans Mulders

    Hans Mulders Member

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    Hi,

    I'm thinking about buying a Focomat IIC enlarger with Focotar 2 lenses.
    I have an old devere 203 right now with componon-S lenses, but the autofocus option is something I would like to have.
    Any suggestions if this will be a good idea?
    I mean are these Focotar 2 lenses really that good like schneider Componon-s?
    Another issue is what is a reasonable price at this moment?
    awaiting your advises

    kind regards
     
  2. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Depends

    I like Leica products a lot. However, I have reservations about Focotar lenses that would exceed twenty years. The only Focotar lenses that I personally used were a 40mm 2.8 and a 504.5 Focotar II. The 50mm was clearly the better lens. Although I no longer have the Focotar lenses I doubt that either would match my 63mm 2.8 N El Nikkor which performs best at f 4.

    The wider the aperture for best performance the sharper the resilts...it does require glass carriers and an extremely well aligned enlarger though. Since the mamximum aperture of the Focotar is f4.5 and it is not at its best wide open it cannot match the El Nikkor.
     
  3. Grunthos

    Grunthos Member

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    I have a Focomat 1C with a 50mm Focotar-2 on it. That lens is the sharpest enlarger lens I have ever used. If it won't kill you financially, go for it. Getting the Focotar really created a huge improvement in the prints I'm getting from 35mm. I haven't used a Componon in years, but the Focotar 2 was noticeably sharper than the outstanding APO Rodagon that it replaced.

    Grunthos The Flatulent
     
  4. Hans Mulders

    Hans Mulders Member

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    Thanks for yous replies.

    So there are different opinions about the reputation of the Focotar 2 lenses.
    The most important one for me will be the 100mm focotar 2 since 99% of my filmwork will be medium format.
    Can anyone give me an idea compared with e.g. componon-s 80 mm 5.6?

    regards,

    Hans
     
  5. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    The focotar 2 is no better, no worse than the 100 componon s. I tested them 10 years ago.

    The small format lens furnished was a 65mm V elmar and was never upgraded to a better lens from the factory. It it has a 50 focotar2, it was a custom job and it is a far superior lens to the v elmar. Make sure the auto fucus works with the 50 mm lens as it would require a special non factory cam
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I know this won't help in this particular case, but it may be useful to others. When printing in a lab in the late 80's, I got a job that required printing a corner of a 35mm neg at 5x7, a section from a total enlargement close to 20x30 inches, perhaps slightly more. The lens in the enlarger when I took the job was an El Nikkor 50mm f:2.8, and by the time it was to that scale, there was so much astigmatism that I couldn't focus the corner of the negative. This was at any usable aperture, not just wide open. You could easily see the astigmatic "blur lines" in the grain flip from saggital to tangential without ever coming to focus. I dug around and found a 50mm f:4.5 Focotar buried in a drawer and tried it. It wasn't perfect, but the El Nikkor couldn't even produce a usable print in these circumstances, and the Focotar did just fine.

    Enlarger lenses are, of course, optimized for certain reproduction ratios, and I'm sure not all Focotar models are created equal. This job was definitely outside the working range of the El Nikkor, but the Focotar held, and was good at smaller enlargements as well. I've used Componons of different vintages in my own darkroom and been happy with them.

    Lee
     
  7. Hans Mulders

    Hans Mulders Member

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    Thanks a lot all of You for your input.
    I will go for it and buy the Focomat IIC.
    450 euro should be a fair price. At least thats what the seller wants to get for it.

    Keep you posted how it will go.

    Hans
     
  8. Hans Mulders

    Hans Mulders Member

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    So I got the focomat 2 C.
    But there was some bad communication :-(

    The one for sale was a black one with v-elmar 100 4.5.
    After a good discussion the seller dropt the price with 90 euro to 360 euro.
    I decided to take it, for that price, and I'm testing it now in my darkroom.
    Is there anyone who has a user manual from this machine? Like how to finetune the autofocus mechanism?
    It works very good, but just in case of trouble I would like to know the correct procedure.

    Regards,

    Hans
     
  9. edz

    edz Member

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    The V-Elmar is OK. The Focotar-2 100 is, however, much better and is surpassed by the current model 100mm Componon-S. The 60mm Focotar is a dog. The 50mm Focotar-2 is exceptional but won't autofocus on the IIc.
    What's great about the IIc are:
    - swing movements
    - autofocus
    - easel locking hardware (if used with an easel which the channels)
    - excellent condensor
    Its largest shortcomming is the difficulty in installing new objectives--- most are too fat to fit in the tubus.
    My favorite Leitz enlarger is the Ic but it only goes up to 4x4cm.

    That's not in the user manual for the IIc. Can you read German?
     
  10. emerson531

    emerson531 Member

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    Focomat IIc Alternate Lenses


    Can you please share with us what lenses you have found that will fit in the focomat iic barrel ....I havent found any non leitz lens to fit! Tks
     
  11. fred

    fred Member

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    I've a french manual for the focomat IIc.

    When a lens is "a dog", I presume that it isn't that good?

    Here the same question: Which other lenses then focotar's or elmar's can we use with the enlarger?

    Many thanks!
    Fred