Grain focus recommendations..

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jd callow, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have used and continue to use the Micro Sight Grain Focus. I need to get my own and was wondering what others would recommend.

    I have seen the Peak Enlarging Focuser and the Micromega Critical Grain Focuser which both look superior, but haven't used them. They both appear to be between 7 to 10x the cost of the Micro Sight as found on ebay.

    Background:
    I am going to be building my own colour darkroom over August. I have a Hope 26" paper processor, Wing-lynch film processor (which is already in service), Durst L1200 assorted lenses and neg holders and a heavy duty drop table.

    There are a handful of odds and ends that I'll be needing and will be asking those here on APUG for recommendations.​


    Thanks a tanker load in advance.
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    any of those devices will do the work. I have a Microsite 25x and a Peak. I end up using the Peak all the time.

    lee\c
     
  3. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    The Peak has given me good service. Mind you I think there are three types.
    Hans
     
  4. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I have the Omega version of the Peak, it is the low end one, but still very nice.
     
  5. fingel

    fingel Member

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    I've used several grain focusers and they have always been adequate, but I picked up a Peak 1 on ebay and it is on a whole different level from the others. I found that it makes focusing easier for me by allowing me to see more of the negative.
     
  6. galyons

    galyons Member

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    I, too, have used other grain focusers, (LPL, Microsight) and consider the purchase of the Peak a quantum upgrade. They all adequately "did the job", but the Peak, (Model 2), allows me to check corners and edges that simply were not visible with the others.
    The Model 2 is available used at half of the price for the Model 1. The 1 provides a 10 degree greater angle of coverage and a blue filter to improve visibility. I haven't used the 1 to know what I'm missing.

    Cheers,
    Geary

    Geary
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Ditto, and I got mine for $55 on ebay still in the box wrapped in tissue having never been used.
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I would go for the peak, I got me the cheapest version and although still not cheap, it is far better than anything I have used or tried before.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Peak is the winner.

    I'm watching one on ebay now.

    As mentioned in my timer recommendation thread, this place is the best. I'll have more questions over the next few weeks as I convert what was an old coal room into a very cramped darkroom. I may start a thread to document the progress. My SK 58mm XL may just be wide enough to shoot the room.

    Thank you lee, Jorge, Aggie, Geary, fingel, photomc, and clogz.
     
  10. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    I bought a Peak Grain Focuer #1 a couple of years ago--new & B&H or Adorama. I'm only sorry I didn't buy it 20 years ago.

    Get the top of the line--it gives you the most freeedom to look anywhere in the image. Some of the others are limited to central area.

    Good luck on the auction.

    Charlie
     
  11. Seele

    Seele Member

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    I have been using Paterson ones for longer than I care to remember; the one-piece solid plastics construction sure makes their precision last a long time. For really critical work (such as for my reference prints) I also use a Bausch & Lomb parallax focusser, a light green lump of hard plastics which proves to be a superb piece of equipment indeed.
     
  12. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    I got my Peak 1 free with an enlarger, still in sealed wrapping in the box etc. Superb piece of kit

    Phill
     
  13. argentic

    argentic Member

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    I fully agree. I've used several other brands, but the Peak is much better. I like the Peak 1 because I can see sharpness into the extreme corners of the image. But I've seen a Peak 2 too with a kind of spider web design to focus on. That was really handy because you are forced to focus at exactly the right plane of focus.

    Gilbert
     
  14. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well I got the peak 1 on this auction at about a third of b & h's price. I got a chance to use one and that confirmed what everyone had said.

    Thank you to all!
     
  15. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Peak #2

    Recently I purchased a Peak #2 (mid range in price) and it is excellent!
     
  16. lee

    lee Member

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    so Peachbutt tell us how you like it when you get it. I love mine.

    lee\c
     
  17. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Lee,
    I had a chance to use one already. The ability to move out of the center toward the edges of the print is what sold me. I'l let you know how this one works as soon as it arrives.
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    This is another area where I tried to save money, by buying the less expensive ones. I finally settled on a relatively expensive Omega. Worth every blessed penny ... better, faster optics, heavier, more stable feel.... easier to adjust for individual vision, etc. I only have to remember to focus *without* a "softening filter on the enlarger lens.
     
  19. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    I vote for the Peak grain magnifier.focuser. Get the best of all 3 models - you will not go wrong (I have it)
     
  20. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I did. I've used a for a couple weeks and yes it kicks ass.
     
  21. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Another vote for Peak. I had a Paterson, then bought a Peak2 a few years ago. It is so much better.
     
  22. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Good as the Peak finders undoubtedly are, if you make large prints you may find the Paterson Major focus finder will save you some contortions as you try to focus a 20x24 on the baseboard.... Not having the arm reach of an orangutan, it does for me...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  23. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Peak all the way