Leitz Condensers - Are the Valoy and Focomat the same?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by cbphoto, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I have a Valoy, and may be adding a Focomat 1c. I cannot find any answers online about the condensers: do the Valoy and the 1C use the same condensers? I have a nice clean one already, so if I don't need to be to careful about finding a clean one in a 1C, that would be an advantage. Thanks.
     
  2. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not sure about the original Valoy but I think the Valoy II has the same one. I seem to remember reading that the antinewton filter that covers the condensor is interchangeable between the valoy ii and focomat 1c.
     
  3. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I doubt it, but will check later on, I have them both. If the condensors had been interchangeable, then surely we'd have a lot of buzz about the later version Valoy II Anti Newton condensor being ok for the 1C. (one wouldn't need the 1C AN glass then)

    Pstake has got it right that the 1C AN glass fits the Valoy II condensor. But I have the feeling the Valoy II condensor is a smaller unit.

    I would not worry too much about the 1C condensor. If the enlarger has been well treated, the condensor should be ok. And even if it does have a little something, it doesn't mean you'd always see that on your prints, on the contrary. Just check the condensor well, wash it in warm water with dishwasher soap and a small soft sponge, rinse well. Dry it with soft and clean cloth. You can also ask the seller to do this.

    The problem with many 1C condensors is that they have a very even, almost invisible, layer of dust on the top. But they're easy to remove and easy to clean.
     
  4. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ok, it is what I thought: the Valoy II condensor is half the size of the 1C condensor.

    Picture attached
     

    Attached Files:

  5. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thanks, Hilo! Apparently I have a Valoy I then, as my condensor looks more like the right one in your picture.
     
  6. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You are welcome !

    Perhaps you can see the Valoy II condensor is "frosted", meaning it was treated to eliminate Newton rings. It comes from a dark grey/blue Valoy II.

    Anyone out there who knows if the original Valoy perhaps had an identical to the 1C condensor?
     
  7. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I just picked up a cheap condenser and AN slip-on glass from a Focomat, and they are NOT compatible with the original Valoy. Not a big deal. More interestingly, I picked up what looks to be a 1B on ebay for $60 shipped. Anyone know anything about this one? Almost no information about this model online anywhere that I can find.
     
  8. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I know that it was less sturdily made than the 1c.
     
  9. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think there was a combined Focomat 1C and 1B sales catalog, or manual.
     
  10. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

    Messages:
    406
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There is a book called Leica Darkroom Practice/ the Focomat Manual. It concentrates on the V35, but has a good historical section that covers earlier models. I'm sure it will have something on the 1b.
    Alex
     
  11. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thanks, all. Anyone know offhand if the 1b shares any components with the more common models (carriers, condensers, etc)?
     
  12. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
  13. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I hae th Leica Darkroom book, ad it mentions the 1a & 1c, but not the 1b.
     
  14. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Got the 1b up and running. The condenser is almost the same the same as the Valoy I, but slightly narrower. Luckily the one that is in there is clean. It appears the AF mechanism is the same as what is described in the regular 1c manual. I did a quick and dirty alignment check by measuring the sides of the projected image, and it looks good. I'll run some test prints in the next few days to verify, as I don't have a grain focuser capable of off-axis work. The negative carrier from my Valoy works.

    What else should I check?