Leitz Focomat V35

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Gary Holliday, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I've just snapped up a mint condition Focomat V35 yesterday..could call it an impulse purchase! Well I'm very excited about trying this out.

    I remember first seeing this enlarger during an Ilford masterclass session quite a few years ago and remembered at the time that this enlarger was way out of my price range.

    Can anyone recall how much this enlarger retailed for?

    I'm using a replacement bulb for this enlarger...the Philips 13139 12V 75W. Is this a recommended bulb? Should I expect any problems with fall off or hotspots?

    I'm also on the lookout for filtration guides for Foma and Forte papers if any exist.

    Thanks.
     
  2. waileong

    waileong Member

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    That's a better bulb.

    Your paper should come with a set of filtration guides in the box. If not, try to Ilford settings for a starting point.
     
  3. Jon Butler

    Jon Butler Subscriber

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    Hi,
    I use the LEICA V35 which I bought new with two heads & 3 neg carriers.
    It was one of last to be sold new in the UK & cost me £2500.00.
    It's IMO still the best enlarger for 35mm, it's been worth every penny.
    JON
     
  4. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    That's what I read Jon, so looking forward to digging out some 35mm negs from the past. £2500? I must have been poor back then or spending all my money on bass amps :smile: I've spent more on a single lens since and didn't blink an eyelid.

    What is your opinion on the 40mm lens? I have a componon-s which someone mentioned is vastly superior if there is actually a noticeable difference??
     
  5. Jon Butler

    Jon Butler Subscriber

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    Hi,
    The 40mm Focotar IMO is a fantastic lens I often use it wide open. Being a
    wide angle lens the head height is lower for a given print size so it is comfortable to use.

    JON
     
  6. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    Lens and price

    I paid GB£1200 in 1991 for a V35 demo model; new was GB£1800 I think. Fantastic investment. 2 years later I bought a Focometer 2 for GB£900 - also fantastic investment; amazingly versatile F-stop meter /timer. The autofocus is a joy, incredible, I never check the grain, don't need to; but as far as I know only works with the Focotar 40mm, otherwise you won't get autofocus. I agree the 40mm open wide is fantastically sharp; only snag with V35 is exposure times may be on long side eg 30 secs for a 10x8, more for a 12x16, so wide open or one stop down is how I usually use it. When I bought a Multigrade module to replace the Colour module, as I only do B/W, the exposure times came down a bit. But with my (new) 2nd hand Focomat 11c with Multigrade 500 head ... wow
    Richard
     
  7. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I could make two comparison prints and see which one of my lenses I prefer.

    The guy had a Focomat 11c also...very beautiful, he would't sell it :smile:

    I like the sound of a Multigrade head!
     
  8. Dovaras

    Dovaras Member

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    Gary - Congrats on your new purchase. I too have a new (used) V35, got it several months ago. Regarding your comment about the Componon-s vs. Focotar 40mm, I've heard this as well. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts after you do a comparison.
     
  9. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    I snagged a used V35 several years ago and would hate to lose it -- it's great and I LOVE the 40mm lens on it! If I'm not mistaken, they sold new for around $4000+ in the mid '90s before they stopped making them. Rather pricey like everything from Leica, but also well worth it like everything from Leica. :smile:

    Glad to hear about that bulb; I'm going to order a couple now. Thanks and good luck with it!
     
  10. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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  11. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Thought I would share a printable Ilford filtration guide for anyone who needed it.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. peachut

    peachut Member

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    Hello
    I have just joined the forum and have recently aquired a focomat v35 and getting a dark room up and running again after many years out, have been to digital and had all these film bodies not being used and decided to get back into B/W.Getting my kids into it which is great.Anyway I have a focometer 2 and can work it manually but not worked out how to use the probe/auto feature, does anyone have a manual ,I have done a search on the web but cant find one.Thanks for any help
    Andrew
     
  13. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I too just bought a V35 with multigrade head. Not as lucky as Gary I think. The auto focus doesn't work and the alignment is way out - apparently not easy to adjust from what I can gather.
    Tim
     
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  15. Shelly Grimson

    Shelly Grimson Member

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    I have the V35 and find that I had to put a rheostat to lower the light output because at 8x10 distance all my exposures were at F.11 or F.16.
    I believe that if you follow the Durst filtration settings that are given with the paper, you are in the money....The 40 mm lens is fantastic. If I look into my focus scope I can see that the most punchy grain is wide open and maybe one stop down. When I do close down to mid-way or so, the images still are sharp enough to jump off the page.
     
  16. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I thought that dialling in cyan was basically like adding a nd filter. I'd think that would help with very short exposures if true.

    Tim, have you got the column height set for the easel you're using ? Also you could probably shim the column base to align the baseboard with the lens and neg carrier (presuming they're both aligned with each other).
     
  17. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Yes. thank you. I have the col height to 0 just for testing it on the base board.
    Using a circular bubble spirit level on the head and the base board shows it at 11 o'clock on the head, quite a way off centre, and at 3 0'clock on the base, only slightly off centre (the worktop presumably). My laser tool confirms and it looks like neg carrier and lens are different too.
    The autofocus goes off immediately the head is lowered even by an inch. I don't know why.

    I spoke to the tech at Leica, who confirms it is difficult to realign.
    So it looks like a costly service/repair or return to sender, which will also cost me the courier service changes each way. Would I expect to get a refund on postage along with the item cost? It was Ebay and seller seems v genuine and surprised by problems (although he hadn't used it for 2 years)
    Tim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2008
  18. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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  19. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Wow, having the lens and neg off is strange since there's not much movement there from what I can remember. Is it possible that the lens assembly or whatever it's called has been cross threaded ? that' the only thing I can think of short of a MASSIVE knock that could cause this. As for the baseboard, I would just shim it under the column base as a quick fix.

    If you haven't done it yet, I would use a target/test neg to see if bringing the head and base in line will result in significant improvement overall.

    Good luck Tim, it's a wonderful enlarger to use !
     
  20. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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  21. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    You are right, they seem pretty immovable. I've just checked again with my Versalab Parallel laser alignment tool and they do come up quite different.

    I haven't used a taget neg as
    1) it is too far out so no point. I can see with my Peak that it goes off not far from centre
    2) The laser is so much quicker and easier to track when aligning.

    I haven't a clue why the AF isn't working. The cam looks OK and moves OK but the focus goes off really quickly on moving the head down a bit.
    Tim
     
  22. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Just examined my V35 and the only thing I can think of is the helicoid directly under the neg stage is off. This is presuming the neg carriers are not out of whack since you've already aligned this.

    I'd be very curious to know how it works out as I've always considered these enlargers rather indestructible in spite of the precise build and tolerances and many parts. They were tough enough to survive newspaper use day in and day out by lab techs and hurried photographers on deadline which is one reason why I love using mine.
     
  23. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I thought I had aligned my V35, but moving the head down to print a small 5x5 resulted in an unsharp image...I fixed it yesterday and everything looks good now.

    Not wanting to insult your intelligence, but have you followed the auto focus alignment correctly and checked the very simple things like:

    closing the neg carrier
    making sure that everything is tight and in position above the lens.
    raising column to highest position and checking autofocus using the technique in the above link?

    Sorry I can't help with anything more technical, but if the enlarger is not as decribed I would maybe ask for a refund. It does sound as if it has taken a serious knock. The V35 is listed on feebay every week.

    Good luck!
     
  24. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Yes Gary, I have done all that to the letter. I've run out of ideas
    Tim
     
  25. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Perhaps you could try and level the neg carrier and baseboard and go from there ? If you have some time, perhaps try different things (without altering the V35 of course) and if nothing works, send it back.

    I still can't imagine the neg and lens are out of whack, does it look off visually from the front ? Can you isolate which way it is off from looking at a projected image ?

    This is kinda like figuring out davidb's neg bubbles processing probs...
     
  26. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Not really very obvious to the eye, but the laser shows they are off in different directions, so it is easy to see which directions and by how much