Leitz V35 Autofocus - not staying crisp

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Dovaras, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Dovaras

    Dovaras Member

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    I can’t seem to keep a crisp focus from top to bottom on my new (used) V35. I’ve followed the instructions several times but find the image moves slightly out of focus when I lower the head after resetting the focus as the manual says.

    I played around with the lens housing but that didn’t make much difference. Should the lens housing be tight against the negative stage or should it be snug leaving the focus ring ease of movement?

    Just wondering if any V35 veterans out there can give me some advice.

    Thanks,

    ND
     
  2. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Member

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    Hello ND,

    I have found with my V35 that "autofocus" was simply a Leitz marketing term. I do appreciate the fact that the image stays relatively in focus as the head is raised/lowered, but always find that once I've set the image size needed I have to finalize with critical focus using a grain magnifier. Not sure exactly what you're asking with regard the lens housing against the negative stage, but the focus ring should move easily and smoothly throughout its range; the feel is about the same as a well dampened lens focus ring, if working properly.

    Btw, don't know if you're using the original lens that came with the enlarger but, in my testing, I found it sub-par. I saw a HUGE improvement in print quality at all sizes when I swapped it out for a Schneider Componon. Just something to think about...

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  4. Dovaras

    Dovaras Member

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    Alan and Hans - Thanks for your help.

    Alan - the reason I was asking about the lens housing against the negative stage is because I made the mistake of unscrewing it until it came off. After saying "oh sh**" I screwed it back together but wasn't sure how tight I should make it.

    Thanks again!

    Nick
     
  5. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I used one for years... always had to refocus the image once the cropping was final.
    -Rob
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Have you adjusted for the thickness of your easel? That's what the crank on top of the column is for. also there are different cams for 40 & 50mm lenses, do you have the right one?
     
  7. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Out of habit I check focus even though it would be fine. Good habit I guess. JK has the right idea, check your column height setting, makes a noticeable difference. When I picked up my used one, I had to set the column height before it would give me repeatable af.

    These were workhorses in newspaper darkrooms and dead on autofocus was very important and I never had issues when I was churning out prints on deadline.
     
  8. Dovaras

    Dovaras Member

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    John - The column height was way off, I corrected tonight. Plan to print this weekend... I'll let you know if this keeps the focus in check.

    I appreciated everyone's help.

    Nick
     
  9. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    It's a very nice enlarger to use, especially when the AF is working well. Makes printing sessions rather enjoyable.
     
  10. Dovaras

    Dovaras Member

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    I did some printing last night and the focus stayed sharp as I moved the enlarger head up and down. I find myself stuck in the habit of checking each new negative... hard habit to break. Seems like the column height was the trick.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Nick