Micromega Critical Focuser

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Dmitri Zorkau, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Dmitri Zorkau

    Dmitri Zorkau Member

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    Bought a Micromega Critical Focuser with blue filter. Did first printing and so far very happy. The only concern is to how the blue filter works. My focuser has integrated switch-blade-filter. From what I found it is recommended to use filter for a better tuning to get sharpest grain. I've read the book by Gene Nocon where he says about Omega focuser being exceptionally good but there is no specification on how to get it work. I don't really see the grain through the blue filter but rather different light tone which in my case doesn't make any difference. Grain comes from using the focuser without a filter. I will really appreciate any given information.
     
  2. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I have a grain focuser that also came with a blue filter. During the forty years that I have been using it, I never used the filter. It's best to focus with a piece of the same thickness paper you will be printing on under the focuser. I focus with the lens wide open and then stop down.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  3. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  4. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    The purpose of the blue filter as explained by the late Canadian Photographer Gene Nocon, is, it is a critical grain focussing aid. It is explained in his book about darkroom printing that the light from an enlarger tends to be towards towards the red end of the spectrum and printing paper is sensitive towards the blue end. If the colour of the light from the enlarger is changed to blue, then the image we see via the eyepiece of the grain focusser should be more accurate than without it.

    In his book he demonstrates how this can be so. Two identical images are printed, one using the blue filter and the other without. The difference although slight is clearly visible.

    I have a similar focussing aid which was sold in UK under the name of 'Peak' I don't have the blue filter, so I dial in blue light using the colour filters from the colour head, and yes it does seem to work. However stopping down the lens from F2.8 to F8 will cover most inconsistencies, but it is nice to get it accurate before you start to print.

    Obviously when printing RA4 the blue filter is not used.
     
  5. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Most modern high-quality enlarging lenses focus blue and near-UV in the same plane as red and green, or at least close enough for enlarging purposes. Older and uncorrected lenses often focus blue (to which your paper is sensitive) in a slightly different plane than red/green (to which your eyes are most sensitive). For these uncorrected lenses, using the blue filter will get you better focus. For anything else, it is superfluous.

    Do a quick test: focus with and without the blue filter, make a couple of test strips/prints and see if the blue filter gives you better results. I doubt it will, especially if you are using VC paper, which is also sensitive way into the green part of the spectrum.

    I've never used my blue filter with my Peak grain focusers, and have no complaints about the sharpness of my prints.

    Best,

    Doremus


    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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