Opemus 5a Lensboards and Mixing Chamber

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jerry Thirsty, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    Hi folks,

    Last week I found a Meopta Opemus 5a with a Meochrom 2 head on the curb in my neighborhood and brought it home. Other than being dirty it appears to be fully functional. However, it has a recessed lensboard with the old 23.5mm thread, and I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to use my other 39mm enlarging lenses on it. From what I have read here on other threads, the recessed lensboard is suppose to go cup-up for a 50mm lens and cup-down for an 80mm lens. My options seen to be:
    1) Find a Meopta board with the 39mm thread (but it doesn't seem to be that easy here in the States)
    2) Take a gamble on the Durst Siriopla flat board and hope there's enough bellows travel
    3) Have a custom board machined locally.

    Anybody have any info or suggestions?

    Also, was there more than one mixing chamber available for this head? I don't see any markings on this one, so I'm assuming that it's okay for MF?

    thanks in advance,
    Jerry
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As always with Meopta, the answer is at http://www.meopta.cz/ . The site is recently reworked, it seems, but older enlargers are under "history".

    Lens boards are relatively easy to find here, in both 23.5 and 39mm. Same for lenses, and the Meopta Anaret-S lenses are surprisingly good! My Opemus 6 can take Durst flat lensboards without difficulty.

    I think the Meochrom head had only one mixing chamber. The later Color 3 head has different mixing chambers - I have both sizes, so just check that the opening is more than 4cm across and you should be fine for MF.
     
  3. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    Hi Ole,

    I went through the Meopta site, and I know other people have said that they had manuals on there, but, as you say, it appears that is no longer the case. I guess I will try the Durst board and see what happens. If I can't get my good 50mm to focus I also have a 63mm El-Nikkor I could try, or I can just try the four-element Anaret that was in it and see if it is any good.

    I measured the opening on the mixing chamber and it is approximately 54mm square, so it should be okay. I opened up the Meochrom head to clean it and it seems very tricky to get the mixing chamber out (they probably had a special wrench for assembly I guess), so they probably weren't expecting the user to be messing with it.

    Speaking of messing with it, apparently the white specular material on the inside of the mixing chamber is water-soluble. I could see through the ground glass that there was crud on the inside, so I took the top half off the chamber and started cleaning the glass with a wet cotton swab. Unfortunately, wherever it touched along the edges the white material began to dissolve and smear across the glass, so I had to remove the glass altogether and clean it separately.

    But now it is all clean and re-assembled, so I plan on trying it out in a few days.

    Jerry
     
  4. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Jerry,

    Meopta may or may not have an importer in the USA. However, I know that Fotoimpex in Germany have a lot of Meopta spare parts. www.fotoimpex.de Give them a try. Don't worry about the shipping costs as a lensboard weighs next to nothing.
    Regards
    Hans
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've used Anarets for the past ten years or so. I've compared them to Componon and EL-Nikkor and found them to be no better, and in the case of the Nikkor not as good. The Anaret may surprise you!
    I learned something new today - it's a good day!
     
  6. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    Hi clogz,

    The US distributor of fotoimpex is J and C, but their inventory isn't very similar in this area. I've already ordered the Durst flat board, so I think I'll wait and see how that turns out. And I will give the Anaret a shot as well.

    Ole,

    I have read that the Anarets are good, and some people say they are actually made by Schneider, but I assumed they were referring to the modern lines. I'm guessing (based on the 23.5mm thread) that the Anaret I have is probably fairly old. But I will give it a chance. I hope to do a head-to-head comparison with my apo-Rodagon-N if it will focus with the flat board. Once I had the chance to do a direct comparison between the apo-Rodagon, a Componon-S, and an Omegaron, and stopped down a few stops, I was surprised at how well the Omegaron stood up to the others.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Jerry
     
  7. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi Jerry
    I have a Meopta 5 Color and tried using a 50mm nikor on a flat lensboard on it.
    I could not make enlargements to fill out 24X30cm paper since it could not focus from that distance. I am going to order a ressesed lenseboard for that lens.
    Regards Søren
     
  8. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Jerry,

    I have heard the rumour, too, but always limited to the Meogon-S 2,8/50 and never found a hint to judge the truth behind it.

    Meopta continues to manufacture their lenses with the M23,5, but delivers them with an adapter to M39 - you can identify these by a tiny maggot screw on the base flange.

    I have a single Anaret in use, the 4,5/80 tessar type - an excellent item. And I own a second, a 3,5/30 I intended to use with Minox and 16mm film, but never got around to use it.

    Where is that place you find good tools in the street curbs? Sounds like front yard of heaven. ;-)

    Hans, AFAIK Fotoimpex has run out of stock and will not manufacture anymore - they were made on their order from a craftsmen.
     
  9. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    Thanks for the info, Soren and Roman. I'll get it working one way or another. I certainly can't complain, considering the price. I've got some infrared negatives washing right now that will get to be the first printing test.

    Jerry
     
  10. argus

    argus Member

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    Jerry,

    I also have the Opemus 5a with Meochrome head.
    I'd like to hear from your experience since I did not use it yet. (still skilling in B/W)

    G
     
  11. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    Hi argus,

    Actually I haven't been able to try it out just yet; for a darkroom I temporarily black-out the basement but I've been using it for other things recently and haven't had the chance. Hopefully I'll be able to put my darkroom back together in time for next weekend. As far as the construction is concerned, I really like the way it easily allows rotation of the head and column for wall and floor printing. Also, it has a glass negative carrier with 4 masking blades; I've only had glassless carriers before, so that will be something new to try out.

    Jerry