Focomat 1c Question
I just received a nice Focomat 1c and noticed that the condenser did not lower fully to contact the negative carrier as it's intended to do. After disassembling the condenser assembly I found that the condenser still was not seating fully in its housing. The issue turned out to be a spacer ring in the housing which kept the condenser from fully seating. The spacer is metal and is about 3mm thick. It appears to be intentionally put there. I removed it and the condenser works normally.
Has anybody seen this before? What would it be for since it keeps the condenser from closing onto the film? I thought perhaps it might be used with the hinged double glass plate (because of the increased thickness), but there is no mention of it in the Leitz instructions.
Um... I dont think condensers are supposed to make contact the negative. As far as I know, there should be a space.
The Focomat 1c condenser is designed to rest on the negative to keep it flat.
the spacer is meant to be insterted between the condenser surface and a hard_to_find/expensive anti-newton-ring glass (mounted in a ring).
Sounds like you have the anti-newton ring "filter" without the glass. I have never seen a spacer ring to go between the filter and condenser. My anti-newton "filters" are like slip on filters, friction fit to the condenser. All the 1C enlargers are set that way and no such ring is mentioned in the instruction book.
There is also a slip on solid brass "filter" with a negative size cut out that can act as the top half of a sandwich type negative carrier. You lose flatness with it but never get newton rings. I have only seen pictures.
Remove your ring so the condenser sits flat. If you get a print with rings, reinstall it for that print alone.
Depending on the lens you have, you may benefit from a not so quite flat negative. The first lens is optimized for 5x7 prints has pretty bad field curvature and the image falls apart > 8x10. The second with a large front element is dead flat and good to 16x20 wide open. The Focotar II is back to a not so flat field again.. The middle one was a Schneider lens rebranded and is very very good.
No, this is a spacer ring, not the slip-on ring in which the AN glass is mounted. I do have the AN glass, too. It was packed separately for it's protection during shipping. I was examining the enlarger as I was unpacking and reassembling it and had not yet installed the AN glass.
What I'm told by someone else is that the spacer is used with the AN glass. But it does not go between the condenser and the AN glass; it goes where I found it, inside the condenser housing. There is a shoulder on the condenser shell that rests on the spacer. The condenser in its closed position is then raised by the thickness of the spacer, 3mm. This is to allow clearance below the condenser for the AN glass. The AN glass is usable without the spacer, but without the spacer there's less clearence when the condenser is open. At least that's my understanding. And it seems to make sense.
This all sounds very different than the 1c I had many years ago (early 60's). Mine had a "frosted" lower surface of the condenser, which served AN purpose, and the condenser contacted the negative to keep it flat. The frosting also served to provide some diffusion of the light source. I NEVER had Newton ring problems and it made excellent prints always.