Getting a grain focuser?
I am sorry if this question has been asked before, but will it help for my printing to get a grain focuser? I am mostly doing 6x6negs enlarged to 20x20 (cm) and it seems that my prints are sharp, but would a grain focuser be a good thing?
And, if so, do i need a special one for medium format (6x6)?
Thanks in advance
You do not need a special one for 6x6cm. They are very useful. You are making rather small enlargements which may help.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)
Possibly the best thing in a darkroom after an enlarger and trays, is a grain focuser.
I've used all sorts from ones costing hundreds of dollars in a lab, to my personal one which I paid $5.00 secondhand.
Paterson Micro Focus Finder which is in the above link, is the one I use on a daily basis in my own dark room.
By the way, welcome to the forum.
You will not go wrong with a Bestwell Magna Sight. These are individually calibrated, and can go from the center of the print to the edges with little loss of brightness or focus loss. Quite reasonable also through B&H.
something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
You might have good eyes, but a focus aid will make sharper prints more often.
I second the nomination of the Magna Sight. I modified mine using the late Barry Thornton's suggestion to attach a close up lens to the viewing lens. You can no longer focus without putting your eye right to the the eyepiece, but oh does it make for sharp focusing! With this setup you don't actually focus the grain, but instead find a sharp image line and watch it pop into focus as you adjust the enlarger.
When I was in my 20s, I didn't need a grain focuser. When I was in my 30s, I got one of the Patterson ones, even though I still didn't really need it. Now that I'm nearly a geezer, I need it. So, the answer to your question is - it depends. But having one would never hurt.
I'll second that. I find it easier to focus with than without, and have since I got my first one maybe 35 years ago. I've tried several and all are so much better than nothing that I'd recommend buying one. Are the top-price ones that much better? Don't know: I've never had one. But if you can see the grain the the print, with a magnifying glass if necessary, they're sharp enough, and my prints are sharp enough.
Originally Posted by juan
Like Juan, I didn't need one long ago. As a veteran geezer, I do. The favorite is a cheap one that functions like the Patterson Mick linked to. An old Mitchell Unicolor that can be used anywhere in the image area is good for checking enlarger alignment. A 14 inch tall Patterson lets me reach the focusing knob when making big enlargements. The Pattersons let one focus on the grain instead of on the less magnified image like the Magna Sight or the similar ancient Baush and Lomb..
Seems like i should look for one... After studying some of my prints up close, I have a feeling there is room for improvement...
Well, not too many on the used marked i Norway, gonna put up a wanted ad, and check ebay!
I really appreciate the help!