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  1. #11

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    Wow -- I bought this product back in January 2003 for $43.50 @ B&H. Back then I couldn't believe how expensive it was. To know it is now over $100 boggles the mind.

    However, I find it extremely useful when doing 4x5 enlargements.

  2. #12

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    HI,
    ...just a vote to second what others have said as to the utility and value of this product. The cup which allows tool-less mounting of the shaft is a very elegant design solution. The shaft mounts directly to the fine focus and operates smoothly without slop or jerkiness. Tool-less mounting also means that it can be conveniently dis-mounted so it does not serve as an annoyance when making small prints. Compare this to the Beseler flexible shaft which was never redesigned to account for the fact that the end of the shaft, to which it was allegedly meant to mount, was converted to a tapered design. Whether the price represents good value is obviously a personal decision but the price is not out of line with similar products offered by other mfg's for their enlargers. Removing the focus knob and attaching a flexible shaft directly to the focus mechanism would result in dis-abling the fine focus as it is effected by means of a planetary gear arrangement within the knob.
    Celac.

  3. #13
    Jeffrey A. Steinberg's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    At the time I bought my LPL new in 1999, it was $2,019. $100 was small change compared. It was the best $100 spent on the darkroom. The only negative (pun intended) is that when you crank the beast down, sometimes the "flexible" wire gets caught up on the base board and you have to move it to the side to rally lower the chasis.

    I would get it. Troll eBay, maybe someone is parting out an enlarger.

    --Jeffrey
    --Jeffrey

    ______________________________________________
    Jeffrey Steinberg, K2MIT
    Scarsdale, NY

    www.jsteinbergphoto.com (my avocation)
    www.reversis.com (my vocation)

  4. #14

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    Dec 2004
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    Dear JeffD,

    Go to www.mcmaster.com and search on flexible shafts. With luck, you should be able to cut your cost in about half if you can rig it up yourself.

    Neal Wydra

  5. #15
    jp80874's Avatar
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    For those more frugally inclined, or if you would rather put the $100 towards some other piece of equipment such as a Peak #1 grain focusing device, I offer a very high tech solution. Having messed about in boats most of life the raw material was hanging about in a variety of sizes.

    The size I felt best fit the job was ¼ inch by eight feet, but others would likely work well. I am describing a piece of braided flexible nylon cord, ¼ inch by the length that fits your need. I wrap the middle of the line 1 ½ times around the adjustment knob, drop both loose ends to the easel, put my eye to the focuser and pull one or the other line end slowly until I see grain.

    This complex device was originally rigged for a Saunders LPL 4550XLG/VCCE enlarger. A year later I found that it adapted instantly and without further expense to a Durst 138S with 8x10 cold light head. On occasion it has substituted for a leash when the dog has shown that certain urgency that says we don’t have time to look for the regular item.

    As to the bending over, the LPL is on a table so I sit in a chair at table height and run the enlarger head up to the ceiling. The Durst is on a pole coming up from a floor stand. I keep the enlarger head just cooling distance under the ceiling and adjust the table up or down on the pole. With a 300mm lens the table comes to just the right chair height when making 16x20 full negative images that have been my standard for about a year. At my age (66) the doctor says all the bending, flexing and walking of the dog one can do, the better. As a matter of fact Coco the chocolate Labrador and I are about to depart for a mile or two stroll. Retirement has its pleasures.

    John Powers

  6. #16
    RJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I have the similar device that's made for a Beseler 45 and while I wouldn't want to be without it, I find that very fine adjustment are not as easy as with using the fixed knob. There is a tendency for it to cause little "pops" of adjustments that exceed what I want. Think of it as torque in the flex cable lagging then releasing. Maybe something needs to be lubricated, I'm not certain if that would help.

    On my Beseler I put four screws about 1 1/2 incheslong through the focusing knob so they protrude about an inch. Then a flat pieceof wood (I have several of differentlengths) the right width slips between two and makes a jim-dandy extension. I threw away the Beseler ones - they were driving me mad!

  7. #17
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJS View Post
    On my Beseler I put four screws about 1 1/2 incheslong through the focusing knob so they protrude about an inch. Then a flat pieceof wood (I have several of differentlengths) the right width slips between two and makes a jim-dandy extension. I threw away the Beseler ones - they were driving me mad!
    I still have the knob I removed to install the flexible shaft so I can give that a try. Thanks.

  8. #18
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Fine focussing is what kids are for. You can borrow mine.

    I worked a place one time that just taped a yardstick to the knob. Gave you another 3 feet.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  9. #19
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Gravel View Post
    Fine focussing is what kids are for. You can borrow mine.

    I worked a place one time that just taped a yardstick to the knob. Gave you another 3 feet.

    Seems like all that mechanical advantage translates into anything but fine focusing though. I like how enlargers like the Saunders have both gross and fine focusing. I'd love geared down focusing like that.

  10. #20
    RJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I still have the knob I removed to install the flexible shaft so I can give that a try. Thanks.
    I should add, perhaps, that drilling a coupleof holes in the wooden stick so it fits over the protruding screw seems to help sometimes. Best to experiment - but this gives veryfine focusing for next to nothing and with different length sticks i can be on the floor focusing! I would be mostpleased to hear how this works outfor you!

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