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  1. #1

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    Versalab Parallel - quick one - help please!

    Hi........ I've just got a quick query about the use of this that I hope somebody can answer.

    I just picked up a very used Leitz Focomat V35, and the Versalab Parallel is telling me that it's a little out of alignment. I'm not about to go pulling the thing apart, because that is what it would take to align this enlarger, so I am going to shim the easel up a notch here & there (which is fine as I only ever print full-frame at 16x20, both the easel & enlarger head height never get moved).

    Checking both neg carrier stage & lens alignment gives differing results. Which is more important to be aligned? I would have thought that as long as the lens is aligned it shouldn't matter about the neg carrier.... am I right?

  2. #2
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I used to have a V35 and I shimmed it under the mounting base to get the lens aligned and used some tape under the carrier to get the carrier aligned. It really wan't that hard. The problem with doing the easel is that you need to deal with both horizontal and vertical images

  3. #3

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    Thanks Mark..... embarrassed to say I didn't think of that, vertical/horizontal! Yes you're right, the easel would have to move a bit there. I got so lost in thinking I'd found my solution!! Plus, it's been a short while since I last printed & vertical images are few/far between.
    So, you're saying loosen the bolts underneath and put shims in between the white baseboard and the black column base?
    What did you use for shims?
    Pardon my ignorance, but I've not done this before. To do the easel as mentioned I was improvising with these thin stick-on rubber pieces I found here in a drawer. No doubt you're talking about something more substantial.
    And, I guess I still have to ask the original question - what does the carrier matter as long as the lens is aligned?

  4. #4
    ROL
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    Fiirst, make certain the parallel tool is operating correctly and not out of alignment itself, per user manual. I always align the neg. carrier first. Everything else takes a back seat to making sure the negative is parallel to the printing surface (baseboard, easel, whatever). Attempting to align the lens to the printing surface can be an inexact and frustrating exercise, depending on the enlarger and lens design.

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamincurieux View Post
    Which is more important to be aligned? I would have thought that as long as the lens is aligned it shouldn't matter about the neg carrier.... am I right?
    The lens axis and negative have to be perpendicular. The baseboard alignment is secondary. At very big magnifications (16x20 etc) the baseboard can be an inch off and it will still be fine, however, the negative to lens alignment needs to be nearly as accurate as that of a 35mm camera body.

    This may also help: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/5...endicular.html

  6. #6

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    The neg carrier is fine, almost spot-on....... it's the lens that is way out.

    Now I'm stumped...

  7. #7

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    Measuring the lens involves fixing the glass with the rubber bands to the front of the lens..... just how accurate is that? That's just measuring the alignment of the plastic at the front of the lens, not the lens optical alignment! I'm not convinced, there must be another way. (by the way, it's a Schneider lens, not a Focotar)

  8. #8
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    For shims, I used some washers and a cut up soda can. Rubber is not a good choice. When I align, I align to the lens board rather than the end of the lens. I figure that the lens company could care less how perpendicular the lens axis is to the end of the lens, but they really care about how perpendicular the lens flange is. That means you should really make sure the lens board is parallel to the carrier rather than the end of the lens. I shim the carrier or the lens board (depends on enlarger which is easier....lens board preferred since it moves less often) then align the head to the baseboard.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamincurieux View Post
    Measuring the lens involves fixing the glass with the rubber bands to the front of the lens..... just how accurate is that? That's just measuring the alignment of the plastic at the front of the lens, not the lens optical alignment! I'm not convinced, there must be another way. (by the way, it's a Schneider lens, not a Focotar)
    If you shine the laser into the center of the lens there will be a diffraction pattern of concentric circles that fall back on the Versalab face. The laser will be pointing parallel to the axis of the lens elements when the concentric circles form a bullseye.

    Do you have the knob that holds the focusing helicoid tightened (#17)? Is there any wiggle or change in the lens alignment when spinning the fine-focus helicoid ring (#15)? Also, ring #18 that lets the lens rotate, is that tight?
    Last edited by ic-racer; 01-02-2012 at 10:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    gorbas's Avatar
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    You can always take lens out and rest reflective surface on the top of lens board. Just check that there is not burr (sp?) or other uneven stuff on it. Be sure to keep same orientation of the lens board when you mount lens on it.

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