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  1. #1

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    Simplicity and the Leitz Valoy II

    I have a simple dry darkroom (DR) in our laundry room. I use a Jr Lab red bulb in a 10 inch silver reflector hung on the cabinet door handle. On top of the washer I place a 1/8 inch thick plywood cut to extend the tray surface area. The enlarger is a nice Valoy II with Gralab 450 digital timer and larger Gralab process timer. The DR is usable when its dark outside.

    The Valoy was acquired a year ago and not used. I have other enlargers and darkroom space outside the home. Today I got up in the wee morning hours to test ADOX Variotone Premium paper at home.

    Crap, the enlarger required a cleaning prior to use. 8 screws hold the head and condenser assembly together. I quickly did a cleaning which included the helical. I gained appreciation for the enlarger which disassembled without fuss and was easy to put back in working order.

    The outstanding characteristics are a Valoy is so small, easy to move, superior light source, smooth helical for focusing, and quality German engineering not duplicated in non Leitz -135 enlargers.

    The Valoy lacks a filter holder and ideally requires hard-to-find short neck bulbs. I'm using a 75 watt Sylvania No 211 which seems to work fine. I'm sure one can rig a filter holder to a Valoy.

    As much as I love MF, when its time to simplify to the bare minimum, a Leica camera and Valoy II is what I'm keeping.

    The last point is how easy and inexpensive it is to have a DR in the home. Most B&W prints are under 8x10 so you don't need a large processing footprint. Quality prints for desk top or album presentation are easy to produce from small format. For shear beauty, its hard to beat a toned, gelatin silver print.
    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 01-15-2012 at 11:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

  2. #2

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    Richard,

    Still using your Valoy?

    I share your ideas about this enlarger, it is a beautiful tool !

    About the part in your post re the cleaning: do you know you can also remove the condensor simply by pulling it down from underneath the lamphead? You need to twist the condensor a bit and it will drop down. Reverse the action and it is as simple to put it back. I also used to clean mine by taking the condensor assembly apart (the 8 screws), but this way is the typical Leitz solution - in fact it reminds of how one removes the condensor of the Leitz Focomat 1C, the difference being there the action does go upwards.

    Make sure you remove the negative holder before taking out the Valoy's condensor - even though you'll tilt the head backwards, it would not be hard to damage it by accidently droping it on the negative holder . .

    I attach a picture of this enlarger, so folks know which enlarger we are talking about
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leitz Valoy II.jpg  
    Last edited by Hilo; 04-13-2013 at 02:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    This, and the earlier Valoy are my favourite enlargers. I wish I hadn't let my Valoy go.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4

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    I taught photo and have acquired two 1cs, two LPLs, a Durst 601 and the Valoy II. The Valoy will be the last to go due to its simplicity and size. If you project on 8x10 paper and have limited space the Valoy II is near perfect.

    I also love the 1c. Currently I'm shooting MF 98% of the time so the LPL is in use.

    I did not know the condenser removal trick. Where do you place filters? I imagine using the red filter assembly with glass removed works. My Valoy lacks the filter so I can't try it. I just hold the filter, place the filter on top of the condenser or use graded.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 04-13-2013 at 04:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen View Post
    I have a simple dry darkroom (DR) in our laundry room. I use a Jr Lab red bulb in a 10 inch silver reflector hung on the cabinet door handle. On top of the washer I place a 1/8 inch thick plywood cut to extend the tray surface area. The enlarger is a nice Valoy II with Gralab 450 digital timer and larger Gralab process timer. The DR is usable when its dark outside.

    The Valoy was acquired a year ago and not used. I have other enlargers and darkroom space outside the home. Today I got up in the wee morning hours to test ADOX Variotone Premium paper at home.

    Crap, the enlarger required a cleaning prior to use. 8 screws hold the head and condenser assembly together. I quickly did a cleaning which included the helical. I gained appreciation for the enlarger which disassembled without fuss and was easy to put back in working order.

    The outstanding characteristics are a Valoy is so small, easy to move, superior light source, smooth helical for focusing, and quality German engineering not duplicated in non Leitz -135 enlargers.

    The Valoy lacks a filter holder and ideally requires hard-to-find short neck bulbs. I'm using a 75 watt Sylvania No 211 which seems to work fine. I'm sure one can rig a filter holder to a Valoy.

    As much as I love MF, when its time to simplify to the bare minimum, a Leica camera and Valoy II is what I'm keeping.

    The last point is how easy and inexpensive it is to have a DR in the home. Most B&W prints are under 8x10 so you don't need a large processing footprint. Quality prints for desk top or album presentation are easy to produce from small format. For shear beauty, its hard to beat a toned, gelatin silver print.
    Amen.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen View Post
    I taught photo and have acquired two 1cs, two LPLs, a Durst 601 and the Valoy II. The Valoy will be the last to go due to its simplicity and size. If you project on 8x10 paper and have limited space the Valoy II is near perfect.

    I also love the 1c. Currently I'm shooting MF 98% of the time so the LPL is in use.

    I did not know the condenser removal trick. Where do you place filters? I imagine using the red filter assembly with glass removed works. My Valoy lacks the filter so I can't try it. I just hold the filter, place the filter on top of the condenser or use graded.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	45 
Size:	631.6 KB 
ID:	67245
    Yes, the 1C is as nice an enlarger as the Valoy. Of course this is what one needs when printing large. It is just that the Valoy II . . . oh well, you said it all.

    Have a look at the attached picture with my previous post here, you will have the answer about where I place the filters. It is a Beseler filter holder, and it takes 5 minutes to modify . . .

    Your Valoy II is the last version, I think. I don't think many were made of this one . . .
    Last edited by Hilo; 04-13-2013 at 04:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen View Post
    Where do you place filters? I imagine using the red filter assembly with glass removed works. My Valoy lacks the filter so I can't try it. I just hold the filter, place the filter on top of the condenser or use graded.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	631.6 KB 
ID:	67245
    Yes, the under-the-lens holder works fine. The diameter of the Beseler's filterholder is a bit larger than the Valoy's redfilter. Which is good as you want the holder with a good distance from the lens (so you can easily turn the aperture ring). I have used my redfilter's bracket: took off the redfilter and attached the Beseler holder instead. That's the part where you need to do a small modification, but I forgot what it was exactly. Not difficult to figure out, and I will be glad to take some pics and describe step by step.

    But since you do not have this redfilter unit, a visit to the hardware store should give you what you need. I am in my darkroom later today and will take some measurements of the redfilter unit.

    I do think the Valoy II is worth this effort. Next to the 1C and 2C it is such a welcome permanent setup for contact sheets and small workprints. Like you say it hardly takes any place.

    I wonder why Leitz chose not to give the Focomat 1C the anti-newton condensor of the later Valoy. Perhaps it is because with heavy use this is too delicate? On itself it is a great solution. I also have an earlier Valoy II with the clear condensor and use it with the anti newton glass of the 1C, or with something I cut out for the negatives . . .

  8. #8

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    VC filters with the Valoy II

    My solution to using VC filters with my Valoy was to fashion a bracket from aluminium stock and attach an old Kodak Polycontrast filter holder. Photos show holder swung out of light path for unfiltered printing and in the light path when using filters. Both Kodak and ILford below the lens filters fit nicely in the holder.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100-5814_IMG.JPG   100-5815_IMG.JPG  

  9. #9

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    Rick's solution with the Kodak Polycontrast filter holder is what I was talking about. Looks great and I am sure it works fine !

    Here some images doing pretty much the same with a Beseler filter holder. They should not need much further explanation. Also some measurements of the Valoy II redfilter unit . . . centimeters, sorry! The only thing critical is where the bracket fits into the Valoy's arm. It really does go in there with the purpose of fixing it with the black screw. The width of 9 mm is exactly right . . .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Valoy II & Beseler filter holder 1.jpg   Valoy & Beseler filter holder 2.jpg   Valoy & Beseler filter holder 3.jpg   Valoy & Beseler filterholder 4.jpg   Valoy redfilter unit.jpg  




 

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