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  1. #1

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    Help to chose my first enlarger

    Hi there!

    I've been offered a Leitz Focomat with WA40mm Focotar for 450€ with the VC head and in perfect condition and a Durst L900 without lens but fully operational.

    I have a Kaiser VCP 6002 with both APO RODAGON-N 50/2.8 and 80/4.

    I know those are the top of the enlarging lenses but would I stay better with them and the Kaiser? I mainly shot 35mm with my Leicas.

    I never have work in the wet darkroom so will be my first time.

    I bought chemicals, paper RC Multigrade Ilford (when I learn I'll change it for FB), red light, squeezes...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Welcome to (posting on) APUG.

    What area of the world are you located at?

    As I understand it, the Kaiser enlargers are of excellent quality. They aren't easily found in North America, so I have no direct experience with them.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    Hi there Matt! Thanks for the welcome.

    I'm from Sout Spain (Ronda in Andalucia).


  4. #4

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    The Leica focomat is one of the best enlargers for 35mm available. Assuming the machine comes with the negative carrier and anti-newton glass it's very fast & simple to use.
    I've had the lC in the past & the autofocus was always accurate. You may have to calibrate it for the easel that you have but once done the only adjustment needed was aperture for exposure.
    I always used the Focotar but the Rodagon will fit and work fine Once it's calibrated. You would have to adjust the enlarger for that lens.
    I think the price is a bit high(US) but don't understand the EC market. Prices do seem higher over there but It does have the VC head.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #5

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    The V35 Focomat works best with the matched 40mm WA Focotar. It can be adjusted for a 50mm lens, but I believe that this would normally be done by a technician, rather than the user. You could, of course, fit the 50mm and always focus manually, but I can see no reason to replace the original lens. I have to say that the Kaiser enlarger you have sounds very good, together with excellent lenses. I think Kaiser still make enlargers, so spares are more likely to be available should you need any. I understand that the variable contrast head for the V35 Focomat is now a bit out of date. By that, I mean that it may not produce all grades on modern VC paper. I use one of these, but with the colour head. The original lamps are no longer produced. If you can find any, they will be expensive. This is probably the best reason to stick with what you have. The price, I assume in Euros, also seems quite high. If you want to compare prices of Focomats, the German eBay site usually has some listed. I also use Durst enlarger, but not the model you mention. They are very good but have been out of production for a while now. I would check what lamp it takes if you are considering buying it. If you are just starting printing, I would use what you have. The lens is the most important part of the system, and the ones you mention are top quality.
    Alex

  6. #6

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    thanks guys, I'm still thinking, maybe the Durst is better due to the ability to do MF.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruniroquai View Post
    thanks guys, I'm still thinking, maybe the Durst is better due to the ability to do MF.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but your Kaiser 6002 should be able to do MF.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    aRolleiBrujo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruniroquai View Post
    Hi there Matt! Thanks for the welcome.

    I'm from Sout Spain (Ronda in Andalucia).

    BEAUTIFUL!

  9. #9

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    Yeap!

    I think finally I will take the V35, forcing me to become a good 35 shooter in the future will take another one for MF. How good is the focotar compare with APO RODAGON? Well I won't notice because will be my first prints so...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by aRolleiBrujo View Post
    BEAUTIFUL!
    Thanks Brujo!!

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