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  1. #1
    destroya's Avatar
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    impulse purchase? Leitz Focomat V35

    I have a beseler 23ciiiXL that I use and am happy with the results. But because its kinda large for where I use it, it needs to be set up and taken down every session which is a drag (but not really an issue). I found a very, very nice condition leitz focomat v35 with the color head for sale and for a very reasonable price. the size is nice so i could possibly fight a winning battle to leave it set up. I know its only 35mm but.... it takes the 120V/75W cold halogen bulb and the bulb works fine but I don't know if its the older harder to get bulb or the newer somewhat easier to get bulb.

    it comes with the Focotar 40mm f/2.8 lens so i assume the "autofocus" will work. will this be a nice luxury to have, will it give me better results than using the beseler with my el-nikkor 50mm 2.8, or is it just GAS? the cost can buy a lot of film and paper, but I dont mind paying for a high quality item that can make printing faster, easier and hopefully better. with the besesler, for 35mm, I usually only print to 8x10 but sometimes, if the neg deserves it and its tmax acros or panF, I will go to 11x14. larger size is reserved for 6x7 negs.

    Im gonna go take another look at it tomorrow so just wanted a little insight. worth it or not? I'm sure I could get it use it and if its not for me pass it along to another willing person for what i paid and they would be happy with the price, but I really dont want to have to do that (lazy).





  2. #2
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    I have one and I get dismayed when I print medium format now because I can't use the V35 for it.

    In other words, if it's the newer lamphouse, then this shouldn't even be a question. It's probably the best 35mm enlarger ever made, and one of the best enlargers ever period the end.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  3. #3
    destroya's Avatar
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    chris,

    if i pull the bulb out will it have or should it have writing so i can determine if its the old or new lamphouse? how else could I tell?

  4. #4
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    I have one. Best 35mm enlarger ever. I paid premium price - but no regrets.

    Go for it !

  5. #5
    Patrick Robert James's Avatar
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    Here is a page about the differences between the different models. If it is a good deal, snag it!

    http://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/photo/v35.htm

  6. #6

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    I use one for my 35mm and can highly recommend it. I would think it unlikely it will be the old lamp, unless It's been unused for years. The autofocus works well with some easels, and not with others. The column is adjustable so that you can set it up for different easel height above the baseboard. I tend to focus manually anyway, but autofocus is great for working quickly. The name on the enlarger changed from Leitz Focomat V35 to Leica V35 towards the end of the production run, so a Leica badged example will be more recent. Having said that, mine is a 1979 model and still working perfectly.
    Alex

  7. #7

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    If it's complete with the negative carrier, It's one of the best around. AF with different easels is no big deal to change.
    If you wanted to change to a different lens(why?) The SF can be adjusted for it. Instructions are online.

    It's really nice to change size print without having to refocus. Yessiree Bob.
    Expletive Deleted!

  8. #8
    CropDusterMan's Avatar
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    I bought a Leica V35 recently...got it for a steal...it has had some issues though, which I eventually did a re-wire
    on to solve. Ok, so here's the deal...the old bulb (Phillips 6604) is no longer available, and was replaced by the Phillips 13139 12V bulb.

    The housing which holds the bulb is accessed by removing the small panel on the rear of the head...this will expose
    the threaded housing-it unscrews and this exposes the barrel which holds the bulb. Because the new replacement
    bulb was a different size, Leica offered a modified housing...if you remove the bulb, and it has the code listed above,
    you have an updated unit...if not, they are available, but not easy to find.

    Here's the hard part, if something does take a dump, you are in for a tough road to fix it...my transformer went bad,
    and even Leica USA had little to no answers for me...they no longer support it. I converted mine to a 120V system,
    then rewired the head to accept GU10 style 75W 120V bulbs which I buy on Ebay...print times are a tad longer.

    Be sure the unit has the neg carrier...two were avail. One is glass, the other is not. Mine has the color head and the
    multi-contrast head. I also had the Focometer II, but it didn't work. These units sold with the color head for
    $2995.00 US! They are incredible, easy to use and ridiculously sharp with wonderful contrast. Anyone who says
    the Focotar 40mm is not good is full of sh%t.

    What price is it being offered at?

    Here is a Leitz parts breakdown of the lamp replacement and redesigned housing screw cap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_4354.JPG  
    Last edited by CropDusterMan; 03-31-2015 at 07:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Common Sense is not so common.

  9. #9

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    Like CropDusterMan I also recently acquired a Focomat V35 with issues - dead transformer. APUG member in the UK, Xpres, has posted me a complete set of internals for the base so I will rebuild my base when it arrives.

    The only outstanding issue for me is to locate some of the Philips 13139 bulbs. The enlarger currently has an Osram bulb fitted which tests OK for continuity but I believe is lower output. I also don't know the colour temperature of the Osram and how it may perform with the variable contrast head.

    John Koehrer, my V35 has a 50mm Componon lens and you mention that the autofocus can be adjusted for different focal length. Can you give me a link to on-line source for this procedure.

    Can't wait to start using this machine. I haven't done any printing for about 15 years, (shame on me), and my current setup is a very basic 35mm condenser enlarger branded DIA which I bought in high school in the mid seventies. Upgraded with a El-Nikkor 50mm f4 around 1981.
    Thanks,
    Martin

  10. #10
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokam View Post
    The only outstanding issue for me is to locate some of the Philips 13139 bulbs. The enlarger currently has an Osram bulb fitted which tests OK for continuity but I believe is lower output. I also don't know the colour temperature of the Osram and how it may perform with the variable contrast head.
    Yes, this is the problem. Mine came with the Osram, and I had long exposure and low light intensity. After buying original Philips (from Replacementlightbulbs.com --> extreme expensive, but only source I know of) - it was much much better.
    What is exposure of 60-75s with Osram - it is 10-20s with Philips. And they are both 75W, but Philips is what you want .

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