Fiddled with it all again and got it to focus this time, not sure what changed. The El-Nikkor 50mm 2.8 is too tall on the back side of the lens board as the red filter drawer hits the lens when you try to close it. Not really an issue as I hadn't planned on using it anyways, I focus on white paper. Its odd though as that means the 5/8 recessed board would never work correctly in one of these.
As far as moving the head the only adjustment other than focus and overall height is the one with the focal length scale printed on it and that doesn't do anything for the focus when I turn it to lower just the uppermost part (the head?). 35mm is all the way to the top according to the scale.
Even though I can make it focus now it does need to really mash the lower bellows flat to get things in focus with either of the 2 lenses, this is an annoying problem because its creating so much tension as it compresses that the focus starts to slip in what will be my usual normal operating range. If I were to move the focus range down just a little bit so there is less bellows compression then its all fine. Its not just in need of a rebuild as its really annoyingly stiff even if it wasn't slipping.
EDIT: the more I search on the net the more I read about people having this same issue, apparently using a 50mm lens for 35mm on this enlarger requires everything to be operating near the ends of its adjustment ranges and it causes issues for a lot of people since the focus assembly slips from the pressure of over crushing the bellows right at about the point where you get things in focus.
2nd edit: Read through the manual and found that you pry off a back panel on the unit and fiddle with a couple adjustments to make things stop slipping, hopefully that will work but its 1:45am and my allen wrenches are in my truck, will fight with this tomorrow and re-edit the post into a summary since I figure others will have the same issues.
Last edited by PPPPPP42; 12-30-2013 at 01:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.