A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Featured Equipment Deals

Introduction to Lightroom: Importing Images (Video Tutorial) Read More

Introduction to Lightroom: Importing Images (Video Tutorial)

Learn the basics of importing your images to Lightroom, from how you'd like to view your images to how to add a copyright to your metadata.

Latest Equipment Articles

The Week in Photography News Read More

The Week in Photography News

November 15-21, 2014: Hear the latest goings-on in the photography world, from product releases to event and campaign announcements and more.

Latest Learning Articles

Introduction to Creating an Album in Lightroom - Part I (Video Tutorial) Read More

Introduction to Creating an Album in Lightroom - Part I (Video Tutorial)

Learn to create an album in the Book Tab of Lightroom that you can publish and present to clients.


leitz focomat 1c enlarger

erin gebhart , Jun 17, 2003; 06:52 p.m.

im wondering about the value or "woth whileness" of purchasing a lecia focomat 1c enlarger and how much it may or may not be worth. please help.

Responses

Richard Jepsen , Jun 23, 2003; 07:05 p.m.

I bought a 1C and love it. The only better enlarger for small format is a V-35. The 1C light source is more diffused than the B-22 I used. I wish my MXL 670 was as smooth. IC electric cords need replacement after 50 years. With a new cord, refinished base board, and clean lens $500 US dollars is about right.

Eduardo Benavidez , Jun 23, 2003; 08:19 p.m.

Richard I am since very long time a go thinking about buying a Ic Focomat. My only concern is the same I had when I owned a Focomat II-a: usuallly the original Focotar´s are foggy or simply are not as sharp as modern enlarger lenses as the APO Componon-S 90/4.5 are. So when I was in the task of finding a non-original-Focotar lens to place in the enlarger I discovered I cant place the APO 90/4.5 nor any of the several enlarger lens I do currently had, due the Focomat II-a has a reduced-diameter room to put the lens on. So may you tell me how to solve this problem refered to a I-a enlarger? May you tell me the exact maximum diameter a lens would have for use it in the I-c? Thanks in advance. Eduardo Benavidez.

Robbie Bedell , Jun 25, 2003; 11:15 a.m.

Erin, I have been using a very old focomat 1 for the last 15 years. I have used many types of enlargers for 35mm and the focomats 1 and 1c seem to be the best, sturdy, extrememly sharp from corner to cornerand do not slip out of focus. I use a 50mm Componon S. However, in order to use this, and other non-Leitz lenses you have to buy two Leitz extenders, screwed toigether, which the lens is then attached to, in order for the enlargers to focus properly. Contact Leitz on where to find the extenders. Also, the old Nikkor 50mm lenses are too "fat" to fit into the lens tube, at least on the Focomat 1, and I think the 1c also. I use 3 inch Ilford Multi-contrast filters on a holder, under the lens, as close to the lens as possible, with no loss of sharpness, even when printing with several filters on one print. If you find a Focomat in good condition, you will not regret it. I have worked with many Focomat V-35s in a number of newspaper darkrooms, and while easier to use, etc, the lighting system, in comparison to the older models, gives a less sharp print, in my experience. Many may disagree on this, but, it has been my experience. Best of luck in the dark..

Edward Zimmermann , Jun 25, 2003; 04:25 p.m.

The Ic can take--- I just measured--- objectives of up to around 6 cm in diameter.. that's for a 50mm one fat lens! I don't think I can name a modern 50mm objective that won't mechanically fit. The main issue is the optical design and the control of the diaphragm. I've found the best performance and useability with a Focotar-2 but the common Rodagon, Componon, El-Nikor etc. all do work--- and from the view of performance its quite a lot of hair splitting between the Focotar-2 and APO Rodagon. The "adapter tubes" don't have to come from Leitz/Leica as any old M39 extension tube of appropriate length with work--- and these are common and cheap!

Don't confuse the drabacks of the Focomat I or Ia, IIa or IIc with the Ic.. these are very different beasts and the Ic is really my favorite and Leitz's nicest enlarger for 35mm--- including the over-rated but highly quirky V35. The Ic models, at least in Germany, are going-- save those being hoarded off to Japan or hauled to the garbage dumps-- for around the price of a lens shade for a good camera... well come to think of it.. a tiny fraction of that price.. on the average around the cost of a box of cheaper RC photo paper..

The more expensive Ic bits are Focotar-2 lenses, tall columns and the anti-newton glass as these items are quite in demand and low in supply on the used markets..

Sujit Saha , Jul 05, 2003; 10:23 a.m.

I actually need some help from a Focomat 1C owner with the large base and 48" coumn. My base got totally destroyed by termites but I saved all the hardware(switches,rubber feet, etc.). I need the measurements from soemone who has this enlarger of the base, locations of the column holes, location of the switch, feet, the black junction/distribution box and the auxilary power outlet on the top. If there is an owner in San Jose, CA area, that will even be better. In search of a base, I bought another 1C on eBay but this does not have the original base and I may be willing to sell it for far less than $500 in this posting

Edward Zimmermann , Jul 05, 2003; 06:34 p.m.

"I actually need some help from a Focomat 1C owner with the large base and 48" coumn."
The 1.20 meter column and the standard 80cm column are really interchangeable. The main difference is really in the year as Leitz went through a few different top connectors and bottom wiring models with the last variant having a snap connector. My limited sample of 3 columns (2 normal and one tall) show 3 different top plugs but identical mounting bores--- and on the tall column, which is also gray and of the last issue, that snap plug.

"My base got totally destroyed by termites but I saved all the hardware(switches,rubber feet, etc.). I need the measurements from soemone who has this enlarger of the base, locations of the column holes, location of the switch, feet, the black junction/distribution box and the auxilary power outlet on the top."
These don't really matter unless you are going to use the easel locking hardware or trying to restore it as a replica of the original. Leitz, however, did over the span of the Focomat Ic several different variants of normal and large baseboards for the Ic so the question is replica of what.. Or is it about getting the Focomat Ic back in operation and also forget the easel locking hardware (which work great but only work with specific Leitz masking frames) and also the need to cut slots in the board.. then you just need a large baseboard the size of your desires in a material of choice--- if you don't cut the routes for the easel locking hardware then 20 cm multiplex is probably ideal--- and then drill the three holes to match the bolt holes in the base of your column and drill a last hole in the center of that for the power.. Unless you have a mechanical enlarging timer the wriring scheme for the switch won't do you any good so I'd just run the write out to a power connector box of the kind used these days by PCs etc.

The most important thing is that you need to get the column to be orthogonal to the baseboard and this means, ultimately, a harder wood and some finishing work. A steel shim can sometimes be of utility.

Back to top

Notify me of Responses