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ReneN

Leitz Focomat II - 60mm Focotar lens flaring

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Hello everyone,

I recently bought a Leitz Focomat II and discovered that when printing from the 60mm Focotar lens that two dark lines forming a triangle appear on either side of my prints. I also noticed that there are four light spots hitting the rim of the lens (these increase in size when you open up the aperture) and I'm pretty sure this is related to the problem. I'v looked at the enlarger from every angle and checked that things are all in their proper place

 

I have attached images to demonstrate what I'm describing above. You can see the two dark lines forming a triangle clearly in the sky above the lion's head (the same is mirrored on the other side of the print but harder to see), and there are a couple shots of the light spots hitting the rim of the lens.

 

Could anyone please tell me what might be causing these light flares and how I could fix the problem. All insights are greatly appreciated!

 

Rene

Edited by ReneN

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Hello Henry.

As I'm in Australia, the enlarger is fitted with a 240V 75W white enlarger light bulb.

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That's of course the effect of light, either being reflected from something near the projection surface (the paper easel?), from the wall, or it can also be related with the lightbulb that you use. There are too many variables...

First I would play with the f. number, in order to disregard the lightbulb, and would proceed step by step eliminating the other possible sources of this.

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Hello Henry.

As I'm in Australia, the enlarger is fitted with a 240V 75W white enlarger light bulb.

To eliminate the possible cause,can you pass a negative, without image (eg after start of negative you have) and post us a photo.

If you look at the bottom on right of the statue, there is also a dark shadow !

 

I also have a FOCOMAT but I put a special Philips lamp for enlarger , opalescent, white 150 watts recommended by Leitz

Henry

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To cover a couple possibilities:

 

Is the condenser inserted properly with the handle pushed towards the column? (Page 4 of instructions)

 

Is the lamp centered properly? (Page 10)

 

Do you have the light shield installed? It is a part that keeps light from the lens from reflecting from the column to the paper. (Page 16).

Edited by pico

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Hello again everyone,

 

Thank you for all your input, ideas and suggestions.

 

I'm 99% certain the the light spots hitting the rim of the lens are causing the light flares on my prints.

 

> Doc Henry: You are right, there are definitely four light flares, two forming a triangle on either side of the print. I'll print a dud negative on the weekend and post the image for you to show them more clearly.

 

So far, these are all the things I've already tried/checked:

- I have a copy of the manual, so I checked to see if everything like the condenser was assembled properly (thanks for sharing your searchable version Pico!)

- Made sure light was not reflecting off of any other surfaces

- Changing the aperture changes the size of the light spots hitting the edge (i.e. bigger f-stop = larger spots = wider light flares)

- Changed the light bulb and checked to see that it is centered. I also checked to see if adjusting the height of the light bulb made a difference to the light spots hitting the rim of the lens but it doesn't.

- I manually dropped the bellows and noticed that the spots disappeared when the bellows are lowered. This is not a solution though because the 60mm lens does not run on the upper auto-focus track that lowers the bellows for the 90mm lens.

 

Any way, I'm still stumped. Keep the suggestions coming please.

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Hello again everyone,

 

 

 

Thank you for all your input, ideas and suggestions.

 

 

 

I'm 99% certain the the light spots hitting the rim of the lens are causing the light flares on my prints.

 

 

 

> Doc Henry: You are right, there are definitely four light flares, two forming a triangle on either side of the print. I'll print a dud negative on the weekend and post the image for you to show them more clearly.

 

 

 

So far, these are all the things I've already tried/checked:

.

 

 

I am stumped. Sorry. I use a mildly modified Focomat IIa. It is the best.

 

Do you have a mask in the slot below the negative carrier? Do you have a non-standard negative carrier?

 

I am sure that once we find the culprit we will both slap our heads, "doh!"

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Etcha-sketch.

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I am stumped. Sorry. I use a mildly modified Focomat IIa. It is the best.

 

Do you have a mask in the slot below the negative carrier? Do you have a non-standard negative carrier?

 

I am sure that once we find the culprit we will both slap our heads, "doh!"

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Etcha-sketch.

Hi Pico,

 

I know, I'm sure this has caused a few extra grey hairs...

Everything on this enlarger is original/standard as far as I can tell. I do have a neg-mask that slots into the neg-carrier, when I pop this in the light spots disappear. So I think I can safely say that the problem must lie in the vicinity of the light source and the lens.

 

I'll keep you posted.

R

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Double-check that the condenser is properly installed.

 

Very best of luck!

 

 

 

Sent from my Etcha-sketch.

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I'm happy to report that a solution has been found!

 

After having looked at every possible cause for the light flares I could think of I contacted our local master printer here in Sydney, Chris Reid from Blanco Negro.

He was amazing. He offered to come and take a look at my enlarger and in the space of 15 minutes the culprit was pinpointed and sorted out.

 

Trouble was that too much light was bouncing around the neg-carrier's two panes of glass.

By simply masking out the excess edges with some ruby gel/filter the flares were absorbed and disappeared from the print. Viola!

 

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to help solve this little riddle.

All the best,

Rene

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Trouble was that too much light was bouncing around the neg-carrier's two panes of glass.

By simply masking out the excess edges with some ruby gel/filter the flares were absorbed and disappeared from the print. Viola!

 

Two things: there are masks that mount below the carrier, and also proper carriers. I'm glad you found a solution, but I'm not sure it's the right one. But whatever works, works!

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I reacted to your question in the Darkroom section before . . .

 

To me you have a combination of causes:

 

Yes, the surplus light should be eliminated as much as possible. If only because it will have some effect on the print. Particularly with long exposures.

 

If I was correct to understand you printed a 6X6 negative with the 60mm, then I am still of the opinion you used the wrong lens.

 

I print many 6X6 negatives with the Elmar 100mm or the Focotar 100mm and sometimes I do not mask away the surplus light. It never gives the problem you showed here.

 

Print the same negative with the 100mm, without masking away the surrounding light, you will have your answer.

 

Hope this helps

 

Michael

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