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focomat 1c vs Valoy 2


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Feedback on pros & cons of these two models

Between a valoy 2 (blue/grey) & a 1c color.

I can't seen to make up my mind...

The 1c is double the price.

Size is a concern, is the 1c that much bigger? I value compact size & simplicity.

I like that I can mount any lens on the Valoy also.

It seems the bulbs are not available for the valoy (short neck) but with the focomat 1c you can adjust the height via the stem?

The Valoy is limited to 8x10 prints right?

Would love to here your thoughts!

Thanks in advance

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Pay for the 1c if it is in good shape.  It is much bigger and uses long neck bulbs.  Baseboard is 50% larger and is set up for autofocus if you use a Leica 50 mm which is exactly 50 mm.  Nikons may or may not be.  Filters have a place in the 1 c.  The original 50 4.5 struggles at 8x10.  Schneider made next version which has a flat field.  Last was Focotar 3 made by Leica and back to curved field but has a little more contrast than Schneider.

I did make an extension or the Valoy to move the lens further from column.  You must be a good carpenter,  Valoy can be used as a copy stand with Focoslide etc if you can find those rare parts. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the feedback on the enlargers Tobey.

You cleared a few things up for me.

The lens is the older version focotar & will need to be replaced
eventually as it would like to print at least 8x10 / 11x14 on occasion.

The filter tray is a nice feature.

How did you make the extension for the Valoy...via an extension block?

Edited by frederics
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  • 2 months later...

I have both, with the Valoy ll set up as a copy stand. 

As an enlarger the Valoy is certainly more compact than the Focomat, and has the advantage in not having bellows which can deteriorate in time - so check those on the Focomat before you buy.  However, a good Focomat is certainly easier and quicker to use than the Valoy due to the auto-focus facility.  Both can be used to make large prints; the Valoy is not limited to 10x8. 

I know Toby does not like the Focotar lenses, but many, many people find them ideal.  The Focomat auto-focus can be adjusted very easily to accomodate any 50mm lens - they do not have to be exactly 50mm; the Leica ones are not.  The method of adjustment is detailed in the instruction book.  Make sure that the Focomat focussing helix has both clips on it.  These stop the helix from moving once it is set, and are often missing as they are worth selling separately!

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I have both..

The Valoy is in some ways a better enlarger. Just simplier and funner. But more restricted. You can remove top half of either either enlarger head and put filters in there out of the way of the light path. In the past I've used both b & w filters and a small color head just fine.

The Focotars are great lenses. The latest ones are the best. They are process lenses and are best at wide open or half a stop down. Any further stopped down and diffraction comes in. Corner to corner sharpness is fine.

Right now the Valoy is a copy stand w/correct adapter which is scarce ..as well as the Focomat filter holder which is a rare item indeed.

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