Point Light Source for the Focomat Ic

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Hilo, May 18, 2018 at 10:55 AM.

  1. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

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    Recently I found a Point Light Source for the Focomat Ic. This would be the opposite of the Cold Light. High contrast, lots of retouch . . . I will soon try it out.

    I don't know much about it, except it should be used with an open lens. I can tell this is correct when projecting onto the easel, the illumination is even when open and not when closing the lens.

    Anyone here with experience in using this? Or anyone who could tell me something about its origin?

    Thanks !

    Michael

    01 Pointlight Focomat Ic.jpg 02 Pointlight Focomat Ic.jpg 03 Pointlight Focomat Ic.jpg 04 Pointlight Focomat Ic.jpg 05 Pointlight Focomat Ic.jpg
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    Not a Focomat, but I rebuilt an old Federal 6X9 double condenser as a point source. Most point sources were used for high contrast copy work like microfilm. I use mine to print negatives I took in the 60s to replicate the gritty look of the time. Grain is very noticeable, so much that I stopped using it for TriX or GAF 500, just too much. It works well with Plus X, or PF4, and very sharp, even with the lens wide open. On my list is bring it out and use with modern Tmax 100. There have folks here on APUG who used point source for all enlargements. In of AA books there is a picture of a point source for his Bessler 4X5, someone told me he used point source for 35mm.
     
  3. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    If I use the original-type bulb of my Durst M35 Micromat, I have a modified point-light--great tonality w/ subtle gradations of tone, "muscular" picture, much more "natural" than usual enlarging bulb. AND I can use ALL f-stops. My Durst was designed in 1946 around the slide projector bulbs of the day.
     
  4. larfe

    larfe Member

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    Are you sure this is the real deal? I ask because with a point source one needs to have the ability to move the bulb at least up and down + ideally side to side and front to back...
     
  5. Paul Howell

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    I assume that as it specific to the Focomate that it is set the right height. The reason I converted a very old Federal is that the light bulb can be raised and lowered.
     
  6. OP
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    Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber

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    Thanks for your replies ! Chip, your Micromat looks like from outer space, beautiful machine !!

    The lamp head system of any Focomat 1c allows for going up and down about 3 - 4 centimeters and you can adjust the bulb in any direction, before fixing with three dedicated curled screws. Normally, with the standard opal bulb you need to bring it up. The first thing I noticed this one I had bring down. But then I got very close to even illumination.

    As far as I understand this was designed by someone in France and made by Leitz Germany, around 1970. That would make sense as at that time Leitz was still making the black Focomats. I was told this special head was also made by Leitz in Canada and came with the Elcan name. In 1978 I used one like the one I found now, and about 10 years ago I found another one that I could not get to work. So, they're around but I think the production was not in large numbers.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Moreover the condenser is very simple. Even projectors use two aspheric elements.
     
  8. ~andi

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    Very nice! I assume it works in conjunction with the original Ic condenser in place, right?
     
  9. OP
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    Hilo

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    Sofar, while I am just projecting, it seems to work fine.Yes, I left the 1c condenser in . . .

    I also have this special, small condenser, remember we talked about it? You have one too. This condenser fits on top of the 1c condenser. I still wonder if that's an accidental fit or not . . . Anyway, I will just install it to see what happens.
     
  10. OP
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    Hilo

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    Leitz apparently did not think it was too simple
     
  11. Paul Howell

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    Point source needs a double condenser for sharpness. What are you planning to do with your point source?
     
  12. OP
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    Hilo

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    Paul, first I want to see what it does. I used a similar point light in 1978 and still have those prints. Very defined and sharp grain, strong images. Ever since I have looked to find this point light again and now I have. What I am hoping is that from using it I will get closer to understand what I can use it for. I do a lot of 50X60cm fiber prints (20X24) and I am very curious what happens at this size.

    I attach pictures of this special condenser, probably for the Focomat 1c. You see it on the right in the pictures it comes with a diffusing glass. Which I doubt will be good to use, but who knows. On the left in the images you see the regular condenser for the Focomat 1c, together with it's spring and bayonet to lock into place.

    How do you know point light sources need a double condenser?
     

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  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    A Kodak text from the 60s, How Enlarger's Work, a chapter on Point Source. Both point source and semi defuse or condensers need double condensers for sharpest results. At the time Kodak seemed to pushing cold light, but did acknowledge that condensers were sharper with point source being the sharpest. Maybe Lietz took a different path? The diffusing glass is confusing, maybe if you want a little softer image.
     
  14. OP
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    Hilo

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    Paul, thanks !

    I am sure I will find out how this lamp head works well, and not. Leitz made single condenser enlargers (Focomat 1c, Valoy II) and double condenser enlargers (Focomat 2c) and all these share the same dimensions for the lamp heads. I have these enlargers and will certainly try them out with this point light.
     
  15. ~andi

    ~andi Subscriber

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    So those two condensers would together form a double condenser (the one on the point-light + the original one).

    Right, the magic part, I almost forgot about that. Maybe it works with the point-light too?

    Interesting experiments ahead, i guess... :smile:
    Cheers
    Andi
     
  16. OP
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    Hilo

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    I don't think that's what Paul meant. He is talking about enlargers with double condensers, like the IIc . . .

    Andi, did you ever print with that small condenser installed into the Ic condenser? I always forget to do that . . .
     
  17. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    I have the small condenser & diffusing disc--they came installed on an ANCIENT Valoy I bought! That Valoy won't work well w/o BOTH condensers.
     
  18. Ron789

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    This setup does provide a double condensor: the bottom half is the original condensor in the 1c, the top half is the condensor attached to the point light source. Together, that makes a double condensor.
     
  19. Focomatter

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    Is this light source (post 1) supposed be used with the color or non-color version of the Ic? I gather only the later grey non-color Ic version (which I happen to have, has a blank over the opening where the filter holder slides in) has the elongated lamp housing among the non-color Ic variants. This elongation would likely change the way the effective two condenser lens (light source condenser plus standard condenser) functions - the distance would be greater due to the space needed for the filter holder.

    The additional condenser and diffuser (post 12) - by any chance is this meant for using with an alternate lens such as a 28mm?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 9:16 PM
  20. OP
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    Hilo

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    Chip, thanks for this - it could be the key to understand the origin of this small condenser & diffusing disc. Do I understand you correctly: In that older Valoy you have 1) the original Valoy condenser and 2) the small condenser on top of that?

    And this setup works best?
     
  21. OP
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    Hilo

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    Ah, I guess that is what Andi meant . . .
     
  22. OP
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    Hilo

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    Right now I installed this point light source on a black Focomat 1c Color with the filter drawer. Sofar I have only projected the image and noticed I had to bring the point light source's bulb down to get even illumination. The filter tray I left sitting there and it did not seem to bother the light path. I will need a couple of weeks to understand everything, by trying different Focomats (I also have the 1c round head without the filter tray) and the Valoy II. Only printing will give the right answers.

    I attach a picture of the set -up now, the top half is the point light source . . .

    Focomat Ic.jpg
     
  23. ~andi

    ~andi Subscriber

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    Ah i see about the double condenser. It would be interesting to see if it works on the IIc (and how, with without the additional condnenser on the point source).

    Yes I meant what Ron meant, the whole thing becomes a double-condneser system.

    Does the lamp/condenser assembly move up and down like a regular lamp? This would take care of focal-point issues Focomatter mentioned and that might arise with the different type heads (egghead, roundhead).

    Machiel, I'm not sure I printed with the little condenser :redface: but if I had, i would have told you about it. I didn't do elaborate tests, that's for sure. I remember putting it in a dry run and the light-circle looked a bit different and I had to adjust the lamp for that. after that, i saw no difference. I just can't remember more of it. I Remember using the diffusion disc though in the hope to loose a little light for small prints. That brought me 1/4 stop or so - I didn't see a difference in the image (7x5s).

    Cheers
    Andi
     
  24. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Yes
     
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