Focomat lens selection & Cleaning : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I have several questions, all enlarger related.

The enlarger is an an older Focomat 1 with a 5cm f:4.5 Focotar lens. The lens is filthy inside, and the condensor has "fungus" on it. What can I use to clean the "fungus" from the condensor? It is relatively straight forward to remove.

The enlarger lens mount is for a 39mm Leica Thread Mount. I have a collapsible 50mm Summicron that works in the collapsed position. What are the thoughts of this BB on using a Summicron in this mode? What are the pros and cons of said usage?

What are other good choices of lenses to mount in the Focotar? I have a 50mm Schneider Componon in a Beseler lens board, but the mount is the wrong size.

Any help would be appreciated.


-- Mark A. Johnson (, December 31, 2001


Hello Mark.Your Focomat enlager is a solidly constructed well designed unit used by many professionals in the past including the legendary Eugene Smith. The condensor unit can be cleaned quite easily with fluid optical cleaner.Your Focotar 50 lens is a good design especially if a version 2.It can be cleaned by a competent optical professional however,if the lens coatings have been attacked its better to consider a healthier lens. The Componon as well as an El Nikkor are close to equivalent performers. I would prefer either of these to your collapsible Summicron on the enlager. Be wary of Newton's rings which may appear in prints.You may need to get hold of an anti Newton ring glass which attaches above the negative stage. Regards.

-- Sheridan Zantis (, December 31, 2001.

The summicron would not be recommended for use as an enlarging lens as it is not corrected for close work with a flat field. I use a Rodenstock Rodagon 2.8 50mm enlarging lens on my Focomat 1C. I tried the el Nikkor and the Componon and they are both great lenses but I found the El Nikkor too contrasty and the Componon not contrasty enough. The Rodagon for me was just right and closest to the Focotar. It isn't that expensive either. Good luck.

-- Don (, December 31, 2001.

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