IC Enlarger Lens Selection

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I got the bug to use a IC enlarger after a close insection. Since the IC is several generations old, what lens would you recommend which allows the auto focus function?

My current standard is the Nikkor 63mm enlarging lens used for small format.

-- Richard Jepsen (rjepsen@mmcable.com), February 21, 2002


Hello Richard, You can use your focomat 1c with several 50 mm lenses, but you have to calibrate the autofocus system for every lens. I can use mine with : Schneider componon-s 50/2.8 Leitz focotar 50/4.5 Leitz focotar II 50/4.5 Leitz elmar 50/3.5 Leitz summicron 50/2 with a special adaptor (7 lens version). I don't use all these lenses on it, most were mounted only once out of curiosity. By the way, I once compared the focotar, focotar II and componon-s and at f8 they are all very good. Good luch with your focomat, Frederik

-- Frederik Boone (frederik.boone@harol.be), February 21, 2002.

If neccessary, I recommend replacing the original Focotar lens with a f/2.8 Componon - S with aperture ring located at the end of the lens (no backlite f/stops). The lens is very similar in size to the Focotar and much sharper. If the aperture ring of any replacement lens is towards the center of the lens the aperture ring will be located higher up in the helicoil making it more awkward to use. The Componon - S is very highly rated.

-- Richard Jepsen (rjepsen@mmcable.com), March 15, 2002.

I want to correct my last post. I have more experience printing with the Componon-S f/2.8 and Focotar f/4.5. At f/8 with the Focotar and f/5.6 with the Componon I can't see any consistant difference at 8x10 or smaller enlargements. I have not printed larger than 8x10 with these lenses. I do think the 40mm Focotar is crisper than either the older Focotar or Componon. I use a lens setting 2 f/stops smaller than full open, resulting in the f/5.6 to f/8 comparison. The Nikkor 63mm f/2.8 is also similar with a tad more contrast in shadows.

-- Richard Jepsen (rjepsen@mmcable.com), May 13, 2002.

I found the el-nikkor 2.8 a bit too contrasty for my 1C. The componon 2.8 was maybe sharp but a little less contrasty than I liked. I settled on the rodenstock rodagon 2.8 which was for me just the right combination of sharpness and contrast. Good luck.

-- Gil Pruitt (wgpinc@yahoo.com), May 13, 2002.

You can use the focotars wide open too, they are exceptionally sharp lenses at the corners.

-- Emile de Leon (knightpeople@msn.com), May 13, 2002.


I'd like to ask you a few questions about the Focomat 1*:

I've just acquired an old Focomat 1A that looked like it had been in someone's garage for 20 years; I've been cleaning it up to get it workable, and I'd like to replace the damaged Elmar with another lens. Currently I have a componar 50 that I want to try and use until I get something more impressive. I presume the 1A will be much the same as the 1C.

The Focomat 1A was presumably designed for the Elmar; it seems to focus properly with this lens. The Elmar has a longer distance from its mount to its focal plane than the schneider- much more than the travel of the focusing screw- and I'm assuming that I just need an extension tube to make the schneider equivalent. My measurements tell me that the tube should be about 17.5mm in length. (0.69in) Can you verify this, or correct me if I'm wrong? Also, are these tubes available for me to buy anywhere or will I have to get one made?

Looking at pictures of other focomat 1A/Cs, I think I see two click stops on their focusing rings, where I only have one. Why have two?

Another question I have is about the two holes in the vertical tube. I don't have the easel, but I assume the lower one is the position when you're not using the easel and the higher one is for when you have the easel in place. Is this right?

What's the idea of the vertical position adjustment of the bulb in the lamphouse? I've seen these before but never had to 'optimise' one.

Finally, I had to replace the bulb. The dead one that came with the enlarger was 150W. Is this right? I'd assumed that most smaller enlargers used 75W bulbs. It gets really hot with a 150W bulb.

Thanks very much.

Richard Ball.

-- Richard Ball (rich_ball_74@hotmail.com), June 13, 2002.

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