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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Best Grain Focuser for enlarging 35mm b&w
Old 07-18-2015   #1
LeicaVirgin1
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Best Grain Focuser for enlarging 35mm b&w

Dear Tom,

Thanks for reading my post. I have a v35af enlarger.
What is the best grain focuser for enlarging 35mm
B&W? Money is not an issue. I just want best all around.

Thanks,

LV1
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Old 07-18-2015   #2
FrozenInTime
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Peak 2000 model I - with long mirror

http://www.peakoptics.com/index.php?...products_id=62

The only one that lets you focus way off center.
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Old 07-18-2015   #3
nikon_sam
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I have the Bestwell Optical 25x Grain Focuser and do like it...
The one mentioned above is very good if money is no object...
The Bestwell is no longer available new but can be found on ebay...
Mine still had the hair reticle but the mirror was in bad shape...fortunately, I was still able to buy a replacement mirror.
I got mine when I bought my garage sale Beseler 23c II...it was in one of the three boxes of stuff that came with the enlarger...
The Bestwell replaced the Omega focuser I had...the Omega went to someone here during the Christmas Giveaway...
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Old 07-18-2015   #4
Jerevan
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Another good one is the Bestwell Microsight, it has a higher magnification (25x) compared to the Peak (10x), but I agree that the Peak is a great tool.

Just wondering, since you have the Leitz V35 - don't you trust the autofocus?

EDIT: Sam beat me to it!
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Old 07-18-2015   #5
Ronald M
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The 25X models must be used near negative center.

The Omega/Peak 10x WITH THE LONG 3" MIRROR, will work into the very corners.
I have used mine for aligning enlargers.

10x is easier to see through and it at 8x magnification, you see the grain at 80X which is quite sufficient.

A V35 properly set up is autofocus to 17X and you never need to use a magnifier in that range. The magnifier is helpful in setting up the AF.
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Old 07-18-2015   #7
skibeerr
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Peak long mirror.
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Old 07-18-2015   #8
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Magnasight is good, I've used one for years along with the large Paterson.
Magnasight is < $60 new, probably very cheap used. Heavy, sturdy, it won't tip over if you bump it. It is like looking at a ground glass on a view camera....
OTOH, the Paterson magnifies the grain, which I prefer...the neg snaps in and out of focus quickly and clearly.

Both will do the job.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Focusing.html

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Paterson...-/130737038995
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Old 07-18-2015   #9
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Sam, that 23C is a wonderful enlarger....congrats on your find.
When I taught photography we had about 20 of them....lab assistants' job each semester was to be sure the negative carrier, lens board and paper easel were all parallel to one an other.
The 23C's "flexibility" demands attention :-)
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Old 07-19-2015   #10
Tom A
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I use the Peak with the long mirror as it can "read" the eyes of a negative on the easel. Good way of making sure that the easel/enlarging lens is aligned properly and it also tells you if your lens (enlarging as well as camera lens) is sharp not only in the centre but also in the corners. It is kind of a one time expense - and always get the best you can afford.
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Old 07-28-2015   #11
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SCOPONET marked Ets. Tourret France is a fine grain focuser.
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Old 07-29-2015   #12
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Another thing to consider is that your V35 enlarger, properly set up negates the need for grain focuser. You will need one for the calibration of the auto focus, but once done and locked in place (for prints from 5x7 to 11x14 size), you should be able hit focus every time. If you want to print larger, you will need the focuser though. The V35, in spite of looking like a kitchen appliance, is rigid and well built and unless you bump it hard. it should stay in focus for the foreseeable future.
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Old 09-23-2015   #13
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I am also very content about the Peak focuser.
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Old 09-24-2015   #14
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I just passed up a Peak I. on Yahoo auctions, it was very reasonable at 120 USD. I already have a Peak III. which works most of the times - much better than the other cheapo ones out there - and this is why I didn't go for the Peak I. But now reading all the comments, I should have. A one time investment. No moving parts (except the flap) so unless the dog chews on it, should last a lifetime.

Having said that, I never once had a problem with the Peak III. and the only time I had any problem at all wasn't because of the focuser but because my arm wasn't long enough to reach the focusing knob when doing a wall projection for a 90x90cm print.

I'll keep my eyes on the market for a Peak I...
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Old 07-02-2016   #15
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Peak Long Mirror. Check on eBay. Blue filter is a waste of time imho.
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