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Thread: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

  1. #1

    Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    Are all grain focusing tools created equal?
    I am looking to buy one for my setup and wondering if there is much difference between them.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 1999
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    472

    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    Well, no, there are different designs. Some are better than others, price accordingly (usually).
    But in my experience, even cheapest ones work right. You don`t need the best or most expensive one to work. I have been using for decades both one of the cheapest (plastic Paterson short model) and the most renowned one (bigger mirror Peak, -amongst others-), without any major issue.

  3. #3
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    No, they are not equal. I have a few, but the best for two reasons is the Peak focuser with the long mirror (model 1). Reason one: it works very well, reaches around the easel nicely with a wide view and two: the mirror is easily replaced and reasonably priced.

  4. #4

    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    They are not created equal, The Peak with long mirror and swiveling eyepiece works good (IMO, the only one to own-use). There is also a color filter that can be added to focusing.


    Bernice

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    1,213

    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    I've used the Magnasight, Microsight, and even the Bausch & Lomb pea-green monster (see photo). I liked the Microsight best, but the Peak looks very good, wish I had been able to try it back in the day...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    The peak long mirror one is best.
    The fixed big round mirror Magnasight is also great.
    The little ones that look like they came from a toy telescope eyepiece are unnecessary.

  7. #7

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    Greenwood Lake NY USA
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    The Paterson products are all you need for much work and inexpensive. They (and all of their twins) have the same significant limitation, they only work in the middle region of the projected image. For a lot of work, and for most 35mm work, this is not too serious. However it is possible to also be able to view the corners of the image and this is achieved with the "long mirror" designs already mentioned. They were made by PEAK and change hands on ebay for $150 to $250 depending on condition. There was also an OMEGA copy of the PEAK that often goes for less money which is identical in all respects except for the name, when I had both in my possession it appeared that both the PEAK and OMEGA models were made by PEAK from exactly the same parts.

  8. #8
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    To answer whether the focus scopes are useful, consider that with an adequate one you can see the grain with the enlarger lenses at widest aperture, then while still looking stop down the lens until you find diffraction (or unlikely focus shift), then back off.

  9. #9

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    Feb 2007
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    Grand Junction,CO
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    I prefer a scoponet 20x grain focuser to the peak for 8x10 negatives. I have a hard enough time seeing the grain from an 8x10 negative with the scoponet, the peak just doesn't have the magnification my eyes require. For smaller formats the peak works great for me.

  10. #10

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    Collinsville, CT USA
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    Re: Are all grain focusing tools created equal?

    Over the years have probably used at one time or another most of them that were out there. In the end the MICROMEGA CRITICAL FOCUSER (built with heavy cast? metal and a front surface mirror) was clearly my final choice... still use my circa 1980s one today.

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