View Full Version : Peak Omega/Micromega.. why so expensive??

Darin Cozine
3-May-2005, 18:22
I noticed that the Peak Omega/ Micromega grain magnifiers are way more expensive that most other models on ebay. Can anyone explain to me why??


Jim Rhoades
3-May-2005, 18:38
I don't have an answer other than the high quality. I can tell you that for years I used a cheap magnifier and some times my prints would be "soft". After buying and using a Peak, I was much suprised to find that my 135mm Schneider enlarging lens had focus shift, when you stopped down the lens. My 80mm Rodenstock seems to have a little and my God knows how old 75mm Wollensak is perfect. Go figure

I just could not see the shift with the cheaper finder. I love older uncoated and convertible lenses for camera work, but I will not give up the Peak in the darkroom.

Gem Singer
3-May-2005, 19:11
Hi Darin,

There are three models of the Peak enlarging grain focusers. New Model 1's sell for about $60. Model 2 sells for around $113, and Model 3 sells for $230, at B&H. I assume the grain focuser you are refering to is the Model 3. It is relatively expensive, but it is a fine optical instrument that performs flawlessly. The difference in price between the three models is based on the quality of the optic and its ability to be used to focus away from the optical center of the enlarged image that is being projected onto the easel. I have been using a Model 2 for many years, and I really like it.

3-May-2005, 19:14
For years I used the blue filter on my Omega magnifier to give the sharpest image to my eyeball. Recently, I've discovered (thanks to Ctein) that there's such a focus shift with VC papers that using the blue filter guarantees the print will be out of focus. Other than that, it's worth every penny of the $25 I paid for it new.

Donald Hutton
3-May-2005, 22:34
Strangely - I have two focussing aids - a Bestwell Microsight (which I probably paid $20 for) and a Micromega Critical Grain focusser (the expensive one) - I use the cheapo all the time. I find the Micromega difficult to use and the blue filter to be a complete waste of time. I also don't mind wiping the mirror (which never gets the cover put on) on the cheapo with whatever horrible garment I happen to be wearing in my darkroom!

4-May-2005, 01:56
Darin, everyone who reads that you want one will run to eBay and jack up the price whether they need one or not, that's why. It's the nature of the beast of the market and competition. I wanted a Beseler color head and had to mention it one this forum, guess what? Yep I got out bid on every one I could find on every auction. I started bidding higher and higher just to see how high it could get. Some item I bought several of because they got a lot of hits. When I run across someone who would want one i'll give them one free. I have several Peak focussers and a couple of Micromegas also. For everyday work I use some old metal job that probably set me back a couple of buck 30 years ago. I learned that the focusser isn't the key, it's the use of the focusser that's important. I took a weekend sem at Brooks with a CIA photo guy that told me everything about focus and resolution that I had been missing in years of work. Study the physics of the the thing and you will learn about the focussers. It's all in the planes.

Larry Gebhardt
4-May-2005, 05:59
The blue focus shift problem is actually in your eye, so it will show up on any paper, not just VC.

The most critial part of focusing is getting your enlarger properly aligned. After that a cheaper grain focuser should work well because you can safely focus in the middle. I have about three of the things, including a Peak 2 model and they all give me the same results.

Dave Langendonk
4-May-2005, 19:45
It is a fine instrument and allows you to focus further out to the edge than the cheaper models. I have both and use the Peak most of the time. Bottom line, IMHO, Ansel Adams used one and mentioned it in his book, "The Print".

Gem Singer
7-May-2005, 15:59
Sorry about the mix-up. The Peak Model 1 is the most expensive one. The Model 3 is the least expensive one. Please excuse the "senior moment".

9-Dec-2010, 03:11
hi guys can someone tell me where to buy a peak focuser for cheap? i know they go for $250 but i dont want to spend more than $150 on it...thanks in advance

9-Dec-2010, 08:22
hi guys can someone tell me where to buy a peak focuser for cheap? i know they go for $250 but i dont want to spend more than $150 on it...thanks in advance

I got my last one at photorama new in box for $25. It had a foggy eyepiece that was remedied in about 45 seconds. The only problem was that now my other Peak was not as clean, so I had to take the eyepiece of that one apart and clean it also :)

The reason you should get the Model 1 is that you can see the edges of the projected image. This allows you to adjust the focus and f-stop to maximize depth of field for curved negatives. Or alerts you that you are the magnification limit for your lens or you are getting close to the edge of the usable image circle. This can save paper.

Sirius Glass
9-Dec-2010, 16:08
I started with an inexpensive grain magnifier. It only worked in the center of the negative and was not that easy to use.

The Peak grain magnifiers are built with much greater quality and are much easier to use. Well worth the cost.


Drew Wiley
9-Dec-2010, 16:17
The less expensive ones are usually fine for general purpose enlargement. The Critical
Focus model is not only better optically, but will allow you to check the corners of the
field of a large print much better. In other words, its a great tool for aligning an enlarger or baseboard and checking edge focus. It's also accurate enough for critical
work like making enlarged negs or chromes. Worth the money.