the bigger the better

Leitz Focotar Lens
click to see 1951 ad

Toronto.  George Dunbar sent me an ad for the Leitz enlarger Focomat 1c recently. The ad is from the October 1951 issue of Popular Photography. The icon at left is my Focotar lens which I bought from the late Bill Belier in April, 1987.

I didn’t care for the parallel arms the professional Leitz enlarger used to adjust magnification, nor its 2x -10x autofocus range, nor the less expensive, manually focussed,  Leitz Valoy enlarger.

My preferred enlarger was the Durst M35 which I still own. It is a marvellous instrument  with a Schneider componon 50mm autofocus lens. The enlarger embodies every technical provision conceptualized by Gilbert Durst.

When Leitz first marketed its minicam Leica in 1924/5, the big task it faced was to convince professional photographers that a miniature negative suitably developed and enlarged could equal a commercial print contact printed, saving the photographer cost and weight.

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