Beseler Computer Color Head for VC B&W?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Scott Ridgeway, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    I was recently given a Beseler MX II enlarger with a computer controlled color head. I have a manual for the enlarger, but not for the color head. So I finally got it put together okay (I think) and plug it in. I put a color transparency in and then started playing with the C,Y, and M dials. I noticed that when I would turn one of the dials, the readouts for at least two of the colors would change. At this point, I'm not sure how I can use this with VC black and white paper. How do I dial in magenta without the cyan or yellow also changing? Are there still manuals available for this particular color head?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There should be a section in the manual for B&W VC printing. At least there is in my Dichro head manual. There should be a table there that will help you.

    I use 30 M for a grade 2, and about 70 M for a grade 3 which looks pretty good to my old eyeballs. They suggest a 70M + 10Y (IIRC) for a grade 3, but I cant really see much difference.

    But YES! It works.

    PE
     
  3. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    The problem is, I only have a manual for the enlarger. I don't have one for the color head. Is there a switch I'm not seeing that allows some sort of manual mode for the color head?
     
  4. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

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    The computer controlled head has sensors that actually read Cyan Magenta & Yellow light. In this type of Beseler head the LED readouts are what those sensors are actually measuring. When you turn one dial it does effect the other channels. Typically you make sure all Cyan filtration is dialed out and only use yellow and Magenta for actual filtration. I used these type of heads in the Pro Lab I worked in and later when it closed I purchased a couple of these. Unfortunately they do not have a good track record. Beseler stopped servicing them. Even if the read outs are not correct and usually they are not, (sensors go bad in mixing chamber) you can still use them for B&W printing. You will probably only be using Magenta filtration. Turn all dials so filtration is completely removed, now just turn Magenta filtration all the way up. What does it read, it should be about 250 at full scale I think. I will look and see if I still have the manual and get back to you. Do you have the special timing unit that plugs into the head?


    Jamie
     
  5. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    No special timing unit. Do I need one? Or can I just use a regular ol' timer?

    I'll only be using this for B&W so the poor track record shouldn't matter (if I'm reading you correctly.)

    Scott
     
  6. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

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    Scott,

    The units I have like this have special timing units that plug into the head with a special connector. It sounds like you have powered unit up and can see light, is that correct? If you just plug the 120 volt plug into the wall and the power source lights up the Halogen bulb you should be able to use a standard timer. I have never tried it because I have the timers that came with the unit. What is the actual writing on the enlarger head say? (just curious) I will be home from work in about 2 hours, I will see if I can scan some pages of the manual and email them to you. What is your email address?

    Jamie
     
  7. Photo Engineer

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    I use a regular timer on mine. The unit does not do anything really automatic at all except sense the color mixture in the chamber. It does equally well for color and B&W as long as the readouts are set to a series of Y or M filters.

    Basically, concentration goes up with M and down with Y.

    PE
     
  8. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    The text on the head reads: Beseler Dichro45 Color Computer. On the underside are two plugs. One is labeled: Timer Input The other is labeled: D.A.T.A input

    I have the one included cable plugged into the Timer Input plug, with the other end going into my timer. I don't have anything that would fit the DATA input plug, and wouldn't know what to do with it if I did.

    Yes, I do get light when I set my timer to "Focus" and the timer operation acts just like I'd expect to to. I think I'm really going to like this enlarger once I understand it.

    One last thing: I've posted a couple of questions on APUG recently (after being gone for quite a while.) In each case I received lots of help and I got it fast. You guys are great! Thanks!

    Scott
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    Scott;

    That is the same as mine. The DATA input is not used. You have it connected correctly, so all you have to do is start printing. As I said, about 30M should get you a grade 2, and 70 M grade 3. Use about 20 or 30 Y for grade 0 - 1. I'll look it up later, but trial and error will help you calibrate it. This isn't an exact thing. Each light puts out a different amount of R/G/B light so experiment a little.

    And good luck to you.

    PE
     
  10. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    My old enlarger dichro head had little filters that moved in and out of the light's path. These needed replaced a time or two. Am I right in assuming that this Beseler head works some other way?

    Oh yeah... my email address is: csridgeway@verizon.net

    Again, thanks for all the help!

    Scott
     
  11. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

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    Hi Scott,

    I sent you some scans from the manual about B&W printing with this unit.

    Jamie
     
  12. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    Jamie,

    Thanks, I got 'em--and I sent a thank you in return. And thanks to everyone else who helped me with this!

    Scott
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    With a color head, you use only two out of the three filters at one time. If you were to use all three filters at once, you would turn whites to shades of gray. The computer will not let you use all three at once.

    Multigrade paper instructions are available from the manufacturer, they use the yellow or magenta filters either together or alone to get the contrast grade.

    Steve