Beseler enlarger lights?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by SloboM, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    I purchased used Beseler enlarger model 45M recently. It come with two light housings. The light from the small one on the right is greenish in colour. The other one produces warmer light. Since this is my first contact with darkroom equipment I have no clue what these are. Is one condenser and the other one diffuser? If so which is which? Which one should I use for B&W enlargement and why?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    SloboM.
     

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  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    One is a standard condensor head (the larger one), the other might be a cold light head.

    They has been a long running debate about which is better, test them for yourself and use the one you prefer.

    I have used both and prefer the cold light.
     
  3. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks so much ann for your help.

    SloboM.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  5. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    The small drum-shaped lamp housing is a cold light. You set the enlarger to the 5x4 lamp position to use that one for all formats. If you use variable contrast paper expect some limits on your grade range. The standard condenser head needs to be set to the right height for the format. It looks like the scale is missing on the chassis in the picture - it screws in to the right front of the lamp stage. You can get the height for smaller formats by raising the lamp, focusing the image, and repeat until the light circle is just larger than the frame. For 35mm it should be about fully extended.

    I retired my cold light a few years ago.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    As for me, between the two, I'd use the condensor. I think old cold light setups require warmup time and correct me if I'm wrong, but cold lights are made for old graded paper that's blue/green sensitive. Also, cold lights are too dim for me. Makes focusing the neg a bit harder. But some people love it and some have shorter printing times with graded paper. It all comes down to preference.
     
  7. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    ic-racer, grahamp, maincoonmaniac

    Thank you guys for your help and link. Much appreciated.

    SloboM
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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  9. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    That's interesting, I did not know that Beseler made a cold light. Anyways I have an aristo cold light on my 45mx and love it, it works great. I have used the condenser too but prefer the cold light. It has been a while since I have used a condenser, and may mount it back on again soon just to see what it's like. Try them both out and see! I like the piece of mind of using a cold light as there's virtually no problems with negatives being damaged. The warm up thing is kind of a hoax, it should have 2 plugs, and one just needs to be plugged in to a constant source (not the timer) to keep it at the right temperature. It takes about 2 minutes, which is almost nothing compared the time it takes me to get my darkroom set up for printing each time.
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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  11. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks Luseboy,

    The light that I have doesn't have two plugs. How do I warm it up if need to be?
     
  12. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    When you first go into your darkroom before a printing session, just leave the enlarger turned on for a couple minutes, that should warm it up. Do that anytime you don't use the enlarger for like an hour, and you should be fine. The zone VI/aristo heads are quite nice if you can find one, I sold my spare one on here for like 50 bucks if i remember correctly.
     
  13. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks Luseboy. Your help is much appreciated.
     
  14. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    If your a VC paper user, you might have some difficulties. You might have problems printing on lower grades.
     
  15. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks Mainecoonmaniac,

    I'm just working on setting-up my darkroom. I have never printed anything so far as I'm total novice in a darkroom (except developing B&W film). All my prints, 'til now are done at the local lab. I don't know what kind of paper I'll be using. I'll search for info on papers when my DR is up and ready.
     
  16. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Congrats!

    You'll have many hours of fun. APUGers are a great source of DR info.

    Best,
    Don aka Maine Coon Maniac :D
     
  17. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks Don.
     
  18. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    As far as paper goes, start with some adorama brand or some arista from freestyle. It's cheap! and it's acctually fairly decent stuff. Also, use RC for now, fiber just adds more complication to it all. Apug was the best resource for me when I was first setting up my darkroom. Soon enough you'll realize that it's acctually quite easy! You're starting off with a nice enlarger too which is nice, and if you decide to start doing medium or large format work, that enlarger will take you all the way to 4x5. I've got two of these 45mx's and really like using them, though now that I'm picking up a beseler 5x7 enlarger I probably won't be using my 45 much anymore.
     
  19. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks for advice Luseboy.

    I'll definitely look into Adorama as well as Freestyle offerings. After I read some books and so many posts on various sites, I will definitely start with RC paper. I'll probably do some medium format sometimes in the future, but for now I really want to explore my 35mm Nikon F6. After all it was a gift from my better half.:smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  20. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I found Adorama to have really good pricing but some people seem to not be such a fan of them. As far as chemistry goes, you can get fancy with it but since you're learning and all, dektol for developer, adorama or freestyle house brand fix and stop, and D76 for film developing. Basically the cheapest offerings, as they are the easiest/most straight forward to use. Medium format is great, and 35mm is always a blast since it is so compact and lightweight and still gives decent image quality. I've fallen head over heals for 4x5, but of course started with 35mm. Nikon's are great! I have an old F2 that this drunk guy gave me once, it's a great little camera! Feel free to send me a private message or email anytime, I'm always available for any additional questions you might have.
     
  21. SloboM

    SloboM Member

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    Thanks Luseboy,

    At the moment I'm using Ilford products both film and chemicals but I'm open to any suggestions that can help me in developing my skills. Thanks so much for your offer.
     
  22. bill@lapetelabs.com

    bill@lapetelabs.com Member

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    The older Aristo cold lite heads had a V4500 tube in them and needed a CC40 yellow filter to enhance the light out for use with the full VC filter set on variable contrast paper! I don't know what tube is in that cold lite head!But most variable contrast papers have two emulsions in them, one sees only blue and is high contrast and relatively fast and the other sees only green and is low contrast and is relatively slow! The older cold light tubes were high blue output, that's why they needed a CC40 yellow filter.