Cold Light Help? Beseler 45 mb...Are they worth a darn?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by clineco, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. clineco

    clineco Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Lot's of knowledgeable people here it looks like and I was hoping somebody could help me out. :smile:

    I bought a Beseler 45MXII this weekend and it came with a condenser head and also a cold light an old Beseler 45 mb. I've never used a cold head/light before, upon firing it up it shines a blueish color. Is this something that is usable on VC paper? Should I trash it and buy a color head? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That is a normal color for a cold light head.

    There are lots of different opions about using it with VC papers, as it usually depends on which version you have. However, I have always used a cold light as my main light source, altho i have all three types. Generally I only use graded papers, but I have had students use this enlarger with VC papers and filters, and it worked fine.

    I would never just trash it as I am sure there is someone around (here at least) that would take it off your hands.

    ps. did you ask a similar question on another site? Or, there is a run on these enlargers and light sources LOL
     
  3. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A cold light is used with a difuser, not condensors, you'll need the white plastic disk to replace the large condensors.

    I have the older cold light version (W45) n love it for greaded n VC papers. I do split filtered prints and feel I have so much more control.

    I find without any filtration my VC paper respond like a greade 4 or 5. Then with a #1 KODAK gel filter I can bring in my softer highlight details.

    If you ever consider selling it, please contact me, I can use a spare head?
     
  4. M Stat

    M Stat Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia Riv
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I used to print exclusively with a cold light on a Beseler enlarger, and I became EXTREMELY proficient in burning and dodging, just to compensate for the horribly uneven field of illumination. Try for yourself. Focus the enlarger and expose a sheet of paper to zone 5 or so, without a negative. You'll see what I mean.
     
  5. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Uneven illumination? Were you using a diffuser or the condenors or both? You have to use the white plastic diffusers to replace the condenors otherwise you will get uneven illumination.

    .
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,822
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    I would stick to the condenser head and use multigrade filters. More predictable in my experience.

    Jon
     
  7. clineco

    clineco Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thank you for all the replies.

    Jon - I was thinking the same thing, but I was hoping to use some type of diffusion head to help eliminate dust. I suppose this is another topic all together, but are there tricks to do so when using a condenser head? Thanks again!
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,822
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    re: dust, if you put the neg in and then turn on the enlarger and open the enlarger a crack, you will see all the dust specks on the top of the film illuminated brilliantly. Then you can either try to blow them off, or use something called a speckgrabber.

    Jon
     
  9. clineco

    clineco Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    cool. thanks for the tip!
     
  10. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,052
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think cold light heads are originally designed for graded paper which is blue sensitive. Modern VC papers are blue and green sensitive. I've used them and they're too dim for me, but some say due to the blue sensitivity, you'll get shorter printing times. I have a Beseler 4x5 enlarger and I have a color dichroic head and it works well with VC paper.
     
  11. M Stat

    M Stat Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia Riv
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Paul Ron wrote:

    "Uneven illumination? Were you using a diffuser or the condenors or both? You have to use the white plastic diffusers to replace the condenors otherwise you will get uneven illumination."

    The diffusion disc is integral in the use of cold light heads, and of course it was utilized in my own printing. If you are still using a cold light head, I suggest you try the test which I mentioned above. If you are satisfied with the results, no problem then. I can only comment from my own personal experience in using cold light heads. That is to say, not good.
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey Stat, I'll give you $20 for your Cold Light head, I can use a spare?

    :smile:.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,514
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Try it and see. The older Aristo heads work fine with Ilford MG paper and filters if you add some extra yellow. In the mean time keep your eye out for a good color head. The ability to combine varying amounts of yellow and magenta filtration in the same exposure is a fantastic tool. You can also print with the Y or M in separate exposures. Basically you have the control to do what you want. If you ever use a glass carrier a condenser head has the potential to drive you crazy with dust.

    Realize that choosing between condenser, cold light and dichroic head is like choosing between rangefinder, SLR and TLR. There is no agreement as to which is best and you can make bad images with all three until you get proficient.
     
  14. M Stat

    M Stat Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia Riv
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Sorry Paul Ron, I already gave it away with the Beseler, after I bought my Durst.