Considering a Beseler 45mxt

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by chuck94022, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the opportunity to purchase a Beseler 45mxt enlarger. It has never been used, according to the seller - it is still in its packaging.

    I used to have one of the older Beseler 45's, the blue one. I still have a number of components of that enlarger, including a 45S color head, negative carriers, and lenses (50mm, 80mm, and 135mm). I gave away the old chassis several years ago when I had to dismantle my old darkroom. I'm hoping to be able to use these components in whatever enlarger chassis I purchase.

    I believe the enlarger under consideration has a condenser light source, and it apparently has one lens (a 50mm fujinon, according to the seller - I have not seen the unit yet to inspect it closely. But if it is that lens, it is better than the old 50mm lens I have in my drawer. I never did much enlarging with 35mm - I work with 6x6 and 4x5 mostly, but it's handy to be able to work with my 35mm stuff too.)

    The seller is asking $500. My question is: is this a good deal in the current market? Is there anything I need to know about the 45mxt (nasty surprises, etc.)

    Thanks!

    -chuck
     
  2. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm an Omega D2V man myself, but the 45MXT seems to have a good reputation. Plus, I believe there is an 8x10 conversion kit available for it, should that be of interest at some point. I would think your left over components would fit, but I'll let someone with actual experience with the line answer that question for you.

    Oops, forgot to mention:

    I think he's a bit high on the price - like $100 or so high. But, if it's really unused, that may be of some extra value.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,920
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    the components from your old 45 should fit. the newer version. 500 seems a bit high, with only one lens, but as it is new that may be important to you. Also, things may be going cheaper in some areas, but shipping comes into play as well.

    I have 2 45's and have had no problems,and we have several in our gang lab which are very sturdy.

    .
     
  4. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    I have two 45Ms. Different vintages, but both are fine. I have an 810 head on one and a condenser on the other. I think I paid $225 for the first one 20 years ago. It was a beater in some guy's backyard. It was a little dirty, but after some cleaning it is fine and works great. The other one I got as a trade and I don't remember what that was. It was basically new and it works fine, but the motor stinks. I hear this is common. All that said, I think $500 is high. A new one is no better than a used one and those should be much less than $500.
     
  5. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    No, its a horrible deal.. Can I get the seller's phone #?
     
  6. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Unless you really need one of these right away I would suggest waiting a bit, people are literally giving 4x5's away nowadays (I got my omega d-II free from a post on a bulletin board and saw a posting on another site mentioning giving away a beseler 4x5 to anyone in the persons area, as well as someone giving away a D2v) If not given away freely, I am pretty sure you could find a decent used one for around $300 in very good condition, I dont know how the 45mxt compares to my d-II but I would think its not worth paying $500 for a new one when used ones can be found in great condition for much cheaper..... Though time is money, If I had to choose between waiting months and saving $200 or getting something easy and likely brand new I would go with the brand new one most likely!

    Good luck !
     
  7. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well if it is any gauge, I just purchased a Besler 45MCRX enlarger, 4 lenses 7 neg holders and a Zone VI cold light head as well as the standard Condenser head for $200.00, the Zone VI has never been mounted and the enlarger is in brand new condition, I also have the opportunity to pick up the factory 8 x 10 converstion for it for $300.00.

    I think $500.00 in this day and age is a bit high for this particular set up.

    Dave
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I own a Beseler MXT

    I own and have retired a Beseler MXT. It is to me a very unsatisfactory enlarger. O have been frustrated with alignment problems and I would not wish one of these dogs on anybody. Mine also has the adjustable lenboards. I am sure that there are many users who differ with my opinion.

    I have obtained a used Durst s45. It is over 30 years old. I personally know of it being moved 4 times, Its aligment is a good as the day it left the factory I woulkd guess. I am totally satisfied with this piece of equipment.

    I would reccommend that if you wish to use Beseler that you check out the VX. I do not have any personal experience with the Vx but it does offer better alignment capabilities.
     
  9. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for all the feedback. Here is what finally happened:

    I visited the warehouse where the person was storing this enlarger. Turns out he is a freight forwarder, and knows nothing about enlargers.

    I took one look and realized it wasn't new. It was a chassis with good bellows and a nice Fujinon 135mm enlarging lens in a lens board, mounted. It did not have a light source.

    I told the guy that there was no way anyone would ever pay $500 for it.

    In the end, because it appeared that the chassis was in decent shape, and the lens was in great shape, I paid him $100.

    As it is I'm sure I still paid too much. Probably worth $50, if anything. But even with its warts, it saves me from continuing to search, and I have everything I need now. My Beseler 45S fits on it nicely, I have my negative carriers and all the lenses I need.

    I figure I could sell the Fujinon and get back some of the money. Or I could sell my current Rodenstock 150mm lens. Depends on which one I end up liking better for my 4x5 work. I'll try them both then probably sell one if I want to get some of this money back.

    If I get frustrated with the alignment issues, I won't feel like I've sacrificed too much. I won't feel tons of guilt if this one ends up at the dump after I strip it of its useful (sellable) parts.

    Thanks for the input!

    -chuck
     
  10. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, after tightening up some of the bracing screws that were inexplicably loose, I did a quick coarse alignment check, and it seems to have survived its travels well (including being slid sideways into the back of my SUV).

    A projected square remains truly square and in focus to all corners from small to large projections.

    I think this will turn out to be a decent chassis, and the lens projects sharp and clear. I guess I can't complain.

    -chuck
     
  11. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    The Old Domi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thats not really a bad deal considering you already had most of the componets to get it up and running. I purchased a D-II two weeks ago for $120 and it came with 35,6x6,645,6x9,4x5,extra4x5 Negative carriers, one 135mm lens cone with blank disc, one
    flat lens board with blank disc, 35mm-6x6 condenser, 4x5 condenser with condenser head and working bulb. It was dusty baseboard was a little shoddy focus rails needed a little lubrication, whole thing needed a good wipe down. Works great, now I am waiting for some custom drilled,and tapped lens discs for my 135, and 80. Already had a B-22 that I got earlier this year with a full set of condensers negative carriers and a 50 MM componon for $85 shipped. Enlargers are going CHEAP!!! At least old Omegas.
     
  12. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Location:
    Denton, TX,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Dave,

    With all due respect, you suck! :wink:

    About six months or so ago, I got my 45MCRX/condenser head/2 lenses/2 carriers for about 360-some dollars, and I drove from Denton (North Texas) to just past Waco (Centralish) -- around 125 miles, to get it.

    I eventually got myself a (Nikkor? it's packed) 75mm for 6x6 negs, but I'm still using lab 6x6 cards (as in carboard cards) hinged together with masking tape as an insert in my 4x5 carrier for 6x6 negs. I did manage to find a nice 35mm negatrans that I use for most of my 35mm stuff, though.

    That's a fantastic price on the 8x10 conversion kit. Not that I'd ever use it for 8x10 negs, but I've found it next to impossible to find someone in the area who makes enlarged analog contact sheets, and I'd sure love to do it myself. The local labs seem to think a photoshop-generated (or, I guess, miniprinter-generated) digital index prints amount to the same thing. Heathens.

    Is that $300 price a one-fer or have you found a super-duper vendor who can sell more than one at that price? Also, for my own future curiosity, are those kits strictly 8x10 or something between 8x10 and 10x10?

    -KwM-

     
  13. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

    Messages:
    1,063
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Westport, MA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Is the lens a Fujinon EX 135mm? If so, that lens is worth about $100 to me, atleast.
    Sharp as all get out and go. I use it for 6x7 and 4x5 enlargements on an Omega D2 as well as a barrel lens on my 4x5 Speed Graphic. Very nice glass.
     
  14. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, it is the EX version. It is in excellent shape.

    -chuck
     
  15. stinkjet

    stinkjet Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'd have to say that you got a fair deal...the 135mm Fuji is a good lens. If you like cold lights, get an Aristo or a Zone VI. I used that combination for years and it was the most realiable workhorse enlarger I've owned. Not the most high-tech but still a joy. Good luck

    stink
     
  16. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    810 conversions are a 12x12 light source in a 12x12 box with a 12x12 glass carrier. It will do 810 negs or 9x9 or I suppose 10x10. Much bigger and you will have edge problems. I use mine for 5x7.
     
  17. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Location:
    Denton, TX,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the info, LG. That sounds quite promising WRT using it for enlarged contact sheets.

    I guess my poor attempt at humor was a bit too course and offended Dave. Sorry, Dave. You can take the squid out of the Navy, but you can't take the Navy out of the squid.

    -KwM-
     
  18. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi KW,

    No offence taken at all, I did not have the answer right at hand when you asked the question and with as fast as things get buried around here, in all honesty, I forgot you had asked the question.

    Sorry, it takes alot to offend me most of the time. so none taken.

    Dave
     
  19. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Location:
    Denton, TX,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    :smile: