Converting Beseler enlarger to copy stand

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by David Brown, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I participated in this thread years ago: (post #2) ...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/37204-what-enlargers-can-turned-into-repro-stand-easily.html

    ... and I still have the B22 and its adapter. However, I would really like to mount my heavy RB67 on a stand. I know there are copy stands out there, but they are expensive, even used - more than enlargers!

    I bought one fairly cheap, but "I got what I paid for" - it's crap. Heavy duty crap, but still ...

    What I really want to do is mount a tripod head, or at least a heavy duty quick release plate adapter onto something like a Beseler 23C or 45M chassis. Should involve removing the head and bellows and drilling for a 3/8" bolt, perhaps? Both of those enlargers can be had (with patience) pretty cheap or free. Anyone done this? Any ideas? Is this going to be more trouble than it's worth?


    PS: Yes, I know Beseler sells real copy stands. Over $600 for the heavy one ... :blink:
     
  2. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    the durst enlargers m66 I think and even the teeny ones for 35mm only will work--they have a 3/8" screw mount that the camera can just go right in. There was a medium format vivitar enlarger where the head comes off to leave a 1/4" screw mouint for cameras to use as well. check craigslist is best.

    Polaroid MP4 is the best--can mount a camera or just use the mp4 with roll back or whatever. they are usually cheapest when found locally on craigslist.
     
  3. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    Although I have an adapter to mount a camera on my old F30 Durst enlarger column, I think I would hesitate to put something as heavy as an RB on it - too much chance of flex. The M605, maybe. The whole point of a copy stand is to have stability and parallel alignment. Modifying a Beseler 45 looks like a non-trivial job, unless there is a way to do it with the system stripped down to just the negative stage and no lower bellows. If I was going to do that I'd probably just mount a shuttered lens on the enlarger and copy onto 5x4 sheets. I can even see a way to use a Calumet rollfilm holder in the negative stage, but I admit I have not offered up the parts to test it.
     
  4. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening,

    A year or so ago, I purchased a Beseler 45 chassis advertised on Craig's List for the express purpose of turning it into a copy stand capable of supporting my Calumet 400 series view camera. It's still sitting in my basement. The problem isn't being able to do the necessary work; it's simple inertia! I don't see any particular problem that can't be handled with basic tools and a modicum of woodworking skill. Perhaps this thread will provide the impetus I need. If I finally manage to get off my dead aspirations, I'll post a photo of my results.

    Konical
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I haven't worked with the Beseler 23C or 45 enlargers for a while, but I would say that, with my Omega D6, the condenser head is quite heavy in itself - probably about as heavy as my RB67 with a metering chimney finder.

    So I would surmise that if the connection was well designed, the enlarger chassis would be able to handle the camera.

    I would think that you would need to consider using mirror lock-up on the camera though.
     
  6. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Konical: I'll race you! :laugh:

    Matt: I agree about the weight relationships. That is partly why I am considering a Beseler. I own both Beseler 45s and an Omega D5, so I'm familiar with the breeds. The thing that attracts me about the Beseler 45M is the motorized lift! I've gotten really spoiled by that - but it's not necessary. The crank on a 23C would do just fine.

    It's the sturdiness of the girders on the Beselers that I am after. Plus, if I can do it right, the horizontal projection ability of the Beselers will allow me to turn the camera back level and use it like a camera stand. (Although a tripod works, too.) And I agree with Konical that it won't be a major engineering challenge with my skill level.

    Yes, I could use mirror lock up, too. My D5 is like a big tuning fork. When I had it set up and was using it, I had the top of the column braced to the wall. I don't want to have to do that with a copy stand set-up.

    23Cs come up on the local craigslist periodically. the problem is usually that the owner thinks they're still worth $600 ... :confused: Like I said: patience!
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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