Couple of Beseler 23c questions

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mrdarklight, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. mrdarklight

    mrdarklight Member

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    Hi folks,

    I have a Beseler 23c Series 2 that I got off the eBay. I had to replace the gears but otherwise it's solid. I do have two questions so far:

    1) Does putting a contrast filter in the drawer have any effect when making contact sheets?

    2) I thought there were supposed to be numbers up the side of the support posts, so you could keep track of how high it was, etc. Mine doesn't have them.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you're using VC paper then yes.

    You could tape/glue a measuring tape.
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    The contact sheets we do on our Beselers are always done with no filter- They come out around grade 2. If the object is simply to see what's on the roll, what's the point of adding filtration?

    We have 10 23c's. None of them have numbers on the side.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    One reason is that the exposure will be consistant with exposures using filters when you enlarge.

    For height, put a carrier (with or without a neg) in the enlarger an raise the head tilll it covers an 8x10 in focus. Take a piece of masking tape and mark the position of the head on the column. Mark the tape with the film format. Do this for each format you use.

    When you do contact sheets set the head to the position marked by the tape. Put that film format's carrier in the head and focus on the edge of the carrier. Put in the filter you've decided to standardize on for contact sheets. Set the exposure time for the minimum time to max black for the paper and film you're using. Expose your contact sheet.

    If everything is too dark, you now know that you underexposed that roll. If everything is too light, you've overexposed. Hopefully most will look pretty much right. Either way, you now have all the information you need as a starting point for printing your favorite shots.

    *some people like to do proof sheets with a lower than normal filter, which makes the proofs look flat, but it helps for evaluating exposure for the highlights and what grade you'd like to end up on. Others prefer proofs with normal contrast. Pick what works for you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2009
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    a beseler 45 has numbers on the strut, a 23 c has an indicator on the side of the condensor support that indicates which format is being used so you can move the head.
     
  6. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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    Agreed, when teaching, especially intro clases, this is my practice (use a filter<2) since the likelihood is there will be a range of under & over exposed negs on many students' films and we want to see as much detail as possible in a single contact seet exposure. In addition it is more practice for them in using contrast filters while printing.
     
  7. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    My 23C (baby blue model) has a graduated scale on one side that does show head height in relation to the baseboard. At one time you could buy replacements, but it would be far easier (and cheaper!) to simply attach a paper ruler to the enlarger support. The condenser indicator for format is something else entirely...

    - Randy
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I have a Black 23C XL, purchased new about 1977, and is has a scale on the column similar to the 45's.

    With the color head that I added later, this baby cost over a grand 1970 dollars. Amazing deals now a days!
     
  9. mrdarklight

    mrdarklight Member

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    Actually I do have one more question: I have the Ilford contrast filters for this enlarger. What should I do to get even more contrast? As in, the Ilfords go to 5, how do I go to 10?
     
  10. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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    Why stop at 10, why not go to 11 :smile:
    Seriously it doesn't work that way, the contrast is limited by the nature of the emulsion mixture not the filters.
    Suggest you review this material to understand how the Ilford variable contrast emulsion works and is used:
    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2006130201152306.pdf
    If, for some reason you feel you need a higher contrast than 5 then I suggest you look at how you are exposing and processing your negatives.
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    5 is not very much grey, and would be pretty harsh for most normal contrast negs. If you want just black and white, you could you could use a lith developer at it's normal strength.
     
  12. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    My amp goes to 11, but I also have problems with my drummer spontaneously combusting, so it's a trade off...

    I fully agree with Dave. If you feel you need still more with a #5 (which should yield soot and chalk prints) then you need to adjust your exposure/development to produce more contrast...

    - Randy
     
  13. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    My Beseler 23 C II Has the makings on the main support columns but they serve no useful purpose (to me anyways) but the markings on the head, well you know what it says.
     
  14. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Spinal Tap eh? :D

    Proper exposure/development is the obvious choice, but wouldn't stronger paper developer give a bit more contrast?

    EDIT: Or maybe print at #5, contact print that one on another piece of paper and contact print once more to get another positive?
     
  15. mrdarklight

    mrdarklight Member

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    He was killed in a bizarre gardening accident.

    The police said best to leave it unsolved.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    In that case, what is the point of making a contact sheet? Just look at the negative :D
     
  17. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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  18. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I bought my 23C new in the 70's, and it did NOT have the scale on the column. The scale was an option at that time, and could be purchased separately.
     
  19. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    For a given development time, I wouldn't be surprised if it actually did. Obviously, no matter what dilution/time you use, you can't expect 5 more contrast grades from these.

    That's half the truth. Let's assume that you have made a print with a #2 filter, and the print has a full tonal range, from absolute white to absolute black (Dmax). Now, switch to #3 and expose for the same time. There will be more whites and more blacks, because you have altered the characteristic curve of the paper. In any case, some detail (if there was) will be lost. So, contrast is not the difference between Dmax - Dmin, but also the gradation between them, the steepness of the curve. You need to take both the Y (density) and the X (exposure) axis into account.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    D-max is proportional to the slope of the HD curve (G or gamma or 'contrast') in negative material but since prints are usually processed to completion, that relationship does not usually apply to printing paper (as Anon Ymous pointed out).
     
  21. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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    Paper contrast can, I suppose be defined in more than one way, the definition of contrast I was using (Dmin-Dmax range) is based on the Kodak definition:
    "Contrast
    The range of difference in the light to dark areas of a
    negative, print, or slide (also called density); the brightness
    range of a subject or the scene lighting."
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/aa9/aa9.pdf
    One of the characteristics of a low contrast print is in fact that there are probably no true (Dmax) blacks.
    But I would agree that paper contrast cannot be usefully described without reference to gamma - given enough exposure and a suitable negative a given paper will have the same Dmax & Dmin at any contrast grade but different gammas will given looking prints. MY point originally was that once you were at grade 5 the only way forward was to increase Dmax slightly with Se toning.