Help with Beseler 23C II XL enlarger!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mas625, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. mas625

    mas625 Member

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    So I just purchased a used Beseler 23C II XL enlarger and I managed to get it all put together but now I can't figure out how to work it. I plugged it into the timer and when I start the timer, if I look up in through the enlarger's lens, I can see light but nothing is shining down on to the base board... I put a negative in there to test it and again, nothing showed up on the baseboard or a piece of paper. So I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Hi welcome to Apug! Is the enlarger lens opened up all the way? Are the lights off in the room and filter removed from the enlarger tray? It is best to focus with the enlarger lens opened all the way up and no filters in the tray (or dichro head).
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Is the bulb the right one? Also, is there a neutral density filter in the light path (might not be where it should be)? There should also be a setting on the timer for focusing rather than using the timer function each time.
     
  4. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Up at the top of the lamphouse, there is a knob that looks like a second focusing knob. Assuming that you're enlarging 35mm negatives, turn that knob until the lamphouse is all the way at the top of its travel.

    Above the condenser of some Beseler enlargers, there is a trap door that's used for inserting filters. Open that trap door, if there is one, and check to be sure that nothing is in the slot which might block the light.

    Open the enlarger gate and look into the slot where the negative carrier goes. Can you see the enlarger lamp through the slot? Is there anything in there, other than the negative carrier or film which would block the light?

    On some Beseler enlargers, there is a small, silver handle to the left of the lens that moves a slide-out filter holder. Slide that handle all the way to the left (from the operator's usual perspective) and ensure that there is nothing in the filter slot.

    Finally, from the perspective of looking up at the lens from underneath, turn it all the way clockwise to its widest (lowest numbered) stop.

    What we have done is to start at the top of the system, where the light bulb is and work our way downward until we get to the lens so as to ensure that light is getting through each stage of the system, as it should, until it reaches the baseboard where the photographic paper should be placed.
     
  5. kerne

    kerne Member

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  6. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Perhaps the lens is so out of focus and the room illumination high enough that you just don't see any difference on the baseboard. Take the negative out of the carrier and put the carrier back into the enlarger. Make sure the condenser assembly is at its highest position as Randy has suggested and open the lens to its widest aperture. With the arrow on the assembly pointed to about 20 on the scale of the right support, a 50mm lens will throw illumination about equal to the width of the baseboard IIRC. See if you can focus the edge of the carrier to a sharp line at about that elevation. The focus knobs are below the position of the negative stage on either side.

    A 23CII-XL should have a PH140 lamp in it. Check to make sure you have the proper lamp. Also, if you are trying to focus on a black easel, it will be difficult to see a projected negative. Try using just the baseboard or a white sheet of paper to focus on.

    Here's a PH140 example from Porter's Camera Store.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2012
  7. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    You may want to check the timer.
     
  8. mas625

    mas625 Member

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    thanks! I figured it out
     
  9. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    For the benefit of those who come after, what did you find?