Help with my Beseler 45MX II

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Surly, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Greetings,
    I have a Beseler 45MX II that I am unfamiliar with. I have been the proud owner of two Omega D-2’s for quite some time and I am familiar with printing in general. I gave one of my D-2’s to my father as he had no 4x5 capabilities and the Beseler is too big for his tiny darkroom and he’ll never use all the features of the 45MX II. I found the Beseler in the trash and it is in excellent shape but has no lens boards and only one neg carrier for 35mm slides. I am a machinist so I can make lensboards and carriers.
    My question (finally) is this: For 4x5 do I need any special lensboard like the Omega or will flat suffice? What are my lens length limitations using the “stock” configuration? i.e. the standard base board etc…. Can I use my 165 or am I limited to 135 because of the condenser?
    I am using the standard incandescent bulb, condenser head.
    I would love to hear thoughts from other users about this piece of equipment.
    Sorry this is so long winded.
    Thanks,
    Surly
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Standard Beseler board is flat. For short lenses you might need a recessed board. But anything longer then 50mm should work on a flat board.

    The enlarger should easily handle 150mm. 135mm will let you make slightly bigger prints. I bet 165mm will work just fine unless you want to make real small prints. Extend the bellows all the way and measure how far it is from the film plane to the lensboard. Should be plenty for normal use of a 165mm. Condensor won't matter.

    My Beseler is likely much older and works just fine.
     
  3. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    It's a great unit. I use a 150mm on it regularly on a flat board and have no problems. Every now and then I end up putting the easel on a 5" riser (from the studio) if someone wants to make wallet-size prints (easier than removing the safety-peg at the lower-extreme).
     
  4. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Thanks- it sounds like once I get a lensboard or two and some carriers I can start using it. I'll get her cleaned up and adjusted. It seems like an extremely well made enlarger with lots of features.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Surly: It is a great enlarger. As noted, you should have no problems with the flat boards. Carriers should be relatively easy to acquire. I personally prefer a cold light/diffusion head.

    My darkroom is currently disassembled, but my former implementation was to remove the basboard and sidepieces, and mount the enlarger on the wall. The images were projected onto a height-adjustable table that allowed me to do large prints without flipping the head to horizontal.

    Earl