Light bulbs for Beseler MXT enlarger.

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by JMcLaug351, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. JMcLaug351

    JMcLaug351 Member

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    Hi, Can anyone help me with this problem. I'm looking for a very low wattage photo bulb for my MXT. Using the Beseler condenser light source. I'd like one about oh, say 15-25 watts. I'm using the 75watt GE lamp now. I'd like less light. I have a device to "turn down" the 75 watt bulb but the color changes quite a bit at the lower wattages. Any experience with non photo light bulbs and how they might do?
    Thanks.
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    would a high quality ND filter infront of the lens work?
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Or even a low quality one in the filter drawer.
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have used some non photo bulbs with no problem but there might be some sort of critical situation where uneven light would show up. I was never able to see it. It wouldn't cost much to try it.
     
  5. optique

    optique Member

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    I too have a problem with my ph212 bulb causing unreasonably short print exposures on my 45mxt enlarger.

    Here is a neutral density filter sheet http://www.filmtools.com/31-lee-s209.html that most likely could be trimmed and put into the filter tray. It is very inexpensive though I am unsure if it is appropriate.

    Steve.
     
  6. Nodaker

    Nodaker Member

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    Try using a PH/211 it's only 75 watts as opposed to the PH/212 that is 150 watts.
     
  7. JMcLaug351

    JMcLaug351 Member

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    Thanks for the link Steve. I was having that problem and dimming the 75 watt bulb down helped. But what I did see from that was a so much better image on the easel. Better sharpness and tone. Used a grain magnifier to look at the image and was amazed. I'm thinking lens flare? I'd love to have a printing time fo about 30 seconds. Seeing the better image got to me. I only use the condenser head for 35mm. All other formats get the cold light treatment. I have the Zone VI cold light. I'm going to try setting that on a lower brighness too.
     
  8. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Since you have the condenser head and a tungsten bulb light source, you could use a common household dimmer to reduce the output of any bulb you choose to use in your enlarger. These are just a few dollars at most hardware stores. The dimmer would need to be mounted in a simple box, and you could take a common extension cord and cut it and wire the dimmer in-line, so you would plug your enlarger into the extension cord, which has the dimmer wired into it, and plug the extension cord into your enlarger timer. Since most of these dimmers have a round knob, you could use a permanent marker to mark your preferred setting, after you experiment with different intensities of light. Even the most inexpensive household dimmers will handle up to 600 watts, so you are well within their range if you use a 75 to 150 watt bulb.

    It is always best to use a real enlarger bulb, not a household bulb, as the frosting is different and will affect the even-ness of illumination.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Rosco theatre lighting gels are very appropriate for this application. They are designed to be placed in front of hot lights, and work perfectly in the enlarger. See this link: http://www.rosco.com/us/filters/cinegel.asp. Product numbers 3415, 3402, and 3403 are neutral density filters of 1/2, 1, and 2 stops respectively. It is sold in sheets of 20 x 24 inches at B&H, and Adorama for about $6.50 US. Cut what you need from the sheet and place it either in the drawer or above the condenser. Works both ways. I use it in an old Omega B600 that is too bright without it. I'm with you on the dimmer. That will change the color temperature of the lamp and screw around with your contrast filters. These things are dead neutral. There is no mired shift.

    See it at B&H here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/44213-REG/Rosco_RS341511__3415_Filter_Rosco.html#features