Looking to Upgrade Enlargers, Bess c23

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Ouch My Eye, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Ouch My Eye

    Ouch My Eye Member

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    So I am making the move!
    I have an OLD bessler c23...it doesn't even say c23 on it!
    Anyway no matter which lens I have on it, I need to stop it down to 16 just to get a mildly sharp image across the plane of the neg!
    I am sure that it needs to be realigned and fiddled with.
    But I am done with it. It is huge, clunky, and I have some money to burn!

    So the question.
    I shoot mostly 35 with a dabble in 6x6.
    Looking for a sharp enlarger. 3" square filters would be nice.
    Used, New...not such a big deal. But I want it to be SHARP.
    What is a good bet for Enlarger and Lens...
    So I can start the research.
    Thanks.
    Mike.
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Geed Evening, Mike,

    In spite of your "huge, clunky" comment, what's wrong with another 23C, one in good shape? They're practically being given away nowadays. Unless your Beseler is truly battered, bashed, and beaten-up, it's hard to imagine that it can't be aligned adequately.

    When this topic comes up here, there's usually a consensus that getting an enlarger that will take at least 6 x 7 (preferably 4 x 5) is almost always the best long-term approach--unless severe space limitations are a factor.

    Konical
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Mike,

    Consider a 4x5 with a dichroic head. The big enlargers are awfully solid and the dichroic heads really makes it easier to print. I will never go back to filters.<g> Sharpness? Alignment, as you stated, is key.

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I have an ancient c23 that still serves me well. Sharp all across the neg. There are a lot of omega B22s on ebay, if I didn't regularly shoot 6x7, I'd consider that an option. I like my Beseler though.
    I like condensors for B&W.
     
  5. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I'm with Neal on this. I have an old (blue) Beseler 23c and I dearly love it! Maybe yours just needs a little TLC. :wink:

    I mean... if you've got money to toss around... well, I can ALWAYS use film & chemicals! :D
     
  6. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    I actually just got my 23C before Christmas last and had to align it...You know, the manuals are available online and it only takes about a half an hour to realign...It could save you some $$$ for a camera/lens/film/paper/chemicals or a gadget!

    Just my $0.02

    Kent
     
  7. B&Wenthusiast

    B&Wenthusiast Member

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    The practically given away Beseler 23Cs, are they on Ebay? We'd like to set up a darkroom for our daughter who likes the 23CII and is selling a lot of her photos. Are they reliable for a long, long time? Thanks for your kind assistance!
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    B&Wenthusiast,
    23C's are one of the benchmark enlargers. Accessories are very common since the thing has been made since God was a child. The newer black 23CIII is more easily aligned though.
    There are other options if you don't think you would need the 6X9 capability of the beseler. If space isn't a factor, you may consider a 4X5 enlarger for future upgrade.
     
  9. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    The 23 C XL that I bought in early 1977 still prints works perfectly. Beseler rebuild kits are available for enlargers that have seen a lot of use. Many years ago, I bought a special alignment tool but haven't had the occasion to use it too much. I have a condensor and cold light head for this also and color heads for the 23 C are very cheap and easy to find. I have a Dichro S on my 4x5 Beseler. The Beseler enlargers were built to last just about forever. How many ink-jet printers in use today do you think will still be being used 30 years from now?

    Align your 23 C and spend the money on a super premium enlarger lens!
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Let's see,
    One Beseler 23c that probably cost me less than a couple of hundred bucks used, has served me for untold thousands of prints over 30 years with no sign of ever giving up and the occasional small expense of a new 111a bulb.
    against...
    About a half a dozen inkjet printers in as many years plus the frequent expense of hugely over priced replacement ink cartridges.