My Beseler 23CII showed up. Questions:

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Natron, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Natron

    Natron Member

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    Well it finally arrived. It had a few extras with it that I didn't expect. I also ended up with a couple extra parts and have no idea where they go!

    It arrived disassembled and in three boxes. I was able to assemble it using photos of others as well as the Beseler instruction manual I found in PDF form on the internet but ended up with two triangular pieces of metal along with the six screws for them and cannot figure out where they go. Here is a small photo of them:

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone have any clue what those could be or where they'd go? Other than those mystery parts, it seems to work fine. The front of the Dual Dichro head has three lights.. one says "White Light" one says "Diff." and one says "Cond". On mine, the one that says "Diff." is always on and I cannot find a way to change that. The other two never come on or change. It just seems odd to me.

    It actually came with two lenses. One is a 75mm Beseler and one is the 50mm f/2.8 EL-Nikkor. I was extremely excited to see that until I looked through the lenses and saw massive amounts of fungus in the Nikkor and a moderate amount in the Beseler. Good thing enlarger lenses are cheap. It also came with a grain focuser that broke in shipping, a very nice timer, 35mm film carrier, and what appears to be a gigantic lens of some sort.. about 6" in diameter. Keep in mind I've never even touched an enlarger before so I don't know what spare part this is. I'm assuming it's "that part" that sits under the head and above the negative carrier area.... but I don't know what it's called or why I have an extra.

    Anyway, here's what I ordered last night:

    -Ilford Multigrade IV 8x10 RC Pearl paper (100 sheets)
    -couple packages of Kodak Dektol
    -Photog. Formulary TF-4 Fixer (low odor)
    -safelight
    -load of new bottles
    -extra thermometer
    -couple sets of tongs
    -developing trays
    -some extra Kodak Xtol and Hypo Clearing Agent for my film work

    I ended up paying twice as much for the above items as I paid for the enlarger and accessories itself. Now I just need to read a beginner's guide to working with an enlarger. I don't know how to judge exposure and then how to judge development for paper. No clue. Not a clue where to start. I guess it's reading time.

    [​IMG]
    (to say I'm working with limited space is an understatement)
     
  2. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Hey Natron!

    First, congrats on the new (to you) enlarger. Here's a couple answers for you. The 'big lens' is actually a condenser lens. My Beseler (which is strictly a condenser head enlarger) has two of them. They sit "round side up" and "round side down" ...sorta looks like a flying saucer. :smile: It sounds like you can switch between using this machine as a diffuser type enlarger and a condenser type enlarger. I have no idea how to do that... the manual or a call to Beseler could help with that.

    Those brackets look like they might have gone under the enlarger board...check for pre-existing holes. :wink:

    The other bit of info I have for you is to get some lysol wipes and clean the whole thing down inside & out. Since you have some fungus in the lenses, you might want to take them to a camera shop & see if they have a source who could clean them up, or give you a clue about it.

    Hope this helps! Once everything gets 'squared away' you will have a great time with this!

    Oh... one more piece of advice... :wink: If there is any way possible, try to get your enlarger off the floor. The dust that lives in carpeting will plague you like locusts! :D
     
  3. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    Good enlarger lenses aren't that cheap (unless they come preinstalled with fungus!). Why take potographs with $300 camera lenses & then enlarge them with a $25 lens?
     
  4. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Those brackets go in the two upper corners of the column, on the front. They add rigidity. I notice that they are not in place in your photo of the complete enlarger.
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Natron,

    Could the triangular items be intended as reinforcement for the upper corners of the enlarger frame? Somewhere in the vague recesses of my memory, I seem to see a picture of a 23C with such reinforcing/strengthening corners in place.

    ElrodCod has a good point about using only top-quality enlarging lenses. The El-Nikkor you have is one of those; it's most unfortunate that yours has the fungus problem. Unless the market has taken a major turn in recent weeks, however, you should be able to buy a 2.8 50mm El-Nikkor for a very reasonable price on E-Bay. It's been a buyer's market there for darkroom equipment for some time now.

    Konical
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Gongrats, Flotsam,

    You're a bit faster than I!

    Konical
     
  7. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, those are corner braces for the frame and go at the top corners. Not sure if they go on the front or back, it's been a long time since I had a 23. Look for holes.
     
  8. Natron

    Natron Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. What I meant by "enlarger lenses are cheap" is that you don't need to spend $300+ on one like you may need to for the cameras themselves. I've seen EL-Nikkors in great shape sell used for $15-$30 which I consider very, very cheap.

    The rear element screws out of the back of the EL-Nikkor so I took that apart and was at least able to carefully clean off the two surfaces of the rear element last night. Sadly, the inside of the front element is by far the worst and I cannot find a way to get that apart so I'll just find a 'new' one.
     
  9. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Hey Natron,
    This is how the brackets fit, in case you're still wondering:
     
  10. Natron

    Natron Member

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    Thanks! I appreciate the help, everyone.

    One question I still had left was about the three lights on the front of the head. I'm wondering why the "Diff." light is the only one that lights up and the other two stay dead (you can see them in the above photo on the right side of the head next to the "BESELER" text). Any ideas?
     
  11. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    This indicates that it is in diffuser mode and not condensor. I believe to use it with the condensors, you need the conical integrator attachment but perhaps someone can add details on that.
     
  12. Natron

    Natron Member

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    Ahh.. well they did ship it to me with the conical integrator packed in its box. Honestly, since it doesn't come with a manual and the enlarger/head didn't either, I have no clue what it does or how it works. hah!
     
  13. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Natron,
    Part of your questions might be answered here: Pure Silver There are some instruction manuals in .pdf format. Maybe the instructions for the 45 series colourhead will answer some of your questions.

    Hope this helps,
    Kent
     
  14. Natron

    Natron Member

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    I actually used the 23C instructions there to get some idea how to assemble it a couple days ago but never thought of looking at the 45-series Dichro head manual. It did answer some questions. Thanks!

    It appears I could use that extra condenser I have to switch it from Diff. mode to Cond. mode if I want to.
     
  15. geezer7

    geezer7 Member

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    I'm not sure if it was made clear that you need two condensors to operate in the condensor mode. Installation of the conic integrator will be sensed by circuitry to turn on the condensor light. Otherwise you probably have a mixing chamber installed in the dichroic head which is being sensed and thus the diff light is illuminated. You should be able to activate the white light by moving the silver lever on the right of the square dichroic head. The purpose of that feature is to allow you to set dichroic filters for printing in the diff or cond mode and then to bypass them for more light during focusing. An interlock prevents turning on the enlarger light if you left the lever in the white light mode. This protects you against inadvertent overexposure. If this happens simply return the lever to its diff or cond position (I'm not near my enlarger so I can't recall the exact position, but I believe it is forward) and turn on the enlarger again. I think it is a useful feature. You may also use this enlarger with filters that slide into the drawer just above the bellows. If you go this route the filters purchased from Kodak or Ilford will have to be trimmed to fit.

    I did some tests with a color analyzer and was able to compile a table of equivalent settings for the 23C and Ilford filters. I've been using them for about a year and they seem to be pretty reasonable. I could send them to you if you are interested.

    Dave
     
  16. Natron

    Natron Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I'm still not sure how to use my extra condenser or set the enlarger to work in condenser mode but I'll figure that out eventually, I guess. haha. The "White light" light will not come on no matter what I do so it may just be burned out on my enlarger.

    If you could send me the table of filter settings, I would greatly appreciate it! I was skimming Ilford's online paper PDF manuals and was trying to figure out how to set the equivalant filter settings on my head.