Please help ID this enlarger...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jasonjoo, May 8, 2008.

  1. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hey folks,

    I'm still on a quest in finding a cheap b/w enlarger. I found one locally on Craigslist, but the seller has not mentioned what the model was. I am very new to this, so if you could please help identify this enlarger and maybe give some info on it, that would be great. Also, how large is this particular enlarger? My darkroom is not TOO big (using my bathroom at the moment, though this bathroom is larger than most).

    I shoot mainly 120 roll film and some 35mm every once in a while.

    Oh, is $60 a fair price for this? I'm not sure how to test if it is in working condition, but hopefully I could ask the seller to demonstrate the enlarger in action (should I bring some paper and a negative to do a quick test?).

    Thanks,

    Jason

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/pho/621090877.html

    Edit: Oops I should be a bit more specific. I shoot 120 roll film in the 6x6 format.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I think it's an older Beseler 23 enlarger. If it's complete the price is cheap. Assuming it's working of course.

    It'll handle 6x9.

    Doesn't the seller know? You'll want to ask if things like negative carriers and lensboards are included. They can be found easily enough but they add up.
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    It is a 23c, but I dont see a lensboard, lens, or negative carrier. Negatrive carriers show up on ebay, but you may want to check ebay to see if you can find a lens board. Ask the seller if he/she has any other parts. The 23c is a very good MF enlarger.
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Not likely you can see it in action as most people selling this stuff off no longer have darkrooms. It's possible, so it's worth asking but don't get your hopes up.

    What to look for? I'd make sure its not rusty. That the bellows don't have holes (can check with a flashlight inside the bellows in even a somewhat darkened room). And make sure its not loose where components connect.

    At $60, I think it's a decent deal if it has a couple of negative carriers and at least one lensboard. More would be a bonus as well as a decent lens. If no negative carriers and a lensboard, I'd keep looking. You can find them, but it will turn your $60 enlarger into a $100-120 enlarger. YMMV.
     
  5. chriswawak

    chriswawak Member

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    $60 is the most I would pay, but only if all the accessories came with it. There are real deals out there in enlargers. If it's just the body, then maybe $20 or $25. This is for the northeasy, around Philly. Things may be more expensive out there.

    I picked up a barely used Beseler 45mxt for $200, and it included a digital timer, extra bulbs, 7 or 8 neg holders (including glass 4x5, 645, 35), a box of developing tanks, 3 decent-quality nikkor lenses... the list went on and on. Everything had the original packaging.
     
  6. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    That is a 23C series II and they usually sell for around $40 complete with a Beslar lens and the 35mm carrier in good working order. I see them quite often for that price here in UT. Sometimes you luck out and get a decent lens.

    Take a look here: http://www.oresteen.com/bess23c.htm

    Fred
     
  7. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Cool, thanks for the info guys. I'll e-mail and ask if other things are included. If not, I'll keep looking!

    Jason
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Jason,
    Price seems to vary geographically. In the midwest $40 is few and far between. 23C's tend to be +/- $100 Some with accessories some without.
    Here the $40 would be a pretty good price. Lens board & neg carrier add another $40-50. Decent lens ?
    Anyhow if it's got the carrier, lens board, & the condensers, it's worth it.
    Presuming bellows, nylon gears in the chassis are OK
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    There is listing Craigslist Phoenix under darkroom equipment for a Durst 605, Bessler 23C, both with color heads, trays, drums, and the like for $125.
     
  10. Davesw

    Davesw Member

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    Here in california a 23cII would go for $60 to a $100. I bought one about a year ago and have since then picked up 2 more neg carriers and 2 lens boards. It works well for me and I have hade no problem finding used accessories.
     
  11. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    Just found another local listing:

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/pho/664828429.html

    This "looks" newer, which to me would be a bonus, but I really do not know anything about printing! Are there shorter rails available as well? I'd like to place the enlarger on a desk rather than on the floor and at the moment, I have no intentions on printing larger than 8x10 (just bought a box of 100).

    Thanks,

    Jason

    What about this one?

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/pho/672479331.html
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Jason:

    I have a 67C, that I've added a colour head to.

    I bought it new in the 1970s. I think that it is older than the one pictured, but most of the accessories are commom throughout the line.

    They are good, flexible enlargers. Just not as flexible as the 23C series.

    They max out at 6x7 format. The 23C series can take up to 6x9.

    I can easily do 14x17 on the baseboard - 16x20 in a pinch.

    The 67 series has it's own set of lensboard and negative carriers. There is reasonable availability on Ebay, and you can still buy new. The 23C series shares many such accessories with the Beseler 45 series enlargers. There is more availability on Ebay, and you can still buy new.

    There are probably more 23C enlargers that have had heavy use in school and group darkrooms.

    Both are still being made.

    The larger, single column 67 series enlargers (like the one pictured) have a spring loaded head raising and lowering system. I would check to make sure that was still smooth and easily latched before I bought one.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2008
  13. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hey Matt,

    That was very helpful. I think I'll schedule a meet up with the seller sometime soon. The enlarger looks to be in good condition, but I will be sure to check the raising/lowering system like you mentioned. Is there anything else I should be looking for before purchasing?

    Thanks,

    Jason
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The general concerns:
    - are there obvious signs of damage?
    - do the controls work smoothly?
    - is the bellows intact and does it appear to be free of holes?
    - when you focus, does the bellows extend smoothly?
    - do the parts that should be parallel (lensboard, negative stage) appear to be parallel, and are they perpendicular to vertical?
    - does it power up?
    - is the wiring complete and does any of it appear frayed?
    - if it is a condensor head (the pictured one is) does it include both condensors, and a filter tray (if it is like mine, the front of the head is a door that slides up and out, and there probably is a diagram on the back showing the condensors)?
    - does it come with any negative carriers, lensboards and lenses?

    There may be other points that come to mind.

    Essentially, most enlargers are quite simple. If you are familiar with them, you can quickly locate most problems. Of course, if you were fully familiar with them, you probably wouldn't need to ask these questions :smile:.

    If you have more questions, don't hesitate to either ask them here or pm or email me.

    Matt
     
  15. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks Matt! Yeah, I'm not quite familiar with enlargers :wink:

    I'll print out this list of questions and be sure to grill the seller!

    Jason