Questions about my enlarger and alignment

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mistercody, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. mistercody

    mistercody Member

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    Hi all,

    I recently acquired a Bessler 45mxt enlarger with an Aristo cold light head. The head looks somewhat tilted and not sticking straight down. I am not sure this is normal. It is taped with some gaffers tape around the top due to small light leaks from what I was told from the seller. The enlarger turns on fine and I was practicing focusing and setting the height, etc. The circle of light did not seem to project straight down, but rather seemed to fall off the front edge a bit. The circle of light seems large enough to cover the area I'd need, so is this an issue? I am really not sure how to check setup. The enlargers I've used up until now were all set up and I just focused/set height. Do I need to calibrate, and if so, what should I look for? If the head is a bit tilted, would it be fine to take off this tape, adjust it until it points straight down, and re-tape?

    Thanks for any advice. If my questions sound really ignorant, please bear with me.

    Cody
     
  2. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Cody,
    The film plane should be parallel to the plane of the easel and cold light should fit tightly against and centered over the film holder. I don't have a Bessler but rather an Omega. When I was using the Aristo cold light, it fit into the holder of the condenser lenses which I removed to place the cold light. There should be a way for you to line everything up. Take the tape off and realign then test for light leaks. There have been forum threads on aligning enlargers. I have found using small levels works well and are easy. If your easel is level on the baseboard you just need to level the enlarger head.

    Others may have other methods but this has worked for me. i like to keep things as simple as possible.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  3. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Perhaps if you could post a picture of the head and how the cold light is mounted. Meanwhile, using a small level, like a torpedo level, check the base board, then see if the negative stage is the same. Unless the cold light head is cocked or grossly tilted, I don't think you have a problem.
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I would take the tape off and see what is going on. I believe the cold light canister is supposed to fit into a collar that adapts its size to the enlarger.

    Jon
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I've got a Beseler and Aristo. You should have two pieces, the head and the diffuser. The diffuser slips into the Beseler headand the cold light fits squarely into the diffuser.
    There is an aluminum ring inside the mount. It's about 1 1/2"(swag) high & goes around the circumference. If it's not there You could try a piece of cardboard to determine if that's what you need. If you need to make one it's just a sheet of aluminum.
    When the Aristo is mounted, it's still loose. There's nothing to fasten it in place. Right now I'm using Velcro but am going to replace it with a spider made from steel cable