Setting up Beseler 45MX to project on wall for BIG enlargements

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by davidh, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. davidh

    davidh Member

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    I have a Beseler 45MX with condenser head. I notice the head will tilt back, allowing the lens to project toward a wall. My question is this: First, was this enlarger built with the thought of making the big enlargements by projecting the image horizontally against a wall, or does the head tilt back only to facilitate maintenance?

    I ask because short of blocking the head up with something there doesn't appear to be any way to lock the head in the horizontal position.

    Thanks for your time.

    David
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    My 45MCRX locks into position for projection on the wall and I have used it that way in the past..

    Dave
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, David,

    My MCR-X is the same as Dave's and yours. I think they're all made that way.

    It is, however, much trickier to use in horizontal mode, because you have to be sure that everything is squared up on more than one axis. In addition, you have to rig some method of holding the paper. Unless you take the time and effort to arrange a more or less permanent horizontal setup, it's usually a lot more practical to remove the baseboard and project onto the floor.

    Konical
     
  4. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    David, there should be a hook on the back of the head that locks it when raised to the horizontal. It goes over the horizontal steel bar at the back of the head.
     
  5. davidh

    davidh Member

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    No hook, so perhaps it's missing? I did purchase it used so who knows. I'll take a quick digital (yuck!) photo of the enlarger and post another reply to this tomorrow so you can have a look at my enlarger - maybe I've got the model number incorrect?
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Member

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    There is a CD "Darkroom Manuals" about $15 more or less than illustrates the arm for holding the enlarger in the position you want. And indeed it is true that it is probaly easier to remove the baseboard and project downward - if you have the Beseler-made table for the MCR. Otherwise you will need to somehow cut a hole in your table or turn the enlarger around maybe or something. Removing the baseboard is easy but - . If you have a Versalab (laser alignment tool which is really neat) aligning the machine in the horizontal configuration is a piece of carrot cake. If you arew in need of the hook I'll loan you mine. I have taken it off (it's easy) because it seems a bit easier to align the thing with it out of the way.

    I expect (hope) to be in the Bay area in the next week or two and could bring it along and show you how to set it up. Let me know.
     
  7. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Sounds like the locking brace (hook) is missing, unless your photo reveals its a different model. Of course, if yours is missing this piece it might be hard to tell ... since it won't be there!

    I used my MX this way often, rigging up a vertically mounted board upon which to mount paper when I did my 30x40 prints.
     
  8. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    You can see the hook on my 45M in the last picture on this page:
    http://www.btinternet.com/~g.a.patterson/photos/darkroom.html
    It is behind the head and nearly vertical in this picture. When the head is rotated to horizontal the arm and hook slide over and latch onto the bar behind the head. As far as I know all the 4x5 chassis use this method.
     
  9. davidh

    davidh Member

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    Thank you for including a picture of your 45M* enlarger. The hook on mine is indeed missing, now that I have seen what one with the hook looks like.

    I'll have to see if I can find the replacement part someplace, Ebay or B&H perhaps. I'd rather not cut holes in the table I've got the enlarger on as I used 3/4 MDF for the tabletop and I'd be concerned it would cause a structural weakness, plus the open hole is just another place my tools can fall into and hide from me when I need them ;-)

    David

     
  10. davidh

    davidh Member

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    Thanks for the offer, but I'm located in Florida.

     
  11. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    David: If you can mount the enlarger on a wall, floor projection is much easier. In one darkroom I had, I removed the basboard rails entirely, then mounted the main structure on a platform that I had built, solidly (and precisely plumbed) mounted on a concrete block wall. This way, you can use a table of appropriate height for standard enlargements, and move the table away for larger enlargements projected on the floor. If the wall is of drywall/stud construction, you'll have to make sure the mounting shelf for the enlarger is truly secure, of course.