Does anyone have experience printing on VC paper with a Beseler/Minolta 45A color head?
I recently bought a Beseler 45V-XL and am not sure whether to sell the head and replace it with a cold light.
I do not plan to print color, only black and white with either Ilford or Agfa vc paper.
Thanks in advance,
I've done it, and I'm still trying to sell the head. I replaced it with an older Beseler Dichro head because I didn't like the complicated way it worked.
Mind you it's an additive process and as such you can do your calculations similar to split filter work. You can also get some very max contrast out of it too. Just remember to turn the red component down to its minimum. Even then I see it running red flashes during an exposure. Let me know any specific questions and I'll try to help.
The biggest "problem" is the controller does not use seconds to time with. So it's next to impossible to extrapolate figures from another type of head and not really easy to calculate the times. Also dodging and burning gets a bit wierd. Then the filtration is not in any filter values resembling what you are used to seeing on a subtractive unit. You just have times from 0 to 255 for each color then there's a setting for raising or lowering the general exposure. It has a probe but I never really figured out how to use it to read a negative and calculate exposure and contrast. I found my PM2L did fine reading it on focus mode. Another gripe is when the focus tube starts to go bad, it will shut off much quicker than it should and make setting up a print a hassle.
you could try contacting ColorBAT--I know they used to service 45As, and carry the manuals and some limited spare parts. The big problem with the 45A is that besler doesn't support it anymore.....
fwiw--ColorBAT used to put out a series of tech sheets for labs--the BAT part stands for "Beyond additive techniques" or something like that. The tech sheets dealt with just about every facet of labwork--but had alot of info on Beseler enlargers--the 45A in particular--and jobo processors. I have a set from '93-'97, and they only briefly mention b&w printing with the 45A (they give some approx grade settings), but they cover in depth how to use the probe/controller for sensitometry, how to calibrate the head for making internegs etc.
hope this helps
Go to the ColorBAT website, www.colorbat.com, they still service the 45A and carry the flash tubes as well. I to have one of these, but just did not GET IT so I replaced mine with a dichro head because I was more comfortable with that. Hope this helps some.
I had the Minolta 45A head and really disliked using this item. The head I owned was practically brand new as the previous owner also thought very little of the unit and did not use it very much. I thought it was a real bargain when I purchased the head but quickly changed my mind. Aside from the long printing times at the higher enlargments the stupid thing would shutdown if it thought the unit was being overheated.
Fine for small enlargments but push the head up the column and watch what can happen. Also the bloody "light tubes" are expensive and get progressively weaker with use. This requires the head to leave the light on for a longer time and increases the rate of wear on the tubes. A cycle that ends up with a spent tube and more cash flow from the user.
I even had "Colorbat" send me the whole Printing with a Minolta 45A package. Worked with this head for 3 months and then sold it.
I am really glad that it is gone. On a scale of 1-10 I give this head a -2. As a side bar... I own and shoot Minolta 35mm cameras (for 25 years) and really like the equipment. Minolta makes some very good equipment in my mind but this head is definitely not one of these.
Minolta makes some very good equipment in my mind but this head is definitely not one of these.
well, you know Ford made the Edsel also. Make enough stuff and sooner or later you make a clunker.