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  1. #1

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    Installing new lens and lensboard into a Beseler 23CII-XL Dichro

    Hi! I feel bad to have my first post be such a sad plea for help, but here goes:

    I purchased a Beseler CII-XL Dichro via Craigslist many years ago, and use it for 35mm printing. I've recently gotten into medium format toy camera stuff, and would like to print those photos at home. After reading this forum for advice, I purchased this lens and board...but maybe I screwed up. Is a "C23" not compatible with what I have? The board has no screw holes, where the one it came installed with has two.

    Also, I tried following the instructions I found at this thread: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/5...-enlarger.html but can not get the existing board to just "pop out," even after removing the two screws.

    I have the original manual, but it's worse than useless. I'm kind of embarrassed to have this professional piece of equipment, and not know how to really use it or maintain it beyond the basics...and I'm terrified I'm going to break something. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    No removal of screws are needed. To remove the lensboard just grab the lens and push towards the back. It is spring loaded. Then the front of the lens board can drop down off of a little ledge.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Welcome to Apug! The lensboard should be spring loaded, and just push either toward the back of the machine or to one side. If the board won't budge you will have to take screws out to disassemble it. Never be embarrassed to ask for help here, we've all been stumped by our gear from time to time.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    That ebay link directs to an auction for a box marked "8021" I'll let the others comment on the focusing ability of a 75mm lens with that board. The manual calls for the "8023" for a 75mm lens, but it look like there is only a few millimeters difference in the mounting location between the two lensboards.
    There is a PDF of the manual here, it even has an exploded diagram: http://www.jollinger.com/photo/cam-c...ler_23C_II.pdf

  5. #5

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    Thanks, everyone! I went and tried again and although there's a bit of give, it just does not want to move. I'm wondering if the guy I bought it from modified it in some way? I took some pics of how it looks with the 35mm lens mounted, and the front of the enlarger.

    I guess I'm not sure what the different lensboards look like, or why you would want a different one for a different length of lens...but now I see the table in the manual where they list the lensboard numbers. Is it worth trying to track down the proper one, or do you think I might be able to make it work?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lensmount.JPG   23CII.JPG  

  6. #6

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    Good Evening, Joan,

    The easy part first: Having a separate lens board for each focal length lens is not absolutely necessary, but it certainly makes switching lenses much more convenient. Having different focal length lenses for different size negatives is standard practice. Usually, it's 50mm for 35mm negatives, 75-80mm for 6 x 6 negatives, 90mm for 6 x 7 negatives, and 100-105mm for 6 x 9 negatives. Using a shorter than usual focal length lens normally causes vignetting of the projected image.

    The lens board pictured has two additional screw heads(???) beside the lens, not something on any of my Beseler boards, nor on any I have seen. It could well be that someone has, for some reason, adapted the board to deal with some problem I can't think of. I did an recessed adaptation of the board for my 50mm El-Nikkor to move it closer to the negative; otherwise, I couldn't achieve proper focus. That does not appear to be the case with your board. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I'll bet that someone here will be before long.

    Konical

  7. #7

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    It seems there are 2 knobs one on either side of the lens, unscrew em and the board will come out as normal by pusihng it to the rear n it will drop down. If the board doesn't drop, take the 2 rear screws n that bracket off n the spring will fall out then the board can be removed.

    My 4x5 Beseler has the same screw knobs on it's board.

    .
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  8. #8
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    You don't need any special board to mount your 75mm. Regular flat board with 39mm hole should be fine.

    Loosen, or remove those knobs and you should be able to push the board to the rear and drop the front edge down. Boards with those knobs are not common and not needed.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joan Arkham View Post
    Thanks, everyone! I went and tried again and although there's a bit of give, it just does not want to move. I'm wondering if the guy I bought it from modified it in some way? I took some pics of how it looks with the 35mm lens mounted, and the front of the enlarger.

    I guess I'm not sure what the different lensboards look like, or why you would want a different one for a different length of lens...but now I see the table in the manual where they list the lensboard numbers. Is it worth trying to track down the proper one, or do you think I might be able to make it work?
    Joan,

    I have that model of enlarger but with the simple bulb-and-condenser head. For various reasons my lens board is a bit too long front to back such that pushing the lens to the back will not move the lens board enough to clear the front flange. (The one to the top in your pic.) If you loosen the two little phillips head screws in the front (top) that flange will dip down a bit, perhaps enough to let the edge of the lens board clear. If you take them out completely the flange bar will fall off and the board too. So be careful and mind where those screws fall, but doing this will not break anything in a normal 23CII; I've done it several times myself.

    Good luck

    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

  10. #10

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    Posting your problem with the Beseler 23C II difficult-to-remove/install lens board is useful. To better answer your question I disassembled the oldest of the three that I own. It had the same problem as yours. It took an inordinate amount of force to move the lens board far enough forward against the spring to change boards. This should be easy to do with a modest force. In the process I also disassembled a second 23C II so that I could analyze the differences and discover why #1 has the problem, but #2 works fine.

    Here’s what I found. The difference is that the formed flat spring at the rear of the lens board retainer was incorrectly shaped on #1 compared to the spring of #2. By swapping the springs, the problem moved to enlarger #2 and #1 worked correctly. This seemed to confirm that the misshapen spring was the cause of the problem.

    In my case, the small radius curl at one end of spring #1 was too long. It looked like the blank had been fed slightly out of position into the forming die in manufacture. Consequently, the spring had far too much force when tying to install or remove a lens board.

    I remedied the situation by carefully grinding the excess off of the overly long end with the excess arc length. The other end was shaped correctly and looked the same as the spring on enlarger #2. The overly-long end was about 2mm too long to work properly. After altering the spring, the resistance to pushing the lens board forward against the spring to install or remove the board is now normal and the lens board changes are fast and easy—the way the Beseler designer originally intended.

    In your case the spring ends might be correctly shaped, but the center arch might be too great. That will increase the force needed to install and remove a lens board, possibly by quite a bit.

    If that’s the case, you can deal with the overly stiff spring by placing it on a table top with the large arch upward and push down to flatten the arch somewhat. If you overdo it, it can be bent back. This spring is only somewhat springy and can be adjusted without much trouble.

    This is something of a “bend and try” process. What you’re trying to accomplish is to reduce the spring tension to reasonable value so that you can easily install and remove the lens board and still have the board safely retained by the spring force.

    In order for the lens board retainer to work properly, the self-tapping screws that hold the front and rear lens board retainer plates in position must be fully screwed in. Leaving one or more of these screws partially loose in an attempt to fix the problem is a poor practice and doesn’t address the actual problem.

    The Beseler 23C enlargers, all versions: 23C, 23C II, and the current 23C III, are well-made, robust machines that work well. Apparently in a few rare cases parts are sometimes slightly off-standard and might require adjustment.
    Last edited by Ian C; 09-05-2012 at 10:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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