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  1. #1

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    Beseler 45S + 45MXT = alignment issues?

    So I am really liking the ease of dial in yellow / magenta filtration with my 45S for Ilford MG fiber, pretty much the way to go in my opinion unless you can get ahold of a dedicated VC head. But....this seems to be coming with a price tag that I am not sure I can pay. The 45S head is not light, in fact it I think it might be putting strain on the upper / neg stage of the enlarger making it appearing impossible to get proper alignment. I use a Parallel laser alignment tool, get the head perfect and then check the lens stage and it is out by at least two turns of the screw that aligns front to back for the whole head.

    So I go nuts using my critical grain loupe and get it as close as I can then have to crank my lenses down to F/11 instead of my desired F5.6-F8 range with Apo-Rodagons. Has anyone else had issues with this?

    I love my 45 system and have a ton of lens boards, carriers etc that took awhile to acquire, but I am seriously considering dumping it all and finding a good used LPL 4550XLG / VCCE and starting over.

    I'm taking John Sexton's The Expressive Black and White Print workshop in a few weeks and I have a feeling I am going to really take a liking to his fleet of LPL's...
    Last edited by PKM-25; 03-25-2013 at 03:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  2. #2

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    If funding is an issue, an adjustable lens board (either beseler, calumet or the old zone vi) costs less than a saunders enlarger.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by frotog View Post
    If funding is an issue, an adjustable lens board (either beseler, calumet or the old zone vi) costs less than a saunders enlarger.
    Won't work with a 150 Apo-N, would need like 4 of them as I keep my lenses on boards for workflow reasons not to mention that won't easily solve the bent light path between the neg and lens stage as the axis of adjustment is triangular...

    I have about ten different prints to make this week so I will take a much closer look at it tonight. If I can not figure out a way forward, spending a grand to $1,500 on a different enlarger with associated neg carriers and lensboards is a drop in the bucket compared to what else I have invested in this operation not to mention a tax write off...

    It gets to the point to where you have simply have had enough and that VCCE head would be a dream to print multiple grades on the same sheet without having to figure out the exposure change all the time...
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  4. #4
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Have you tried bracing the top of the column to the wall to prevent it from flexing under the weight of the head? Another option is to add a washer to the screw behind the adjustment to make up for the flexing.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    Have you tried bracing the top of the column to the wall to prevent it from flexing under the weight of the head? Another option is to add a washer to the screw behind the adjustment to make up for the flexing.
    I don't have an option for bracing the head unfortunately and when I measured the chassis before and after the placement of the head, it did not budge. Have not tried the washer though, will take a look at that although I am not sure how that will work as the front of the neg stage flexes down so shimming near one of screws is just going to make it worse?

    I just really need some higher level of build and precision and the LPL / VCCE might be a small price to pay over the long run.
    Last edited by PKM-25; 03-25-2013 at 10:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  6. #6

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    Just change chassis to a 45vxl(veryextralarge). Let people know where you are, one will turn up; or just buy one new. They really are a whole different world from the compact(45s) beselers.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by boswald View Post
    Just change chassis to a 45vxl(veryextralarge). Let people know where you are, one will turn up; or just buy one new. They really are a whole different world from the compact(45s) beselers.
    If the price is right, I might consider that. But, two things, the distance from my enlarger table to the ceiling is 60", the LPL will just fit and the V-XL might not, I am not sure as I can not find any specs on it. Also, I would rather have a good used VCCE setup than use my current color head on a new chassis, just my preference as it seems to be a more refined manner in which to print VC papers in my opinion.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    If the price is right, I might consider that. But, two things, the distance from my enlarger table to the ceiling is 60", the LPL will just fit and the V-XL might not, I am not sure as I can not find any specs on it. Also, I would rather have a good used VCCE setup than use my current color head on a new chassis, just my preference as it seems to be a more refined manner in which to print VC papers in my opinion.
    Beseler can be hard to contact, but in case you don't have it: http://www.beselerphoto.com/contact-us/
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9

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    Score, one mint condition LPL 4550XLG / VCCE with a 6x7 carrier, 4x5 Anti-newton carrier and two 39mm lens cones. I think I am going to keep the 45MX with the cold light for workshops, sell the color head.

    Had to get another enlarger anyway....
    Last edited by PKM-25; 03-25-2013 at 05:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  10. #10
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Beseler 45S + 45MXT = alignment issues?
    I have this same combination and don't have your alignment issues.

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