Wall projection with a Beseler 45mxt
Hi all, need some help and advice,
I've got a Beseler 45mxt and a 16x20 saunders v-track easel. I love them. However, I want to be able to make bigger prints than are currently limited by my 16x20 easel. (I'm talking about 30" and larger.) It looks like my best bet would be to get Beseler's optional wall projection bracket (my dad's older mx series enlarger has this built in, but unfortunately mine is newer and does not) and shoot my enlargements onto the wall.
Question: Shooting onto the wall looks like it could be a fun challenge. Knowing nothing about what my options are, it looks like I'm going to have to make my own wall-mount easel. Any suggestions?
project on the floor.....I once had my d2v with a removable desk top which could be lowered allowing me to put the easle on hte floor and raise the enlarger head as high as possible
The enlarger table I use doesn't have that option, unfortunately. But, even if it were an option, what about the easel problem--i still don't have a large enough easel.
Originally Posted by Dave Wooten
Hm... sounds to me like you'd maybe want to mount a large corkboard on the wall you'd project to. Then, you could use large strips of matboard as a border, holding them in place with tacks. Might be a bit of work getting things straight & square, but square & level would help while you're setting things up.
I suppose you could just use the wall & tack into that, but if it's a)not your wall, b)a decorated wall (like in a bathroom), or c)cement or some other impervious material, you will need to hang something to use as a base.
It'll be interesting to see what people come up with for this. I have a Beseler 23 that tilts back.
Another possibility, would be to use a metal sheet and use long magnets to hold the paper in place. Seems like I have seen something like that used before in illustrations of a horizontal enlarger. Another thought, there are large (read LARGE) vacuum easel that could be mounted on the wall.
Good luck, let us know what ends up working..sure there are others with the same problem.
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Well, I 'm not sure about the MXT. But most of the Beseler 45s are made to flip up 90 degrees. You just have to unlatch the bottom stay - can't remember the exact details though. i've done it but like all things Beseler - it's a bit of a nightmare. If you want your negative NOT to fall onto the floor - you'll have to tape it firmly in place. Vibration's another huge issue with Beselers - but I'm sure you can find a way.
Yes, mine swivels up, but the bracket that holds it at the 90 degree angle is no longer built into the enlarger, as it used to be with the older ones. You raise a good point about the negative sliding out of the carrier. When I dust a negative after it has been seated in the carrier, I haven't had any problems with slippage when turning it over and back before sliding it into the enlarger, but then I hold it quite firmly when dusting. Hopefully the pressure from the lever that holds the carrier in the enlarging head is sufficient to keep the negative from slipping when the head is tilted. I'll have to try it out with an expendable negative.
Originally Posted by Sparky
I've made some last minute murals where I work by using an MXT flipped horizontal and projected onto a wall. In our old darkroom--they used kodak mural paper and kodlith in rolls and actually used an MXII mounted to a stand, with an overhead rolling "easel" of sorts---that was a sheet of plywood hanging from an overhead track. This ran out--aligned to the enlarger. On the plywood, they used a piece of one-inch gatorfoam and pushpins to hold the paper in place. They actually made full 4x8 sized prints and processed them by hand in 2 5x9 foot sinks....
Now our new facility was designed about 25 years ago (on paper) by the folks using this old darkroom. They dreamed of horizontal enlargers and kreonite machines....the new lab is a long, deep cavernous room with a false sheetrock wall for projection, and an alcove for the processor. The floors are concrete as well.
Times change though--and the murals were all farmed out by the time the building was finished. The money for the horizontal enlarger went elsewhere. We got a processor though, as well as some nifty kreonite stations for a set of new MXTs.
The old MXII came up from the other lab---in a pinch we have used this by hauling it out to the middle of the room and getting it at the right distance for the mural. Then using tape measures basically, squares and levels--we get the thing aligned as best possible. We make a test projection and mark off on the wall with gaffer tape the boundaries of the print. Now, we use pushpins or tape actjually to hold the paper. In the past, we've used kodabrome RC, or MGIII mural paper--only because we had it. Our processor is 20 inches, so we gridded the wall off in sections and made them one at a time, with overlap. It's a two person affair--one person mans the enlarger, the other is out at the wall with a grain focuser. Same goes for puttingg the paper up, and processing--two people. It takes some co-ordination and a lot of patience and determination to get the thing done. It's not fun. In fact, the times we've done this have been in partial protest more or less--something that *had* to be done.
Some problems? Well--for one thing, we had to use condensers instead of the dichro heads. We use a glass carrier for the negs--all 4x5, btw. The times become very long, so we found that the 2 thomas duplex's were too much for the room--had to douse one, and in the end, almost had to work in the dark, for the kodabrome, or else it would fog.
We also made two 4x6 or so sized prints out of multiple sheets of 20x24 and tiled them together by mounting...bascially another late night fiasco, with no larger sheets on hand.
So--I've done it with MXIIs--haven't enjoyed it, the work didn't look bad, good enough considering I s'pose. Wasn't what I wanted to ideally do--but sometimes you don't have a choice. fwiw---before we got a large stat camera--we made film pos & negs for silkscreening signage to walls this way--by bumping negs up in size with sheets of kodalith shot to repro ratios and then using the MXII and the track easel with kodalith in rolls. Real down & dirty stuff. It worked---was on display for years, decades actually...people don't really care how something is done in the end, I only write this because it's a water-cooler type story of shoestring operations....
BTW---the old MXII--we upgraded the lower bellows to the newer ones (square) for better alignment. That one is on a bench with a drop leaf section. You run it up to the top, you have about eight feet probably to the lowest point. We have a 16x20 easel, but for 20x24, we go borderless actually--and just use whatever works to hold the paper in place.
This past winter, the room got very dry (low rh) and we had a bad curl problem--where the paper would pop during exposure....I used double stick tape basically to hold it flat. total PIA--I had to make almost 150 or so 20x24s like this. You have to run up & down a stepstool trying to focus....up to the head, down on your kness on the floor. all part of the job though.
Back in the 1970's when Kodak made Mural R paper in rolls, I used to make a lot of big prints. Wall projection was easier than getting down on "all fours" with a grain magnifier.
At the time, I owned a 4x5 Durst which could easily be mounted horizontally on a sturdy tripod.
Another option for your enlarger would be to shine the image down into a 45-degree mirror, then onto the wall. But be sure to use a "first-surface" mirror. These, also used in some grain magnifiers, have the silvered mirror coating on the top of the glass, rather than on the bottom as is usual. No double image, but very easily scratched.
Purchase a 4x8 sheet of soft 1/2" Homasote board from the local lumber yard and secure it to the wall. Set the box of roll paper on the floor and pull up the end of the roll to the height desired. You can make guide marks on the inexpensive Homasote with a black marker.
I secured the paper to the board with common T-pins. If the head shadow creates a problem, you can snip the pins after the paper is secured with cutting pliers.
Since fiber paper this size always stretches when wet and shrinks when dry, the exact final size of the finished print is uncertain. Thus, I used to make the print larger than the mount board, wet mount it, squeegee it and then trim flush with a new single-edge razor blade.
I don't want to write a book here. But have more suggestions if needed...