Then you won't want to shim lens boards or film carriers with tape like I do. Litho tape or clear Scotch tape doesn't compress like some other tapes. Really, it does work, and it doesn't get out of alignment easily. As for optimum aperture, a quick check with your grain focuser will tell you more than theory or your physics class would have. Sharp fine grain can get a bit fuzzy in the center of the image when a fine lens is stopped down to f/8. In theory any lens can resolve only about 200 lp/mm at f/8.
Originally Posted by ChrisW
The bigger the picture, the better the lens, and the nicer the image, the more demands on the enlarger.
Beseler is really good, and part of that goodness means it's not too hard to make simple mechanical improvements ( replacing screws, fussing with the lens board fittings, and so on ) to make it as good an enlarger as possible. Without it, there is a little play in the lensboard that won't go away withour shimming. Tying the enlarger column to the wall or rafters is essential, and a tunable enlarging table is a gotta.
With a Beseler, make sure the focus rack is snug but secure with no backlash. Do you have the model with the motor rise ? That's good, because spinning the flywheel is your fine focus.
Have fun. Making big prints from 120 ... and 35mm ... is more than doable, it's beautiful and easy. Someday, you might trash the beseler for a Durst.... but in the meantime, make a bunch of cool pictures and have fun.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"