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  1. #11
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    The light output of my head which is in use is superb. I have printed up to 16x20 both B&W and color and the exposure times are quite reasonable. With the right chamber in the head, I can print 35, 120 and 4x5 at about the same exposure. There is about 1.5 stops difference between the 3 light chambers.

    IDK if you use interchangable light chambers in yours. One of mine is over 10 years old, and the other ditto, but bought about 2 years ago second hand. I have 4 chambers as each head came with one, and I had the other 2.

    PE

  2. #12

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    Yup you have the computerized color head and not the 45s. I like it better than the 45s as I can have consistent output but the 45s doesn't suffer the problem with the cards as you describled.

  3. #13
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    Yes, I was having one of those senior moments which caused the error.

    PE

  4. #14
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    I have the Dichro 45 S. My understanding is that the computerized versions often fail and sell for less on Ebay. The one I use is over 10 years old and works perfectly. It has a lot of light leaks that I fix with black tape. the light is very even across the print. I have used it to make 20 x 24 Cibachrome prints but now do B&W only.

    I do mostly split contrast printing and my complaints are that it is tedious to dial in maximum yellow and magenta alternately. Also. The light source is very bright with the 4x5 mixing chamber, even when I enlarge 6x7 negatives. I certainly wouldn't bother with smaller mixing chambers. I wish it had neutral density adjustment.

    I wish someone made an oversized LED lightsource with digital controls for intensity and control of Blue/Green like the CalumetZone VI for Beseler.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #15
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    I wish someone made an oversized LED lightsource with digital controls for intensity and control of Blue/Green like the CalumetZone VI for Beseler.
    I'm surprised that Calumet doesn't offer adaptors permitting people to use that head with Beseler and Omega enlargers. There are a heck of a lot more people with those enlargers than with Zone VI enlargers. Maybe if enough of us requested the adaptors, they would listen?

  6. #16
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    One of my enlargers is an old Omega D2V with a converter for the Beseler Dichro 45 head. At one time, conversions were very popular.

    PE

  7. #17
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    I have had both, and much prefer the totally mechanical 45S. The microprocessor board is the most likely to fail on the computerized version, and the original components have long since been consigned to the bin of obsolete history. There is one service agent that produces a replacement board with a more reliable processor. A search of the threads here will turn his contact info up.

    The dichro filters on each are identical, as is the mechanism for adjusting them. The only real difference is that the mechanical model approximates with a fixed division dial, whilst the computerized model purports to measure and deliver an accurate rendering of each CYM filtration value. In theory...

    The problem is that once "zeroed" the readout will often wander as one value is brought up or down in the other values. Sometimes the difference between an empty carrier, a BW negative (and ones of varying density) will cause a change in the reflected light value in the mixing chamber and skew the values again...

    The mechanical version remains "accurate", once calibrated to a known set of production or metered values, as the dichro filters themselves are very stable and fade resistant. Using dual value filtration (as opposed to single filtration) it is relatively easy to maintain a consistent exposure value while changing contrast grades. The cyan filter value can be used to great success as a neutral density filter...

    Now if you want to go computerized with your Beseler and really want the "edge", go with the Minolta 45A. This is what I have on my other 45MX chassis...
    Patrick

    something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...

  8. #18
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamStauffer View Post
    Recently my variable contrast head failed. The manufacturer no longer makes or supports this unit, so I am looking for an alternative. Since my enlarger chassis is a Beseler 45 MX II, I am inclined to go with the Beseler Dichro 45S color head and use it to expose variable contrast paper.

    My two major concerns with this light are: (1) whether it produces even light from edge to edge over the 4x5 image area, and (2) whether the light is bright enough for reasonable printing exposure times.

    Before making a purchase, I would appreciate hearing from current users with either assurances that it is good in the above areas, or alarms that I should avoid this light source.

    Thank you in advance for your comments.

    --Sam Stauffer

    I have the Computerized version, but the light chamber and controls are virtually identical with the 45S. I've been using it for variable contrast printing for many years with excellent results. I don't have the computer control cards; I use it as though it were the 45S. Since I use the split filter technique with variable contrast paper (full magenta exposure and full yellow exposure) I turn my knobs a lot, and after 20 years or so, they're beginning to get a little loose, but still opearting fine. Using Bergger, Forte, or Agfa papers, my exposures are usually in the range of 10-12 seconds (each M and Y) at f11 for a 120 neg.

    I do not have the light chambers for 35mm or 120. I print all formats using the 4X5 light chamber, and it works just fine. Exposures are slightly longer for 35 mm, but still under 30 seconds at f11. The only time I wished I had the other light chambers is when I used to print Ciba/Ilfochromes which were very slow.

    Larry

  9. #19
    Pragmatist's Avatar
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    Forgot to add... Edge to edge illumination is quite equal, due to the engineering or the light mixing boxes. The larger 4x5 will work with any smaller format, albeit more slowly than the correct size mixing chamber. There are only two others; 6x7 and 35mm. They are used in both the computerized and fully mechanical versions. The only difference is that there is a sensor plug for the computerized version that connects to the pins on top of the chamber. For the chambers, make sure that the upper bellows is fully collapsed and the opaque bottom is close to the negative stage...
    Patrick

    something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...

  10. #20
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatist View Post

    The dichro filters on each are identical, as is the mechanism for adjusting them. The only real difference is that the mechanical model approximates with a fixed division dial, whilst the computerized model purports to measure and deliver an accurate rendering of each CYM filtration value. In theory...

    The problem is that once "zeroed" the readout will often wander as one value is brought up or down in the other values. Sometimes the difference between an empty carrier, a BW negative (and ones of varying density) will cause a change in the reflected light value in the mixing chamber and skew the values again...
    This is true of my computerized head also. Even if I have the Cyan dial set all the way to 0, as soon as I turn either the M or Y dials, the Cyan readout drifts up to 7-10. However, after worrying about it initially, I discovered that it's only an apparent problem. In reality, the C dial was really at 0 despite the readout. So I learned to live with a lying colorhead and just ignore what it claims the C dial is doing. It works just fine.

    Larry

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