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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Beseler 23C questions...dichro head, negative carriers, condenser mode

    I have a Beseler 23C enlarger with Dual Dichro colorhead. I haven't used it because I have no negative carriers for it. I'm debating making it replace my beloved Omega 6x6 condenser enlarger because it does larger formats, which isn't important right now but I want to get rid of one of the two for space reasons. But I can't try it out without spending money on negative carriers only to test it out, so I have some questions.

    First of all, I have Illford under-lens contrast filters that I now use. If you have ever used a Dichro head to print B&W, do you find it a great advantage over using gel filters? How do you arrive at filtration values for the different grades; use the paper manufacturer's suggested values?

    Is the exhaust fan in the color head noisy or cause vibration? It seems very iffy to me from a vibration standpoint, to have a fan in the enlarger head.

    Second, I guess this 23C can be set up as either a diffusion or a condenser enlarger, and that either one can be used for B&W but only diffusion can be used for color (I guess; I don't do color). In order to convert the enlarger to condenser mode, I need to install the "conic light integrator" which I have. Do I need any other parts? Is it worth converting to condenser mode if I plan on printing only B&W?

    Second, I have a 2" slide negative carrier. I could use this as a 35mm negative carrier by just stretching the film across the 2" opening. Does this sound like something that might work?
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The dichroic filters are very nice to use for contrast adjustment - flexible and convenient. The paper manufacturers' recommendations are somewhat useful, but you will find that you will soon stop thinking in terms of discrete grade numbers, and start thinking in terms of fine adjustments.

    Don't discard your under the lens filters - sometimes they are convenient when used in conjunction with the dichroic filters.

    The dichroic head itself is a diffusion light source. If you remove it and replace it with the condensor head, you will have a condensor enlarger, which you could then turn around and insert some diffusion material to make it more of a diffusion source.

    You can do colour prints with a condensor head and individual colour printing filters, but the dichroic head is much easier.

    You can make usable negative carriers from mat board - at least for the purpose of trying the enlarger out.

    I can't help with the question about the fan, because my Beseler is a different model, and the dichroic head on it doesn't have a fan.

    Matt

  3. #3
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    So there's no way to have my colorhead AND have condenser optics? Lame. I don't know why I want a condenser enlarger but that's what I have now and I like my pictures. I heard that diffusion enlargers were less sharp.
    f/22 and be there.

  4. #4
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    First, you will not get better enlargements from the Beseler compared to the Omega.
    Second:, you gain a tremendous amount of flexibility with the Beseler set up you have acquired.

    I went with dichroic color heads many years ago and have never looked back. I really like the diffusion light source compared to the semi-diffusion of the Omega so-called "condenser."
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  5. #5
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    So there's no way to have my colorhead AND have condenser optics? Lame. I don't know why I want a condenser enlarger but that's what I have now and I like my pictures. I heard that diffusion enlargers were less sharp.
    *******
    This old can of worms can be re-opened quite quickly. The old rule of thumb was that a neg which printed well with a "consenser" enlarger would print the same using one grade more contrasty paper and gave equally "sharp appearing" prints.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  6. #6
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Well now that I have the ideas about making negative carriers out of matte board, maybe I'll do that and start using the dang thing. If it will fit in my dark-closet it will do everything I can do now and more. I'll miss the paper-safe in my Omega enlarger's base, though.
    f/22 and be there.

  7. #7
    fotch's Avatar
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    "Duel dichro capability allows the use of either diffusion mode or optional condenser mode" from the Beseler web site. If I recall, this was a selling feature. I found I liked the difusion better.

    No vibration. Just a rock solid printing machine. Have fun.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #8

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    I use a 23C with a dichro head with condensors. Attach the conical light integrator to the dichro head and use the condensors. It's as simple as that. The conicallight integrator focuses the light prior to passing through the condensors.
    The fan does impart some vibration, so I turn it off when actually printing. It runs when I'm focusing. If the lamp gets too hot, a thermocouple will shut it off. To test for vibration, put a tray of water on the baseboard and watch for ripples.
    I have a 45MX that I use for b&w. I use the 23C for colour. I just like the look of prints made with the condensors rather than diffusion. Your printing times will be significantly shorter using the condensors.
    As Mat says, make your neg holders out of mat board. You may want to check out ebay for neg holders. They come up regularly for very reasonable prices. I even found one for 2x3 sheet film (smaller than 6x9 roll film negs)! You should be able to pick up used neg holders for the 23C for less than $20 each.
    The 23C is a great enlarger. Built like a tank.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  9. #9
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Well, now the colorhead doesn't seem to be lighting the main lamp. The fan spins, the lamp appears fine, and the front WHITE LIGHT and DIFF lights work, but the main lamp doesn't light. I'm positive the lamp was lighting earlier. Is there a trick to it, or do I have a bad connection somewhere?
    f/22 and be there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Well, now the colorhead doesn't seem to be lighting the main lamp. The fan spins, the lamp appears fine, and the front WHITE LIGHT and DIFF lights work, but the main lamp doesn't light. I'm positive the lamp was lighting earlier. Is there a trick to it, or do I have a bad connection somewhere?
    If the bulb pins and sockets have surface corrosion (sometimes not real obvious, either), these tend to burn out bulbs quickly. If you have more bulbs, try doing a little clean up at those spots.
    Craig Schroeder

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