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  1. #1

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    Beseler 23cII: rigid enough?

    Bear with me, folks, as I agonize over an enlarger purchase. Thought I wanted a Durst M670. Got interested in the Meopta Magnifax 4, but I'd have to order from overseas. Still, the Magnifax has some really unique features (see http://www.meopta.co.uk/magnifax4.html).

    Locally, there is a mint (actually usused) Beseler 23CII (or maybe CIII) for $400.00. I have no experience with Beseler enlargers. It has a very tall column, which is nice, but seemed a little shaky when the head was cranked up high on the column. Rigidity is high on my list.

    Any comments?
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  2. #2
    jovo's Avatar
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    I've been using a 23CIII for about six years now and have nothing but the highest regard for it. Rigidity is simply not an issue if the enlarger has been assembled properly. My only complaint is that Beseler is rather stingy with even the smallest parts (one of my not so cheap lens boards has only one retaining screw in it although it should have three....stingy, no?). I did spend some time tweaking the focusing mechanism and made it work a lot more smoothly than it had been, but that's not difficult and instructions are available in the manual. BTW, my version is the variable contrast head. I'm sure many will tout their favorite other enlargers, but if it's in good shape, I'm confident you'll be happy with the Beseler if you choose to buy it. Good luck!
    John Voss

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  3. #3
    ann
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    We have several at the lab and they are fine. However, 400 seems a bit high for a 23C, even a III. There have been 45's available in our area for that price including a negative carrier and lens.

  4. #4
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Hey Doug!

    I have a Beseler 23C II and I love it. I actually bought it on ebay with a ton of stuff (focuser, trays, lenses, etc.) for about a third of what you stated there. Granted, mine was used, but it was not abused! I was able to find a manual for it online (free) and it has served me well.

    I think if you have to crank the head up really high for any enlarger, you'd want to anchor it to a wall or something. But I've not had a problem with mine. The enlarger head can tip 90deg. to project to a wall if you are enlarging to poster size.

    I definitely agree with Ann that you should look about for a better price.
    Jeanette
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  5. #5

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    Would agree with Ann on this, I have both a 23cII and a 45 and I would go with the 45, both of mine are stable though. The 45 is just so much nicer to work with and seems to focus just a little finer than the 23c. Picked both up from online auction, but the 45 was less and in better condition.
    Mike C

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  6. #6

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    I use an older (blue) 23CII in my darkroom. It's not an XL version, so the columns are not as tall. Even though mine was made before I was born, it's still rock solid after all these years.

    Reference some ended eBay auctions for more realistic prices. I think that $400 is too high for the condenser model.

  7. #7

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    Thanks to all for the replies. As far as $400.00 being high: a new one is $750.00-ish, plus shipping. This enlarger is new. It's boxed, came from an estate sale, and appears never to have been used. Includes 3 neg carriers and a 50mm lens.

    Besides, it's for sale at our local mom-and-pop photo store, a thoroughly excellent place run by friendly, knowledgable people. They get my photo dollars whenever possible. I may try to talk them down some, or get them to throw in some film or paper or such.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  8. #8
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    Doug, if you get a chance, find out how tall the collum is. I just for a 23C II XL in the mail the other day, and can measure mine against yours if you'd like to confirm if it is the XL version.
    hi!

  9. #9

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    Errrrr........ Actually, ya'll might be right. I hadn't check prices on Ebay. They sell pretty darn cheap.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  10. #10

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    Brian,

    I'll measure it and PM you. I can't imagine that it's not the XL version; the thing must be 4' tall.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

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