using beseler 23c with 4 blades easel
I've been reading on Apug for a while, and thought somebody might be able to answer my problem.
I have a beseler 23c that I would like to use as my second enlarger. The problem is, if I use my 20x24 Saunders 4 blades easel, and try to print on a paper inserted in its dedicated slot on the easel, the projection from the enlarger is not centered to the paper. That means about 2 inches of the top of the image is not on the paper. I can't push back the easel as it is already against the frame of the enlarger.
This is not an alignment problem, but more I think because the head of the enlarger is too close to the frame holding it. I would be curious to hear from people who print using those tools, and know how they solve the problem.
Thanks, and merry Christmas to all.
Nathalie- I don't think the 23C is designed for 20x24 maximum print size, so they didn't anticipate the need for clearance for a 20x24 easel. Your best bet would be to find another, smaller easel. Or, a 23C-XL, which (I believe) would have the clearance for your easel. Are you trying to print 20x24's?
You might be able to work with it placing the paper in one of the other slots, and use some masking tape, or similar to set the paper's left and right position, if necessary. But, as stated, that's a very large easel for that enlarger. Unless you're planning to do large prints routinely (in which case you'll need a bigger enlarger anyway), you might be happer with a smaller easel for day to day use.
You coud wall mount the enlarger and remove the baseboard which will give you more room, but a smaller easel would be more a more practical solution, most likely.
Thanks everybody for your help.
I often print 16x20 and don't want to buy another easel. I already have a 4x5 enlarger, but wanted to use a second enlarger with the same set up and tools. Anyway, meanwhile, my genius husband solved the problem by replacing the bracket that holds the enlarger head to its frame. He used a sturdy piece of aluminum that he found at the local hardware store and bent it the same way as the original bracket, but made it several inches deeper. The head sits now more forward, and projects further than the middle of my big easel. He also replaced the screw used to control the forward tilt of the head, by a very long one. I was worry about the stability of the whole thing, but it is actually perfect. The enlarger is also bolted to my counter. It is all very sturdy, and after re-alignment, works perfectly. My two enlargers sit now side by side, and I just have to slide the easel from one to the other. So convenient!
So if somebody else wants to use a big easel with a 23C, that's the way to go!!!
Thanks bdial, jordanstarr, and eddie for your help.
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Can you turn the easel around the other way? By the time you put the picture into a frame and hang it on the wall, nobody will be able to tell that it was upside down.
If I remember correctly, my Beseler 23C II XL was designed to print a maximum size of 16x20 on the baseboard.
"She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.
It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."
From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars
I have a Beseler 23C II XL and this is how I worked around the problem of the larger easel (mine is 16x20, but I bet it will work for 20x24, too).
1. Use the back of a scrap print to mark the left and top borders to the width you desire; for example, 1".
2. Using the largest paper slot on the easel (top slot), reference your scrap print to the left most position with your border marks in the upper left.
3. Set the left and top blades to your border marks.
4. Reposition the scrap print so the marks are now at the bottom right while still referenced against the left most position in the same paper slot.
5. Set your right and bottom blades.
6. Under the safe light, position the easel and focus your image. Adjust the one blade, if needed.
Using the top slot should give you room to move the easel into the path of the projected image. You will have to be careful that the easel still fits flat on the baseboard, which isn't very wide. If needed, you can always prop up that portion of the easel that hangs over the side of the baseboard.
The fix is in!
What? You only have one easel? Easily solved.
FYI, not all 4x5 enlargers will do 20x24. Using 35mm as a reference, because the short dimension is a convenient 1 inch.
The Omega D5 will only do up to 17.7x (covers 16x20). You would need to get the XL chassis, with the longer girder to get to 24x (covers 20x24).
The Durst L1000 will do 19x (not quite 20x24)
Or bolt the enlarger column to a bench/table with an adjustable height baseboard.