Considering a Beseler 45mxt
I have the opportunity to purchase a Beseler 45mxt enlarger. It has never been used, according to the seller - it is still in its packaging.
I used to have one of the older Beseler 45's, the blue one. I still have a number of components of that enlarger, including a 45S color head, negative carriers, and lenses (50mm, 80mm, and 135mm). I gave away the old chassis several years ago when I had to dismantle my old darkroom. I'm hoping to be able to use these components in whatever enlarger chassis I purchase.
I believe the enlarger under consideration has a condenser light source, and it apparently has one lens (a 50mm fujinon, according to the seller - I have not seen the unit yet to inspect it closely. But if it is that lens, it is better than the old 50mm lens I have in my drawer. I never did much enlarging with 35mm - I work with 6x6 and 4x5 mostly, but it's handy to be able to work with my 35mm stuff too.)
The seller is asking $500. My question is: is this a good deal in the current market? Is there anything I need to know about the 45mxt (nasty surprises, etc.)
I'm an Omega D2V man myself, but the 45MXT seems to have a good reputation. Plus, I believe there is an 8x10 conversion kit available for it, should that be of interest at some point. I would think your left over components would fit, but I'll let someone with actual experience with the line answer that question for you.
Oops, forgot to mention:
I think he's a bit high on the price - like $100 or so high. But, if it's really unused, that may be of some extra value.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
the components from your old 45 should fit. the newer version. 500 seems a bit high, with only one lens, but as it is new that may be important to you. Also, things may be going cheaper in some areas, but shipping comes into play as well.
I have 2 45's and have had no problems,and we have several in our gang lab which are very sturdy.
I have two 45Ms. Different vintages, but both are fine. I have an 810 head on one and a condenser on the other. I think I paid $225 for the first one 20 years ago. It was a beater in some guy's backyard. It was a little dirty, but after some cleaning it is fine and works great. The other one I got as a trade and I don't remember what that was. It was basically new and it works fine, but the motor stinks. I hear this is common. All that said, I think $500 is high. A new one is no better than a used one and those should be much less than $500.
No, its a horrible deal.. Can I get the seller's phone #?
Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.
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Unless you really need one of these right away I would suggest waiting a bit, people are literally giving 4x5's away nowadays (I got my omega d-II free from a post on a bulletin board and saw a posting on another site mentioning giving away a beseler 4x5 to anyone in the persons area, as well as someone giving away a D2v) If not given away freely, I am pretty sure you could find a decent used one for around $300 in very good condition, I dont know how the 45mxt compares to my d-II but I would think its not worth paying $500 for a new one when used ones can be found in great condition for much cheaper..... Though time is money, If I had to choose between waiting months and saving $200 or getting something easy and likely brand new I would go with the brand new one most likely!
Good luck !
"Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."
Well if it is any gauge, I just purchased a Besler 45MCRX enlarger, 4 lenses 7 neg holders and a Zone VI cold light head as well as the standard Condenser head for $200.00, the Zone VI has never been mounted and the enlarger is in brand new condition, I also have the opportunity to pick up the factory 8 x 10 converstion for it for $300.00.
I think $500.00 in this day and age is a bit high for this particular set up.
I own a Beseler MXT
I own and have retired a Beseler MXT. It is to me a very unsatisfactory enlarger. O have been frustrated with alignment problems and I would not wish one of these dogs on anybody. Mine also has the adjustable lenboards. I am sure that there are many users who differ with my opinion.
I have obtained a used Durst s45. It is over 30 years old. I personally know of it being moved 4 times, Its aligment is a good as the day it left the factory I woulkd guess. I am totally satisfied with this piece of equipment.
I would reccommend that if you wish to use Beseler that you check out the VX. I do not have any personal experience with the Vx but it does offer better alignment capabilities.
Thanks for all the feedback. Here is what finally happened:
I visited the warehouse where the person was storing this enlarger. Turns out he is a freight forwarder, and knows nothing about enlargers.
I took one look and realized it wasn't new. It was a chassis with good bellows and a nice Fujinon 135mm enlarging lens in a lens board, mounted. It did not have a light source.
I told the guy that there was no way anyone would ever pay $500 for it.
In the end, because it appeared that the chassis was in decent shape, and the lens was in great shape, I paid him $100.
As it is I'm sure I still paid too much. Probably worth $50, if anything. But even with its warts, it saves me from continuing to search, and I have everything I need now. My Beseler 45S fits on it nicely, I have my negative carriers and all the lenses I need.
I figure I could sell the Fujinon and get back some of the money. Or I could sell my current Rodenstock 150mm lens. Depends on which one I end up liking better for my 4x5 work. I'll try them both then probably sell one if I want to get some of this money back.
If I get frustrated with the alignment issues, I won't feel like I've sacrificed too much. I won't feel tons of guilt if this one ends up at the dump after I strip it of its useful (sellable) parts.
Thanks for the input!
Well, after tightening up some of the bracing screws that were inexplicably loose, I did a quick coarse alignment check, and it seems to have survived its travels well (including being slid sideways into the back of my SUV).
A projected square remains truly square and in focus to all corners from small to large projections.
I think this will turn out to be a decent chassis, and the lens projects sharp and clear. I guess I can't complain.