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  1. #1

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    My Beseler 23CII showed up. Questions:

    Well it finally arrived. It had a few extras with it that I didn't expect. I also ended up with a couple extra parts and have no idea where they go!

    It arrived disassembled and in three boxes. I was able to assemble it using photos of others as well as the Beseler instruction manual I found in PDF form on the internet but ended up with two triangular pieces of metal along with the six screws for them and cannot figure out where they go. Here is a small photo of them:



    Does anyone have any clue what those could be or where they'd go? Other than those mystery parts, it seems to work fine. The front of the Dual Dichro head has three lights.. one says "White Light" one says "Diff." and one says "Cond". On mine, the one that says "Diff." is always on and I cannot find a way to change that. The other two never come on or change. It just seems odd to me.

    It actually came with two lenses. One is a 75mm Beseler and one is the 50mm f/2.8 EL-Nikkor. I was extremely excited to see that until I looked through the lenses and saw massive amounts of fungus in the Nikkor and a moderate amount in the Beseler. Good thing enlarger lenses are cheap. It also came with a grain focuser that broke in shipping, a very nice timer, 35mm film carrier, and what appears to be a gigantic lens of some sort.. about 6" in diameter. Keep in mind I've never even touched an enlarger before so I don't know what spare part this is. I'm assuming it's "that part" that sits under the head and above the negative carrier area.... but I don't know what it's called or why I have an extra.

    Anyway, here's what I ordered last night:

    -Ilford Multigrade IV 8x10 RC Pearl paper (100 sheets)
    -couple packages of Kodak Dektol
    -Photog. Formulary TF-4 Fixer (low odor)
    -safelight
    -load of new bottles
    -extra thermometer
    -couple sets of tongs
    -developing trays
    -some extra Kodak Xtol and Hypo Clearing Agent for my film work

    I ended up paying twice as much for the above items as I paid for the enlarger and accessories itself. Now I just need to read a beginner's guide to working with an enlarger. I don't know how to judge exposure and then how to judge development for paper. No clue. Not a clue where to start. I guess it's reading time.


    (to say I'm working with limited space is an understatement)

  2. #2
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Hey Natron!

    First, congrats on the new (to you) enlarger. Here's a couple answers for you. The 'big lens' is actually a condenser lens. My Beseler (which is strictly a condenser head enlarger) has two of them. They sit "round side up" and "round side down" ...sorta looks like a flying saucer. It sounds like you can switch between using this machine as a diffuser type enlarger and a condenser type enlarger. I have no idea how to do that... the manual or a call to Beseler could help with that.

    Those brackets look like they might have gone under the enlarger board...check for pre-existing holes.

    The other bit of info I have for you is to get some lysol wipes and clean the whole thing down inside & out. Since you have some fungus in the lenses, you might want to take them to a camera shop & see if they have a source who could clean them up, or give you a clue about it.

    Hope this helps! Once everything gets 'squared away' you will have a great time with this!

    Oh... one more piece of advice... If there is any way possible, try to get your enlarger off the floor. The dust that lives in carpeting will plague you like locusts!
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  3. #3

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    Good enlarger lenses aren't that cheap (unless they come preinstalled with fungus!). Why take potographs with $300 camera lenses & then enlarge them with a $25 lens?

  4. #4
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Those brackets go in the two upper corners of the column, on the front. They add rigidity. I notice that they are not in place in your photo of the complete enlarger.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  5. #5

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    Good Morning, Natron,

    Could the triangular items be intended as reinforcement for the upper corners of the enlarger frame? Somewhere in the vague recesses of my memory, I seem to see a picture of a 23C with such reinforcing/strengthening corners in place.

    ElrodCod has a good point about using only top-quality enlarging lenses. The El-Nikkor you have is one of those; it's most unfortunate that yours has the fungus problem. Unless the market has taken a major turn in recent weeks, however, you should be able to buy a 2.8 50mm El-Nikkor for a very reasonable price on E-Bay. It's been a buyer's market there for darkroom equipment for some time now.

    Konical

  6. #6

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    Gongrats, Flotsam,

    You're a bit faster than I!

    Konical

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natron
    ...two triangular pieces of metal along with the six screws for them and cannot figure out where they go.
    If I'm not mistaken, those are corner braces for the frame and go at the top corners. Not sure if they go on the front or back, it's been a long time since I had a 23. Look for holes.
    My Verito page

    Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies guys. What I meant by "enlarger lenses are cheap" is that you don't need to spend $300+ on one like you may need to for the cameras themselves. I've seen EL-Nikkors in great shape sell used for $15-$30 which I consider very, very cheap.

    The rear element screws out of the back of the EL-Nikkor so I took that apart and was at least able to carefully clean off the two surfaces of the rear element last night. Sadly, the inside of the front element is by far the worst and I cannot find a way to get that apart so I'll just find a 'new' one.

  9. #9
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Hey Natron,
    This is how the brackets fit, in case you're still wondering:
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power
    Hey Natron,
    This is how the brackets fit, in case you're still wondering:
    Thanks! I appreciate the help, everyone.

    One question I still had left was about the three lights on the front of the head. I'm wondering why the "Diff." light is the only one that lights up and the other two stay dead (you can see them in the above photo on the right side of the head next to the "BESELER" text). Any ideas?

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