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  1. #1

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    Beseler Dichro 23dga??

    Hello everyone.

    I've searched a bunch of forums and whatnot and haven't found too much information - hopefully someone here can at least point me in the right direction.

    I'm looking to put together a darkroom in my house and have been searching for equipment for a while. I noticed the other day that one of my local photo shops has this darkroom setup available:

    Beseler Dichro 23dga, rodenstock rodagon 50 2.8 lens, 35mm neg carrier, power supply, timer, some trays, squeegee and easel for $300.

    I have tried searching for information about the specific model (23dga) but can't seem to find anything. I find all sorts of info about in the 23c. :/ Anyone have any info or references they can point me towards? I have zero problem doing the research for things, but for some reason, this particular item is eluding me.

    Lastly, can I get your thoughts on that setup? Does that $300 price sound reasonable for that list of items? All the functions work, the bellows moves (although sounds a little like either really new material or older material when it's fully collapsed or expanded); the head moves and stays put along the rails, theres a sliding tray between the lamp and neg that looks a little filthy, not exactly sure what it's there for (assuming filters, but there are color adjustment knobs i can use for that, i think?). A trusted source who works for the store wrote me privately to tell me about it, so I'm confident that it works as it should.

    I'd still need to find an 80mm lens and 6x6 neg carrier since I plan to shoot more with my hasse than my 35mm film body. So that is really hindering the price factor (adding at least another $100 to the price). Would a 6x6 negcar for a 23C fit in this one? I'm assuming it would, they appear to the same physical machine just with different components.

    I only plan on printing b/w for now, if that makes a difference. I've read a few small bits about dichro vs condenser having different results for b/w; anyone else heard/have experience with that?

    *edited to add*
    Just found out the guy can throw in a 75mm lens (dunno what brand yet though) and 6x7 carrier... which isn't a 6x6, but it can at least hold the neg, and maybe using some gaffers tape over the open areas will solve the issue until I find a proper carrier. ???

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    $300.00 sounds reasonable if everything is in decent shape.

    The DGA head may have been purchased as an accessory, or the entire package may have been purchased as part of a colour "kit" and identified as a 23DGA.

    While there are some differences between the various versions of the 23C enlargers, most of the parts and accessories are interchangeable. Certainly that is the case with negative carriers.

    Here is a related thread dealing with some of the interchangeability issues:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/3...ler-23cii.html

    IMHO the biggest concern would be the power supply. You indicate that you have one.

    In case you haven't already checked, here is a link to Beseler's website, where you can see info about current offerings:

    http://www.beselerphoto.com/

    There may be a year of manufacture on the serial number plate on the colour head or power supply.

    Matt

  3. #3
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, $300 seems way too expensive for what you are getting. These days people are practically giving away enlargers. You could probably get a newer Beseler 23CII condenser model for much less if you check craigslist.org for your city. I sold mine locally for $150 last year, but you can often get them for free if you look around.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  4. #4

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    I've used the Beseler 23 for years. It is an excellent enlarger, and the Rodenstock lens is also excellent. I got my Beseler 23CII in 1971 and got the dga head in the 80s. They are both still working fine, but I replaced the dga head with a Dichro2 head a while back because the new head was more versatile and worked a bit better. Before buying, check the movement of the filters in the head, the controls on the head, and the condition of the filters. Also check the mechanism that lifts the light to insert the negative holder - does it work and lift the head evenly. These are the weak points. $300 is a good price if everything is is good shape. This is a professional grade enlarger, built to last. It is also still supported by the manufacturer - something to bear in mind when shopping. Lens boards and negative carriers are all readily available.

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone for your input! I haven't decided on it yet, but now I have more information to process. I'll spend some time with the unit in the store, have the clerk set it up and play with the lights/controls/levers/etc. (now if i can just figure out what to do with used chemicals, find a safelight and build a print washer, i'll be set)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Hi, $300 seems way too expensive for what you are getting. These days people are practically giving away enlargers. You could probably get a newer Beseler 23CII condenser model for much less if you check craigslist.org for your city. I sold mine locally for $150 last year, but you can often get them for free if you look around.

    Jon
    Of course it would be cheaper to by a condenser model - you get what you pay for - a condenser model is bottom-line and probably not even worth $50 today, that's why they're given away.

    I've used a 23CII for years in various configurations and never needed anything else for formats up to 6x9. Color or B&W. It's been upgraded with cold light and compensating controls (designed dy Paul Horowitz).

    Paul
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  7. #7
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panastasia View Post
    ...- a condenser model is bottom-line and probably not even worth $50 today, that's why they're given away.
    Paul
    Hi, you can get great results printing black and white with the condenser 23C. I used mine for more than 10 years before I moved and had to sell it. Most of the photographs on my web site were printed using the condenser model.

    By the way, if you want a color model, here's one for $10:
    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/539254273.html

    Jon
    Last edited by Jon Shiu; 02-12-2008 at 06:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Hi, you can get great results printing black and white with the condenser 23C. I used mine for more than 10 years before I moved and had to sell it. Most of the photographs on my web site were printed using the condenser model.

    By the way, if you want a color model, here's one for $10:
    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/539254273.html

    Jon
    Jon,

    Yes, condenser enlargers produce the sharpest images with allot of contrast - ideal for negatives that need more contrast - but dust is a real problem with that type of light source. This problem is compounded when working in color due to the 3 color layers of each dust spot which are more difficult to correct. This is the reason why color heads use a less directional light source - to hide the dust spots. Cold light heads do the same thing.

    I've used a 23CII for more than 30 years and it's still in near mint condition. A good lens will cost more than the enlarger if you want great images.

    Paul
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  9. #9

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    Dga was the original blue color head for 23C. I owned one in the 70's.

    Pretty nice unit, newer ones came with some bells and whistles, but not much that was substantially different.

    The newer ones came with an improved white light (aka OH S**T) switch, but otherwise I never had any problem with the unit.

    You should be able to get the entire outfit for $150-$200 even at retail, these days. Basic 23C condenser model w/lens board and carrier are selling for $100-$150, @ retail.

    Make sure the fan, etc. on the colorhead is working properly.

    bulbs are no problem, type EJA, as I remember. If you need more info, email me.

    Roger

  10. #10

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    I just acquired a 23C with a 23dga head for about 125$ locally. The unit was in good shape, needed a little patching up but it was in decent shape. Two things that I found with mine was the halogen socket was so old that it had corroded internally and needed replacing. Its not hard to find a new socket (Sylvania TP120 should cost <5$). Second was the light housing's foam seal dried up and just turned to powder when touching it and getting what looks like dirt all over the inside of the head. A quick hit with a vacuum and canned air cleaned it out.



 

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