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  1. #21
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer View Post
    Dear Brian;
    I believe you'll love the VXL. I bought mine when they first came out and I use it with both heads but recently I've settled on the 45S as my standard. It is a massive machine but I use it on top of a large, old, govt. issue, steel office desk and with 8ft ceilings, have no problem going to 24x30 on the baseboard. My enlarger came from Beseler in perfect alignment and when I checked it last week it still is and that's well over a decade of constant use. You will never wear it out.
    Denise Libby
    What is a 45S? I am not familiar with that one.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcd View Post
    "The lower half of the negative stage doesn't move when you open up to insert negative carrier. This result is less play and better alignment."

    This is the same for the V-XL—the stage that holds the negative carrier is stationary. I really like mine (I used to have a 45M.)
    That makes sense. I was beginning to wonder why Beseler did not continue to use the stationary design. They did, I just never came across a VXL. Thanks for the info.

    I have been satisfied with the basic 45M's, and its only in this new era of low priced used darkroom equipment that I decided to upgrade in some areas.
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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    What is a 45S? I am not familiar with that one.
    It's the newer version of the Computerized Color Head... where they got rid of the computer, and with it all the gremlins that crept up as the things aged! It's the same basic head but the dials on the front simply gear-drive the indicators and the filters. There isn't the whole "feedback loop to keep colors consistent even as the bulb ages" thing, but then again you can be pretty sure that when you turn it on it will actually work! About the only thing to go wrong on it is the bulb.

    Duncan

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    It's the newer version of the Computerized Color Head... where they got rid of the computer, and with it all the gremlins that crept up as the things aged! It's the same basic head but the dials on the front simply gear-drive the indicators and the filters. There isn't the whole "feedback loop to keep colors consistent even as the bulb ages" thing, but then again you can be pretty sure that when you turn it on it will actually work! About the only thing to go wrong on it is the bulb.

    Duncan
    Got it, was not thinking of the Beseler Color Heads.
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  5. #25

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    Bought my 45S-VXL for 200 bucks on ebay with the MODULE that actually works. Best Enlarger I ever worked with, not to say there aren't better. If I had to replace it though would go with a Durst. Only to see if it is truly better. New to the Forum and look forward to discussions. Am currently on another forum that is for LF but seems many discussions deal with topics that are Taboo here, and for which I am not interested.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    It's the newer version of the Computerized Color Head... where they got rid of the computer, and with it all the gremlins that crept up as the things aged! It's the same basic head but the dials on the front simply gear-drive the indicators and the filters. There isn't the whole "feedback loop to keep colors consistent even as the bulb ages" thing, but then again you can be pretty sure that when you turn it on it will actually work! About the only thing to go wrong on it is the bulb.

    Duncan
    They made the 45s before the computerized color head. Beseler continued to sell both versions for a long time. They since discontinued the computerized version.

  7. #27

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    Go for it

    I have a 45-VXL I got off ebay for $250, and it arrived in great shape, amazingly. It has the motors for focus and height. It's a great enlarger, really pretty excellent overall. I've used the 45M-series extensively in the past and the VXL is defintiely better. Agreed, alignment can be fiddly but if you are patient it's not bad, really. I use it with an arista cold light head for B&W and a Minolta/Beseler 45A head for color (which I think is the best of the beseler color heads, easily. And they are dirt cheap these days, on ebay. ). Overall, I think it's the best choice in 4x5 enlargers that are reasonably available, reasonably priced, and with good parts and accessories options.

  8. #28

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    Hi Brian,
    Any interest in the Bessler D5-XL Enlarger? I have an entire Color/ B/W darkroom for sale. My items are in pristine condition.
    Timer, negative carriers 2 1/4" and 35mm, 80mm lens, micro-sight grain focuser, super chromega dichroic II head, enlarger base, plus much more. Can do murals. It is an amazing darkroom. I'm in NYC.

    I'm hoping to find my darkroom a good home.

    Thanks,
    Jan

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I think it's time to upgrade the enlarger that first got me through the entry in the darkroom years ago, a very old Beleser 45. It's a great piece of equipment, but has a drawbacks that seem to get more annoying the more experienced I get. There's supporting rods on the chassis that run down to the baseboard which get in the way when dodging and burning. Its a pain to align, I've only tried it once. When I have the head up high it's bot super sturdy. And I'd like to have more height available as I'd like to eventually get into printing 16x20.

    I've checked out all the Besler enlargers and the 45V-XL seems to be the big daddy of enlargers. This is ideal as I have the 45s dichro head which I would plan on using with it and also Beseler lens boards for my lenses. I also like that you can mount it directly to the wall... excellent!

    My main question is, would I be nuts to buy this new? For the chassis only I don't think it's outrageously priced, especially for the most important piece of equipment in the darkroom. I've been looking on ebay for months and they never come up.

    What are your suggestions and opinions?
    You might wish to check out a Besler CB7. Steady as a rock, holds alignment well, has motorized focusing, and comes on an adjustable table. You can remove the 4x5 head and install an 8x10 if you wish. Try it, you'll like it.

  10. #30
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    good CB-7s are around

    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    All the Beselers are good enough. But the CB-7 is really old precursor to the 45MXT so getting one in good shape might be hard.
    Not so for me. The local arts center gets a few good donations a year and has no room for most items.

    Enlargers are coming up in house & lab sales frequently now. Often, they are lightly used.

    The CB-7 is a remarkable machine for heavy production in all formats up to 4x5. It can be had for low three-figures, and would be a good item for your list of possibilities (if you have the room and someone to help you carry it).

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