Bes-Align with 40mm lens?
I have a Beseler 23C enlarger.
I got a new lens for the enlarger. My old Componon 50mm (Not Componon-S. Just plain Componon) just isn't up to snuff anymore. It's got a bit of dust and fungus inside. Besides, as good as it was in its day, we have better lenses today.
I recently bought an EL-Nikkor 40mm lens. It's really nice but the problem is that it's a 39 mm. mount. All my lens boards are 1 in. mounts. I'll need to get a new lens board for it.
I have been looking around for lens boards. I was just about to order one when I discovered the "Bes-Align" lens board.
They look really neat. I've done some reading. It seems like the thing to have. I would like to get one if it will work with my 40 mm. lens.
As it is, the 50 mm lens has to be adjusted pretty close to the top of its travel to get into focus. The 40 mm will have to be even closer. Won't it? I'd say 10 mm closer. Right?
(Okay, I know that the true focal length of the lens might be some odd number like 41.5 mm but that's of little consequence to my question.)
If I get the Bes-Align, I'll be moving the lens even farther away from the film plane. Correct?
If so, I am assuming that I would have to rack my focus a little higher to compensate. Am I right, so far?
Thus, if that's true, I stand a chance of running out of travel on the lens carriage and I could end up in a situation where I won't be able to focus the image. Don't I?
The Bes-Align looks like a really good idea and it might solve some problems I have been having getting the enlarger into alignment but I'm not ready to drop $35 to $40 to buy something I won't be able to use.
What do you think?
I think you might be right, however, you can ask them, via email, and if they say it will work, and it won't, will have no problems returning. On the other hand, you can probably pick up a used lens board a lot cheaper.
The same lens board fits the 45 series as well so there is a lot of them out there.
I know a guy who is a machinist. I was planning on asking him if he could make me a flat lens board for cost of materials plus a six-pack of beer but I saw the Bes-Align first and I wanted to check it out before I went ahead and called my friend.
What is a lens board but a 4 in. sq. piece of metal, 1/8 in thick with a hole drilled in the center. Right?
I don't need the light pipe because the EL-Nikkor is self illuminating. It's got a built-in light pipe to light up the numbers on the scale.
I suppose, while I'm at it, I could have my friend make a Bes-Align clone. What is it? Two pieces of metal, three screws and some foam rubber?
If a Bes-Align isn't going to work or even if it's going to be a close call, I think I'll just eBay myself up a standard lens board.
I've got what appears to be a really nice lens to make some tasty pictures with. I just thought the Bes-Align would make it even nicer but no sense in fussing around with it. I'd rather be making pictures.
I have a worse issue for you. The 40 is wide angle enlarging lens design designed to give a larger print without the head being so high. Typically they do not work well with condenser enlargers for reasons I do not understand. Mine do not work with any condenser machines without fall off & vignetting, yet they seem to be fine on a diffusion machine.
I have many of each type to experiment with.
All your assumptions in the original post are correct. The usual solution is a recessed lens board.
That's funny... I thought just the opposite.
A shorter lens, projecting a larger image at a given throw, would have a larger field of view thus having LESS problems with vignetting or falloff... or do I have it wrong?
FYI: I will be using this lens for 35mm. I have another lens for 6 cm. (2-1/4 in.) 120 format negatives. Hope to replace that one, some day if finances permit.
I have a somewhat low ceiling in my darkroom. I can't get the enlarger all the way up to the top of the track without bumping the ceiling. The short, 40 mm. lens is supposed to help with that. IF everything pans out, I hope to be able to make some nice 11x14 or 16x20 prints with it.
I WILL watch out for the problems you mention. I still have the 50 mm. I can still use it. It's just showing its age.
If the 40 mm. doesn't work I can eBay it, I guess, and use the $$ to get another.
I think I'm going to stick with the flat lens board. If I can find a recessed one at a good price I'll consider it.
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