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  1. #1

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    Print times for Beseler Dichro 45s?

    I just got my first enlarger. A Beseler Dichro 45s. It has a 4x5 mixing chamber. I'm printing 5x7 from Tri-x negs developed in xtol. The negs are good but print times are around 90 secs. This seems excessively long to me. I only used one other enlarger and the prints time were around 15 seconds. I don't have an instruction manual so not sure what setting I should use and what times to expect. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    ann
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    THE times seem a bit long, but it has been my experience with a lot of diffusion enlargers including yours that the times are much longer than a condensor head.

    If the print is acceptable, i tell my students don't worry about the time
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

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    That is very long, depending on what aperture you have the lens set at. I've got the opposite problem, with a 35mm mixing box onto a 5x7, times were around 5 sec at f11. I put in the 4x5 mixer box and now have workable 15 sec times.

    You may have an old bulb that is turning black, or a much lower wattage bulb than normal. My 4x5 durst runs a 250 watt bulb normally. Are all your filters set at zero, and waht aperture setting are you using?
    Bob

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegardjde View Post
    I don't have an instruction manual so not sure what setting I should use and what times to expect.
    The quickest printing times will be obtained when the mixing chamber matches the film format size, the bulb wattage is the maximum recommended, and the Magenta and Yellow controls are all on "0" and the lens is wide open. Most people will stop the lens down 2 to 4 stops and not worry about the resulting time.

    Things that affect printing time:
    Paper brand
    Lens F-stop
    Mixing chamber size
    Light wattage
    Enlargement size
    Filtration M and Y

    Things that do NOT affect printing time:
    Cyan filtration
    Lens focal length
    Dust specs on lens and filters

  5. #5

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    I've been using a 90mm lens at f11 with yellow around 10-25 and magenta around 70 with cyan at 0. Maybe I'll reset everything to zero and see how it works. I'm using Ilford multigrade fiber. I believe the bulb is 250 watt, at least from what I've read online.

    My pops told me to focus wide open and then to close down two stops for printing. Is his advice correct? What is the difference between printing wide open at 5.6 and closing down to f11.

    I'm not the most patient person in the world so 90 to 120 secs per print for 5x7 makes the process a bit tedious.

    thanks for the help.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegardjde View Post

    My pops told me to focus wide open and then to close down two stops for printing. Is his advice correct? What is the difference between printing wide open at 5.6 and closing down to f11.
    They make it f5.6 so that it is easier to focus, but otherwise you'd use it around f11 when printing. Sharpness tends to start falling off as soon as you close down, but there are significant gains in edge resolution, evenness of illumination and contrast.

    The combinations of Yellow and Magenta add neutral density so each combination prints the same exposure, however, the printing times should not be much different from those required for the separate Ilford filters.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegardjde View Post
    I believe the bulb is 250 watt, at least from what I've read online.
    Check that the bulb installed is the correct one, and that it doesn't show any damage.

    Caution - these bulbs are fragile, and if you get fingerprints or other moisture or grease on them, you will shorten their life.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8

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    A few more things.

    I'm printing 35mm negs (in this instance). The mixing chamber is 4x5. Lens is 5.6, stopped down to f11. Print size is 5x7.

    Negs are in good shape. Not overexposed or overdeveloped. Have good contrast.

  9. #9

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    To make a 5” x 7” print from a 35mm negative likely requires a 5.5” wide projection for a magnification of 5.87X.

    With a 90 mm lens you’d need about 540mm from negative to print.

    A 50 mm lens requires 402mm.

    The light loss in stops due to using the 90mm lens rather than a 50mm lens is 0.85 stops due to the longer projection distance from the illuminated negative to the print.

    Using an overly large mixing chamber can also increase printing time.

    The combination of the overly long lens and too large mixing chamber are likely the causes of your problem.

    There’s probably nothing wrong with the enlarger, its light source, or lamp.

  10. #10

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    Thanks everyone for helping me out.

    I got all excited about getting another mixing chamber for 35mm and MF. Went online, found a used one at b&h for $125. Perfect. Turns out it is for a condenser, not diffuser. I called Besseler and was told that the 4x5 is the only chamber they make for the Dichro 45s.

    Bummer.

    Looks like I'm going to have some long printing times for a while.

    I talked to my pops -- he is my available expert with 40 years of experience -- and mentioned about maybe using a 50mm lens. He said he has never used one and that some people have problems with foreshortening.

    Should I stick with the 90 or get a 50 and see how it goes. I'd prefer shorter print times. I'm just a relative novice at the darkroom printing part of this. If I'm lucky, I need three test strips to get in the ballpark and then maybe two or three print tries. That works out to about 20 to 30 minutes to get a decent print.

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