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Setting up a darkroom (not my first but...)

  1. IdahoPhotoist
    I recently bought an old Bessler 45MCR enlarger when I went to pick it up the old gentleman had neatly semi dismantled it. I think I have it together from memory but it has been 40 years or so since working with one. It has an arm on the back with a hook affair on it and I am not sure how it applies. Has anyone got a manual? or photos of how it should look? This darkroom is being built for me by me to do what I want. Also it probably needs alignment, think a manual would address that too, Thanks
  2. Rocky
    I could email you a pdf file which is an alignment manual for a beseler 45, close enough to be of use I am sure.
  3. Lyle Wallin
    Lyle Wallin
    I am slowly building dark room space, not spacious, and shared with my radio gear, but dedicated space nonetheless. I’ve no darkroom experience since a single class in my university years…and, as I’m shuffling thru my seventh decade, you may judge that was some time ago.
    I just cannot get acceptable scans, from the modestly priced scanner I have, without printing. So, I need to print my 8x11mm and 16mm work and would like to accomplish that with as little gear as possible; maybe one smallish enlarger and one lens? My 6x6 negatives scan just fine, but I’m going to need to make prints of my sub-miniature work, especially 8x11, for scanning. (Am I violating an APUG no-digital clause here?)
    Bear in mind that my photography is pure amusement, so this setup, like the photographs themselves, need only please me. Additionally there’s a limited budget for this gear and an even more limited space budget.
    I’d be inclined toward a Minox enlarger, especially if there were a known path for using it with 110/16mm negatives.
    Or maybe I’m heading off completely the wrong direction? I welcome any and all advice.
  4. salan
    Hi All,
    Just joined this group. There doen't seem to be a lot of activity, but hopefully that will pick up.
    I had a darkroom and lost it to family pressures. I bitterly regret getting rid of my enlarger now but hey ho such is life.
    So now I want to do wet prints again with 'no room' lol.
    Any suggestions ?
    I do not want to do colour so I will look around for a basic enlarger and will have to see about modifying the bathroom for use.
  5. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Lyle Wallin;

    An interesting side comment from you caught my attention; "and shared with my radio gear." If this means what I think that it does, I can tell you that you are not alone. You have people around who truly understand. This observation is from N7KGA.

    Regarding scanning a negative or a print, it is not possible for APUG to totally ban even a reference to digital scanning, while at the same time promoting the sharing of our photographs in the Gallery. This is a digital communications mode we are using over the Internet. The only way we can get our photographs posted here for others to see is by converting them into a digital format. Most of my files of that type are in a JPEG format.

    Small negatives and subminiature work. Yup, a challenge. I can do 35mm along with 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 easily. I can only contact print 4 inch by 5 inch right now. My 16mm stuff I have tried to do with a 50mm enlarging lens intended for 35mm film, but getting it close enough to the negative for reasonable work is a challenge also. One of the work-arounds I have considered was getting a Minox enlarger and adapting the lens system from it, but there was the point of the expense for getting anything intended for Minox. It is almost as bad as for accessories for the Tessina. By some stroke of luck, there is a 25mm "ENLA" device on the way to me with an expected arrival some time in the next week in March. That should help with properly focusing on the 16mm negatives. Still, there is still a way to adapt -- not modify -- the Minox enlarger lens for use on a 35mm enlarger or something similar. Again, this is without making any modifications to the Minox enlarger lens assembly, so it can be reinstalled and used again in the Minox enlarger.

    Regarding my own digital negative and print scanning equipment, I do have an old Minolta Scan Dual for 35mm, but not a good computer program for recognizing the files from the Minolta. I do have a complete Kodak Advantix scanning system for use with processed 35mm APS cartridges. For the 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 negatives, the intent is to save up for a Nikon CoolScan 9000ED and accessory MF negative holder. I have not found the flat bed scanners used with my prints to do an adequate job with the negatives. It does seem that doing hybrid film/digital work is not cheap.


    Latte Land, Washington
  6. IdahoPhotoist
    I have done wet lab for may years, and though I have had some nice darkrooms, I have worked in bathrooms my fair share of years as well. Now is a great time to get (back) or for the first time too, into a darkroom... people are foolishly dumping their darkrooms for digital, and you can pick up a dark for very little cash, I picked up one a year ago out of an estate, cost me a 60 mile trip, and the gear was free, but new it would have been over 10K worth of equip. and both color, and black and white, with the equipment I had already acquired, I now have a 4 station lab, with two 6x6 condenser enlargers (Omega) a 6x7 dichro Omega, and a 4x5 Bessler condenser. I am now equipped for both color and B&W tp 16x20. I have done it all on a very short shoe string budget... I just bide my time and when the opportunity avails I jump on it. I have been teaching kids who live up here in the hills, so my darkroom is a popular item... My darkroom is a 10x12 room I had used for my office, so my computers, scanners, and 44"wide epson inkjet printer had to be moved to the side. So go for it watch craigsliist, grab whole set ups. and use ebay only if you need specific gear... And if you need help, holler I for one would love to help!
  7. IdahoPhotoist
    I was looking for a manual for my old Bessler 4x5, the 'ol gentleman I bought it from had by the time I got there to pick it up, dismantled it for me I have it pretty much together, but am sure there are trick to alignment and the spring loaded counter balance seems to be out..... anyone have a manual out there I looked on the web, and came up with profiteers or nothing. Any suggestions?
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