Quote Originally Posted by frotog View Post
The weight of the head on this enlarger is borne by the chassis, which is extremely rigid, not the lens stage as you have surmised.
The lens stage is fine, it is the negative stage that is flexing under the load of the color head, I can actually see it. It's not much but it is enough to make it hard to pin down when aligning baseboard to neg stage then baseboard to lens stage depending on enlarger height which could indeed mean that one or both of the support struts for the chassis is off. Last night I did a truly marathon printing session that went from 5PM to 9AM this morning, non-stop. I took my time in checking alignment in every way imaginable and did prints as large as 20x24 and they all came out fine, so there really is no rhyme or reason let alone consistency here...

That said, the LPL is on it's way and will replace the 45MX as my main machine by the end of next week. In regards to ease of use when doing things like multiple grades on a single sheet, the VCCE head will be a nice step up from the 45S head in terms of ease of selecting filtration on more complex prints. Not to mention I can use my 150 Apo instead of my regular 135 Rodagon when doing 20x24's from 4x5 negs.

I still think a well tuned and setup 45M series is a great value enlarger and I will not only keep mine but likely get a second one to pair up for workshop participants. But for my needs and considering what I have invested in everything else in my workflow, it makes a lot of sense to upgrade my primary enlarger for the long run....