Quote Originally Posted by frotog View Post
Regarding flexing stage.... the mxt is unusual in that bottom half of the negative stage has a spring-loaded opening to accept the carrier. Notice how when you open and close the negative stage you are not lifting the weight of the head at all. You don't have to be a mechanical engineer to plainly see that the weight of the head has zero effect on either the lens or the negative stage in this design. It's clear as day man!
I use this enlarger on a near-daily basis for work, I certainly know my way around it. I have taken all kinds of measurements with steel rulers, digital calipers, etc. The bottom line is that for some reason, with the color head on, the enlarger behaves differently and inconsistently in terms of alignment. I will have it out of the darkroom over the weekend as I swap enlargers out. Like I said before, I am not only keeping it but likely adding a second one for workshops in a year or two.

As far as the issues people have with the Saunders, it's the way it goes, some are perfect, some are not, what else is new? The thing with the 4550XLG is that aside from a L1200 with a proper VC head, it's one of the best out there, so trying to pin down a VC head because it often has one as mine will. I have been talking with John Sexton on and off for a couple months about these enlargers. It's not going to be that hard to align it, I have all the tooling, use aluminum tape for shimming for other things. The goal is to get it aligned and get to work, not keep futzing with it like the Beseler.

I need as much consistency as I can get and since putting the color head on the 45MX, I am not getting it. I'll get it figured out and it will be great for students...