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photonsoup
10-Dec-2016, 16:38
Next week i'm going to go look at a Beseler 57MB with a cold light head. I don't know if there is a negative carrier with it or if any of it even works.

What should I be looking for, testing, checking or looking out for? I had pretty much given up on a 5x7 enlarger but this one popped up on craigslist so I'll check it out.

Here's the Craigslist link (http://missoula.craigslist.org/pho/5885846657.html) with pictures (hope thats OK to put in)

blueribbontea
10-Dec-2016, 16:46
The struts come out the front beside the baseboard. I have one, and removed those struts to attach the enlarger to the wall. With the struts in place I could not use my bigger easels but with them gone I can use a 20x24. The original cold light head was not very good but I put an Aristo head on and the enlarger works very well.

Bob Salomon
10-Dec-2016, 16:52
Next week i'm going to go look at a Beseler 57MB with a cold light head. I don't know if there is a negative carrier with it or if any of it even works.

What should I be looking for, testing, checking or looking out for? I had pretty much given up on a 5x7 enlarger but this one popped up on craigslist so I'll check it out.

Here's the Craigslist link (http://missoula.craigslist.org/pho/5885846657.html) with pictures (hope thats OK to put in)

That is quite a phone number.

Willie
10-Dec-2016, 16:58
My Uncle uses one of those with 5x7 negatives and really likes it. Says the light on his is dim and he'll replace the light head with an LED setup one of these days. Other than that it is Beseler all the way. Works nice and is reliable. He wall mounted it so could do larger prints with an adjustable baseboard system he made.

After looking, are you sure this is set for 5x7? The cold light head on his is flat and a grid. Double check on the size before you commit. Not saying it isn't 5x7, just that the one I have seen and worked with has a different head setup.

Bob Salomon
10-Dec-2016, 17:14
You have several things here. Two of them are stamped into the metal "Property of the US Government". You might want to be careful with those. Then, if I remember correctly - it has been 50 odd years, the 303 bulb was tungsten, not fluorescent. And that variac wouldn't work on a cold light head.
It looks like there are 5" roll film spools in one picture so this could be an enlarger that was used for aerial photography.

xkaes
10-Dec-2016, 17:31
Boy, it looks almost exactly the same as my Beseler CB7, but the CB7 only handles 4x5 and smaller. Still, is has a condenser that has a wider diameter than the Beseler 45's. I assume that gives more even illumination or something. Why else would they do it?

Some, but not all, of my various Beseler heads are interchangeable between the two. Fortunately, my point light source head fits on both, but my 45 colorhead won't fit on the CB7. It's basically that any head designed for the CB7 will fit on the 45's, but not the other way around. I quess they called it a CB7 because the condenser has a diamter of 7", not that it handles 5x7 film. As I recall, the 45's have 6 inch condensers, but I'm not in the darkroom now, and it's been a LONG time since I measured them. I know that the slide-in filters ABOVE the condenser for the 45's are too smallfor the CB7, but several years ago I found some NEW 12 inch variable contrast ABOVE the condenser filters that I cut to size.

Does anyone happen to know the differences between the 57MB and the CB7?

jp
10-Dec-2016, 17:40
The cold head looks like a graflarger to me. Probably a separate item.

chuck461
10-Dec-2016, 17:44
I had a 5x7 Besseler enlarger in my darkroom for a while to decide if I wanted to buy it. The color of the cold light was not suitable for variable contrast paper. I'm sure someone here can explain the reason better than I can. I passed on it because of that.
The other problem was dry rot of the wiring. The jacket on the cable would crack and crumble if I bent the cable, leaving bare wire exposed. Not hard to fix if you're handy with that sort of thing.
I hope this helps.
Chuck

Bob Salomon
10-Dec-2016, 18:00
Boy, it looks almost exactly the same as my Beseler CB7, but the CB7 only handles 4x5 and smaller. Still, is has a condenser that has a wider diameter than the Beseler 45's. I assume that gives more even illumination or something. Why else would they do it?

Some, but not all, of my various Beseler heads are interchangeable between the two. Fortunately, my point light source head fits on both, but my 45 colorhead won't fit on the CB7. It's basically that any head designed for the CB7 will fit on the 45's, but not the other way around. I quess they called it a CB7 because the condenser has a diamter of 7", not that it handles 5x7 film. As I recall, the 45's have 6 inch condensers, but I'm not in the darkroom now, and it's been a LONG time since I measured them. I know that the slide-in filters ABOVE the condenser for the 45's are too smallfor the CB7, but several years ago I found some NEW 12 inch variable contrast ABOVE the condenser filters that I cut to size.

Does anyone happen to know the differences between the 57MB and the CB7?

Obviously one is a 45 and the other a 57. Besides that the CB7 has the controls on the front edge of the baseboard. No other Beseler enlarger had that feature and once the old guy in the East Orange factory died so did the CB7. He was the only one in the factory that knew how to make it and he made every one of them and never trained a replacement, or an assistant. I was Product Manager for the enlargers in 1970 or 71 and that included the CB7.

Randy Moe
10-Dec-2016, 18:00
You are looking at 2 different things. I think the chassis and neg stage is 57MB, with a CB7 condenser head dropped on it. It won't cover 5x7 as shown.

The CB7 as already stated is only for 4x5, but with a larger condenser for better 4x5 neg corner projection. It also has many more features than the shown chassis. Power focus for one.

I have 2 CB7 with 3 heads and I have a working 57MB head without the same chassis as in the third pic. I junked that chassis.

The first picture does look like the wrinkle paint on a 57MB head, but it's a sorry beast.

If you can contact the guy, go look, but be careful. CB7's are great and 57MB as originally sold are not.

xkaes
10-Dec-2016, 18:02
I had a 5x7 Besseler enlarger in my darkroom for a while to decide if I wanted to buy it. The color of the cold light was not suitable for variable contrast paper. I'm sure someone here can explain the reason better than I can. I passed on it because of that.

Chuck

I read an article about this many years ago. It was probably in DARKROOM TECHNIQUES. They compared different cold light heads with various VC papers, and not surprisingly, they got different results with each combination. In some cases the problem was significant, but in other cases it was not. I think it had to do with the combination of "color" from the cold light head, the color of the VC filter, and the spectral responsiveness of the paper. Some VC filters had little change in effect, while others worked closer to what you would expect. I, of course, can't remember what was bad and what was best, but this confirms your suspition that it CAN be a problem. Since I use VC papers, I decided to stick with my diffusion color head for most things, but frequently use my normal condenser head and sometimes my point-light source head.

Randy Moe
10-Dec-2016, 18:07
Obviously one is a 45 and the other a 57. Besides that the CB7 has the controls on the front edge of the baseboard. No other Beseler enlarger had that feature and once the old guy in the East Orange factory died so did the CB7. He was the only one in the factory that knew how to make it and he made every one of them and never trained a replacement, or an assistant. I was Product Manager for the enlargers in 1970 or 71 and that included the CB7.

A CB7 does look kinda tough to assemble and repair, but mine work fine as is. I got them specifically for wheelchair usage as the front edge controls really help. Power elevation and adjustable speed power focus, with built in front timer and power switches. Very heavy duty.

I am glad to report I am no longer in wheelchair, but still love the CB7.

xkaes
11-Dec-2016, 07:43
A CB7 does look kinda tough to assemble and repair, but mine work fine as is. I got them specifically for wheelchair usage as the front edge controls really help. Power elevation and adjustable speed power focus, with built in front timer and power switches. Very heavy duty.

I am glad to report I am no longer in wheelchair, but still love the CB7.


Apparently mine is a slightly modified version of the CB7. It has the power elevation, like my 45II, but it lacks the adjustable speed power focus. I see that feature in the manual, but it was apparently never part of my CB7. That's OK with me. Everything else works fine, and I don't think I would ever use that feature even if I had it! But it was very interesting to here a little bit about its history. It makes me glad I found it and bought it. It was advertised many years ago in the Denver Post newspaper, for sale by a struggling student. I got it for a very low price and it came with two very nice Schnieder lenses. I later sold the lenses and estimate that the CB7 cost me about $50 in the end. It needed a good cleaning, but once I got a copy of the manual, I was able to get it all set up.

interneg
11-Dec-2016, 14:44
Obviously one is a 45 and the other a 57. Besides that the CB7 has the controls on the front edge of the baseboard. No other Beseler enlarger had that feature and once the old guy in the East Orange factory died so did the CB7. He was the only one in the factory that knew how to make it and he made every one of them and never trained a replacement, or an assistant. I was Product Manager for the enlargers in 1970 or 71 and that included the CB7.

You wouldn't happen to know what the electrical setup of the 220/230/240v version of the CB7 was? I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work. I've got the original paperwork from when it was new & it seems like an official UK import etc. Not had the time to fully investigate/ clean/ sort out the electrics yet - any information anyone has would be gratefully accepted!

Leigh
11-Dec-2016, 14:58
I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work.
Variac is the trademarked name of a product made by General Radio.
http://www.atwaterkent.info/Images/Pic_Variac.png

It's a variable transformer that provides an AC voltage adjustable from 0 to full line voltage.

It's quite appropriate for powering an American 110v product from European 220v power lines.

For this usage you plug the Variac into the wall outlet and the product into the socket on the Variac.
Set the Variac at mid-range (60 on a 120 scale) before turning it on. Then turn the product on.
You should put the Variac somewhere protected, so it doesn't get bumped, accidentally changing the setting.

Variacs do not generate any significant heat, so that's not a concern.

Note that Variacs are rated by the maximum current they can supply. This is shown on the product label.
Make sure your load does not exceed that value.

- Leigh

ic-racer
11-Dec-2016, 15:08
CB7 for comparison to the pictures in the Craigslist ad.

ic-racer
11-Dec-2016, 15:14
You wouldn't happen to know what the electrical setup of the 220/230/240v version of the CB7 was? I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work. I've got the original paperwork from when it was new & it seems like an official UK import etc. Not had the time to fully investigate/ clean/ sort out the electrics yet - any information anyone has would be gratefully accepted!
My guess is that if they included a Variac, the rest of the circuit would be similar to the USA version.

158575

HMG
11-Dec-2016, 21:05
I had a 5x7 Besseler enlarger in my darkroom for a while to decide if I wanted to buy it. The color of the cold light was not suitable for variable contrast paper. I'm sure someone here can explain the reason better than I can. I passed on it because of that.
The other problem was dry rot of the wiring. The jacket on the cable would crack and crumble if I bent the cable, leaving bare wire exposed. Not hard to fix if you're handy with that sort of thing.
I hope this helps.
Chuck

This thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?56284-Aristo-W45-lamp-CC40Y-correction) discusses the issue with older cold light bulb and VC paper. I recently added the referenced Rosco 30y gel to a Zone VI cold light head in a community darkroom. I haven't had a chance to test but I understand (from others) that it's working well with VC paper.

Michael Graves
12-Dec-2016, 09:43
If you can find the 5x7 cold light for it, it will work quite well. I own one and the drop-off from center to edge is approximately 8 percent, which ain't bad at all. If you can find a 5x7 carrier for an Elwood, you can make do.

photonsoup
12-Dec-2016, 20:17
Thanks for all the info. I went out and looked, it actually has two heads, a cold light head and a condenser head.
158626
158628
158629

The heads mount and swap very easily. They were in a storage trailer with no power so I couldn't actually test them.
I think a glass negative carrier would be fairly easy to make.
No lens, it appears to use the same lens boards as my other Beselers, which I have several lenses of varying quality up to 150mm

Randy, you said:
CB7's are great and 57MB as originally sold are not. could you please elaborate? Mechanically it seems very similar to my 45MCRX, which has worked fine for me (but its the only enlarger i've used since Jr. High in the early 70's! So I really don't have anything to compare it to)

Bob, as for the cryptic phone number, thats quite normal here. Since we are the last state with only one area code most locals don't include one. And, since Montana is the "Last Best Hiding Place", we don't want robot spies to find us, so if you add a few symbols to your online phone number it discourages telemarketers.

Randy Moe
12-Dec-2016, 20:44
I have that 57MB head. I took off the whole hanger head assembly from the nasty rusty chassis as I knew I could mount it on any MX chassis. I saved the motor and belt also as those are expensive My 57 head glows green plugged right into 110vac and I think it came with a plain glass carrier that has cracked. Nothing special and easy to make.

You can use a 150mm lens with 5x7 and may have to depending on elevation, focus and enlargement. I think a 180 mm lens is better.

Since the head is single color green it may not work great with MG paper, but I haven't tried it. I have other options.

HMG
13-Dec-2016, 10:01
Since the head is single color green it may not work great with MG paper, but I haven't tried it. I have other options.

After my post (#18) I figured I should actually test my suggestion rather than just repeat the advice of others. So, using a early Zone VI cold light, I took a negative and printed it on Ilford multigrade using grades 1 through 5. To my eye, I got a full range on contrast using that head and the Rosco gel.

If you have issues getting the contrast range you want with the cold light head, you might want to give this a try.