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Thread: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

  1. #1
    My Passion Is Learning
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    Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Hi everyone! I just came into ownership of a Beseler 45M enlarger and, after some work, its in good working order! The only thing I can't seem to understand is where to put Multigrade filters. I don't appear to have the Besecolor head, that has a slot for plastic filters of considerable size according to the manual. The only place thats designated for filters is a "filter drawer" right behind the lens. It holds 2-1/4" filters that are round.

    So unless I am missing something I can only think of two options:
    1) Buy the 6x6 filters and simply rest them on the negative carrier, directly above the negative.
    2) Buy the 3-1/2" filter set and cut them down to 2-1/4" to stick in the small filter drawer directly above the lens.

    I would think option two would make the most sense but Im unsure about putting a filter between the negative and the paper. Also, theres a metal mesh that holds the filter, but I lose a fair amount of light because of that mesh.

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    There are two different kinds of below-lens holder for the Beseler 45, one for the M and one for the turret lens holder. For the M I would consider this one. You must drill your own holes (2) or use an industrial adhesive.

    I use an under-lens Ilford Multigrade Filter holder and it's just fine. If you find one that clamps to the lens with three screws, there is another way to mount it. Can mention later.

  3. #3
    fizwit
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Your Beseler 45 will have two sets of bellows. One to focus with and the other to adjust the height of the condensors. Above the second set of bellows is a door about 1" by 6" which is hidged and filips up. Late model 45M will have the 45M logo on this cover. Older ones which are dark gray will be blank. Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Jac, Thanks for the suggestions! If the filters after the lens are good, they should be fine just before the lens in the filter drawer, ya? In which case, I'll just cut the filters to fit in the drawer.

    John, I do not have that on mine. The light head/condenser lens assemble sits directly upon the first set of bellows on top of the negative stage.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyG View Post
    Jac, Thanks for the suggestions! If the filters after the lens are good, they should be fine just before the lens in the filter drawer, ya? In which case, I'll just cut the filters to fit in the drawer.
    I prefer using a filter drawer if the enlarger has one. The reason is the filter is far enough away from the lens to be out of focus. A filter in front of the lens (between the lens and paper stage) must be close to the lens to be out of focus. A filter close behind the lens tends to become part of the optics for which the lens was not designed.

  6. #6

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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Using clean filters in the filter holder just behind the lens will be fine. Just make sure you have good, optical-quality filters. As for the metal mesh or screen: there should not be one. Maybe someone has installed one for some reason or other. Remove it before using filters there; it will degrade the optical quality. There should be nothing in the optical path except the (quality) filter.

    Beseler used to make a set of VC filters in black plastic frames to fit this holder. These were convenient and held the filters stiff, facilitating insertion/removal. There are cardboard filter frames available that accomplish about the same thing, but using the filter without a frame works just fine too.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #7

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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    The metal mesh screen was an diffusion add on, for softer prints.

  8. #8
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Using clean filters in the filter holder just behind the lens will be fine.
    That piqued my interest. I've never disagreed with Doremus' suggestions, so perhaps I have another lesson to learn, but first let us qualify. "In the filter holder" suggests the enlarger designer placed the holder far enough away from the lens, which I would probably agree with the design. However, placing a filter on, or very close to the lens rear element is a mistake.

    In the OP's case it appears he has no dedicated filter drawer, so I interpreted his statement to 'place the filter on the lens rear element' which I find disadvantageous.

    It is good to have gone so long into photography that we entertain nuances. Thank you, Doremus.

  9. #9
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
    The metal mesh screen was an diffusion add on, for softer prints.
    Do we focus with the soft filter in place? (I never use them. Forgive my ignorance.)

  10. #10
    fizwit
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    Re: Where to put filters in my new Beseler 45M

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyG View Post
    Jac, Thanks for the suggestions! If the filters after the lens are good, they should be fine just before the lens in the filter drawer, ya? In which case, I'll just cut the filters to fit in the drawer.

    John, I do not have that on mine. The light head/condenser lens assemble sits directly upon the first set of bellows on top of the negative stage.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It looks like you have an aftermarket cold light head or some other type of light source. I do not reconize it, but the old Arista Cold light heads have a plan aluminum finish similar to yours. You should check which type of light source you have. It might have a label on it somewhere. Very old Arista cold light heads only work well with fixed grade paper so using filters is a moot point. Let us know what you find.

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