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Thread: New to me Beseler 45MX

  1. #1

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    New to me Beseler 45MX

    Just picked up a 45MX and a car load of accessories. It has a cold light and normal head. I know there is a learning curve for beginners but which head if any requires less learning. Is this pretty straight forward putting it all back together? It also came with a Seal 210M dry mount press which will most likely be put up for sale since I probably will not use it along with a mat cutter.

  2. #2

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    Did the cold light come with a stabilizer of some kind? If not, getting consistent light can add to the learning process. Also, negatives enlarged with a cold light usually require more contrast. Thus, I would say the regular head has a less steep learning curve. Assembly is straight forward. I believe I once found a manual online for mine.

  3. #3

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    I assume the "normal" head is a Beseler condenser head. Can you confirm this? I also assume the cold light head is not Beseler. Can you tell us the name? What else did you get and why won't you use the press?

  4. #4

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    My understanding is that the cold light head doesn't work with VC paper. I got one with my 45 MXT, I'll never use it.

  5. #5

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    A few decades ago, Darkroom Techniques (?), did a review of several cold light heads and VC papers. As I recall, their conclusion was that different heads -- due to their different color of light produced (usually bluish) -- created different contrasts with different papers. In short, they are usable with VC paper, but you really need to run your own tests with your specific paper(s) to determine the final contrasts -- and maybe use more filtration than expected.

  6. #6

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    xkaes-- good to know. Though I will surely never experiment. It just looks like a dead end with modern materials.

  7. #7

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    A few decades ago, Darkroom Techniques (?), did a review of several cold light heads and VC papers. As I recall, their conclusion was that different heads -- due to their different color of light produced (usually bluish) -- created different contrasts with different papers. In short, they are usable with VC paper, but you really need to run your own tests with your specific paper(s) to determine the final contrasts -- and maybe use more filtration than expected.
    No, the P45 phosphor emits green and blue (about balanced for #2 contrast), so it can be used with filters ...

    Steve K

  8. #8

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    No, the P45 phosphor emits green and blue (about balanced for #2 contrast), so it can be used with filters ...
    That's the key word -- "ABOUT". And that's why Darkroom Techniques took the time to run their tests. Not because they simply had just run out of things to do. They knew that there probably would be differences between brands of cold light heads when mixed with brands of paper. And that's exactly what they found. They didn't say cold light heads are completely incompatible with RC paper. They said that different heads produced different amounts of contrast on different papers -- and that might be important for shutterbugs to know, and check out themselves (because they didn't test all cold light heads and all papers).

  9. #9

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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    Do you actually use this stuff???

    Steve K

  10. #10
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Beseler 45MX

    It's important to run tests with EVERY combination of light source and paper that you use.
    That's true for every type of light source, regardless of what it is.
    It's even necessary when you install a new bulb (or bulbs) in an enlarger head.

    That's the only way you can calibrate the system for your working style and equipment.

    I installed my 45MX in my darkroom 32 years ago, and have used it extensively ever since.
    I absolutely love it. Mine has an Ilford 500H multi-grade head for vc paper.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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