Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

  1. #1
    Dan Domme yeknom02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    57

    Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    Hi everyone,

    Being a mostly 35mm and 120 photographer until this point, I have a recurring itch to dive into 4x5, beyond just trying it for a weekend every few months. I've only made a handful of images by now since my only option at this point is to scan the negatives.

    I've got a Beseler 23C (series II, the blue one), and I've got it outfitted with the multigrade filters, the right negative carriers, lens boards, and lenses for both of my current formats... Did Beseler make a 4x5 enlarger that will take these 23C accessories so I can start to shop for an enlarger that can minimize my upgrade costs?

    And before you suggest it, I can't have more than one enlarger at a time. The amount of available space makes any more unreasonable.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
    My Flickr Gallery

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Greater Toronto Area - Mississauga
    Posts
    557

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    Somone else might be better able to answer your compatibility question between Beseler 23 and 45 enlargers.

    However, given the current market for darkroom equipment particularly big enlargers, I wonder if you question might be moot. You might find the cost of a used but complete Beseler 45MX or Omega D5 enlarger relatively low.

    I had a nice Beseler 45MX with condenser head, cold light head, 35mm, 6x6, and 4x5carriers, Beseler drop table, and an 80mm Rodagon and 135mm Ysaron enlarging that I sold relatively cheaply to make room for another acquisition.

    Have a look at the local market (Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.) if there is one, to find out.

    Good luck!!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    173

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    You can convert a 23C to a 4x5 with a few simple steps -

    check out: http://www.deadbread.com/crumbs/23c.html

    I just did his conversion of a 23C and am quite happy with the results.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    618

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    I was thinking of that link myself, but couldn't remember where I'd seen it. Beseler also made an adapter (part #8273) which allows using a Beseler 4x5 light source on the 23C enlarger. I'm not positive of its suitability once the modifications mentioned in the link are done. But it may be a simpler way to mount a 4x5 light source if building an LED head is not attractive.

    The link to the modification indicates that you will lose 35mm capability. Perhaps with some further ingenuity, that can be overcome. Or perhaps R Mann can shed some insight on it.

    If space is an issue, a 4x5 enlarger will make it more of an issue. And even though used enlarger prices are low, unless you can find one locally, shipping costs will be high - if the seller is even willing to ship at all.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,509

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    Going from a 23c to a 45m requires larger negative carriers and filters, but both use the same lensboard and lenses.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    173

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    More on the 23C conversion to 45 -

    The 35mm "problem" occurs because when you combine the top and bottom bellows in the conversion, you can't compress them enough to focus a 50mm lens. But, if you use a longer lens (80mm) and you will have no problem with a 35mm negative - just less enlargement. As the link states - Omega 4x5 negative holders fit just fine, and are easy to find used. Filters are not a problem, either use a below the lens set, or include a filter slot in the head - which is what I did to fit a set of 6x6 Ilford VC filters.

    Total conversion cost including the new LED Head and a set of Omega negative holders was less than $175.

    When I get a chance I will post a few photos, but they are really just a repeat of the photos in the link, except for the light source. I used an LED set up that is a little different.

  7. #7
    Dan Domme yeknom02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    57

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    Quote Originally Posted by R Mann View Post
    But, if you use a longer lens (80mm) and you will have no problem with a 35mm negative - just less enlargement.
    I'm guessing this will be ok... absolutely everything I enlarge goes onto 8x10 paper. I actually toyed with the idea of trying to design a "fixed" enlarger that would do a 2x (4x?) magnification from 4x5 film to an 8x10 since it's the only paper I use. I imagined that since I wouldn't have to adjust height (maybe just a fine-tuning adjustment for focus) I could make it pretty lightweight. Unfortunately, I don't know much about optics and the idea never evolved.

    ...Unless someone else would like to chime in with some support for this idea...?
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
    My Flickr Gallery

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montgomery, Il. USA
    Posts
    541

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    If you take a look at a horizontal enlarger, they're pretty simple. Graflex made a light source to convert a Speed graphic to an enlarger.
    If all you want is a fixed magnification, pick up a 4X5 camera & mount it on a frame, tabletop, formica etc.
    Or just get an enlarger head to fab it.
    You won't need a ground glass but will need a negative carrier of some sort. You need a second frame for the easel and careful alignment of the three planes will be critical. Front,back standards and easel.

  9. #9
    Dan Domme yeknom02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    57

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    John, I looked up the Graflarger back, and it looks like the light is green (?) Probably not a good idea for my VC paper.

    I'm guessing that I could use my Toyo monorail as an enlarger, but would I be using the lens that's on the camera? I've heard that the 4x5 enlarger lenses are about 135-150mm, and I've only got a 210mm Fujinon. I've also got a 150 Komura f/2.8, but that may be a bit bulky.

    Now I'm wondering if I can orient the standards vertically on a monorail, and what sort of distances are involved. (I have a lot more vertical space available to play with than horizontal space.) Maybe I could fashion a diffuse LED light source (clueless as to how...) and orient everything like so: LED box > filter drawer > negative carrier > camera bellows and lens board > vertical support system.

    Man, this is getting complicated.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
    My Flickr Gallery

  10. #10
    Forever Beardless Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,266

    Re: Minimizing enlarger upgrade cost

    You could just get a cheap 8x10 camera and make contact prints with your existing enlarger.
    You already have a lens for 810, the 210 Fujinon.

Similar Threads

  1. using enlarger for contact printing
    By Nicholas F. Jones in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 16-Jun-2012, 19:35
  2. Can an Enlarger and Flatbed Scanner be Used Together?
    By Michael Heald in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 20-Sep-2006, 03:53
  3. More 5x7 Enlarger info please
    By Jim Rhoades in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-Jan-2006, 17:37
  4. Omega D3 4 x5 enlarger. Deal or not?
    By peter koning in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 3-Apr-2001, 10:03

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •