View Full Version : Aristo/Beseler 8x10 Conversion Kit

Joel Brown
21-Dec-2003, 11:19
I've been looking for over a year for an 8x10 Aristo VC head and/or the Beseler 8x10 conversion kit. I know I can purchase both from Aristo and Beseler new, but I was hoping to find them used somewhere. Even my eBay alerts haven't turned up anything. Am I looking in all the wrong places?

Robert A. Zeichner
21-Dec-2003, 15:16
I, too have been looking for the Beseler 8x10 converter without success. I have an Aristo 1212 to use with an old Elwood enlarger that needs rebuilding, but would much prefer to convert the 4x5 as I lack space. I hope we both find something sometime soon. Good luck.

Bob Salomon
21-Dec-2003, 15:54
Have you tried the following stores?

Helix, Central Camera, Samy's, Keeble & Shuchat, Glazers, Adolph Gasser, Lens & Repro, E.P. Levine, Ken Mar, Mid City, PPR, Colonial Photo & Hobby, W.B. Hunt, Camera Wholsalers, Berger Brothers, Fishkin Brothers, Simonds, Silvios, George's, Nelson's for a start.

Henry Suryo
21-Dec-2003, 20:13
Please see my ad in the following link:


I'd like to pass on the entire enlarger, not just the 8x10 conversion. If you're interested and in the Atlanta area, please email me privately. Thanks and good luck, Henry

Eric Woodbury
22-Dec-2003, 11:22
The Beseler 810 conversion is very nice. There is not that much to it and if you are handy in the shop, then you could certainly make one. It consists of a adapter box that holds the neg and light source that sits atop the negative stage and a couple of blocks that hold the head away from the support frame so that as you raise the head, it will clear that top bar.

Forget about the Aristo VC (IMHO). I had one for a few years. It is handy to dial in the contrast with the twist of a knob, but there is just not enough light output. My exposures got to be 30 seconds and up at 2x and I could hardy stop down the enlarging lens one stop. Focussing was difficult. And since there are two tubes that drift (light output) independently of each other, exposures drift. Closed loop timers won't work unless you expose one color at a time (split printing). I sold off the Aristo VC and bought the new Aristo tube and now use filters. It is much easier.

Brian Ellis
23-Dec-2003, 16:39
Eric - Are you talking about the 8x10 Aristo VC head or the 4x5? I've had the 4x5 for years and it's a dream - plenty of light output, great contrast range (the equivalent of grade 0 to grade 5). I normally stop down one or two stops from wide open. My prints range in size from a minimum of 2x (8x10s from 4x5 negatives) to about 6x (11x14s from 6x7 negatives). My times generally range from maybe 20 seconds to 40 seconds. Of course I don't consider a 30 or 40 second exposure time to be excessive, I often need at least that much time to do the dodging. I've never noticed any "exposure drift" (I do use the Metrolux timer) and my prints from one to the next were very consistent. And of course the convenience of dialing in rather than messing around with filters is great. If you had all the problems you describe with the 4x5 then I'd suspect you had a defective head. If you're talking about the 8x10 then I can't comment, I've never used it.

Joel Brown
23-Dec-2003, 22:25
Brian, I too have been using the 4x5 VCL and have had no problems with exposure times. I use the Metrolux and do all my printing in the split printing mode. I plan to use the same Metrolux with an added switch (from Radio Shack), to switch from my 4x5 enlarger to the 8x10. Bob, thanks for all the suggested sites to contact. I contacted all of them plus 10 more and received replies from all of them within 24 hrs. No luck yet, but I have many people looking for me. Joel

Eric Woodbury
25-Dec-2003, 23:23

Consistancy was not my biggest problem, as I don't print large batches. I did find "low light output" annoying. I have gotten used to f/16 and f/22 for 10 sec and the 12x12 VC just didn't have it. I know others that have had the same complaints. When Allan Johnson (sp?) was still running Aristo, he could make a brighter blue, although humans couldn't see it, but the green output has always been a problem. He could put more windings on it, but never enough. I always felt like I need a couple of more stops, especially when I printed the 6x7 negs. I stayed with the VC head as long as I did because I thought the filters were going to be painful, but for me they work out nicely and that new high output tube, V54, is a real barnburner.