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Thread: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

  1. #1
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    What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    Excuse the ignorance please ...

    What is this device? How does one use it? When does one use it?

    I came across it searching for grain magnifiers...

    Cheers,

  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    Minolta designed (and built AFAIK) the color head for the Beseler 45-series enlarger frame.

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

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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    Yes, fits the Beseler 4x5 enlarger. I have one but have not used it yet. It is a color head and uses a different exposure technique than any other head I know of- it uses flash tubes, a burst of each color to create the exposure. It also has an integral analyzer/controller and automated "ring arounds" to determine exposure and color balance. I've seen both positive and negative reactions written about it. When I get back into color printing I'm going to give mine a try.

  4. #4
    45-57-617
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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    OK,

    So it fits onto the top of a vertical enlarger somewhere and acts as a light source... it isn't some sort of analyser to be used at the baseboard end of things...

    I was thinking it might analyse the colour of the light from the enlarger or something.

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    How is the printing speed with these things? My Beseler Dichro 45 color head (original recipe) printing speed seems kind of slow. 20-32 seconds for a typical 11x14 or maybe I'm just not being patient enough.

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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    I have one of these with an analyzer. These can be used with a 45 series Beseler enlarger in exchange with the condenser lamp house (or cold light for that matter) It is used to print color negatives. I haven't read the literature with it yet but it should be possible to set the filters for VC printing with B&W. I received mine as a gift from a professional who was going digital and was getting rid of his darkroom. I have the analyzer which goes with it but don't know if it was part of the price of the head or purchased separately.

    I haven't done anything with it and it is still in the box it came in. Not sure of what I might do with it. Optical prints are great but scanning and having them printed isn't as much work on my side. Not sure of the difference in cost because I would be a very low volume printer either way...

  7. #7
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    The analyzer that came with (?some/all?) of the 45A heads is not a general-purpose color analyzer.

    It's a component of that exposure control system.

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

  8. #8

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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    Yes, the analyzer is also the controller. The head and controller/analyzer cannot be disconnected, there is a fiber optic cable that runs from the head to controller.

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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    These are great heads. I have at least 5 or 6 of them (gotta have spares! ;-) The flash tubes are a bit tricky to find, usually $10-30/ea when you do find them but they last a long while. Print speeds for 11x14 with fresh tubes should be in the 7-15 second range as I recall, a lot depends on aperture of course. Generally it will try to keep printing times reasonable, using it's internal logic. This was a $2500+ system when new back in the 90s. IMNSHO the best color head available for the Beseler 45, and perhaps best in general in many ways. It's an additive head, which has it's own advantages. I have the manuals and service manuals available online if anyone needs them.

  10. #10
    westernlens al olson's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Beseler Minolta 45A or its many friends

    I have one, sitting on the floor in my loft, with the analyzer puck. I am not aware that any were available without the puck. The head contains seven flash tubes, two each for RGB and one for composing and focusing.

    The flicker of the focusing tube is somewhat annoying, but the analyzer and color flashes deliver the exact amount of light. When the flash tubes for this head were available they were priced around $50 each, which is why I was not carrying an inventory.

    My 45A head still contains a good set of tubes, but since they have been discontinued I decided to retire it when the opportunity for a free D5500 arose. (Several years ago I did a posting on this forum that asked if any members knew of any sources for tubes. They only have the Besler markings which are not standard. There were suggestions to use other tubes, but I have not attempted to do so.)

    Except for the focusing flash I enjoyed the convenience of the 45A, especially for doing the ring-arounds as mentioned earlier. If anyone knows of a source for comparable tubes I would appreciate the information.
    al

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