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Thread: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

  1. #11

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck461 View Post
    I had a 5x7 Besseler enlarger in my darkroom for a while to decide if I wanted to buy it. The color of the cold light was not suitable for variable contrast paper. I'm sure someone here can explain the reason better than I can. I passed on it because of that.

    Chuck
    I read an article about this many years ago. It was probably in DARKROOM TECHNIQUES. They compared different cold light heads with various VC papers, and not surprisingly, they got different results with each combination. In some cases the problem was significant, but in other cases it was not. I think it had to do with the combination of "color" from the cold light head, the color of the VC filter, and the spectral responsiveness of the paper. Some VC filters had little change in effect, while others worked closer to what you would expect. I, of course, can't remember what was bad and what was best, but this confirms your suspition that it CAN be a problem. Since I use VC papers, I decided to stick with my diffusion color head for most things, but frequently use my normal condenser head and sometimes my point-light source head.

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Obviously one is a 45 and the other a 57. Besides that the CB7 has the controls on the front edge of the baseboard. No other Beseler enlarger had that feature and once the old guy in the East Orange factory died so did the CB7. He was the only one in the factory that knew how to make it and he made every one of them and never trained a replacement, or an assistant. I was Product Manager for the enlargers in 1970 or 71 and that included the CB7.
    A CB7 does look kinda tough to assemble and repair, but mine work fine as is. I got them specifically for wheelchair usage as the front edge controls really help. Power elevation and adjustable speed power focus, with built in front timer and power switches. Very heavy duty.

    I am glad to report I am no longer in wheelchair, but still love the CB7.

  3. #13

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    A CB7 does look kinda tough to assemble and repair, but mine work fine as is. I got them specifically for wheelchair usage as the front edge controls really help. Power elevation and adjustable speed power focus, with built in front timer and power switches. Very heavy duty.

    I am glad to report I am no longer in wheelchair, but still love the CB7.

    Apparently mine is a slightly modified version of the CB7. It has the power elevation, like my 45II, but it lacks the adjustable speed power focus. I see that feature in the manual, but it was apparently never part of my CB7. That's OK with me. Everything else works fine, and I don't think I would ever use that feature even if I had it! But it was very interesting to here a little bit about its history. It makes me glad I found it and bought it. It was advertised many years ago in the Denver Post newspaper, for sale by a struggling student. I got it for a very low price and it came with two very nice Schnieder lenses. I later sold the lenses and estimate that the CB7 cost me about $50 in the end. It needed a good cleaning, but once I got a copy of the manual, I was able to get it all set up.

  4. #14

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Obviously one is a 45 and the other a 57. Besides that the CB7 has the controls on the front edge of the baseboard. No other Beseler enlarger had that feature and once the old guy in the East Orange factory died so did the CB7. He was the only one in the factory that knew how to make it and he made every one of them and never trained a replacement, or an assistant. I was Product Manager for the enlargers in 1970 or 71 and that included the CB7.
    You wouldn't happen to know what the electrical setup of the 220/230/240v version of the CB7 was? I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work. I've got the original paperwork from when it was new & it seems like an official UK import etc. Not had the time to fully investigate/ clean/ sort out the electrics yet - any information anyone has would be gratefully accepted!

  5. #15
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work.
    Variac is the trademarked name of a product made by General Radio.


    It's a variable transformer that provides an AC voltage adjustable from 0 to full line voltage.

    It's quite appropriate for powering an American 110v product from European 220v power lines.

    For this usage you plug the Variac into the wall outlet and the product into the socket on the Variac.
    Set the Variac at mid-range (60 on a 120 scale) before turning it on. Then turn the product on.
    You should put the Variac somewhere protected, so it doesn't get bumped, accidentally changing the setting.

    Variacs do not generate any significant heat, so that's not a concern.

    Note that Variacs are rated by the maximum current they can supply. This is shown on the product label.
    Make sure your load does not exceed that value.

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

  6. #16
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    CB7 for comparison to the pictures in the Craigslist ad.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cb7.jpg  

  7. #17
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    You wouldn't happen to know what the electrical setup of the 220/230/240v version of the CB7 was? I've got a CB7 that seems to have some sort of transformer/ variac/ some sort of control knob on the metal part of the baseboard towards the back that looks like a factory part - it came to me fitted with a US voltage bulb & it all seems to work. I've got the original paperwork from when it was new & it seems like an official UK import etc. Not had the time to fully investigate/ clean/ sort out the electrics yet - any information anyone has would be gratefully accepted!
    My guess is that if they included a Variac, the rest of the circuit would be similar to the USA version.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck461 View Post
    I had a 5x7 Besseler enlarger in my darkroom for a while to decide if I wanted to buy it. The color of the cold light was not suitable for variable contrast paper. I'm sure someone here can explain the reason better than I can. I passed on it because of that.
    The other problem was dry rot of the wiring. The jacket on the cable would crack and crumble if I bent the cable, leaving bare wire exposed. Not hard to fix if you're handy with that sort of thing.
    I hope this helps.
    Chuck
    This thread discusses the issue with older cold light bulb and VC paper. I recently added the referenced Rosco 30y gel to a Zone VI cold light head in a community darkroom. I haven't had a chance to test but I understand (from others) that it's working well with VC paper.

  9. #19

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    If you can find the 5x7 cold light for it, it will work quite well. I own one and the drop-off from center to edge is approximately 8 percent, which ain't bad at all. If you can find a 5x7 carrier for an Elwood, you can make do.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  10. #20

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    Re: Going to look at a Beseler 57MB

    Thanks for all the info. I went out and looked, it actually has two heads, a cold light head and a condenser head.
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    The heads mount and swap very easily. They were in a storage trailer with no power so I couldn't actually test them.
    I think a glass negative carrier would be fairly easy to make.
    No lens, it appears to use the same lens boards as my other Beselers, which I have several lenses of varying quality up to 150mm

    Randy, you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    CB7's are great and 57MB as originally sold are not.
    could you please elaborate? Mechanically it seems very similar to my 45MCRX, which has worked fine for me (but its the only enlarger i've used since Jr. High in the early 70's! So I really don't have anything to compare it to)

    Bob, as for the cryptic phone number, thats quite normal here. Since we are the last state with only one area code most locals don't include one. And, since Montana is the "Last Best Hiding Place", we don't want robot spies to find us, so if you add a few symbols to your online phone number it discourages telemarketers.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1922.jpg  
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