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Thread: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Canmore Alberta

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post

    Not cheap, but it sure makes focusing much easier and precise when the enlarger head is up high. When printing 35mm, for example, even at a moderate enlargement size of 8x12" I find it difficult to look through the grain magnifier while trying to turn the focus knob precisely. With this extension, the right hand sits comfortably near easel level and the extension is easily attached/detached; I don't leave it attached when not printing.
    Alan, My MXT came with a socket head glued onto the knob, so i just insert a ratchet handle and it makes for easy focusing without the big expense.

  2. #12
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Elkhart, IN

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    I have a Beseler 45 and a Beseler 23c for smaller negs. I took the 23c out of the darkroom years ago snd don't miss it. Have 50mm, 80mm and 150mm enlarging lenses, film carriers, etc.

    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  3. #13
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    I print Minox with my Omega 4x5 enlarger. I have the DISK carrier which has about a 9x11 opening, but you really need glass to hold them flat. So, I mask the glass carrier instead.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, got this cool splitter last month...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Wassenaar, NL

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    I bought a second hand Beseler 45MXT last year with all the negative holders from 4x5 to 35mm and 3 Schneider Componon lenses to fit LF, MF and 35mm. It works great. This is my second one, because I sold my first one when digital came in. But I have done most of my prints with this very reliable and no nonsense enlarger. I also owned a Focomat V35, very nice machine, but actually it had not much more to offer in contrast and sharpness, if youíve got the right enlarger lenses, which Schneiderís are. If I had enough space in my darkroom Iíd rather spend it to real large printing facilities like 50x60cm instead of two enlargers.
    I donít know about the Symmar 150 as an enlarger lens, but if there is an enlarger which would make it possible to use it, a Beseler certainly is a candidate.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    Quote Originally Posted by otto.f View Post
    I also owned a Focomat V35, very nice machine, but actually it had not much more to offer in contrast and sharpness, if you’ve got the right enlarger lenses, which Schneider’s are.
    I've printed many 35mm negs on my Beseler 45MXT, but about 15 years ago I bought a very complete used Focomat V35 outfit and, after replacing the 40mm standard lens with a Schneider 40mm APO-Componon HM 40mm lens, this is my preferred tool for 35mm printing. I agree that you probably don't realize any contrast or sharpness benefit from using the V35, but IMO it's right up there with the best; and, the autofocus capability makes changing print sizes very easy.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    Have used the Beseler for many 1000's of 35mm negs, and works fine if enlarger was well maintained... One was terrible as it was well overused, as the rail slide blocks were badly worn causing misalignment issues...

    Note if the bellows are not too stiff, as this will limit
    bellows compression needed to focus large prints with short FL lenses... (A 60mm is a good FL for 35mm...)

    I prefer a format specific enlarger for smaller formats, as you have better access to adjust the neg with smaller units...

    Did a lot of 35mm with a Negatrans carrier commercially...

    Steve K

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Iowa City, Iowa

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    Beseler made negative carriers everything from 8 mm upto 4x5. Condenser enlargers make the most of the lamp output, with the huge glass condensers. I've used these enlargers for 40 years. I have 3 setup right now. Zone VI VC head, Colorhead etc. The most reliable lamp head short of a new expensive light source is what you have. Get a set of Ilford VC filters, enlarging lenses are very inexpensive used. Everything you need to know

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?


    Back about 50 years ago when I was a working newspaper photojournalist, several of the papers used variable condenser head 4x5" Beseler enlargers for everything from 35mm to medium format to 4x5" negatives. It is a workhorse. I see you took it apart so be sure when it is assembled that everything is at right angles and parallel where it should be.

    If I were putting together a new darkroom I would not hesitate in having just one 4x5" Beseler or Omega variable condenser head enlarger for all the film formats I work with.

    No, I would not use a camera lens for an enlarging lens, even though it might be possible.
    Get a native focal length lens for each film format:
    50mm lens for 35mm film
    80mm or 90mm lens for medium format film
    150mm lens for 4x5" film

    If you look around, you can find some excellent deals on enlarging lenses so why compromise?
    Places to look for enlarging lenses and film carriers here in the Atlanta area:
    Wing's Camera (tell Mike I sent you)
    Quality Camera

    And, as Bob suggests: PPR - Professional Photo Resources.
    Last edited by AtlantaTerry; 11-Nov-2020 at 19:36.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Madisonville, LA

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    I typically use my 8x10 DeVere for printing everything from 135 to 8x10 although I have a dedicated LPL 4500 enlarger for roll film. Once I'm sitting at the DeVere, it's just easier to use it with the smaller negatives than to switch enlargers. L

  10. #20
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Use 4x5 Beseler for smaller film?

    Almost all Beseler film carriers are listed here

    Some are very hard to find

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