View Poll Results: Omega D2 or Bessler 45 MXT

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  • Omega D2

    8 28.57%
  • Bessler 45 MXT

    20 71.43%
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Thread: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
    Posts
    2,700

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I've worked with both Omega D (and E) series enlargers and with Beseler Ms. I always preferred the rigidity and layout of the Beseler Chassis to the Omega, but found the Chromega heads to be much superior to the Beseler offering for color heads; less bulky and more reliable.

    So, now I have the best of both worlds. My primary enlarger is a Beseler 45MCRX (the beautiful blue variety) modified to fit a Chromega E 5x7 color head. Great coverage and evenness for 4x5 with the oversize light source. My second enlarger is an older Beseler M (non-X, i.e. with the bracing beams in the front), which I have installed newer focusing bellows on and converted to take a Chromega D head.

    I've got an Omega E (2 or 3, not sure) chassis with auto-focus and the "flying saucer" cold-light head sitting in my garage as well as an Omega D chassis too. I don't use these anymore, though.

    Best,

    Doremus

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    537

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I have used the Omega D with the "flying saucer" cold light head and found it acceptable, but I moved to a Saunders Lx etc. B&W head which I liked more. Better build.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    61

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I use a D2 with a Zone VI cold light and controller at home for 4x5. I have no idea what is up with the D2 in that photo.

  4. #14

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I bought the Beseler. It came with a Schneider Kreuznach 2.8/50 Lens, which , if my memory is correct, should be a pretty ok lens. Those that talked about the rigidity of this chassis were right on the money. I gave both enlargers a push at the top. The Beseler showed no perceptible movement, but the Omega swayed/vibrated a bit, and that brought me back to my university days, seeing that the Omegas there did that as well when raising the enlarger. This Beseler is my first experience with a non Omega enlarger.

    Danny

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bremerton, WA
    Posts
    21

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I used Omega D2s many years ago in the darkroom at the high school where I taught for a long time, but when I built my own darkroom in the mid-1980s--the one I still use--I chose a Beseler MRXII, and it has served me well for many years since. It is very sturdy, the motorized lift works smoothly still, and the baseboard-lensboard-negative stage alignment process is easy. My current head is an Ilford 500H variable contrast head, which I love. The Omega is a fine enlarger, but on the basis of stability alone, my experience is that the Beselers are even better.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,744

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    The old D2 had a relatively short bellows. It could be an issue with lenses longer than 150. That problem could easily be cured if necessary using an available extended lens mount similar to a tophat board. VC paper use is best accommodated with an actual colorhead. But simple split printing via deep green vs deep blue glass filters over the lens would be another simple option. Filter drawers seem kinda Pleistocene and Neanderthal, but somehow they managed to survive a couple hundred thousand years before finally going extinct, so must have known something we don't.

  7. #17

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    Can anyone get me some images of how their 45 MXT cover for the back of the lift motor fits on? I took it off for cleaning and I am having a heck of a time getting it on even though I think I see how it should go. It looks like there is a tab on the bottom of the back cover that goes inside the box, based on some dust marks. I am just not sure how the top of the cover interfaces, as well as the sides by the screws.
    The top of the back cover has a tab that probably goes inside, but the fit is tough.
    Thanks,

    Danny

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
    Posts
    3,797

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    I've had several Omega enlargers . . . a D2v, I had a couple of D5 XL's, one with a color head and the other with the Universal head, and a D6. The only one that I really used was the D2v with a variable condenser head. It was my first 4x5 enlarger and was really good as a starter enlarger. The D6 and one of the D5's were donated to educational concerns, and I think I sold a D5 with the color head.

    Of the two shown, I would definitely skip the Omega. It does not have a variable condenser head, so it's necessary to have a separate set of condensers for each format. Forget that!

    On the other hand, the Beseler does appear to have a variable condenser head with a filter drawer above the lens. I've not owned one, but I've examined them, and that's what it looks like to me. Others?

    If you get interested in a diffusion head for diffusion enlarging for black and white enlarging, consider an Omega with a color diffusion head. (A color head without condensers.) Like a D5 or a D6 with a color head. Used with variable contrast paper, you increase the yellow filtration for increased contrast, and you increase the magenta filtration for decreased contrast. I've used these quite a lot, when I did color enlarging in a public darkroom space. They had several, each in it's own small room.

    Color Beseler heads are risky, because they often have circuitry problems. I use one with a Zone VI enlarger, and that was the case with mine. I was able to solve this problem by rewiring it myself.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Posts
    550

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserschmarrn View Post
    I bought the Beseler. It came with a Schneider Kreuznach 2.8/50 Lens, which , if my memory is correct, should be a pretty ok lens. Those that talked about the rigidity of this chassis were right on the money. I gave both enlargers a push at the top. The Beseler showed no perceptible movement, but the Omega swayed/vibrated a bit, and that brought me back to my university days, seeing that the Omegas there did that as well when raising the enlarger. This Beseler is my first experience with a non Omega enlarger.

    Danny
    If the lens is a Componon, it is a good lens. I have tested the small ring version and find it perfectly usable for 8x10" prints.

    My issue with Beselers was the lack of a practical alignment system. I had to build an adjustable lens carrier and to use an adjustable easel as well to keep planes parallel (you can wall-mount the column to make it easier). I find the enlarger` alignment system to be somewhat basic.
    Last edited by jose angel; 10-Nov-2020 at 03:50.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    627

    Re: Some Darkroom questions, mostly on enlargers

    The only issue I have had with Beseler 4x5 is the way some heads sit on top. There are 4 1/4 inch high posts between the lens stage and head. You may need a ring or special fitting to fill this gap. Some heads designed for beseler have protruding mixing chambers that span the gap down into the enlarger so no sideway light leak. Some require a special bracket. You can fill the gap with craft plywood with a cutout for the head to lens stage.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

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