Beseler 23c and DGA Colorhead

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Mike Johnson, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson Guest

    I've done a lot of searching in this newsgroup, but cant find the
    answers. I purchased a Beseler 23c Series II enlarger on Ebay. It
    doesnt seem to have all of the parts. And I'm not sure what parts I'm
    missing and what they do. It came with a DGA color head. I've
    searched around and been able to identify some of the pieces. The DGA
    Colorhead has the Conic Light Integrator attached to it. The upper
    assembly has clear glass condensor lens inside. There is no heat
    absorbing glass anywhere.

    I believe it is setup for "Condensor Mode" Is that correct? Can I
    use this mode to print both color and B&W. I will be mostly printing
    color w/ the occasional black and white.

    How do I convert to diffused mode? When is diffused mode necessary?
    I've seen references to a hex-cell diffuser. Where does this go?
    I've also seen references to a diffuser lens that replaces the
    condensor lens.

    I dont have any heat absorbing glass. Do I need this? I am going to
    be using the 200W DGA lamp. Can I substitute tempered glass or even
    plexiglass? Thanks for any help.
     
    Mike Johnson, Apr 14, 2004
    #1
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  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Guest

    I have the same enlarger.
    Yes, if the Conic Light Integrator is attached, it is setup for condensor
    mode. You can use this to print both B&W and color and I do exactly this.
    The hex-cell diffuser goes in place of the Conic Light Integrator. You
    then also need to replace the condensor glass assembly with the diffuser
    assembly.

    My advice? Don't bother trying to find the hex-cell and diffuser
    assembly unless you really really want it. I have tried both setups and
    actually prefer the condensor. My B&W prints seem snappier and require
    less development time (reducing grain). For color, you don't get these
    benefits. The only benefit you get is shorter printing times as the light
    from the condensor is much more intense. This does allow you to use
    smaller apertures on your enlarging lens though which might be a benefit
    for you (and makes enlarger alignment less critical).

    People say that the diffuser reduces effects of dust and other defects. I
    didn't notice the difference really. Dust effected me in both setups and
    the diffuser didn't do any magic for me.
    I'm not sure. I have heat absorbing glass. For one, you won't be using
    printing filters so heat won't effect them. But I'm not sure about
    negative popping. Hopefully someone can provide you this answer.

    --Mike
     
    Mike, Apr 14, 2004
    #2
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  3. This URL should be of help: http://www.beselerphoto.com/photofront.html
     
    Stefan Patric, Apr 15, 2004
    #3
  4. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson Guest

    Thanks for the link. I've actually been all around the Beseler
    website, however it doesnt answer any of the specific questions I have
    below. Can anyone help out? Thanks!
     
    Mike Johnson, Apr 15, 2004
    #4
  5. Did you contact tech support? Also, see if customer support will send
    you the user manuals for both the enlarger and color head. The last
    time I checked, Beseler had pdf parts diagrams and lists for their
    stuff available on the website.

    I'll try to answer your questions below. I used to own a 23C II with
    both the standard condenser head and Dual Dichroic Color head.


    Yes. The Integrator is designed to be used only with the double
    condenser lens assembly, which fits above the negative stage. There
    should be a filter drawer above the condenser. This is where the heat
    absorbing glass goes along with any filters, if you use them.

    For diffusion mode, you use the hex-cell unit. It replaces the
    Condenser Light Integrator and focuses the lamps light. You also need
    the diffusion box. It is the same size as the condensor assembly and
    replaces it. The diffusion box should have two diffusers -- one at the
    top of the box and one at the bottom. The hex-cell unit should focus a
    circle of light that totally covers the top diffuser.

    Caveat: the diffusion configuration looses about 3 to 4 stops of light
    compared to the condenser setup. It makes it difficult to see and
    compose, and makes long printing times. I solved this problem by using
    the condenser assembly, and removing the top diffuser from the
    diffusion box and placing it on top of the top condensor lens. I still
    have a mostly diffusion light head. The condensers can't focus the
    broad light source created by using a diffuser on top of the condenser
    assembly. Plus, an added advantage is the light output is about 2
    stops brighter than the standard diffusion head configured by the book.


    It's advisable to use the head absorbing glass, particularly when
    printing color. It prevents heat from getting to the negative and
    damaging it and with color, shifting the color balance.

    Tempered glass or plex won't work. Head absorbing glass is designed
    especially to filter out infra-red light -- heat. Regular glass,
    tempered glass, crown glass, plexiglass, etc. don't do that.

     
    Stefan Patric, Apr 16, 2004
    #5
  6. You've gotten some good info already and I'll only add from a similar
    sequence I went through a few years ago when I bought a Dual Dichro
    head for my trusty old 23CII.

    I had been using an Aristo cold light for many years and decided to
    buy a dichro head when I saw they were so affordable on the auction
    site. Mine came with a light integrator but it wasn't attached and
    still in the box. Mine didn't come with the diffusers and I simply
    used the milk glass cover from my just-removed Aristo. I was lucky as
    it gave me almost perfect evenness of light and retained much of the
    light output. I shoot mostly medium format, my paper exposures run
    from 8 to 20 seconds but when printing 35mm, I can be up in the 30
    second range at times.

    In retrospect, I'm glad I ended up with the Dichro as I now have it
    tuned and find it very intuitive to use. I see less dust spot issues
    and tweaking in just the right contrast can make or break certain
    negatives. Once you get it sorted out, I think you'll like it.

    PS- The upper bellows position can make more difference on even
    illumination that you might initially guess and I've found it safer to
    keep it compressed down for most everything.
     
    Craig Schroeder, Apr 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson Guest

    Thanks for the replies everyone. That helps out a lot. Another
    question I have is regarding the lens board. Beseler lists two lens
    boards, an 8021 and an 8023. The 8021 has a counterbore on the face
    and the 8023 has a counterbore on the rear. Their catalog says the
    8021 is for the 50MM lens and the 8023 is for the 75MM lens. I intend
    on enlarging medium format and 35mm. I have an 8021 lens board and a
    50MM and 75MM lens. The 75MM lens seems to fit just fine in the 8021
    lens board. Any reason that I would need to get the 8023? Am I
    missing something. I dont see what difference the counterbore would
    make. Thanks!
     
    Mike Johnson, Apr 17, 2004
    #7
  8. Mike Johnson

    RWatson767 Guest

    Mike
    I dont see what difference the counterbore would make. Thanks!

    On some lenses the thread mounting length is insufficient to securely mount the
    lens without the lens board being counterbored.
    In the past there were mounting rings/nuts that had a notch/recess that took
    care of this. But the hole in the lensboard was larger to accomodate this.
    Thus the different lensboards. And this counterbore need is not limited to
    Beseler. It is common in all board mounted lenses.

    Bob AZ
     
    RWatson767, Apr 17, 2004
    #8
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