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05-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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Looks like I'm picking up a darkroom tonight.

Saw an ad for a Beseler enlarger, for $50 obo. From the pic I can tell its a 23c II from the late 60's or early 70's (light blue) and it has the rather uncommon 8118 8" metal extension that bolts underneath it to make it an XL unit. I figure just the unit itself with the extension is worth that so even though she was willing to take less I told her I would be happy to give her $50 (for good karma if nothing else).
When I talked to the woman who just doesn't use it anymore and she said it comes with 35mm and several other sizes of film holders, a 50mm1.4 lens that is good and an 80mm 1.6? (she couldn't remember) lens that she thought had some haze but I might be able to take it apart and fix it (I did my A501.4 and it works fine). Also has basically most of the rest of the stuff for making prints like trays an a few big timers and such but oddly enough she never developed the film herself so she doesn't have the cans or spools for that (cheap enough though).

She said it works and we can test it there to see. Not really sure what to look for since the last time I developed and printed film was in high school, but I'm sure I will figure it out.

I'll post again when its home (picking it up at 6:30 tonight) with an inventory of what I get so I can figure out what I need.

05-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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My two cents is...
If she has the 2"x3" or 6X9cm holder and the lamp is a condenser type, check to see if the thing lights up the corners correctly or has the correct condenser installed... more than likely yes.
It should move smooth from lowest to high and back with no skid and lock in place.
If it is a single beam column, is it still stable or is the board all soft from age and water damage.
80mm?... f5.6 still sounds good.
50mm ... f3.5 or 4.5 usually I've seen, but maybe she has something specially adapted?
05-29-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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Its the light blue one a little ways down this page: Beseler 23C Enlarger though it'll be taller with the extension installed.
I assume everything is set up correctly since I don't expect she would have torn apart a complete working unit but I will check for wear and such.
05-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
My two cents is...
If she has the 2"x3" or 6X9cm holder and the lamp is a condenser type, check to see if the thing lights up the corners correctly or has the correct condenser installed... more than likely yes.
It should move smooth from lowest to high and back with no skid and lock in place.
If it is a single beam column, is it still stable or is the board all soft from age and water damage.
80mm?... f5.6 still sounds good.
50mm ... f3.5 or 4.5 usually I've seen, but maybe she has something specially adapted?
If it's a Bessler 23C of any type, it's a 2 column enlarger. I own one and it's a very solid enlarger. The condenser is designed to cover everything up to and including a 2x3 inch negative. It's won't be good for a 4"x5" negative, for that you would need the Bessler 4x5. At $50 you made a steal. The new ones go for over a $1,000 and there isn't that much difference. I wouldn't sell my 23C for four times what you paid for yours. You did good. It's a great enlarger.

05-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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Ok, I'm back, I defer to more experience but I know she used this with her Pentax 645 she used to have and I actually got the 645 film holder with it so I assume it somehow works?

Anyways its totally like new and completely functional, and it has the actual 8" extension from Beseler to make it an XL. It was sitting under a garbage bag so its not even dusty. I have a perfect Schneider Kreuznach (good brand?) 50mm F4 lens with board, and a S.K. 80mm 5.6 with board that looks like someone spritzed it with a spray bottle inside, (not sure if its fungus or what but ill take it apart to find out as soon as i figure out how (I have lens spanners) these lenses are tiny, wasnt expecting that.
I have Beseler film holders:
8048.....2 x 1 5/8 negative carrier (645 on 120 negative) (dont know what that is)
8060.....2 x 2 negative carrier (dont know what that is either)
8053.....35mm (24x36) negative carrier
2 big GraLab timers, apparently electrical timers.
beakers tongs trays and some odd rollers and what I think is a squeegee that does both sides of a print at once but im really not sure.
several easel looking things some with glass sheets some with fancy brackets
something that looks like a gutted simple microscope that is apparently for looking at negatives
a pile of manuals for the enlarger and other random stuff
a kodak polymax filter set (it seems I have a tray for those)
at least one safe light though it is orange and looks funny, and a green and a yellowish one that screw into regular light sockets or something.
A whole bunch of weird crap like a "kingston montage maker", a "lewco variable vignetter" a Kodak "projection print scale", a set of 14 eyedropper bottles in all sorts of colors that are apparently for retouching. A ton of other random stuff like a few chemicals that she thought might not expire and other stuff.
I have 2 filter holders that go in the door behind the label, does this thing always have a sheet of glass in the filter holder or is this that heat blocking glass sheet that I wanted to buy for this anyways? edit: nevermind its plastic, ill still buy that sheet though.
this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4486-REG/Beseler_8042_Heat_Absorbing_Glass_for.html

I tried to take pics but even with my 24mm it took like 4 pics spread out and its too dark (big flash uses non recharge AA's and im all out) so i gave up on that for now.
nother edit: Also she couldn't find anything for developing the film itself so I need that small amount of equipment and then all the chemicals for both, im thinking all ilford from B&H with either Ilford delta 400 or hp5 400 whichever is better since the prices are so close.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 05-29-2012 at 08:27 PM.
05-30-2012, 06:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
something that looks like a gutted simple microscope that is apparently for looking at negatives
That sounds like a focusing aid. You set it on your easel while focusing and it magnifies the image so that you can actually focus on the grain of the film. Really saves the eyes.
05-30-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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Yep appears so: DARKROOM
I have no clue how to use that.

I'm rather iffy on these few chemicals that I did take, especially since the Kodak photo-flo 200 solution bottle has a pricing gun sticker from target on it. Anyone wanna guess the last time target stocked photo-flo?
Some of these books and data charts are period correct for this enlarger (labeled 1974 and such) its interesting to see but the technical charts are mostly for stuff that hasn't existed for decades. Nice to see a chart that explains why my pile of stuff came with 3 different colored plastic lights though. I though dark rooms had red lights and that was good enough. I'd be screwed if I suddenly decided to develop dental X-rays.
I do find photo books from back then to be WAY more informative though like the huge Time Life series of photography books (the grey ones) that were printed in 1970 and I got at goodwill for $1.50 apiece. Most modern things seem to tell you how to tell your camera to take the picture for you.

A lot of these things are hard to look up, the big kit of photo retouching colors for example, no clue exactly how such a thing would be used but all you get is photoshop if you try to look it up. Horray for the digital age. Hopefully my T.L. book "The Print" will cover that, (i'm not to that book yet).
Thankfully I am good at working stuff out with incomplete or no instructions.
05-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
I'm rather iffy on these few chemicals that I did take, especially since the Kodak photo-flo 200 solution bottle has a pricing gun sticker from target on it. Anyone wanna guess the last time target stocked photo-flo?
should be ok, it's just a wetting agent to prevent water spotting.
QuoteQuote:
Yep appears so: DARKROOM
I have no clue how to use that.
It's really not that complected, don't over think it, when you are trying to focus the image on the easel just set the tool on your easel and focus your picture. I never tried to get a focus without one, even when my eyes were good.

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