8 x 10 B&W head for Bessler 4 x 5 ?

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Dave Wooten

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I recently obtained an old Bessler 4 x 5 in acceptable shape-It has a motorized gear to raise the head-I have an omegs D2v I have used for 25 years and would like to convert the bessler to 8 x 10...are these parts available or has anyone constructed such...thanks so much for your input and Happy Holidays to all.

Dave in Vegas
 

Loose Gravel

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Such a head was designed and patented by Alan Ross. It was then sold to Beseler and I think they still sell them. They are not hard to make. Beseler's are made of aluminum, but they can be made of wood or plexiglass.

You make a box that holds the negative that sets where the lamp house sets now. On this you place a 12x12 Aristo cold light. You can get one that doesn't have the transformer in it, but is separate to reduce the weight. If you have one with the xfmr, then you'll need to add a counter balance to your enlarger. The box, about 5" deep, can be reversible (top for bottom), with the negative drawer on the top for 8x10 or on the bottom for smaller negatives. The negative holder is a 12x12 piece of glass with the plexiglass diffuser hinged ( with tape). Immediately below is a place for another negative holder or filter.

The whole thing sets atop the enlarger less the lamp house and a few little pieces. The head assembly needs to be offset out a couple of inches from the chassis to clear the chassis as the head is raised and lowered. And the enlarger must be braced from the wall as the additional weight makes the enlarger bob up and back a bit too much for my use.

For 8x10 enlarging, you can use a 210mm or 240mm lens. I use a 210 El Nikkor and it covers no problem.
 
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Dave Wooten

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To loose gravel...thanks that is encouraging....I will continue to research the available parts and also the possibility of making it myself
 

Jeremy

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Loose Gravel,
Do you know if the same thing can be done to an Omega D5XL with color head? I would eventually like to try enlarging my 5x7 (and maybe one day 8x10) negatives...
 

Loose Gravel

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JM

I don't know. I don't know why not, too. The 12x12 housing needs room to sit on the opening left by removing the condensor or other light source. On the Beseler 45M this means moving the head away about 2". Probably similar on the Omega. The troat needs to be large enough to get the image down to the lens without cropping. On a 4x5 enlarger this should be easy. As I remember, the Omega has a coiled counter balance spring. Can this be adjusted? If not, you'd need to offset the added weight with a weight and pulley system. The 45M has an adjustable spring besides the motor.

I must say that a 12x12 light source is very nice for eveness. No edge effects. One less thing.
 
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