Beseler 23 alignment

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fiddle

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Hello all,
So I have a beseler ll xl, been printing for a while, mostly 5x7 prints, figuring it all out, wasting paper.. :smile:
I decided to check the alignment of it all.
Baseboard is level, the negative stage, put a piece of glass in there, level the same as the baseboard with the plastic set screw that sits against the column. All good so far.
Put a level in the bottom base of the lens, left to right is level, but front to back it is not.
My Lens board has 2 thumb screws on it, are these to level the lens.?
I’ve seens lens boards with and without these screws, I thought the lens stage was machined to not have play.?
If I tighten the front screw of the lens board, pushes up and makes the lens board level as well. Is this the proper way to adjust it.? Is there something else wrong and should not be leveling the lens like this.?
Everytime I swap lenses between 35 and 6x7, I would need to re level the lens, does not sound right to me..
Thank you for any info that can help..
 

tedr1

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I am going from memory now, I seem to recall lens stage leveling uses a screw adjuster at the back of the lens carriage where a small upright plate is located against which the adjuster screw bears.

Perhaps the front screw locks the lens panel in the lens stage?
 

John Galt

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Watching with interest as I am about to start printing with a Beseler 23C II XL . .
 

Jon Shiu

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Since there is not a front/back lens stage adjustment on the enlarger, a lot of people shim the lens board with tape in order to align it with the negative stage. A company did make a double lens board with rubber ring in between and 3 adjustable screws connecting to align. If your method of tightening the fixing screw works, then just go with that.

The beseler head can also get out of alignment side to side when raising or lowering, due to the construction of the gears and imprecise construction.
 
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fiddle

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Thank you all..
So yes, since my lens board has the thumb screws, I have used these to adjust and level the lens to the baseboard.
John Galt, just to give you a run down on what I did for when you get yours.

1-baseboard level on my table, had to shim my table to get it just right.
2-Piece of 8x10 glass from a picture frame in my negative stage, leveled, with the same level, off the glass to make sure it was even with the base. Also used a carpenter square to double check. Use the black plastic screw with a holding nut in the back of the column. Pushes is out away from the main frame or towards it.
3- Put same level under the lens, butt up against it. Adjusted the thumb screws on my lens board to make it level. Not all lens boards have these screws, I guess the board can be shimmed to level it as Jon Shiu said.
4- There is another adjustment right under the lens, thumb screw that adjusts left to right. I did'nt have to touch this as left to right my lens was spot on.

I think Im good now, negative pop is a whole different issue, but at least I think I have everything pretty level.. I have the heat absorption glass in to try and minimize it, but still have had it depending on what Im doing.

Thank you all for the help..
 

MEB

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I just aligned my Beseler 23C which I received from a friend of mine who is no longer doing darkroom work. The enlarger came in nearly mint condition, just had to replace the bulb and exchanged the lens from 50 to 80 mm to handle medium format prints. I was lucky to get two years ago a laser-alignment device - its use is simple, it throws a beam of light into the lens and reflects back onto the top plate of the device. The better the alignment, the closer the reflected light is to the emitting light circle. I found two positions to align - the back screw to tilt back and forward, and underneath the enlarger lens a screw to place the side shift of the bellow with center mark. I only had to slightly change the side shift position.

Also, a tiny bit of misalignment is not a catastrophic - it is normally be taken care of by using a smaller enlarger lens aperture anyway of f/11 or f/16. I am not using a ND filter to lower the light intensity from the bulb, so to do some dodging/burning I normally chose f/16 to have about 10 seconds exposure time on 11x14" prints.
 
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mklw1954

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For front to back, there's a screw (horizontal) at the bottom of the head assembly that rests on the plate in the frame that raises and lowers the head. Adjust that while holding your level against the bottom of your lens or lens stage.
 

M Carter

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Since there is not a front/back lens stage adjustment on the enlarger, a lot of people shim the lens board with tape in order to align it with the negative stage. A company did make a double lens board with rubber ring in between and 3 adjustable screws connecting to align. If your method of tightening the fixing screw works, then just go with that.

The beseler head can also get out of alignment side to side when raising or lowering, due to the construction of the gears and imprecise construction.

I love those things and have made my own using 2 lens boards. Here's a PDF I made of how to build one:

http://mcarterphoto.com/DIY-Besalign-Board.pdf
 
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