Besler 23c Circle on prints

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MingMingPhoto

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Hi, I have a Besler 23c. I have the condenser set to the proper height (top) with it's paired lens (50mm) for 35mm negatives.
When ever I print sometimes I have a perfect circle near the center of my print where the image gets a slight bit lighter.

It isn't always very obvious until you spend more than a few seconds looking at the print. This is not the Vignetting issue other people complain about. There is no gradual light fall off. There is a clear sharp line where the image is lighter inside of the circle. It's also random, meaning sometimes it occurs and sometimes it does not, and it occurs at different parts of the print.

It is especially obvious in a sky or "airy" photo. I've attached two photos for oyu guys to look at. Please help! This is so annoying and is costing me a lot of money.

Scan.png
 

jim10219

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Check the culminating lenses on the condenser for spots or marks. It's pretty sharp, so I wouldn't think it's on the enlarging lens, but check there too. Also be sure to check any filters you are using. If not there, take a look at the bulb. Just go through everything in the light path, looking for any spots in the central area that might cause this.
 

Digger Odell

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I read an article that stated painting the top of the bulb housing flat white would fix this. I'll see if I can find it and post when I get home.
 
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MingMingPhoto

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Thanks for helping everyone!
Opal bulb or clear?

The Bulb isn't clear, so I guess that would make it opal.

And is there any imprint on the bulb or is it completely even looking? Ditto to everything between the bulb and the easel.
Yeah the bulb looks fine, and the strange thing also is that the circle shifts a bit or a lot for each print of the same negative.

Condenser reversed.
Wouldn't this make a real obvious impression on the entire print? Like wouldn't I notice the actual negative showing weird in the print? I doubt this is the issue.

I read an article that stated painting the top of the bulb housing flat white would fix this. I'll see if I can find it and post when I get home.
Yeah I read this a while back when I first got the enlarger (and had yet to use it since I had no place for it) and couldn't find it again! Thanks so much for sharing! I wish I could talk to the person that made the article actually... maybe they would have found a way to fix it casue idk what the "two step" thing they are talking about is.
 
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MingMingPhoto

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Check the culminating lenses on the condenser for spots or marks. It's pretty sharp, so I wouldn't think it's on the enlarging lens, but check there too. Also be sure to check any filters you are using. If not there, take a look at the bulb. Just go through everything in the light path, looking for any spots in the central area that might cause this.
Tanks! I did and everything seems fine!
 

MattKing

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Condenser reversed.

Wouldn't this make a real obvious impression on the entire print? Like wouldn't I notice the actual negative showing weird in the print? I doubt this is the issue.

The Condensers aren't there to form the image, they are there to even out and concentrate the source of light to the area of the negative. If the condensers are in wrong, the image details won't be affected, but the un-even nature of the illumination will mean that different parts of the image will be darker or lighter than they should be, and in particular, the corners of the image may not even be visible in the print.
 

kevs

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Hi, I have a Besler 23c. I have the condenser set to the proper height (top) with it's paired lens (50mm) for 35mm negatives.
When ever I print sometimes I have a perfect circle near the center of my print where the image gets a slight bit lighter.

It isn't always very obvious until you spend more than a few seconds looking at the print. This is not the Vignetting issue other people complain about. There is no gradual light fall off. There is a clear sharp line where the image is lighter inside of the circle. It's also random, meaning sometimes it occurs and sometimes it does not, and it occurs at different parts of the print.

It is especially obvious in a sky or "airy" photo. I've attached two photos for oyu guys to look at. Please help! This is so annoying and is costing me a lot of money.

View attachment 209941
Hi,

The link provided earlier seems to have the answer for your problem; paint the inside of the lamphouse matt white if it isn't already. I had a similar issue with my old condenser enlarger; I ended up covering the inside of the lamphouse with silver foil, which helped a lot. You could also add some diffusion by placing some thin ground glass or opalescent plastic on top of the condenser, though be careful of heat if you use an incandescent bulb.

If you haven't already done so, check your bulb is one specially made for use in enlargers; it should be white and you shouldn't be able to see the filament. Domestic 'pearl' bulbs don't provide enough diffusion for use in enlargers.

Other than that, you could check for any odd internal reflections; these sometimes cause problems.

Good luck with solving your problem. :smile:
 

Saganich

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I had an issue once with the bulb having an uneven coating around the top, like it was dipped a second time, making a small portion of the coating slightly denser on the very top.
 
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MingMingPhoto

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The Condensers aren't there to form the image, they are there to even out and concentrate the source of light to the area of the negative. If the condensers are in wrong, the image details won't be affected, but the un-even nature of the illumination will mean that different parts of the image will be darker or lighter than they should be, and in particular, the corners of the image may not even be visible in the print.

I see what you're saying, but I still think that's not the issue since it's not a gradual light fall off, it's a sudden shift in illumination. If all else fails I'm definitely going to fiddle with the direction of the condenser lenses doe.

Hi,

The link provided earlier seems to have the answer for your problem; paint the inside of the lamphouse matt white if it isn't already. I had a similar issue with my old condenser enlarger; I ended up covering the inside of the lamphouse with silver foil, which helped a lot. You could also add some diffusion by placing some thin ground glass or opalescent plastic on top of the condenser, though be careful of heat if you use an incandescent bulb.

If you haven't already done so, check your bulb is one specially made for use in enlargers; it should be white and you shouldn't be able to see the filament. Domestic 'pearl' bulbs don't provide enough diffusion for use in enlargers.

Other than that, you could check for any odd internal reflections; these sometimes cause problems.

Good luck with solving your problem. :smile:

Aye thanks man. :smile: Last night I painted the inside white to no avail. Weirdly it worked for the first print I made after painting it, but the second one came out with just as bad of a weird circle on the print. I then tried adding some white paper to the inside and it seemed to work, but I had to pack up before I could make more than one print since I had to go to work. But I'm gonna try the foil today, because then I won't have to worry about it burning near the light lol.. And the light is not opaque so it's not the bulb.
I had an issue once with the bulb having an uneven coating around the top, like it was dipped a second time, making a small portion of the coating slightly denser on the very top.


That's interesting. I'll take another look at the bulb tonight for sure.
 
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MingMingPhoto

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So I'm updating everyone so that in the future when some other random kid gets his hands on this enlarger and can't find the fix he or she will fidn this thread and know they are doomed to have circles forever.. sorta.

I did everything listed on this post aside from get a "two part" head or whatever I was told to do by one of you guys.

I took apart the condenser and indeed it was correctly placed (super round sides facing one another).
I painted the inside behind the light white.
I put foil behind the light when the paint didn't work.
And I also changed my aperture (which wasn't listed) to a smaller size (bigger number).

The aperture thing worked it seems. I'm not 100% confident it finalized the trick, but as of right now when I print, the foil is behind the light (although I'm not really sure if the foil is helping) and the aperture is f8 or higher.

No circles.

Jah bless
 

Loren Sattler

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I did everything listed on this post

Have you tried a new bulb? That is a very simple exercise to try to solve this. Bulbs for Beseler enlargers are readily available and very inexpensive. Try B&H right there in NYC. It could be your problem.
 
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MingMingPhoto

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I did everything listed on this post

Have you tried a new bulb? That is a very simple exercise to try to solve this. Bulbs for Beseler enlargers are readily available and very inexpensive. Try B&H right there in NYC. It could be your problem.
Nah I didn't try that, but also highly doubt that's the issue. But if it starts again, then maybe I'll try it. Prob get a bulb off ebay instead of B&H though.
 
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Hi, I have a Besler 23c. I have the condenser set to the proper height (top) with it's paired lens (50mm) for 35mm negatives.
When ever I print sometimes I have a perfect circle near the center of my print where the image gets a slight bit lighter.

It isn't always very obvious until you spend more than a few seconds looking at the print. This is not the Vignetting issue other people complain about. There is no gradual light fall off. There is a clear sharp line where the image is lighter inside of the circle. It's also random, meaning sometimes it occurs and sometimes it does not, and it occurs at different parts of the print.

It is especially obvious in a sky or "airy" photo. I've attached two photos for oyu guys to look at. Please help! This is so annoying and is costing me a lot of money.

View attachment 209941
Is there really nothing resembling this on the negatives involved?
 

kevs

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So I'm updating everyone so that in the future when some other random kid gets his hands on this enlarger and can't find the fix he or she will fidn this thread and know they are doomed to have circles forever.. sorta.

I did everything listed on this post aside from get a "two part" head or whatever I was told to do by one of you guys.

I took apart the condenser and indeed it was correctly placed (super round sides facing one another).
I painted the inside behind the light white.
I put foil behind the light when the paint didn't work.
And I also changed my aperture (which wasn't listed) to a smaller size (bigger number).

The aperture thing worked it seems. I'm not 100% confident it finalized the trick, but as of right now when I print, the foil is behind the light (although I'm not really sure if the foil is helping) and the aperture is f8 or higher.

No circles.

Jah bless

I'm glad you've fixed the circles, tracking down random effects is difficult. I suggested the foil to reflect more light towards the condenser, which has worked for me in the past. In fact the inside of my current enlarger head, a modified De Vere 504 Varicon, is covered in it for the same reason.

Have fun. :smile:
 
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MingMingPhoto

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I'm glad you've fixed the circles, tracking down random effects is difficult. I suggested the foil to reflect more light towards the condenser, which has worked for me in the past. In fact the inside of my current enlarger head, a modified De Vere 504 Varicon, is covered in it for the same reason.

Have fun. :smile:
Nah man I'm not 100% sure yet! I'll know next time I print if I have a long session. TBH I'm scared if I didn't. But thanks for everything :smile:.
I would think the companies would have known how to avoid these issues.. you know, them being professionals and all. :tongue:

But it kinda makes the darkroom even more fun actually..
 

Rick A

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Is there a light pipe lens aperture illuminator on the lens board? If there is one it may be reflecting onto the print. Put tape over it on the back side of the lens board and see if that helps.
 
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