Beseler Cadet II good starter enlarger?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ToddLange, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. ToddLange

    ToddLange TPF Noob!

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    well i really do want to get into film developing and was wondering if this would be a good enlarger to start off with. I only want to print 8x10s so if anyone has this or has used it please let me know how well it works and if it worth it. it is a decent price

    for $310 i would get: Beseler Cadet II Black & White 35mm Film Enlarger with Lens & Negative Carrier #3502, with Darkroom Kit #6757

    the darkroom kit includes:
    The Beseler Developing Outfit is an excellent complement to Cadet II or Printmaker enlargers. The 23 piece kit consists of all the essentials to develop film and make prints. Includes film tank with reel, 2 film clips, safelight bulb, timer, three 8" x 10" trays, three print tongs, three 32 oz. bottles, easel, thermometer, funnel, beaker, squeegee, stirring rod, printing guide and a package of BesFile 35mm Archival Storage pages.

    so i guess if i hear some good things about it ill invest into starting a darkroom! yay!
     
  2. 339ff

    339ff TPF Noob!

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    I had a cadet in the late 80's and through most of the 90's, it got me through 3 photo classes. Toward the end the focus started slipping and I always used a grain focus tool. They cost considerably less back then but if you are starting out and the new ones are anything like the one I had it should be a decent investment that doesn't take up alot of space. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think the price is rather high,considering what is available on the used market. I looked on craigslist under photo + video and found one darkroom, a complete setup with an older Nikor color enlarger (dichroic head) with enlarging lens, with trays,easel,timer,tongs, chemical bottles, safelight,film tanks, grain focuser--$100.

    Darkroom equipment is worth about ten cents on the dollar compared to 1980's and 1990's prices. A second outfit they had was $220, with all the same basic items, but a Besler 23C II enlarger + lens, a classic model of good quality.

    I think if you look around, you can buy a complete darkroom kit w/enlarger for $150...many people just want to get rid of their darkroom gear.
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    In the world of film photography the same is true of enlargers that is true about cameras.

    They both hold the film and lens together. Which means that the two most important parts are the film and the lens. The rest is just details.

    Unfortunately, you give no details on the lens. And, sorry, I have never even heard of this enlarger model. I used a Beseler 45 (C, I believe) myself which I almost trashed a few years ago when I couldn't find a buyer. It finally went for $10. Serious.

    No lens. My lenses went for quite a bit more and they sold without much of a problem.

    The rest of the stuff in the list could be just about anything. It almost sounds like one of those "too good to be true" ad for camera packages on e-bay. And it probably is.

    The price does seem high. Look around some more is my advice.
     
  5. ToddLange

    ToddLange TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the input guys, as for the lens that comes with it, it is a 50mm. thats all it says about it.

    ill go look on ebay and craigs list! lols.
     
  6. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I often see Beseler 23C enlargers (a much better model) and other similar
    enlargers practically being given away these days so I would say that price is
    much too high.

    But, then I live in a major metro.
     
  7. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    The 23C models are all much better than that smaller models in my opinion. Parts are more easily obtained, as are negative carriers.

    As stated above, $300+ is way too high. I bought a 45MX for less than that, with lenses. You should be able to get a 23C version for around $100. Then look for some El-Nikkor lenses, the 6 element 50mm is a very good choice for 35mm enlargements. They are common and inexpensive. The enlarger and the lens should not cost more than $200 total, and you can probably get a decent timer for that money if you shop around.

    Most of the accessories you listed are, quite literally, a dime a dozen used, so don't factor much for them. You can get most of these new quite inexpensively. For example, you'll not want to use anyone else's tongs - toss them and buy new for $2-3. Wash everything well as residual chemicals may ruin your first efforts. Only use used bottles if they are glass. If you get plastic just toss them and buy new - less risk of contamination that way and they only cost a couple of bucks each.

    When it comes to metal tanks and reels, the tanks are usually reliable but you'll want to seriously consider getting new reels. Used tend to be bent and you'll never get the film to load properly on bent reels. They may look fine to the eye, but trust me on this one, it's better to know where you stand in this regard. If you get plastic reels try to try them out first, and clean them very well in warm (not hot) water with plenty of soap. Rinse them well after each use too.

    Darkroom work is a real blast. I've a small darkroom setup in the bathroom and it's wonderful. Have fun with your new hobby!

    - Randy
     
  8. ToddLange

    ToddLange TPF Noob!

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    wow thanks for the advice!will look into the 23c's
     

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