BESELER PRINTMAKER 35

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bobby Ironsights, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    Is this a decent enlarger for a beginner to start printing black and white on?

    I hope so, as I've only got 'till ten A.M. tomorrow to change my mind before I've committed to buy.

    Thanks,
    Bobby.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    There's nothing wrong with it necessarily, but it is about as cheaply built as an enlarger gets. What is your budget? They are almost giving enlargers away on Ebay. If you are paying more than $30 for the Printmaker 35, I think you could get a much better enlarger for your money.
     
  3. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    That's unfortunate, even more unfortunate is that I was taught never to welsh.

    So....I guess I'll just see what I can do with it.

    :scratch:
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You can do great things with it. Beseler makes fantastic enlargers, even their entry level model the Printmaker 35. I'm just saying that darkroom gear is a buyers' market these days, and you can get enlargers that cost $1000 10 years ago for less than $100 today.

    EDIT: By the way, what are you paying for it? Is it welshing if someone is ripping you off?
     
  5. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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  6. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With enlargers, the main thing is the quality of the lens. I had a nice higher-end Beseler enlarger some years back, and I was nervous about the cheapo plastic-fantastic lens that came with it. So I went to the local camera shop (Central Camera Co. in Chicago) and found a used Schneider-Kreuznach lens that would fit. To my dismay, it wasn't as sharp s the cheapo one that was included, probably because the lens coating technology was 30 years older.

    So if you find it's not doing the job for you, consider a modern, upgrade lens as your first solution.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You got a lemon. Coatings affect contrast, flare, etc... Not sharpness.
     
  8. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    Hmm....

    I don't know much about photgraphy, but I'm a chem undergrad.

    Let's postulate a thirty year exposure to air, and moisture. Thousands of hours of high temperatures and bright light.....exposure to the solvents and associated fumes of photochemistry....

    ...Pretty harsh conditions by anyone's standards

    I could see a thin film of applied chemical starting to oxidise and react to form some opaque milky substance that might affect clarity and diffuse light.

    Sound plausible?
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Sure the lens could be damaged in some manner: scratched, fungus, elements out of whack, dirty..., or maybe it just slipped by quality control. But age and old technology by themselves do not equal substandard results. I'm using old Schneider enlarging lenses, as well as all manner of other vintage lenses, uncoated, single coated, etc.... They usually compare very favorably to modern lenses, except they tend to be less contrasty.

    The photo below is from a camera with a 1950's Ansco anastigmat lens (simple 3 element design), single coated. Enlarged with a Schneider enlarging lens from the 50's. You can almost see them in this webfriendly sized file, but in the full size print the fine hairs on her arm and shoulder are sharply resolved. The corners are soft, but that's to be expected on an amateur camera from the 50's with such a simple lense design.

    Lens designers have had sharpness nailed for 100 years. The improvements in lens technology since then have occured in the corners of the image (allowing camera makers to use smaller lenses with less coverage), coatings for contrast and color, correcting wide angle distortion, and zoom lenses. The planar lens design (5 or 6 elements) from the 1940s is still a standard in professional prime lenses.

    Schneider camera and enlarging lenses are considered some of the very best lenses made, yesterday and today.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Off the topic, but who needs EXIF data anyway, I'll always be able to tell what film I used. ;)
     

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