Leveling an enlarger

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by TaraZ7, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. TaraZ7

    TaraZ7 TPF Noob!

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    I just got an older Beseler 23 c II. Can someone help me understand what exactly I have to do to level it?
    Thank you!!!
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is it on a base, or will you bolt it to a surface?

    -Pete
     
  3. TaraZ7

    TaraZ7 TPF Noob!

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    It's on a base.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, it's likely you don't have much to do. I suspect the head is already perpendicular to the base, so leveling the base should do it.

    I'd use a spirit level and shim as needed. Actually, if it wasn't far off, I'd probably do nothing.

    Thinking about it, if a fellow wanted to check if the head is plumb, I suppose he could put some sort of grid in the negative carrier and see how it lines up with the edges of a paper easel.

    -Pete
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There was a kit sold commercially for leveling the 23C enlargers. I believe it
    was called the Bes-Align. I forget the manufacturer (it wasn't Beseler). You
    might watch eBay for it.

    The main thing is ensuring the negative stage is parallel with the baseboard
    which can be done with a level as Christie Photo said above.

    You can also use a grain focuser and place it at all 4 edges of a focused
    negative and check for uniform focus all around and adjust accordingly.
    The Bes-Align kit comes with a negative that makes this easier to do.
     
  6. classcams

    classcams TPF Noob!

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    When you have shots of skyscrapers falling backwards (converging verticals ) you have to angle the head to the baseboard.
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you can move the negative stage slightly , which can also be done to correct for keystoning
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... better to tilt the paper easel than the negative carrier. Tipping the negative is likely to allow light to escape into the room, causing a level of fogging, not to mention focusing problems.

    When tilting the easel like this, remember to focus on the the end that is closer to the lens and stop down enough to achieve acceptable sharpness overall.

    -Pete
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I didn't say that was the best method, just that it was a method.
     
  10. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    The Bessler has adjsutments to make everything parrallel including the negative stage. I use a 2 mirror technique to align my enlargers. I found the plans in an old photo magazine from the late 60s and recently found some text on the internet describing how to make one.

    Check out this document I just found for ya....
    23CII
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Negative carrier to baseboard alignment is relatively easy to check.

    Put the negative carrier in place, turn on the enlarger and adjust the focus so that the edges of the lit area on the baseboard are reasonably sharp. Then just measure the sides and the corner-to-corner diagonals of the projected image. If both pairs of sides and both diagonals measure the same, all is well. If not, adjust until they do.
     
  12. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Measuring n using a grain focuser will work as long as the lensboard is parralell to the base. Since the 23C has no lens adjsutment, you'll have to make everything relative the lensboard and that can't be done with measuring n grain focusers, it'll always be out no matter how hard you try.

    BTW you don't have to drill a hole in the mirror, you can scrape off the silvering instead to make the clear hole. I also made one mirror the same size as the lensboard n just slip it in to check the adjustments.

    Since the lens board has no front tilt adjustment, I loosened the screw for the side to side tilt adjustment and shimmmed it out as needed, then set it to the zero degree position again so it;'s parrallel to the baseboard. Once the lens n baseboard are done, check the negative carrier alignment.
     

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