ND filter on Beseler 23 II

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
So a while back I picked up a "free" darkroom on Craigslist. The guy failed to mention in the ad that the lens was scratched to hell, the timer was broken, all the tongs were busted, the trays cracked, and the easel flimsy and a plastic. It was just a trick to have someone clean out his garage for him.

Anyway, I replaced everything save for the enlarger itself (didn't realize the lens, timer, and easel were garbage until I got home) and it works except for one thing.. My exposure times are so short that it is nearly impossible to dodge and burn.

I am constantly at like, f16 and 6-8 seconds. Negatives are properly exposed and I'm using a 50mm 2.8 Rodenstock Rodagon in MINT condition. I put in a brand new bulb recently, a GE 75w bulb as recommended by the manufacturer.

I'm printing 35mm negatives using the full frame Beseler negative carrier and printing on 8x10 RC Pearl. I haven't really used fiber paper yet but I'm assuming it'll be the same problem. Oh and I'm generally using a 2, 2.5, or 3 filter.

SO, looks like I need an ND filter? Which one? I would prefer to get one that can screw onto the Rodenstock (40.5mm) instead of one that slides into the filter tray. I want to use a contrast filter along with the ND filter soooooo... Any recommendations??

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

webestang64

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
2,036
Reaction score
1,020
Location
St. Louis, MO. USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I think it would be best to place a ND gel filter (cut to fit) under the heat absorbing glass. That way you can still use the filter drawer for contrast filters plus the gels are cheaper than buying a round screw in type.
Gels........
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ah crap. I already ordered a Tiffen 2-stop ND filter from BH that will screw onto my enlarger lens. I figure I can still use a contrast filter in the slider tray going this route?? If not I’ll have to return and get a gel.
 

webestang64

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
2,036
Reaction score
1,020
Location
St. Louis, MO. USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Yes, you can still use the tray for C-filters. I just not sure how well the filter will work on the lens. But it might be OK. Curious to see the results.
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Rad. Yeah I spent quite a lot of time researching this topic and like always, found nothing but conflicting information.. I’ll let you know if it does a good job increasing my exposure times..
 

compur

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,875
Reaction score
830
Location
L.A.
The Beseler Resistrol was the solution they offered for this problem. It is a rheostat that reduces power to the enlarger lamp. You can dial in as much or as little power as needed, giving more control than an ND filter. You can usually find one on eBay for not much money.

You can also get a variac (variable transformer) and put it between your wall socket and the enlarger. A good one usually costs more than a Resitrol.
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I considered that but I read that it makes the light more “yellow” resulting in the print looking totally different overall/reducing contrast. I feel like this ND filter should be fine?? I hope so as it’s about to be delivered and I have 3 prints that require quite a bit of dodging and burning due this weekend 😅
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The Beseler Resistrol was the solution they offered for this problem. It is a rheostat that reduces power to the enlarger lamp. You can dial in as much or as little power as needed, giving more control than an ND filter. You can usually find one on eBay for not much money.

You can also get a variac (variable transformer) and put it between your wall socket and the enlarger. A good one usually costs more than a Resitrol.
A quick question about the resistrol/variac: me enlarger is plugged into my GraLab 450.. wouldn’t it no longer be possible to sync the GraLab with the enlarger when using either the resistrol or variac?
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Crap, I just realized my enlarger doesn't have heat absorbing glass, I figured it would have come with it. How important are they? I can't find one on eBay and paying $70 for one from BH seems a bit obnoxious. The ND filter I got was $18 and it's pointless to return when factoring in shipping/packaging/my time. Would hate to turn this into a $120 fix.

Am I really gonna fry my negatives/contrast filters without the heat absorbing glass? Has anyone here used a screw on ND filter? It's always something.

I drove 100 miles roundtrip to pick up a "free" complete darkroom setup on Craigslist. Upon arrival, the guy says "yeah I'm not sure if any of this works." Had to replace the lens, timer, trays, tongs, easel, grain finder, and now one of the lights broke. Has turned into such a money pit but if I ruin my negatives I'll lose my mind.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,720
Reaction score
2,793
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
When I was learning B&W darkroom work the long time owner of our local camera shop (who since retired) told me f11 and 8 sec. or f8 and 11 sec. is a good starting point. Sure enough, that works as often as not.

I usually start with f8 and 11 sec. or in that range of 10-15 sec. But I do test strips and of course it varies. But I find that 10-15 sec. gives me more time to play with my Dodgette tool set - wait, I mean, dodge out some details! If you still need more time, depending on your test strip, try adjusting the aperture setting to give you a different amount of exposure time.

If you're finding you need to dodge and burn a lot, you may need to think about making sure you're getting proper exposures. If I got nicely exposed negatives to work with I could get a white-white and a black-black and a nice range of grays in between. And wouldn't have to dodge and burn much.

Why not try the filters that slide in & out of the tray? I found those are fairly efficient to use.

I don't know about what you got on Craigslist but there were evidently a bunch of reasons they were giving it away for free. You could try Adorama, or KEH (they did have film/darkroom equipment on their ebay or 'outlet', not sure if they still do ).

Do you have a strip of a few images that are nothing that important to try and see how they turn out?
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Well I've been printing for about 6 months with this setup. I'm good as long as I don't have to dodge and burn but even with properly exposed negatives I'm at f16 and 5 seconds or so. I use the contrast filters that slide in and out of the tray, usually 2 or 2.5. I'm wondering if I should return this package to seller? Should I send it back and just bite the bullet and buy the wildly overpriced heat absorbing glass and the ND gel filter sheet (only $5)? I just wanna get it right the first time..
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,720
Reaction score
2,793
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I don't know about the glass, didn't realize there was glass for an enlarger that wasn't heat resistent to work in an enlarger. I was using a Beseler in a shared darkroom at a local university that's no longer available. I suppose I'd get better glass as needed.

So why can't you go to a different aperture and longer exposure times? Seems like I've done that, if I had a negative that was a little dark or needed more dodging.
 

ac12

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
2,210
Reaction score
714
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
My first option is to replace the bulb with a lower wattage bulb.
My first enlarger came with a 150w bulb, that resulted in short single digit exposure times. So I replaced it with a 75w bulb. Much better. But I would rather have put a 30w bulb in it for even longer exposure.

If you are only using ONE lens, just get a screw on ND filter that will fit the lens.
That was my next step that I was looking at, since 75w was the smallest enlarging bulb for my enlarger.
 
OP
R

rpbrownphoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
150w? Jesus! Mine is a 75w and all I’m using is the Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm. I got the 40.5mm screw on Tiffen ND 2 stop filter and will hope for the best. Still looking for used heat absorbing glass though..
 

ac12

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
2,210
Reaction score
714
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
150w? Jesus! Mine is a 75w and all I’m using is the Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm. I got the 40.5mm screw on Tiffen ND 2 stop filter and will hope for the best. Still looking for used heat absorbing glass though..

That's why I would check to see what smaller bulb you can use.
The bulb is an easy solution.
 

Most reactions

Top