Beseler Dichro dg-1 color head : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, I've been thinking about starting to use 4X5 for landscape work for some time now, reading this board and searching for info on cameras and equipment. I recently found a 45MCRX chassis, Dichro dg-1 head, condenser head, lensboard with an old Kodak lens, 3 different carriers (open), 35mm chamber, and a PM1A, used (very), for $600. Everything was supposed to be in working order but I've had to repair the PM1A to get it working, (bad solder joint-no big deal) and I think I may need to replace the lift motor (may only need clean & lube). Both heads, the blower and the stabilized power supply are all working fine. I'm satisfied with what I got for the money, but I am curious. I have no idea what this stuff is worth on the used market. Was this a fair price? Also what sort of results should I expect from the color head? (I won't be printing much black and white). Were there any illumination problems with this head as on the 23C dual dichro? I'm using a 23C-III dichro now (it's not the dual dichro head) and am satisfied with the results. I'll be using a new Nikkor or Rodenstock lens. I like to make big prints. Assuming a good quality 100 speed film, is it possible to enlarge a carefully taken 4X5 negative 8X (30X40 print) and retain the same granularity and detail as I currently get from a 35MM negative on an 8X10 print? Thanks for your opinions.

-- Al Sapouckey (Al, October 21, 1998


I cant speak to the dichro head, but it looks like you got a pretty good deal. I just took delivery of a used 45MCRX with condenser head in excellent shape for $300. No lenses, carriers, etc.

I have made many color prints using this enlarger with the condenser head and individual CP filters inserted in the filter drawer. Not quite as nice as being able to dial in the filtration, but it works.

If everything seems to work, there should be no problem making prints as big as you have room for in the darkroom with this equipment.

I dont know about grain as compared with a 35mm, since I would never try to blow up a 35mm that big in the first place. 120 Vericolor used to make some very nice 16x20's for me when I was doing that kind of work. 4x5 gives you that much more image again when you want to work that big.

Can you buy 30 inch color paper? How do you plan to process it?

-- Tony Brent (, November 04, 1998.


Thanks for your comments. Since I posted the question the lift motor crapped out, but the photo store where I bought it will provide a new part so the deal is looking better. I've been doing some wall projections to take measurements with the 4X5 carrier and 135 Kodak lens and it looks like I'll have about 8 inches of height to spare in my room after I mount the chassis to a wall, crank it up all the way, and project to the floor to get a 48 inch print width for panoramics.

I didn't mean to suggest I would ever make 30X40 prints out of 35mm. What I was asking is, if I enlarge a 4X5 negative 8 times (30X40 print size) will a 8 inch by 10 inch area of the resulting 30X40 print look as nice as a 8X10 print does from a 35mm negative, or are there lots of other factors (assuming the 2 different size negatives are enlarged with the same magnification) which degrade image quality when making very large prints compared to making small ones.

For the paper, I only shoot negatives and I've been using Ektacolor supra and ultra papers so far up to 11X14 with good results processing in trays with the Beseler or Tetanol room temp RA-4 chemicals. I probably won't do very many 30X40 prints but when I do I'll use the same system with bigger trays and waaayyyy more chemicals. (Let's see 8X10 tray takes about 1 litre, 30X40 tray about 15X larger, plus It'll have to be a little deeper............probably take about 25 Litres of chemicals at $27.95/2.5 litre kit........ plus the cost of the trays....) Hmm.....well, I certainly won't be making a LOT of 30X40s.

My main intrest is 15X40 (1/2 30X40 sheet) and 16X48 (from 16 inch roll paper) panoramics and for those I'll be making trays.

Anyway, thanks for responding.

-- Al Sapouckey (, November 05, 1998.

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