Bessler 45MXII : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, I checked out a Bessler 45MXII that is in excellent condition. It is that ugly color blue, so it is older. Q1)The neg. carrier was not sandwiched tight enough in the front, the back was fine. They did some screw tightening in the back where the spring is. This helped, but did not fix. Any feedback on this would be appreciated. Q2)Something I forgot to address in the store. The light projected on the base should be the shape of the neg. carrier, but it was a circle. Could this only be because the chassis was not at the correct position for 4x5? If anything, it was not high enough. Also, believe it or not, I was not aware that this enlarger actually has bellows above the neg. stage as well. The salesperson said that he would show me where to position these bellows for 4x5, but we did not get to it. Feedback on this would be appreciated. There is a Reostat, which I was told, is used so that you can turn up the intensity of the bulb, I assume good for burning, but I was told that when on "high", this was "normal" intensity, doesn't make sense, because then you can't turn it up anymore???? Well, thats it for now. Crossing fingers that any kinks with this enlarger can be resolved, its a good deal. Wonder if I can paint it black!?! Thanks, Raven.

-- Raven (, June 24, 1999


One answer I can give, the upper bellows should be totally compressed for 4X5 and completely extended for 35mm. 6X7 is in between. Origionally it may have come with scale that mounted along side the lamp housing that was marked for the various formats, most are gone on the used ones I have seen. The blue is probably a lot less noticable in the dark, and might even have the advantage of being able to be seen in the subdued light.

-- Marv (, June 24, 1999.

Yes!! Shows you what a few years can do to my memory. Yes, you line up the upper bellows with the scale. But if anyone can let me know if because the upper bellows was not high enough, could this be why the light on the base was a circle, and not a rectangle. Or what could be wrong with it, and why the neg. stage is not closing tightly across the front and only the back. I want to buy this a.s.a.p., but I don't want to get ripped off either. Thanks, Raven

-- Raven (, June 25, 1999.

Raven, used is used. You want new then buy new. I have the same model and I just worked on it a little to get it all squared up. It works fine now. The reostat is intended to keep the power to the bulb the same. When the old lady turns on her hair dryer it will help to keep the same intensity. Also the bulb varies in output so it helps keep things the same. But unless you are printing critical color materials I wouldn't worry about it. And if you are concerned with where to place the stage when using 4x5 vs 35 just put the neg carriers in and adjust it. It ain't rocket science. James

-- james (, June 25, 1999.

where is the rheostat on an MXII? I just picked one up and I dont see any rheostat for the light.

-- Wayne (, March 18, 2000.

The rheostat was an option, so you might not have one. It plugs in between the motor assembly and the light source. You can only use this on the condensor light source. Don't try on cold light or dichroic heads. The cold light might burn it out, and it will shift colors (contrast if using VC B&W)on a dichroic head.

I don't like this approach for controlling the light. I prefer a regulated power source or a servo-controlled feedback system (like the Zone VI stabilizer, Zone VI or Metrolux compensating timer). These monitor the output of the light, not the voltage to the light. So I think you're better off without it.


-- Charlie Strack (, March 21, 2000.

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