Beseler vs Omega : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've got a Beseler 45MXII with condensor head, that I'm thinking of trading in on a dichroic Omega D5 or D5XL. I've always been happy with Omega enlargers (though I've never owned a recent model, just an ancient DII), and the only reason I picked up this Beseler is because it was super cheap, I got it from a newspaper that didnt want it laying around anymore. I've only used it for a couple months, and it works just fine although it is unwieldy. My question is, before I trade this in, is there anything that you think Beselers excel at, more so than Omega? I dont HAVE to trade it in because I found an Omega thats pretty darn cheap, but I'm not rich either. If theres some reason I might regret trading it in, I'd like to know beforehand. One thing that has come to mind is that it can be converted to an 8x10, and you cant do that with an Omega. Other than that, I cant think of anything. Since I want to go dichroic, thats another issue. I've heard the Beseler heads are rather expensive, and I've heard mixed reviews of them

-- Wayne (, May 25, 2000


It sounds pretty much as if you've already made your mind up to get the Omega. If you've got the space, why not use them both side-by-side for a while, and judge the relative merits for yourself? You can always sell the Beseler (or Omega) privately later on, and you'll probably get a better price for it than a trade in.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 26, 2000.

Wayne: I used both enlargers for many years...The Beselar with dichoric head at work and the Omega with the cold light head at home. Both enlargers are good and both will make good prints if you do your part. The only problem with the dichoric head is that the bulbs don't last too long and they are kind of expensive. You didn't say if you are printing both color and black and white. If you are printing black and white only, a cold light head for the Beselar would give you great prints. I love my ol' Omega, but I don't think I would sell a Beselar to buy one. That is just one man's opinion from years of using both enlargers. Hope this helps. Doug.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 26, 2000.

I guess one advantage of the Omega (and I have a D5-XL with the colour head) is the vast number of them out there. Around here (eastern Canada) for every Beseler or Durst you'll find, you'd find 10 D-2s in whatever configuration (D-2/D3/D5) and so on. Subsequently acessories like neg holders and such, tend to be more available and cheaper.

If you have all the neg holders you need and are happy with the Beseler now, perhaps buying a great lens would be a better purchase than another enlarger.

-- David Grandy (, May 26, 2000.

I've used Beseler and Omega 4x5 enlargers extensively. They are both excellent enlargers. The only major difference in the Beseler Negatrans, which allow to slide roll film in one side, turn and knob and center the negative for enlarging. If you're doing production work this is a major time saver. For home use it is a conveneince, nothing more, and is irrelevant for 4x5 work anyway.

I don't think you'd regret switching. If you like the Omega that much better, go for it. As I said, I've used them both and enjoyed them both.

-- Darron Spohn (, May 26, 2000.

I have to agree, I too have a D-2 at home with a cold light and love it. At work we have Beselers and Omega's and to be honest with you, I'm partial to the Omega's. Not that there is anything wrong with the Beseler's, it is just a preference for me. I do agree that you will have an easier time finding used stuff for the omega's and that maybe a factor to consider. Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, May 26, 2000.

I print mostly color, from 4x5. My B&W work is usually 8x10 contact prints. I've heard the Beseler dichro bulbs are especially expensive, even more so than Omega's.

The negatrans is a real plus. I do have at least several hundred old B&W negs of my dads that I want to print before they go up in flames (nitrate film). I did get a negatrans with this enlarger but it either doesnt work, or I dont know how to use it. It doesnt advance the film properly. The Beseler might be worth hanging onto just for that B&W job, if I can find a cheap working negatrans (yeah, I shouldnt use Beseler and cheap in the same sentence, I know).

Its a tough decision, keep the comments coming. I'd get rid of it in a heartbeat if I wasnt such a photographic packrat. I just hate getting rid of anything photographic. I threw out some stuff a few years ago during a move, most of it rusty, useless junk, and I still regret it. I get emotionally attached to trays. ;-) I've got an old DII laying around that is in bad shape, that I'll probably never use again, but here it still sits.

-- Wayne (, May 26, 2000.

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