Beseler 23C Enlarger   Last Update: 29 January 2014

My trusty 23C Series II grey enlarger, circa 1966 with the new 23C III VC Head

Shown below with the rare Power Elevation control 8140 & 8" extension base # 8118.

The Beseler 23C enlarger is one of the best enlargers made. Introduced in 1956, it is still in

production today.  They are easy to find and use.  eBay is full of them.


You can contact Beseler at their website:


Maximum Baseboard Print Size

The maximum size print you can make with a 23C on the baseboard depends upon three factors:  type of 23C (regular or XL),  the negative size and the focal length of the lens.  Here are the maximum print sizes for the 23C enlargers:

Regular 23C enlargers (non-XL)

35mm negative with 50mm lens:  maximum print size is 15 x 22 3/8 inches

6x6 negative with 80mm lens:  maximum print size is 19 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches

2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch negative with 100mm lens:  maximum print size is 14 x 20 1/8 inches

XL 23C Enlargers:

35mm negative with 50mm lens:  maximum print size is 18 x 27 inches

6x6 negative with 80mm lens:  maximum print size is 24 1/8 x 24 1/8  inches

2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch negative with 100mm lens:  maximum print size is 18 1/8 x 26 1/4 inches

Understand that these are full frame sizes with no cropping.


Since the 23C heads can be flipped to a horizontal position for wall projection, you can enlarge to any size only limited by the size of your darkroom!


History of the basic 23C Models:

23C                Introduced 1956 - light green color then changed to grey color


23C Series II   Introduced mid 1960's - grey then blue/grey color


23CII              Introduced mid-1970's - black color


23CII-XL          Black color (note additional braces inside front of column)


23CIII-XL         Introduced mid-1990's - Black color - Still in production with three different heads (VC, condenser, Dichro color).


23C Color Heads:


There were numerous different color heads available from Beseler over the years for the 23C enlargers: 

        Dichro 23dga


        Dual Dichro 23


        Dual Dichro 23 S

        Beseler/Minolta Color Head (used with a 23C adapter)


    Dichro 45 (used with a 23C adapter)



Dichro 45S (used with a 23C adapter)

        23C III Dichro Color head



Note:  Some Series II condenser heads are marked "Universal Color Head" on the filter door.  Theses are intended for use with gelatin filters and are not true color heads.  They are condenser heads that Beseler marked as "color" for marketing reasons in the 1960's.

The best heads are the current 23C III series heads.

Older 23C enlargers CAN be converted to use the new 23C III heads.  Click here for parts list.  I use the 23CIII VC head on my mid-60's 23C Series 2 chassis (it now has the 8118 eight inch extension base to make it an XL and it has the rare 8140 Power Elevation/motor lift unit!).


Beseler 23C Accessories:


Here's a list of the Beseler accessories made for the 23C enlargers over the years. Most have been

discontinued; see your Beseler dealer for current availability.  Ebay is a good source for these parts.

If you know of an item that I don't have listed, please email me!  Thanks!


Negative Carriers:

Cat #.....Item

8048.....2 x 1 5/8 negative carrier (645 on 120 negative)

8049.....Disc film negative carrier

8050      Minox negative carrier

8051.....8mm negative carrier

8052.....35mm 1/2 frame (18x24mm) (235NCS)

8053.....35mm (24x36) negative carrier

8054.....35mm mounted slides

8055.....35mm full frame (25x37mm)

8060.....2 x 2 negative carrier

8061.....2 x 3 Film Pack negatives

8062.....2 x 3 roll film negative 120/620 (2434 RNCS)

8063.....2 x 3 sheet film negative carrier (2434CMC)

8065....16mm x 12.5mm negative carrier (Minolta 16)

8067.....126 negative carrier (28 x 28mm)

8068.....1 5/8 x 1 5/8 negative carrier (4x4 cm Super Slide size) (158RNCS)

8070.....2 x 2 negative (6x7)

8072.....Universal Glass anti-newton carrier

8073.....70mm Negative carrier for Hasselbald 2 1/8 x 2 1/8

8074.....Universal Glass negative carrier

8075.....2" x 10" negative carrier (2" x 2" image, 10" strip)

8076     2 1/4 Glass negative carrier

8078.....35mm Negatrans (older model)

8081.....35mm Negatrans

8082.....2 x 2 & 2 x 2 Negatrans

8083.....2" extension cone - blank

8084.....2" extension cone - Leica 39mm

8089.....2" extension cone - 32.5mm

8092.....645 adapter for 2 Negatrans

8097..... 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 Negatrans (older model)

.....16mm (16GNC?)

.....1 5/8 x 2 horizontal for 127 film 8 exp (127NCS)

14214.....24mm x 24mm 35mm film Robot negative carrier


Other Accessories:

6731.....Voltage Stabilizer

7010.....Beseler 23C Enlarger Refurbishing Kit

8000.....23C Enlarger (early) same # as 23CII

8000.....23CII enlarger (early) same # as 23C

8002.....23CII-XL w/0 baseboard

8008.....23C Enlarger (early) with extender base

8010.....23CII-XL baseboard

8004.....23CII-XL condenser 110v

8005.....23CII-XL condenser 220v

8011.....23CII Dichro-XL Diffusion Enlarger

8014.....35mm mixing Chamber on 23CII Dichro

8015..... Flat lens board with 1/4" hole

8016.....Flat lens board, no PL

8020.....5/8" Recessed lens board - blank

8021.....Lens board 39mm counter bore on face, w/PL

8022.....5/8" Recessed lens board 39mm, w/PL

8023.....Lens board 39mm counter bore on rear, w/PL

8025.....Flat lens board for 150mm El-Nikkor

8026.....5/8" Recessed lens board with 25mm hole

8027.....5/8" Extended lens board with 25mm hole

8028.....5/8" Extended lens board with 32mm hole

8029.....5/8" extension lens board 39mm, w/PL

8030.....Flat lens board with 64mm hole, no PL

8031.....Flat lens board with 52mm hole, no PL

8032.....Flat lens board 42mm opening, w/PL

8037.....Flat lens board 50mm opening, w/PL

8038.....3" extension cone

8041.....Portrait filter

8040.....Red safety filter

8042.....Heat absorbing glass

8043.....Varigam filter set above lens

8044.....Plastic filter frame

8045.....Polycontrast Filters above lens

8046.....Calibrated strip

8047.....Dust cover

8079 .....Extension control shaft for Negatrans

8080.....25mm jam nut

8095.....39mm jam nuts


8098....Special Replacement filter holder for condenser head

8101.....75W 120V for condenser head (new style)

8104.....75W 120V for condenser head (Old Style)

8105.....200W 24V lamp for Dichro Head (old style)

8108.....250W 82V lamp for Dual Dichro S Colorhead & 23CII Dichro (New Style).

8109 ....Beseler Resistrol
8111.....Bestrol Voltmeter

8113.....110 negative carrier

8114.....75W 220V for condenser head (new style)

8117.....BP Pak (8118 extension base and 8119 oversized baseboard)

8118.....8" extension for 23C (to make regular 23C into an XL)

8119.....Oversize XL baseboard

8130.....23CIII Condenser Lamphouse

8132.....23CIII Dichro Lamphouse

8134.....23CIII Variable Contrast Lamphouse

8139.....Bilateral alignment tool

8140.....Power Elevation control

8163.....Light Integrator

8177.....Audible/Repeating enlarging timer

8179.....Foot switch for use with timer #8177

8181.....Dual Dichro 23 Colorhead w/o power supply

8183.... Conic Light Integrator

8185.....Dual Dichro S Colorhead

8191.....Stabilized power supply for Dual Dichro 23 and Dichro 23dga

8195.....Dichro 23dga Colorhead w/o power supply

8198.....Standard power supply for Dual Dichro 23 and Dichro 23dga

8199.....35mm Mixing Chamber for Dual Dichro, Dual Dichto S, and DGA color heads

8204.....Remote Cable Kit

8273.....Custom Mounting Kit for 45A (8289-02), Dichro 45s(8278) and Universal 45 light source (8570-71) to a 23C Series enlarger.

8278.....Dichro 45S Color head 110V

8279.....Dichro 45S Color head 230V

8281.....Dichro 45 Computerized Colorhead for 23C

8572.....Universal 45 Color Controller

8573.....Universal 45 V/C Controller

8641.....Beseler HD 80mm f/4 enlarging lens

8642.....Beseler HD 50mm f/2.8 enlarging lens

8642.....Beseler HD 105mm f/4.5 entraging lens

8669.....Beslar 35mm f/3.5 lens, 39mm mount for 110 & 1/2 frame 35mm

8670.....Beslar 50mm f/3.5 lens, 39mm mount

8680.....Beslar 75mm f/3.5 lens, 39mm mount

8682.....Beslar 90mm f/4.5 lens, 39mm mount

8684.....Beslar 105mm f/4.5 lens, 39mm mount

8932.....5 x 5 Color Printing filters

8289-00.....Beseler/Minolta 45A Enlarger Light Source 120V

8289-03.....Beseler 45A Enlarging light source 120v

8290-00.....Beseler/Minolta 45A Enlarger Light Source 230V

8290-03.....Beseler 45A Enlarging light source 230v

8570-71.....Universal 45 light source


Many thanks to Dave Etherington of KHB Photografix for providing many esoteric numbers for this list.


3rd Party Accessories

There are a number of third party accessories that were made fro the 23C enlarger.  If I'm missing any please email me and I will add it!

Aristo Cold Light Head              

Zone VI Cold Light Head

Zone VI adjustable lens board

KBH Photografix wall mount adapter

Ilford Multigrade 500 head adapter for the Beseler 23C

Delta lens board flat

Delta Bes-Align adjustable lensboard


Custom Accessories


Sometimes no one makes what you need for your 23C.  Case in point is that Beseler doesn't make a negative carried for the Hasselblad XPAN camera.  The XPAN camera has a format of 24mm x 65mm which is well within the range of the 23C to enlarge.  Beseler does make an XPAN carrier for the 4x5 enlargers and it costs a whopping $233.50 from B&H Photo in NY!

Well for $65 I had a standard 35mm negative carrier #8053 machined out to 24mm x 65mm.


SK Grimes did the job.  They are a great company and they have made many custom items for me over the years.  They can mount just about any enlarging lens on a Beseler 4x4 lens board.  They mounted up a Nikon EL-Nikkor 150mm that had an oddball thread size.


Contact the wizards of SK Grimes at  Highly recommended!



Last Updated: 07/27/2017

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