For printing this winter, I picked up a new set of Ilford Multigrade filters for my enlarger. My old set, which I do not recall buying and am fairly certain someone gave to us at some point, were the typical under lens gel types and fit the drop in filter holder for the Beseler 45MX enlarger without issues. They had however started to signs of their wear, with scratches from misplacement and a few filters that had run afoul of cleaning solutions they should never have been subjected to.

The new set were fancier, proper plastic enclosed with handles and case very similar to my old Kodak PolyContrast filters. The problem was, they didn’t fit my under the lens filter holder, instead sitting awkwardly on top. This was not acceptable, so it was time to modify the holder.

The modification is very simple; we simply chop the piece of steel away from the frame and gently bend the edges to leave a slightly wider stance in the holder itself. This cut can be done with any metal cutting tool you feel comfortable using. The same goes with the outward bending of the side rails; in my case, it took little effort with a pair of pliers.

The filter holder modified with the front edge cut away and coated with black matte paint.
The filter holder modified with the front edge cut away and coated with black matte paint. Justin Ribeiro
The front piece cut away from the Beseler 45MX filter holder.
The front piece cut away from the Beseler 45MX filter holder. Justin Ribeiro

The end result is a nice slot to easily slot my new filter holder quickly and without worry of drop scratching on the edge (which I did to those other filters without a doubt).

The finished filter holder, refitted to the Beseler 45MX and holding a Ilford Multigrade 00 filter.
The finished filter holder, refitted to the Beseler 45MX and holding a Ilford Multigrade 00 filter. Justin Ribeiro