Converting 5x7" Durst 138 to 8x10" ??

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Fulvio, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    I'm about to buy a Durst Laborator 138 for very cheap (shows several signs of use, but appears to be ok and to last long). Is there anything specific I should check in this enlarger? Comes with negative carrier, a full set of condensors and three lenses.

    I've heard somewhere on the internet (can't remember where...) that there'se a way to convert this enlarger from 5x7 to 8x10... is this true? How? Does one have to change the whole head to achieve that or there's a less expensive way?

    regards
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fulvio, the Durst 138 is one of the most solidly built and reliable of all enlargers. My 138S was transported across Norway on a lorry, carried up one narrow flight of stairs and put in my darkroom. I plugged it in, put a negative in, and made my first print from LF negative without having to adjust anything except focus!

    I believe you'd have to change the whole head for the conversion - at least everything rom the bellows up.

    If you decide to do this, I'm interested in your condensers :smile:
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The 138 S can be converted to 8X10 use if you open the negative stage to an appropriate dimension by cutting out the opening to a larger size. Next you would need to purchase or manufacture an 8X10 negative carrier. And last you will need to remove the four fasteners that hold the light head and condensers from the negaive stage and manufacture or purchase an 8X10 or 10X10 cold light head. The cold light head will probably be the most expensive thing involved in the conversion.
     
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Michael Mutmansky built the 138S 8x10 conversion I have. It uses an Aristo 12x12 cold light head. Cold light heads as you may know fluctuate quite a bit. The RH designs Stop Clock Vario has a sensor that goes under the light measuring the amount of light output. This gives complete repeatable control.

    John Powers
     
  5. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    ok got it... Ole, it is about 2500 danish crones or some less, the 138 comes with one lens (componon-s 80/4) and a full set of accessories, condensers, etc. I think it is a good price. By the way I write from Denmark now as I'm the school with Emil Schildt here. The enlarger it is located very close to where I live in Italy and will be very easy to pick up.

    I plan to use this from 35mm to 4x5" at the moment but I don't exclude in the future the possibility to obtain a 8x10" camera (that's why my question in apug) and by the way with a 5x7" enlarger I can enlarge Polaroid type 55 negatives which are slightly bigger than 4x5"...

    As far as I understand the conversion is tricky... Well doesn't really matter, it is a very fine enlarger and for that price is a bargain... We have two of them in the school as well and I like the model very much.

    bye
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It really is a fine enlarger, and that price truly is a bargain. Go ahead and get it.

    And give my regards to Emil - I may stop by to say hello one day! :D
     
  7. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    If you come across a 300mm lens at a good price in your travels, grab it. That is what I use on my 8x10 version. I am printing 16x20 inch prints now and the enlarger table is 22 inchs from the floor with the enlarger head at the 7 foot ceiling. That means there is plenty of room for larger prints with this lens. I tell you that because many people warned me that I would need a 240mm lens to get these results. It is not true.

    John Powers
     
  8. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    Thanks for the informations.
    Actually I'm looking for a 150mm and a 210mm Componon/Rodagon...

    bye
     
  9. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    I don't know if you ever met him personally. He's undoubtely one of those people like few in the world that one really is pleased to come across and won't forget easily. Funny, crazy, creative with a good sense of humor and distinctively kind to everybody. Always has something to say at the right moment.

    I still remember the day I came here. 4 of January, cold as viking hell, full of snow. 11 p.m., this man with an old coat, an old hat and old (broken) glasses standing at the railstation waiting for bringing me at the school with his old car. Surprisingly, if you tell him that he looks like old he will be disappointed...

    When you'll come here ask for his home made eldeberry juice.

    This is my first time in Denmark and Scandinavia as well... I'll be home next month but know already that I will really, really miss this place, all the people I met here. I have been all around Denmark in the last months and would like to see more of Scandinavia, too bad I live so far.

    "Folkskoler" are a great place to be once in a lifetime, too bad they're quite unknown abroad and people in Denmark don't find them attractive anymore.
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A 180 Rodagon also covers 5x7", and has the added advantage of having the same threads as the 150mm. The 210mm Rodagon is difficult to find lensboards for, the 180 is easy.
     
  11. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    mmm... I'm not sure because I haven't seen it yet, but the enlarger I bought should have three lens adapters; one is where the Componon 80 is placed. The other ones have a M39 mount as well. The 150mm and the 180mm you're talking about are threaded in such way or they require a larger hole?

    Durst suggests to use a specific lens in combination with specific condensers. Does image quality changes a lot if I use a different lens but same set of condensors? Or shall I change also those as well if I use another lens than the one suggested?

    thank you