Durst DA 900 - Worth getting?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Steve Smith, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Someone near to me is offering a Durst DA 900 for free.

    I don't need any more enlargers but the price is right!

    Does anyone have any opinions on this enlarger? The manual states that it has automatic focus for two lenses and the fact that it goes up to 6x9 means that I could replace my LPL 6700 with it.


    Steve.
     
  2. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    If you use your LPL for colour enlarging the filtration units are different - Durst's own units which are significantly different to the LPL units which are Kodak. But if you want the ability to use 6x9, well, as you say the price is right.

    Does it come with the lenses? if not the AF may not be easy to calibrate.
     
  3. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    It will only go to 6x9 if it has the 105 mm lens and Unicon 105 condenser for MF. It was originally supplied with 28 + 50 mm lenses and Unicon 50 condenser; or 50 and 80 mm lenses and a Unicon 85 condenser; or 50 and 105 mm lenses with Unicon 50 and 105 condensers. Each version had appropriate cams for Autofocus of the 2 lenses. To go to 6x9 you could put in a 105 mm lens and condenser but unless the autofocus cam was designed for 105 lens you would not have autofocus. Not everyone loves autofocus, so it may not bother you; but I do.
    With the 80 mm lens you can only go to 6x6 without vignetting; I just get 6x7 but centring of the negative is critical.
    It's a great enlarger, built like a tank.
    You should also check that the serial numbers on the lenses agree with the Serial numbers printed on the front panel and on the negative carrier, then you know that autofocus is as set up at the factory
    Richard
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It has the Unicon 85 and 50mm and 80mm lenses - which raises another question: I already have a 75mm Componar which I used to use for everything up to 6x7. I know have the two Componons. What is the difference between a Componar and a Componon?


    Steve.
     
  5. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    Componon better.
    You will have trouble finding a Unicon 105 condenser; they come up only rarely on e-bay; 105 lenses however are easily found. The only way to find the cam would be to find a DA900 fitted with 105 lens at the time of manufacture.
    Richard
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Componon = 6 element
    Comparon = 4 element
    Componar = 3 element
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I will probably just put this enlarger in storage for now and use the lenses on My Devere 54. I was using the 75mm Componar for 35mm so I will try out the 80mm Componon instead. I could try the 50mm but I don't think the mechanism will bring the lens close enough to the negative to focus it.

    I have already decided to get rid of the LPL 6700 (I mentioned this in another thread). A local school has asked for enlargers to expand its darkroom.


    Steve.