good deal on durst 138s?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by raizans, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. raizans

    raizans Member

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    there's one on ebay right now (270092861827) for $400, and it's close enough for me to pickup, except it doesn't have a negative carrier or a full set of condensers. it would cost about $1100 to get the parts i need from the usual suspects. i've seen other auctions where it was $400 for the whole kit and more. think i should still go for it?
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Depends on what formats you are wanting to enlarge. If you are shooting 5X7 all you will need is a 240 condenser. If you shoot 4X5 you will need a 200 condenser to utilize the full enlarging capabilities of the enlarger. Both come up from time to time for about $100 each. The neg carrier can be fairly expensive. The last I saw sold went for something north of $300. So based on the history of these items, it looks like an additional 5 -6 hundred would be needed for large format enlarging. Depends on whether $1100 is a good deal for you or not. I have one of these and think that price is reasonable.

    Looks like the tripla lens board is sitting on the baseboard. However you can switch lenses if you don't want to install it. While I can not predict the future, I think that the day of $400 138 S enlargers is largely over.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You'll need two 240 condensers, not one, to enlarge 5x7". It also depends on which enlarger lens you use which condensers you'll need - durst recommends 2x240 for Rodagon 180 and 210, but 240+200 for Componon 180mm.

    I bought mine for about $1000 including transportation, and about a year later I found a set of condensers in Australia. It's still a great enlarger.

    I've sold my spare NEGA138, unfortunately.
     
  4. raizans

    raizans Member

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    those prices sound pretty good. i was looking at durst-pro-usa.com and glennview. was the neg carrier a nega 138 or trineg?

    is that a tripla? i don't know what they look like from the top, but it's probably just a unipla.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a UNIPLA on the one in ebay. Makes no difference, as the TRIPLA won't rotate with "normal" LF enlarger lenses in anyway.:smile:

    There's a 240T and a 160T condenser with it. Those are coated condensers for point light source. The "VARIPUT" power supply I don't know, but it might be for a point light source...

    Whatever: It's a great enlarger, and all the enlarger that you'll ever need. It can be expanded until it looks like the Starship Enterprise; but even in the "basic" setup it's just great.
     
  6. raizans

    raizans Member

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    that's a good thing to know about the tripla. one less thing to look for. =)

    i found out where the enlarger came from. maybe they know what the variput is, cuz google doesn't turn up anything.

    i guess i'll go for it and be patient while gathering odds and ends.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Contrary to what Ole said, I have the tripla installed on my 138 S and it works fine with the 240 Companon S and the El Nikkor 150 along with the 80 Rodenstock Rodagon installed...and it does in fact rotate perfectly. Now maybe those may not be considered normal enlarger lenses where Ole lives but they seem to be that here. Not only did my enlarger have the Tripla lens board installed but the other two I bought at the same time did too. So I don't know what may be the matter here.

    Yes you will need two 240 condensers for 5X7 but since the enlarger comes with one, you will need to buy one 240 condenser. Perhaps Ole failed to grasp what I intended to say.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Donald,

    I use a 180 rodagon, a 150 Rodagon, a 135 Rodagon, a 150 componon and a componar, and a Wray Supar 4 1/4". NONE of them allow the TRIPLA to rotate...

    I realised what you said about condensers, but still feel it's necessary to emphasise that you need two of them - not one.
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Ole, well, I can't speak to your experience..but I assure you that the tripla board does rotate nicely, as it was designed by Durst. None of the lenses that I use are "Durst" lenses and and they are what would normally be considered normal enlarging lenses by those who use them. Are you sure you have the 138 S model and not a 138 model enlarger?

    I find it interesting that you have the experience that you relate and Durst
    lists the tripla lens mount in the Durst 138 S manual that I have so I assume that my enlarger came from the factory so equipped. The other two enlargers that I bought at the same time (One a Durst 138 and the other a Durst 138 S both had Tripla lens mounts installed. Are you certain that your enlarger is properly assembled?

    I think that we both know that the Durst needs two condensers...in fact most people understand that.
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Apologies - the Supar and the two Schneider lenses will allow the Tripla to rotate. But the Rodagons protrude too far behind the lens board to allow it to rotate, at least without using "special" lens boards. So I've never got used to using the rotation thingy - if I change focal length, I change condensers as well. So swapping the lens is no extra hassle. I also use glassless carriers for 4x5", 9x12cm and 6x6, and glass for 6x9 and 5x7" / 13x18cm. So when I go from 5x7" to 4x5" I change the lens, one condenser and the negative holder.
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have found, in my experience, that Durst does require specific lens boards for specific lenses. They clearly are not a "one size fit's all"...when we move away from their design parameters, the functionality of the design may be impacted...but that is to be expected, I suppose.

    I use the glass 5X7 carrier (negla 138 sp?)for both 5X7 and 4X5 negatives.
     
  12. HenrikB

    HenrikB Member

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    Hi,

    if I were you I'd wait until a complete unit comes on the market. Finding those missing parts will be a hassle and/or expensive. I had the luck to buy my 138S from a photographer who had been using it in his LF work, and he had kept it very clean and with care. It came with the condensers (2x240 + 200), lenses (vintage Schneider), two Nega 138 holders with clean glasses etc, spare bulbs and even a Durst original cold light head (LACOLI) that replaces the condensers - allows you to reconfigure in mere seconds. As for the Tripla, it's more important that you get the lensboards you need for the lenses you want to use; changing them manually is also very quick. (I am using a Tripla with lensboards that have extensions built into them, so my Rodagons are OK to rotate too. The same lensboards fit the L1200.) And I paid less than $1000.

    BTW I had been looking at a couple of 138's before I came across this unit, and I'm glad I held off - one of the others was in a REALLY poor state; this unit is in pristine condition and a joy to work with.

    Good luck!
     
  13. raizans

    raizans Member

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    i'm not looking forward to hunting down all the missing parts—i know how much of a drag that can be. but on the other hand, what are the chances that a complete setup will go on the market close to where i live? it's a difficult decision...
     
  14. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    Personally I would not buy one with missing parts, especially the condensors which are required to do anything. I would wait for one with all the condensors required which come along from time to time. I use 2 240 condensors to print 4x5 but it does limit the size a bit.

    On my 138s I have mounted a fuji 105, apo gerogon 150 and apo gerogon 210 and they rotate on the triple lens thingy. The gerogons are process lenses but apo to +5 range so that covers all my enlargements.

    Just yesterday I printed 2 6x7 negs and the thing is so solid I didn't even have to re-focus after changing negs.