I just acquired, by being willing to wrestle with a full-sized enlarger in the rain, a Durst S45, which is apparently a 138 sold for use with an electron microscope. (Biosci threw it out with a sign on it in Polish reading 'trash'; luckily it was too big to get into the trash compactor)
Regrettably, it's missing the condensers and the negative holder. I can fake the latter (probably), but I'd like to ask whether I need the condenser, or if I can get away with putting a sheet of opal glass into one of the drawers, and plugging the light-leaks? The front-surface mirror needs cleaning, but isn't pitted, and while there is some overall rust, the movements are all clean. Came complete with column, stand, and almost everything. I may yet have a use for that 7 inch Ektanon.
The Laborator 138 was sold with at least for different heads (condenser, CLS 300, CLS 301 and CLS 1000). The condenser head is capable of holding the (optional) cold light drawers (very hard to find). If you have a standard condenser head, you might want to search for condensers on ebay (not quite easy) or - if you prefer diffuse light anyhow - one of the color heads (probably easier and cheaper than a full set of condensers). Simple opal glass will most probably not deliver an even light distribution, although I have never tried that.
I had a similar problem when I got an old Dejur 4x5 enlarger from school when I built my first darkroom. I ordered a set of condensors from Edmund Scientific. They have since split off a separate company for optics.
Look up diameter and focal length and you should be able to find a close approximation.
Durst condensors are available, but tend to be expensive if you can find them at all - it took me nearly six months to get hold of mine.
And BTW - I've also got a CLS 210 - yet another version of colour head.
Maybe you can find some parts at www.durst-pro-usa. They seem to support old and new professional dusrt enlargers, with parts and services.
Thanks for the help. I may have to give Edmund Sci a try, given that the condensers do seem to be rare. OTOH, a color or diffusion head would be nice as well. We'll see. First question is how to get it home, then I'll worry about illumination.
Thanks again. Btw, any company willing to lubricate (inspire?) LF photographers should be appreciated.
The condensors are quite commonly found on ebay, but some of the condensors can be hard to find. Personally, I'd wait to get the proper thing from ebay than try to build one from scratch, since you don't know the proper curvature to the condensor.
Depending on what film format you want, you may be able to get the pieces together for relatively little money.
The negative carriers do show up on ebay also, and you may want to look at two othewr sources for parts:
Both have high quality products, but you'll pay a premium for them. At least they are an excellent source of info on these excellent enlargers.
I recently completed an 8x10 conversion for my 138, and think the chassis of these enlargers are about the best built and designed I have ever seen.