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  1. #1
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Durst Laborator L1200

    Hi, am checking out a used Laborator L1200 and was wondering what others think of this enlarger and anything I should consider when inspecting it. I think the price is around $500 with several lenses.

    Jon

  2. #2
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I've had 3 of these chaps in the 18 months I've had a darkroom so, based on that and my own reading (kept upgrading to more featured models, nothing actually wrong with any of them - I think I'll stick with my latest AC1200 version for now...)

    As with all things, condition & age is everything but in general the L1200 is one of the best there is. Intended for professional labs it is solidly made. As with most enlargers, there is little to go wrong. The head (sprung) should move smoothly up and down and lock solidly.

    Make sure you have all the parts as new replacements are usually available but very expensive. You will need negative masks for all formats you are likely to use and the appropriate mixing boxes (if a colour head) - you can get by with using a 4x5 mixing box for everything but it makes exposure times longer. The older bellows can be a bit brittle and go at the corners but this is more a bargaining point than a serious problem...

    Which head does yours have and which lenses? This will effect the fairness of the price asked. If a CLS450 or more recent colour head and decent lenses (it's likely that they are as this is normally a Pro enlarger) then it looks a very good price if I convert Dollars to Pounds Sterling, but I'm not sure what they normally go for in the US.

    Bob.

  3. #3
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, thanks for the info. It is a condensor head.

    Jon

  4. #4

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    Hi, I have 3 of these they are very good and reliable. If the enlarger has had a lot of use make sure it moves smoothely on the column and that it locks ok. Also be sure to check the balance spring for any sign of metal fatigue ie. small cracks... I had to replace one, it was pretty expensive !
    Ive been using mine daily for 10+ years with no problems... I have a DeVere 4x5 as well and I think the Durst is much better and faster to use.

  5. #5

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    I would think that the condensers must be mint. Internally clean lenses $40 - $60 ? are a joy to use.

  6. #6
    jd callow's Avatar
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    I have the dark grey version that they still sell. I have sold 2 of the AC versions (med blue paint instead of grey) with 2000 tim (timer that also controls auto focus) for 1400.00 and 1800.00 usd.

    The grey's are still being serviced by Durst the AC's have either eclipsed their service period or are about to - yet the AC's sell for far more on the used market.

    I have seen L1200 w/ the CLS 501 colour heads go for between 300.00 to 800.00 on ebay. I don't know what the condenser head versions go for. I do think (and hope for my own sake) that these are the kind of products that are built like brick poopshacks and will out live the memory of the price paid.

    OTOH I got mine free.

    *



 

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