Questions for Durst 138s users...
I found a head and column that appears to work well on auction within driving distance and bought it. I can't afford to outfit my darkroom all at once so I'm content to watch the auctions and spend the money when I have it.
So my question is what sort of things do I need to be looking for? I called Jens (Jensen optical) and he's working on a wall mount for me but I also need neg holders for 6x7, 4x5 and 5x7. Is there a model name for the holders that fit the 138s? I also need a manual. I watched one recently go for $30 and wondered if that was an inflated price or what?
What about lenses? Do I need anything special to fit them on my turret? What are your favorite focal lengths for the above formats?
I thought I would ask all the 138 users here as I wait for Jens to get back with me on his solutions. He's a heck of a nice guy and super helpfull but very busy as well (I think he's worth the wait).
Thanks in advance
First question is did you get a negative carrier (NEGA or NEGA 138)with the enlarger? If not you will need to get the carrier first and then look for the carrier inserts (identified by the word LAPFE) for the sizes you wish to print. Also keep a look out for the LADANE negative carrier that inserts into the NEGA to allow you to print roll film from 35 to 70mm.
Lenses for the enlarger mount on Lapla lens boards or disks. For the sizes you mentioned you will need a 210mm, 150mm and 80 or 105mm for 6x6 or 6x9 negs. If you do not have the set of LATICO condensers that the enlarger requires you will also have to find two 240s, a 200, a 130 and a 85. Shorter lenses require a recessed board while the longer lenses are best mounted on extended boards to allow the turret to rotate. The Rodagon 210mm requires a different extended board than the 210mm Scheinder
Check out the following web page and there is quite a history on the Durst 138s and a good explanation of the accessories. The prices are a bit steep but the information is free.
Scroll down about a third of the page to get to the 5x7 stuff.
Good luck in finding your bits and pieces and if there is anything particlular you are having trouble finding let me know and I will see what I can do.
You need a negative carrier, of which there are several different types. they tend to be called "NEGA" something or other. They can be glassless (in which case you need glassless inserts "LADANEG" for each size), with glass, or made for rollfilm. I use glassless for 4x5", the glass holder for 5x7", 9x12cm and 6x9cm - since I have no NEGA inserts in those sizes.
Do you have a condenser head, colour head, cold light head, or what? If not, you need one of those too. And condensers, if that's what you go for.
You need lens boards to hold your lenses. They show up once in a while. Sometimes a lens with board can be cheaper than the board alone...
I use a Rodagon 180 for nearly everything, changing to a 135 for 9x12cm and smaller. Those have the same 39mm thread, saving me one board. I have a 210 which I would use if I could only find an affordable board for it. The day befor I left for work I got hold of a 4" Ross in lensboard. Haven't tried it yet, but it should be good for larger MF. If it's sharp enough.
Get a manual, even if it's only a xerox copy.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
When did you talk to Jens? I would be very careful with transactions involving him right now, as I understand there may be some issues WRT his relationship with the company that he was working for until recently.
Anyway, I think you have the answers to your questions from previous posters. I have a handful of spare Latico condensors; some of which may be useful to you. I may also have a spare Lapfe 4x5 mask if you want to shoot glassless. At least, I recommend you consider shooting with a mask on the top, and glass on the bottom. That will eliminate 1/2 of the glass issues, and still avoid the film sag issues.
I may also have a spare NEGA138 carrier here if you have a need for one.
Jens owned the company, and sold off the digital part. He is still in the analog end of it. The problem is a rogue guy who had no authority saying things about Jens that were not true, and redirecting the calls coming in for him away from Jens. Dealing with Jens is not the problem. The other guy has since been fired.
Originally Posted by Michael Mutmansky
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Great info guys. I'm making copies of everything you said...
I have two 240 condensors.
Not sure what kind of head, I'll look when I get home.
I have one working bulb.
I don't have any lensboards.
I don't have any lenses.
I don't have any film holders of any kind.
Is anyone aware of a place to buy a manual? I don't want to ask for copies if I can get one legitimately if you know what I mean. I would gladly pay for whatever costs the copies incure.
I'll take some pics of this unit when I get home and post them if it helps.
I bought a reprint of the manual from neatphoto on ebay. It's a decent, readable copy - nothing to write home about, but cheaper and easier than finding an original copy. I paid a buy-it-now price of $9.90, if he doesn't have one listed right now you can probably just contact him and ask him if he wants to sell one at that price.
You can find copies of the manual at either
Stonemills has a large inventory of Durst parts for various enlargers and processors.
You will definetly need the Nega 138 carrier before you start - the inserts can be found through the web but home made masks will suffice until you find the real thing. Glass for the carriers is probably still available from Stonemills.
Photos of the beast
Here's what I have. Let me know if you see anything that may be a problem and I apologize for the crappy digi thing photos. It's my wife's I swear
Judging from your photographs, based upon owning three of these enlargers, you are missing the base of the enlarger, the table support housing complete with spring return mechanism, the table and table adjustment mechanism,(this would include several pieces of separate hardware...my manual is packed away at the moment so I can't identify what the individual pieces are...there is the ball and socket at the center of the table for sure) I can't tell if you have the table foot control.
suitable lens (depending on format), lens board (latub for the lens that you use), and negative carrier.
My negative carrier is a Nega 138 glass carrier. I like using a glass carrier...preferring it to the masked carrier. Others prefer the other carrier. For smaller neg sizes, I use the masking blades in the negative stage.
I wondered why you mentioned a wall mount before...I see why now. None of the three enlargers that I owned were wall mounted. In fact none that I have ever seen were exclusively wall mounted. I don't recall seeing parts for this in my manual...I am not saying that they weren't there...just that I don't recall seeing it.
With a pair of 240 condensers the enlarger is set for 5X7 negatives.(you do have the upper condenser installed upside down, by the way) The lens for this format that Durst provided was usually either a 240 mm or 210 mm Schneider Componon S...although there were Rodenstocks listed in the manual ...one of my enlargers even came equipped with a 8 1/4 inch Goerz RD Artar. For 4X5 I use a 200 and 240 condenser with a 150 mm El Nikkor. There are differences in condensers dependent on the light source that you plan on using. Your condensers are suitable for the opal lamp. You mentioned one spare lamp. The Thorn opal lamp is no longer available. Jensen Optical has an adjustable 1200 watt upgrade at a cost of $800+ and change. Some have substituted other lamps for the Thorn. I believe that Michael Mutmansky and Lee Carmichael have worked out alternatives to what Jensen sells.
Depending on the format that you want to enlarge, you will need to add some additional lenses and condensers. For the sizes that you mention you will need a 130 and a 200mm condenser. You will not need an 85 mm condenser unless you plan on enlarging 35 mm. Nor will you need a 160 mm condenser unless you want to enlarger 3 1/4 X 4 1/4.
I can't tell what your mirror looks like or if it is fact present (under the front cover). Nor can I tell if the heat resistant glass (mounted ahead of the lamp) is present.
If you plan on doing VC printing, you will need a set of contrast filters. Mine are Kodak mounted between two sheets of glass. It seems that they are 4 1/4 or 4 1/2 inch square.
If I were you, I don't think that I would plan on buying the necessary parts
from Jensen...not that he isn't a great guy, because he is, but because these parts are so very expensive...I doubt that the other sources that others have mentioned are much less expensive...I would opt to pick up another enlarger to build one complete enlarger if I were in your position. Good luck.