I've been properly into photography for the past 7 years and started with a set of hand me down equipment my father left and an old 50's black crackle finish enlarger. They were the days, no choice to get in the way of picture making. Anyway, with the rise in Digital and the following demise in professional film printing, I have found myself in the position to buy top quality enlargers at give away prices. It stated with a 60's durst Laborator 54 with all its condensers from a printing house in Norwich. This is a table top beast but still weighs in at 100Lbs and is 5 ft tall (£50). I thought this will do for medium format I'll never need another. The next one was a local add for another Durst M700 with lenses (£70) 35 mm sorted. After my usual trawl through E-bay I stumbled across a Durst 138s with condensers and bits. (£60 ). After a 4 hour drive I found that the enlarger had belonged to a Dr Heinz Zinram a London underground and british railways photographer. It was pristine condition with an additional agfa head. His lovely family were clearing out his old darkroom and said I could have anything from this pile of equipment. I promptly filled the car up to the gunnels and still had to leave a more than I could bare. There was a small van load of 60's lighting, boxes full of old flash bulbs, lighting tripods etc etc but the car was full and there was no time for a return trip...
So with a sad heart I drove away, but pleased as punch with my purchase.The months went by and then the drug e-bay hit me again. I had been keeping half an eye out for a 8 x 10, for when I eventually take a plunge in that direction. I then saw a Kamm with a devere 5108 head. (£120) I promptly travelled a few hundred miles to pick it up and get it home. What a beast, its all smoke and mirrors. Its got an elaborate cable and pulley system to counter weight the head and table. It stands close to 11ft hight and make the 138s look puny in comparison. My darkroom is 14 x 10 and on 14 ft wall is just full of enlargers. this obviously doesn't mention the freebees you pick up over time that are stuck in the cupboard, and old Gnome, a russian suitcase a nasty old durst amateur model. I am dreading the day when I see a Durst or devere 8 x 10.....for sale cheap..
Anyone in the same boat?