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Thread: Durst M601 help

  1. #1

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    Durst M601 help

    Hello. I'm new here and, hopefully, somebody can help the helpless. I recently purchased (on eBay) a Durst M601 enlarger. I'm beginning to think I may have made a mistake. The person I bought it from knows nothing about photography, he was just selling stuff he picked up on spec from an estate sale. No manual came with the enlarger.

    I wanted to use this enlarger to print 6X4.5 negatives. What little I've been able to find out about this model, and Durst enlargers in general, has me confused. On the subject of lens boards, I've seen reference to "sixpla" and similar acronyms. None of them match up to the one that came with enlarger. It seems deeply recessed, has an EL Nikkor 50mm lens, and the identification on the board is "Setopla 2839." I've also seen a couple of horror stories about trying to locate lens boards and negative carriers for Durst 600 series enlargers.

    The negative carrier that came with it is obviously for 35mm, "Sixma 35." The 6X4.5 format is the smallest format I shoot negative film in so this carrier helps me not at all.

    Can anyone tell me where to get information, lens boards, negative carriers, etc., for this enlarger? Thanks.

    Doug K

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Knutsen
    Hello. I'm new here and, hopefully, somebody can help the helpless. I recently purchased (on eBay) a Durst M601 enlarger. I'm beginning to think I may have made a mistake. The person I bought it from knows nothing about photography, he was just selling stuff he picked up on spec from an estate sale. No manual came with the enlarger.

    I wanted to use this enlarger to print 6X4.5 negatives. What little I've been able to find out about this model, and Durst enlargers in general, has me confused. On the subject of lens boards, I've seen reference to "sixpla" and similar acronyms. None of them match up to the one that came with enlarger. It seems deeply recessed, has an EL Nikkor 50mm lens, and the identification on the board is "Setopla 2839." I've also seen a couple of horror stories about trying to locate lens boards and negative carriers for Durst 600 series enlargers.

    The negative carrier that came with it is obviously for 35mm, "Sixma 35." The 6X4.5 format is the smallest format I shoot negative film in so this carrier helps me not at all.

    Can anyone tell me where to get information, lens boards, negative carriers, etc., for this enlarger? Thanks.

    Doug K

    hi doug

    i have a 601m enlarger.
    i have never bought lensboards, or negative carriers or condensors.

    i lost my manual, but here is one "online" ...
    http://www.canonfd.com/dursteng/durstindex.html

    --john

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    Durst M601 was the first enlarger I owned myself and I still have it. It's a nice compact enlarger that is very precise and pleasing to work with. I used to answer several common questions very specifically on photo.net.

    The lens board for M601 is a flat circular disc with a hole if you use 75mm lens, but you need a recessed version for 50mm lens to focus for large prints. I have the list of names somewhere, but there are several versions. Some are made of metal and others hard plastic. Some are threaded and some aren't. The same lens board goes into my current main enlarger, Durst Laborator 138 as well.

    The neg carrier you have is probably consisting of hinged metal pieces and inserts. The inserts may be glassless window of aluminium held in place with a clip. You can probably fabricate a custom insert, or use antinewton glass cut to fit the carrier. You might want to check in with http://www.fpointinc.com/.

    If you need a spare lens board or glass part for M601, I might have some, especially if you have something to trade. Also, if you need precise name of products, I can tell you when I go to my darkroom next time. It's probably best if you email me.

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    Thanks, John. This gets me started. There's a lot to learn. I probably should have purchased a Beseler, which is what we used when I went to college (we're talking dim pre-history here). The negative carriers for a 23C are what I expect a negative carrier to look like. This "Sivoneg" thingie looks intimidating. My confusion, concerning the lensboards, is that I read on other sites about "flat" boards and "recessed" boards and the lenses used with them. From what I read, it seemed that the 50mm lens for 35mm printing is used in a flat board and 80mm on up in a recessed board. This came with a 50mm in a deeply recessed board. I'm going to print off everything on that link you sent to me. Thanks again. Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Knutsen
    I probably should have purchased a Beseler, which is what we used when I went to college (we're talking dim pre-history here).
    M601 is actually a better built enlarger with very precise control in many respects. It doesn't lose precise alignment after moving my darkroom several times. It's just that the parts may be a bit harder to find.

    This "Sivoneg" thingie looks intimidating.
    Wait until you actually get to use it. You'll appreciate the thoughtful design.

    My confusion, concerning the lensboards, is that I read on other sites about "flat" boards and "recessed" boards and the lenses used with them. From what I read, it seemed that the 50mm lens for 35mm printing is used in a flat board and 80mm on up in a recessed board.
    That's reverse. 50mm is used with recessed board, and 75+ mm is used with flat board.

    This came with a 50mm in a deeply recessed board.
    How deep?
    The recessed board for 50mm should be no more than an inch deep. If you have lens board that is recessed more than this much, it's probably designed for other Durst enlargers, such as my current workhorse Laborator 138.

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    Whoops. I should have read your post before I replied to John's post. I had the flat/recessed issue reversed. I'll try to e-mail you. Thanks. Doug

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    As long as the example is complete and in working order, I can recommend M601 for 35mm and 6x6 shooters with no reservation. I have a much more serious enlarger now, but I'm not really selling M601 for a good reason.

    Printing experience with M601 is very pleasing and free of frustration I had with other enlargers like Omega D's. Its strength is ease of use and precision with 35mm and 6x6. It can't handle 6x7 or larger, as far as I know.

    So, what about 6x4.5? I have a mixed experience. If you have a large easel, you may run into a trouble. I use Saunders V-track (forgot number) for 11x14. When printing 6x4.5 with this very oversized 4-blade easel, the column gets in the way and can't place the image at the center of 11x14 paper. With a cheaper, smaller easel for 11x14 size, this problem won't happen, and I actually ended up picking up an extra cheap easel for this reason. If you are a serious 6x4.5 printer who blow up to 11x14 or larger, you may want to select easel very carefully. Larger enlargers usually don't present this problem.

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    Doug, "Sixma 35" is not the name of the negative carrier. It's the name of the metal mask which goes into the negative carrier only. The upper one should read "Sivoma 35" (unless you have a piece of glass there, which is called "Sivogla").

    You can pull them off and replace them with a "Sixma 45" and "Sivoma 45". When packed together, the two are called "Sivopar 45". They are still available (new) from Durst, and they pop up occasionally on eBay.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
    (Tristan Tzara, 1922)

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    I had one and agree with Ruyji, it was well made. I use to use the "Setopla 2839" lens mount for both 50mm and 80mm lenses. From memory it's 18mm deep. I made neg carrier inserts out of matt board to suit 35mm and 645 negs as the glass inserts used to drive me nuts with dust. Do you have the extra condensor? There are two similar sized ones for MF setup, and a much more curvier one (the names escape me... check photo.net archives, it's all in there) which is combined with one of the others to use with 35mm negs (concentrates the light over the smaller area)

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    Howdy, Nige: I presume I have the extra condensor - I've got three different chunks of glass, anyway. I seem to have everything I need except the "official" lens board, lens to go on it, and negative carrier for 6X4.5. I should amend that to read: I have everything I need but knowledge! Any recommendations on the best focal length and brand of lens for my requirements?

    Doug

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