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  1. #11
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    ...The Durst 138S comes complete, installed, pluged in and demonstrated in my house.

    I thought the Durst sounded like the easier option, but it seems most people are recomending against it. I can probably save about $750 and get a Durst 5500 from the same place that has the 138S.
    ...
    I don't think I've ever seen anyone recommend against a Durst 138S!

    The only problem with it is tracking down all the annoying little pieces that whoever sold it to you didn't realise that you would need - like condensers, lens boards, negative carriers and inserts, and the bolt that holds the ballhead to the undercarriage (anyone got a spare one of these? I still need one...).
    Getting a complete and working 138S is worth a lot over a possibly incomplete one off ebay!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield View Post
    Durst makes an outstanding enlarger. You mentioned the head(s) as being for B&W and Color, but what exact heads are you talking about? Some color heads are obsolete, but the condenser head seems to be ageless. My feeling is a rebuilt/refurbished 138 with a condenser head and a full set of condensers, lenses and lens boards, and neg carrier, delivered and set-up for $2250 is a good deal. Could you look at it before purchase, to see the quality of the rebuild?
    Well I know I will get a Condensor head.. and I know there is also a Ilford 500H I can have with it too. I'll get some more details. Basically, you tell me what heads I want and he can dig them out from somwhere. I am concerned about the bulb problem.

    As far as the quality of rebuild goes.. I don't have a problem there.. I watched him make a laser collomiter for testing and alligning elements in lenses from scratch on his lathe.

    Its all very confusing, which is why I havn't got past "intention" to build a dark room as opposed to setting one up in the past. Is there a list of bits I can find somewhere to judge whether a ebay 138S is complete or not on the net?

    Daniel.

    PS. Sometimes I'm tempted to just click on the "Add to Cart" buttons on BHPhotoVideo for a Beseler 45 and be done with worrying.
    Last edited by snaggs; 03-17-2007 at 05:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
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    One last question.. what is the vacuum eisel for? i.e. what is the benefit.

    Daniel.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    Well I know I will get a Condensor head.. and I know there is also a Ilford 500H I can have with it too. I'll get some more details. Basically, you tell me what heads I want and he can dig them out from somwhere. I am concerned about the bulb problem......
    If you can get both a condenser head and a set of condensers, and the Ilford 500H head with a working controller, then by all means go for it. That's a great combination! You can buy a bulb conversion for the condenser head, or possibly make another bulb fit (check the threads on this site). You can also get a RH Designs timer built especially for the Ilford head, should the original Ilford controller fail at a later date. I think the package with only the Ilford head is worth the price, especially if the seller has all the parts and will set it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    PS. Sometimes I'm tempted to just click on the "Add to Cart" buttons on BHPhotoVideo for a Beseler 45 and be done with worrying.
    The Beseler 45 is nice, but the price you will pay at B&H is probably more than the price you quote for the Durst 138. And I think the Durst 138, especially if it has the Condenser and Ilford 500 heads, is so much better.
    —Eric

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    Its all very confusing, which is why I havn't got past "intention" to build a dark room as opposed to setting one up in the past.
    Like many things in life Snaggs, maybe it's really unimportant what you choose. Many of us here are coming from a perspective of 'absolute quality' - something stemming from insecurity. I'm including myself in that. Even 'inferior' enlargers can yield absolutely STUNNING images. I've seen it. I wish I could live by my own advice. A friend of mine once wanted me to recommend a camera to start shooting with. It told them to go down to the local pawn shop and pick up one of their rolleicords for $60. They did some AMAZING work with it...! The lenses were a bit foggy -but It had character. Quality. in the subjective sense. I'm dating this girl who just picked up a digital camera and I got her onto using a holga. Again, I'm just STUNNED by the images. They're really beautiful. So - like many things in life - maybe if you choose for the right reasons - and maybe it doesn't reallly matter WHAT you choose. But choose something - and start kicking a**...!

  6. #16
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    A vacuum easel is designed to keep the paper sucked down and absolutely flat without using metal blades which would normally be around the edge of the paper creating a white border.

    There are quite a few other things you can do with a vacuum easel, but that is and would primarily be, the reason you would use one in your darkroom.

    You would need something that gives suck, either inside or outside your darkroom. Often people make their own vacuum easels using drilled opaque plastic sheeting and a house vacuum cleaner, to provide the suck!

    Mick.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Like many things in life Snaggs, maybe it's really unimportant what you choose. Many of us here are coming from a perspective of 'absolute quality' - something stemming from insecurity. I'm including myself in that. Even 'inferior' enlargers can yield absolutely STUNNING images. I've seen it.
    How bad is a beseler 45? I really just want a good easy experience for my first enlarger. I have nobody other than myself who is interested in analog photography, infact, my closest photo friends would actively discourage me.

    However, I just don't want to come home at the end of a day and sit in front of a computer! It is just dull.

    I just wonder about something as old as a 138S. I need an easy solution.

    Daniel.

  8. #18
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    The Beseler 45 is a good machine. Tons of them about, a near infinite supply of spare parts and accessories, the heads can be flipped horizontal for projection enlargement beyond the baseboard. Because there's tons of them out there, all but the most exotic of accessories can be found on the used market for not much money. If you buy a used one, it will probably need alignment, but this can be done easily enough. I put together my Beseler 45M??? (I forget exactly which model it is) with dichro head for about $600 USD, including shipping. Toss on another $200 for a couple of other bits (135mm lens - I got an El-Nikkor 135mm f5.6 NEW IN BOX for $90 on Ebay, a spare lensboard drilled to size for the 135, a negative carrier for my Xpan negatives), and I was up and running.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for everybody's help so far. I just got some photo's of a 184 enlarger. Anyone have an opinion on it based on these photo's? Since its all I would have to go by.

    Daniel.










  10. #20

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    I don't see a negative carrier in the photographs. The lamp house appears to be tweaked where it mates with the condenser housing. The bellows are shot from what I can see.

    The bellows and the lamp house should be able to be resolved without too much problme...the neg carrier may be another matter. It could be in a box and not shown...but ask about it before you buy it.

    What condensers come with this enlarger? are they scratched or chipped...even a small defect will show. What formats will the condensers cover. The lamp at 300 watts is way, way undersized. The thorn lamp is no longer available..but you can buy a lamp kit from Jensen for something south of $800.

    What focal length lenses? what shape are they in?

    These are all things that I would want to check out before I obligated myself. It is unlikely that the chassis is worn out...they will last several lifetimes unless severely abused.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

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