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  1. #11

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    What lamp does the cls500 head take? I had a cls301 for a 57 Durst. This head is configured with two 300watt lamp fixtures, one on either side. The opposed lamp configuration made this thing as uneven as a Aristo head. My Chromega E-6 was far more even than that head...But then I found a cls 1000. Besides testing light output you might want to consider whether or not the Durst can be calibrated. I'm not familiar with the 4x5 Durst enlargers but I do know that 57 Durst heads cannot be calibrated at the lens stage without a special adjustable lensboard.

  2. #12

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    use the beseler until you have all the bits and pieces you need for the durst, then keep the beseler for the 8x10 conversion you're planning on getting someday. you are planning to go 8x10, aren't you? =)

  3. #13

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    For the moment I'm stopping at 4x5. This passion is expensive and unwieldy enough there, I can't even imagine 8x10 !

    I haven't even opened up the Durst and checked out the innards or operation yet, so I can't answer about the bulbs and alignment possibilities. Though from the construction I don't know how it would ever get out of alignment, if they made it right in the first place! Probably tomorrow night sometime I'll dig into it.

    Duncan

  4. #14

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    RobertV,

    That is just a little too far for me to travel, unless I get sent to the home office in Zurich, then it would be a nice day trip!

    Duncan,

    I was wondering if it was here or the other side of the world, lol. The NegaFlat carrier is one of the reasons I would consider the Beseler 45 again, it is a clever little piece of engineering that allowed me to go to poster size with no problems. The other thing I like is the variety of heads available for it. I was doing Cibachrome printing and the ease of setting the color computer up and making consistent prints was a dream. ( Then I discovered PhotoShop and large format roll printers....)

    Well drop me a PM when you decide what you want to do and we can go from there!

    Best, Harry

    BTW, with the gear you have now the 23CII would make a really nice door stop, lol.

  5. #15
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    I've used the Beseler 45MX with the condenser head, and I was pleased with the operation and the results.

    But when I bought my own 4x5 enlarger, I bought the Durst L1200. I have both the condenser head and all the condensers, and the CLS501 dicro head with all the different mixing boxes. Plus all the glass-less masks.

    For the last several years, printing everything from 35mm through 6x7 and up to 4x5, I have only used the basic CLS501 and the 4x5 mixing box, and the glass carrier. I love my Durst L1200 in this simplified configuration, and it seems perfect for all sizes.

    So I don't think you'll ever need to get the other Durst parts. Use the Durst as it is for awhile, and then decide.

  6. #16

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    Durst 1200...great piece of equipment. My power source became finicky a few years ago, and I had Mr. Jensen from Durst Pro USA supply one of his new power sources which has been perfect. I use the enlarger for 4x5 negatives AND for making contact prints from 8x10 negatives using the CLS head on variable contrast FB paper.

    One of the other reasons to get the Durst....Ralph uses one, and many of the tables and data he has generated in his Way Beyond Monochrome standard book ( along with Mr. Woodhouse of course ) have been done on the same enlarger as I have! :} Although I use different developer and paper, having his book as another "Durst Instruction Book" is very "convenient", and quite fortunate.

    By the way....diffusion color head, 4x5 Femobox as well.

    Best of luck.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    For the moment I'm stopping at 4x5. This passion is expensive and unwieldy enough there, I can't even imagine 8x10 !

    I haven't even opened up the Durst and checked out the innards or operation yet, so I can't answer about the bulbs and alignment possibilities. Though from the construction I don't know how it would ever get out of alignment, if they made it right in the first place! Probably tomorrow night sometime I'll dig into it.

    Duncan
    I've owned four Durst enlargers and worked on several others in various labs from ny to la. I've never known one to be in perfect alignment. Until you check it with a laser alignment tool I'd assume it is out of alignment. Not that this is a huge issue with most printers - it isn't, especially if you're used to stopping down 2-3 stops. But if alignment is critical (e.g. working with wide open aperatures and over 10x enlargements) the Durst can be most vexing. The problem is the lens stage - it cannot be adjusted fore and aft. Jensen has a solution (the prola) but unfortunately it will set you back $600-700.

    You can't really answer your question until you've confirmed two things...

    1. How even is the light source?
    2. Are all three stages in alignment?

    I can put up with slightly wonky design (i.e. Beseler 45mxt) so long as it is set up right. But if I can't confirm that the machine is aligned and that the light source is even, well...I don't care who made the enlarger and how great the reputation. IMHO, the two bulb Durst color heads suck as they're terribly uneven.

  8. #18

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    OK, I got a few minutes to play with it... It uses one of those little quartz overhead projector bulbs, and just one of them, so no problems with uneven light from that issue. I have a pretty decent eye for uneven light, and this looks pretty darn even as near as I can see under the less than optimal conditions (dark garage, looking at light on baseboard, no lens installed.)

    There are a lot of alignment adjustments - probably too many, from the standpoint of more things to screw up! The lens stage can slide left and right, and tilt left and right. The entire head can also swivel left and right. If things were out of alignment by being tipped fore and aft at all, then I don't see an obvious way to adjust that.

    Some questions about the head, for those who know these things:

    What is the "supplemental filter" that slides in an out with a lever on the left side of the head? Looks to have a slightly yellow tint to it when in.

    What is the squarish area with metal guides and two clips on the top of the 4x5 Femobox? Am I missing something that goes there? The other two clips hold the guts of the Femobox in, I get that.

    Is it weird that the head simply has one power cord and no control cord? It's been a while since I fired up the Beseler Dichro 45S head but I remember that having a control cord that let the light go through the enlarger or not, while the head itself stayed powered up the whole time. It seems to thwart repeatable results to turn the whole head on and off this way.

    Other notes:

    I have the Femoneg AM, which is good, right? That has the bigger mask area for some of the better 4x5 masks or glasses?

    Are the red levers on either side of the chassis for locking and unlocking the head swivel? They have a very odd feel to them, as if they are slipping on their shafts, when they reach the end of travel. And I was tilting the head and now I can't, and I was messing with those levers, but I can't mess with them and make it able to tilt again. Time to become a paying APUG member and take that one member up on his offer of L1200 manual reprints to members...

    Duncan

  9. #19
    fotch's Avatar
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    Congrats for becoming a subscriber.

    I have used the Beseler 45's for years and really like them. Sure, there are better machines, there always is. However, just like owning a Leica won't make your pictures any better, neither will the most expensive enlarger.

    That said, it is a pleasure to use well designed and manufactured photo tools. I recently picked up a Beseler CB-7 and a 45MXT. I don't expect them to necessarily work any better than my old, Beseler 45 with front struts (first 45 model) but they are nicer if not newer.

    Meanwhile, I have a Durst Pro 4x5 that I took in trade 20 years ago and have never used. I got this about the time I moved to a new home and am just now getting around to resurrecting my darkroom, and am interested in trying it out. I should of sold it 5 or 7 years ago when it still had some real value but thought, I should try it out first.

    My plan now is to set up the newer Beselers and the Durst, and see what I want to keep. If you got the room, even if only a backup machine, keep the Beseler until at least you know you will never need it again.

    JMHO
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #20
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    ......What is the "supplemental filter" that slides in an out with a lever on the left side of the head? Looks to have a slightly yellow tint to it when in........
    I believe it is to compensate for different “orange masks” of certain color negatives. I think it was discontinued on the later enlargers, and my CLS501 doesn’t have that filter.


    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    ......What is the squarish area with metal guides and two clips on the top of the 4x5 Femobox? Am I missing something that goes there? .......
    I wish I had a picture, but from your description, I think you’re talking about the metal spring clips that hold the Femoneg in place.


    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    ......Is it weird that the head simply has one power cord and no control cord? It's been a while since I fired up the Beseler Dichro 45S head but I remember that having a control cord that let the light go through the enlarger or not, while the head itself stayed powered up the whole time. It seems to thwart repeatable results to turn the whole head on and off this way........
    The CLS500 has a power cord that plugs into the transformer, and then in to a timer or the main wall outlet. Durst has a delay built into this transformer, to allow for the time the lamp requires to come up to max. In my case, the delay is about a half-second. Some timers can be set to compensate for this.


    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    ......I have the Femoneg AM, which is good, right? That has the bigger mask area for some of the better 4x5 masks or glasses?.......
    The AM version is the USA version for 4x5-incih film. When you buy masks, be sure to get those designed for the AM version.


    Quote Originally Posted by frobozz View Post
    ......Are the red levers on either side of the chassis for locking and unlocking the head swivel? They have a very odd feel to them, as if they are slipping on their shafts, when they reach the end of travel. And I was tilting the head and now I can't, and I was messing with those levers, but I can't mess with them and make it able to tilt again. Time to become a paying APUG member and take that one member up on his offer of L1200 manual reprints to members.......
    Yes, those levers lock and unlock the head swivel. I turn the levers to the - and then release or unscrew the black locking knob on the right side. Then carefully swivel the head. I’m not too familiar with this, as I never have to swivel the head.

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