Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,564   Posts: 1,573,417   Online: 905
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mundelein, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    1,005
    Images
    1

    Durst L1200 / CLS 500 or Beseler 45MX / Dichro 45S ?

    I always hate forum posts that ask other people to make someone's decision for them. Nobody can do that for you! But here I am, in need of some sort of guidance, so... hate me if you must.

    I'm setting up a darkroom again after about 3 decades of having to have other people print my pictures. I've been gathering pieces for a few years now, and will likely begin construction later this year. I have a Beseler 45MX with the Dichro 45S color head (the simpler one without all the balky LED displays.) I have every mixing box for the head. I have every negative carrier I could ever need, including the Negaflat (I much prefer glassless carriers). I'm completely set in the enlarger department.

    ...and then yesterday, as part of a deal for a bunch of darkroom stuff, I picked up a Durst Laborator 1200 with the CLS500 head. Oh my word, that is one sexy enlarger. It's in gorgeous condition, but it only has the 4x5 light box, and the 35mm masks for the carrier (plus the full size glass to put back in if needed, and the built in sliding masks of course.)

    Even without having actually used it, it's pretty clear to me that the Durst is going to win most polls of "which of those two is the better enlarger"? That thing is a beast. The question is, at what cost? From what I can tell, Durst parts are much harder to come by (read: more expensive) than the Beseler equivalents. I could print all the non-35mm formats using the glass in the carrier, but I generally don't like using glass. And I could not buy the 35mm light box and just suffer the longer print times when using 35mm.

    So, existing dream configuration 45MX, or basic configuration L1200/CLS500 with the everpresent spectre of dumping big bucks to improve it down the line? Which do you think is going to make me happier? (What will really make me happy is to get this darkroom going so I can make prints, even if I have to use a Lucky enlarger!)

    Duncan

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wilmette,Illinois, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    728
    I can't speak about the Beseler enlarger as I have never used one. I do have a Durst 1200 with a CLS500 head and it is easily the finest enlarger I have ever used. I print 35mm, 120, and 4x5 with it, all using the 4x5 mixing box even though I have the others, and exposure time is not a problem or me at all. Often in fact I need to add neutral density to make the times longer–I think a lot depends on what size you are printing and paper speed. My largest prints are 16x20. Negative masks are simply aluminum plates with the appropriate size opening and can be made by any machinist, or it could even be a DIY project with a hacksaw and a file. For 4x5 I always use a glass carrier, and with smaller formats I use a mask on the bottom and glass on top to keep everything flat.
    ___________________________________________

    Richard Wasserman

    http://www.richardwasserman.net

  3. #3
    ishutteratthethought's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    772
    Images
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wasserman View Post
    I can't speak about the Beseler enlarger as I have never used one. I do have a Durst 1200 with a CLS500 head and it is easily the finest enlarger I have ever used. I print 35mm, 120, and 4x5 with it, all using the 4x5 mixing box even though I have the others, and exposure time is not a problem or me at all. Often in fact I need to add neutral density to make the times longer–I think a lot depends on what size you are printing and paper speed. My largest prints are 16x20. Negative masks are simply aluminum plates with the appropriate size opening and can be made by any machinist, or it could even be a DIY project with a hacksaw and a file. For 4x5 I always use a glass carrier, and with smaller formats I use a mask on the bottom and glass on top to keep everything flat.
    I agree with Richard, the L1200 is a fine fine piece of equipment – best I have ever used. After I got the L1200 the 45M went to charity.
    I was fortunate enough to get all the condensers and a number of other components with mine as well as a series of neg plates (I machined a 35mm carrier to 4 x 5).
    There are components out there, just have to be patient.
    Steve

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New York City & Pontremoli, Italy
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    554
    Another vote for the Durst - any Durst! My L1200 is a pleasure to work with - I is 10 years old, give or take a couple of years. I still have a Durst PRO from the 1970's that is now being used (and abused) mostly by students - still works like when I bought it, still properly aligned, etc.

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Central florida,USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,715
    Images
    1
    Duncan

    None of the two for you! People who call enlargers 'sexy' need therapy, not a darkroom!

    Just kidding.

    Can you keep both? If not, work with both for a while and then decide. I'm afraid, you'll opt for the Durst in the end. The Durst L1200 is the best enlarger, I've ever worked with. Mine is wall mounted ('anchored' is probably a better term).
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    73
    Ah ha - so you got that enlarger, I saw the ad on Craigslist and was trying to buy just the one enlarger from the guy ( I assume this is the one on Craigslist ) and at the last moment he told me he sold the whole shooting match to someone else.

    I am in Oak Park, IL, not far from you, let me know if you decide to part with either unit, perhaps we can work a deal.

    FWIW, I had the same Beseler 45MX setup you are describing and made great prints for many, many years with it. I really like how easy it is to align that unit. I sold off my wet darkroom 15 years ago and am just getting set up again as well.

    -Harry

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mundelein, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    1,005
    Images
    1
    Yeah, that's the craigslist ad! And that's me, buying up darkrooms in the Chicagoland area and ending up with way too many enlargers. Maybe I should open the Lake County Enlarger Museum.

    Despite his ad including the words "Oak Park," the stuff was really all in the other location he listed: Oregon, IL. I had never heard of that, which is because it's off the edge of the earth. It was nearly 6 hours after I left home that I returned with all my goodies. And some of the goodies he said he had he couldn't find - I paid him anyway, and he'll supposedly get them to me, but we'll see. And the amazing pile of paper which was stored in the basement to keep it cool... turned out to be in the attic with the enlargers. So this was probably all a fool's errand this time, but if I keep the Durst maybe I can rationalize it as having been all worth it :-)

    Sometime this week I'll get the Durst all set up and checked out. If I make a final decision on it, I'll let you know if I'm ready to sell one or the other. You sure you wouldn't like a nice 23C II? (Also in this deal.) Or a fantastic DA-900 (from the previous deal)?

    Duncan

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,359
    Let me get this straight, you already HAVE the Durst? I'd just use that. If you don't use a glass carrier for 35mm I presume you are just making small prints, in which case the 4x5 mixing box should be just fine. Durst parts are harder to get in the USA but I don't see that you need any Plus, if it ever breaks and is permanently un-usable, I suspect you will ALWAYS be able to pick up a "D" Omega for cheap (unless you move outside the USA )

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mundelein, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    1,005
    Images
    1
    I had the Beseler 45, and just last night got the Durst, thus the decision. I'll use glass carriers when I have to, but prefer to run without it. For instance, the Beseler Negaflat carrier for 4x5 seems to have no equivalent in the Durst line.

    Duncan

  10. #10
    RobertV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,057
    I have a complete Durst L1200 with Multigraph head and all Femoboxes 35mm, 66, 69 and 4x5" for sale. Incl. Rodenstock/El Nikkor 150mm, 80mm, 50mm. Mint condition.
    I think it's one of the best enlargers in the market. Very solid and heavy (50kg) and therfore only for picking up.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin