Advice for a newbie with Durst M707 color
OK I'm usually a hybrid guy, but when my friend liquidated his darkroom a couple of years ago, I bought his enlarger, and it's been in the basement ever since. I've decided it's time to have a go. I have lots of questions.
1) The bulb is dead. I can go to my local hardware store, and I'm pretty sure I can get another bulb, but it won't be specifically an enlarger bulb. The bulb which came out says 100W 12V Durst, made by OSRAM, and the serial number is unreadable Will I be OK with a generic domestic 12V 100W halogen? Am I right in thinking that if it's a diffuser enlarger, then the bulb won't matter too much as it will be diffused anyway? I am shooting only BW, so I guess colour balance doesn't matter too much.
2) I'm wanting to print mainly 6x6 and a little 6x7. The lens I have is a 75mm f4 EL-Nikkor. Is that going to be good enough? I'll be printing on 8x10 initially (although at some point I guess I'll want to investigate square paper, if there is such a thing...)
3) The enlarger is an M707 COLOR and it comes with a funky regulated power supply and timer thingy. I shoot black and white only. Is this head a condenser or a diffuser, and is that appropriate for BW work?
Thanks, and sorry for all the questions.
Color heads work nicely for b&w work with variable contrast papers. You use the magenta and yellow filters to control the contrast grade. For graded papers you just use the white light. The head is a diffuser type, and is also appropriate for B&W work, many people prefer them to condenser heads because grain and dust are masked somewhat.
100 W 12 v lamps aren't a common hardware store item, but if you find one, it would probably work ok for b&w. Its color temp is likely not the same as the original, and it would throw the filter values off some, but that isn't a major problem in b&W. You just dial in more yellow to reduce contrast or more magenta to increase it.
The correct bulb is probably an "EFP" designation, which is what my Durst slide copier uses.
The lens will be fine. Ilford makes square paper, but it's not commonly available. Just print squares on the rectangular paper, or cut it to a square in the dark and use the pieces for test strips.
Using your enlarger as the search terms in this site yielded: https://www.interlight.biz/light-bulb/EFP
Thanks, in fact I've found the bulbs on eBay now, so have ordered some of those.
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The M707 color has a diffuser system. Like all color heads you can use it for B&W.
The Osram bulb you need: Xenophot 64627 HLX EPF 12Volts 100W GZ6,35
The 4,0/75mm El Nikkor is only suitable till 6x6cm.
For 6x7cm (and 6x6cm) you need for example the Rodenstock Rodagon 4,0/80mm. I have a mint one for sale.
Everything's cool so far except for the lens. Like RobertV wrote, the 75mm f/4 El-Nikkor, while good for 6x6, might be a bit of a stretch for 6x7. So see if you can find a good 80 mm enlarging lens from Rodenstock (Rodagon), Nikon, or Schneider (Componon S). The Rodenstock Rodagon and El-Nikkor are rated by the respective manufacturers for negatives up to 6x7. The Schneider isn't, but I have the Schneider Componon S in that focal length and it works fine for 6x7 negatives. I think that Schneider is being overly conservative in their ratings. Looking through a grain magnifier, everything is plenty sharp out to the edges. I guess what I'm trying to say in an overly wordy way, is to not stress out on brand. Anything in that class of enlarging lenses from Rodenstock. Schneider, and Nikon will be much better than just good enough.
About square paper, don't get crazy looking for it. I haven't seen any in the US market for a while and honestly I don't miss it. Invest in a good paper trimmer instead. I'll usually trim 11x14 paper down to 11x11 and print a 10 inch square image on that. Use the remainder as test strips or patches (hint: you'll need them anyway.)
Last edited by fschifano; 10-24-2010 at 11:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Instead of square paper look for a 4-blade easel. This will allow you to center the square image on the paper.