Hope you're all well. I've been offered a Durst 138S for an unbelievable price and have a few questions that I hope you can help with.


1. I read the following in a posting from 2005 on how the 138 can be broken down for transport:

"When you disassemble the L138, please be careful that you do not release the head counterbalancing spring accidentally. I did and it nearly took a huge chunk of flesh out of me! The top column shot out from under the head and grazed my lower leg. It shaved off the skin and left a huge bloody patch where it bounced off the bone. It is that strong and it was painful as hell. If it had hit me square on, it may have severed an artery and I would be dead for sure. So, please be careful dealing with it."

I have transported a Durst 1200 in the past, so I'm aware of the spring issue, just not sure how exactly the spring is released (and how not to release it when removing the head). Can anyone clarify this for me exactly so I don't maim anyone?


2. If you shot 4x5 and smaller formats, which would you rather have in your darkroom, the 138S (condenser head) or a Durst 1200 (color head)? To the wiseguys that are going to answer "both", yes, I'm afraid you may be right. To confuse things even further, I have a Durst M70 (condensor head) that I was going to keep for 35mm, but I'm thinking it's going up for sale.


3. Has anyone ever found an off-the-shelf replacement bulb that can be used for these enlargers? I've been poking around, but haven't found an answer that doesn't require an engineering degree.

Many thanks to you all, as always.

Leo