Quote Originally Posted by 36cm2 View Post
2. Based on my discussions with a few people, I'm pretty convinced that the Durst 1200 is a better choice than the 138S for someone working in 4x5, 120 and 35mm. It seems that for 35mm, the 138S is a bear to work with.
Yes, using the 138 to print more than maybe 2-3 35mm negs is quite cumbersome. Just about anything smaller would do better. Unless of course if I want to blow my prints up really big, as I can slide the table down close to floor level in a few seconds.
I've done quite a lot of 120 on my 138, which was again, a bit cumbersome compared to what I normally use for roll film (35mm and 120), a Focomat IIC. But as I used a decent (Rodagon) lens, the results was just as good as with the Focomat.
(A very off-topic note on the Focomat: This enlarger is of course very quick to work with as it has a reliable auto-focus in its normal working range. But if I want to enlarge to more than about 12" on the short side of the print, I have to rise the head along the column and all of a sudden it's a very slow enlarger to work with.)
In my mind the 138 is a close to the "perfect" enlarger for 4x5", as long as you have the space for the machine (given the nowadays very little money you pay for it). Again it's very easy to just slide down the table if you want to blow up the whole or part of the negative.
You can also lower the table a bit and have it there more permanently if you want to work with the head a bit lower. Again, this adjustment is done in a few seconds.