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Thread: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

  1. #1

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    Feb 2016
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    Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    Hello,

    So I'm going to go look at a Durst 138s for my first enlarger, I only shoot 35mm right now but I'm looking to expand to large format and I only want to buy one enlarger, so why not get a big one ..anyways people really seem to be complaining about finding replacement bulbs for the Durst enlargers..B&H sells a 150w enlarger bulb, though it is a different shape I think than the Durst original bulb. Here is a link to the bulb i'm referring to: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Lamp_150.html - will this work? Or does it have to look like one of those G40 bulbs I've seen people write about?
    I just don't want to buy an enlarger and not be able to find a light for it... Anyone know if this light would work?

    Also, anyone ever try this light for the Durst? It's sold/marketed as a replacement - https://www.interlight.biz/light-bul...-LABORATOR-138

    Thanks guys, really appreciate the expertise.

  2. #2

    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    It's too small to work with large format. It might work up to 6x6 but not sure. The closest thing to the original bulb is the G40 150w that's about 5" in diameter. My problem trying it is it's not bright enough. Some fks get away with it but my exposures on the paper I use were too long. If you're goi g up to 4x5 then there's a large Sylvania or Philips bulb that's 300w and will do. I converted my 138 too LED and it works great with no heat. I have a recent thread on it. That's my suggestion.

    As good as the 138 is I wouldn't use it for 35mm. It certainly can be done but it's a bit awkward having to use the recesses board and the general operation of the 138 is slow. I mainly print 5x7 on mine and occasionally 4x5 if I want the full frame. I have printed medium format but prefer my Omega D5XL for that and 4x5. I have an Ilford veritable contrast head on the Omega and it's a much better way to print small negs. It's simply faster to use and less awkward. I've used 138's since the early 70's and love them and you can use them for everything but imo it's the slow way to go.

  3. #3

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    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    Thanks Don, would you mind sending me a link to the G40 150w that you're talking about? Why is it awkward to use for 35mm? I don't mind a slow operation...in fact I would almost prefer it at this point..I got so fed up with things being done so quickly with digital, which played a big role in my switch to film a few years back. From what I have read the Durst 138s laborator is known as a great enlarger, which is why I thought I would look for one...do you think it would work well enough for a beginner in the dark room? of course I plan on reading the manual too...

  4. #4

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    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    It's a lot of enlarger for 35. Not exactly a great first enlarger. You would do a lot better with an LPL enlarger with a VCCE head. Get the 4x5 version if you want a big one. Sort of like trying to kill a fly with a bazooka. You can get a G 40 bulb at Home Depot. Plenty bright for my needs.

  5. #5

    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    I bought a case of the G40 bulbs at a big-box store... http://www.lowes.com/pd_91755-3-1579...ductId=1266431

  6. #6

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    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    While the Durst L-138 is a great enlarger, it's not a great "first enlarger": My first enlarger some 40 plus years ago was an Omega B-22. My second enlarger a few years later was a Beseler MXII. My third enlarger some 10 years later was an Omega F. My fourth enlarger was a Leitz Valloy II. My fifth and sixth enlargers 20 years ago were Zone VI's 5x7's. My seventh enlarger was a Durst SM-183 (a Durst L-138s on an 8x10 base). My eight enlarger was an LPL 4500-II. My ninth enlarger was a DeVere 5108. I presently have the last 3 I've bought and the Valloy.

    The main reason to get a 5x7 enlarger is if you're going to print 5x7. 4x5 enlargers are much more "user friendly", much more plentiful and "forgiving". Going from 35 to 5x7 is quite a stretch. I routinely shoot and print 35, 6x6, 4x5, 5x7 & 8x10 formats so I have an 8x10 & a 4x5 enlargers set up. The 4x5 enlarger is used for 135 up to 4x5, and the 8x10 for sheet film. I also have some 40 years experience in the darkroom and have taught B&W photography & B&W darkroom at the college level. Starting off learning to print with a 5x7 enlarger is sort of like trying to learn how to drive using a Greyhound bus. Yes, it can be done, but there are easier ways to achieve the same end. Do yourself a favor and start off with a smaller enlarger.

  7. #7

    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    I would agree the 138 isn't the best beginner enlarger.

    For 35mm you have to use a deep recesses lens board. It's so deep you can't even see the lens aperture scale. I seem to remember some lenses required an extension to set the aperture. With a receded board in place you have to remove it from the enlarger to rotate the lens turret. Medium format is ok but it's 4x5 and larger where it really excells.

    If you're only going up to 4x5 negs I'd suggest as above an LPL, Omega D5XL with Ilford or even a color head or Beseler 4x5. They're cheaper, super good construction and parts and accesories are cheap and readily available. No fussing over bulbs.

    Google G40 150w and you'll find many sources. You shouldn't have to pay more than $4-6 dollars each. I'd buy a supply if that's what you settle on. I however find the LED solution has more even illumination and no heat plus brighter.

  8. #8

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    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    hmm I clicked, reply to thread and I thought it would send what I wrote but it seems to have just deleted it, so my apologies if this gets posted twice..

    I wrote:

    I wouldn't mind buying a new Beseler that can go up to 4x5, but Iv'e just heard so many people complain about the quality of Beseler, everyone says their quality has gone down the drain...is that true? Thats why when I saw this used Durst enlarger set up for 35mm near me, i thought Id jump on it..Any thoughts on new Beselers?

  9. #9

    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    I've not seen a new Beseler but why buy new. There are so many excellent used ones for cheap. If you bought a Durst it wouldn't be new. They've not been made in several decades. Beseler and Omega D series are built like tanks and will last a lifetime or more. Both Beseler and omega were the backbone of custom labs.

  10. #10

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    Re: Durst 138s laborator light bulb

    Yeah, I suppose I could wait a bit longer to find one, the ones I have seen so far locally that were older were "too old"...or just not well maintained. So even if the Durst has all the lens extension tubes, I would still not have access to the aperture? I'll probably still go look at it, I'm going on Wednesday, so I'm just trying to get an idea of what I should be looking for so I don't have to "take the guys word" on everything. I feel like I'll have a much better sense of the thing, and of what you guys are talking about, when I see it in person..I do really appreciate all the advice

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