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Thread: CLS 301 Restoration

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    Like an LPL 4500 series with a VCCE head !

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Zurich, CH
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    6

    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    I think I will give it another try and sacrifice one more bulb in the interest of science. If it blows I will follow Drew's and LabRat's advice and connect the bulbs in series to the main without the EST301. For my next batch I will try to source some 'quality' bulbs, need to find a European supplier to save on shipping.

    @Michael: Why do you think that a 'light' enlarger is better for printing from 4x5 negatives? In terms of ease of use I find the Durst 184 better than the DeVere 504 that I am used to. Floor space is not an issue in my case. Interestingly, 'beasts' like the 184 or the 138 tend to be cheaper than the classic 4x5 enlargers which in the tiny Swiss market fetch $1000+.

  3. #13

    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by jp0186 View Post
    I think I will give it another try and sacrifice one more bulb in the interest of science. If it blows I will follow Drew's and LabRat's advice and connect the bulbs in series to the main without the EST301. For my next batch I will try to source some 'quality' bulbs, need to find a European supplier to save on shipping.

    @Michael: Why do you think that a 'light' enlarger is better for printing from 4x5 negatives? In terms of ease of use I find the Durst 184 better than the DeVere 504 that I am used to. Floor space is not an issue in my case. Interestingly, 'beasts' like the 184 or the 138 tend to be cheaper than the classic 4x5 enlargers which in the tiny Swiss market fetch $1000+.
    The smaller lighter enlargers are considerably easier to work with. Unless you have a 15 foot ceiling you are likely going to be doing a lot of bending over with the floor standing units which can easily be put at an operations access point that is very comfortable to work with. Spend four + hours printing in a session and you will get a taste of what I am talking about. Could this possibly be one of the reasons the classic enlargers are commanding a premium? Maybe you could broaden your investigative reach in this regard. I just acquired a like new Omega D5500 with an Ilford 500H multi contrast head and three Nikkor enlarging lenses for $100. And I have a Durst 138 with the same Ilford 500H multi contrast head on it. Yes, I could have used the 138 very effectively, but the Omega is much easier when I work with 4x5. Over the years I have gained an appreciation for efficiency and operator comfort in the darkroom. I have been where you are and I am just raising some issues for you to consider. How you proceed is completely your decision.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    Gosh, I disagree with you, Michael. Yeah, if you are trying to make a 30X40 inch print from 8X10 film using a 184, you need a 240 lens and will have the baseboard all the way down. But 4x5 is a completely different story and quite convenient, as are smaller enlargements from 8X10 itself. I'll admit that I generally print 4X5 and smaller negs using a 138 chassis instead, but that's just because I tend to dedicate my bigger enlargers to actual 8x10 use. When these true commercial Durst machines are all tuned up, they're a joy to work with. Nothing fabricated with anodized aluminum has that kind of precision or long-term durability.

  5. #15

    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    I can see where you are coming from Drew. "When these commercial machines are tuned up they are a joy to work with". Two things along these lines. First is that they are indeed commercial machines and assume a certain level of commercial experience in knowing how to tune them up, knowing the lenses to use and most importantly knowing how to print so you have some reference as to getting the most out of the process. Working with as you say with fabricated anodized aluminum is a right of passage I see no differently as the waste paper bucket you have to fill with crap prints before you know what the hell you are doing. Experience is the operative word.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    10,561

    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    Avoid Chinese-made bulbs like the plague. I prefer Japanese-made Ushio bulbs. True US-made GE bulbs are also good, but most of what they GE label for mass-market and home-center sales is imported utter trash. There are also good EU-made bulbs. I only deal with dedicated bulb houses. Photo and AV suppliers tend to rebrand things at an obscene markup, or just substitute junk at a lower price point.It's important to replace both bulbs. One weak one can make the other one pop. Be sure to check for corossion on the sockets too.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    Michael - folks down the street spend their time refurbishing speedboats and classic motorcycles. I liked restoring commercial Dursts, and even built a much larger enlarger from the ground up. 184's and 138's were ideal for my personal skill level and limited shop. Durst made some fancier machines; but I'm what electronics hobbyists contemptuously refer to as a "fuse-puller" - someone who simply replaces suspect components rather than diagnosing them. And I know how to replace a lot of temperamental circuitry with a bit of basic engine wire and a dedicated outlet. The less electronics, the better. I still have one Omega chassis here too, but took it out of service a couple years ago. The big solid baseboard on the Dursts double as outfeed tables for my mounting presses, etc. The 184 is equipped with precise ht adjustment and focus motors. But I would never opt for one of their auto-focus systems, which are known to be flaky, and require odd dedicated carriers. But the refurbishing phase of my life is likely over, and now I just want to enjoy these machines. No space left for another enlarger anyway.

  8. #18

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    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    I've bought lots of NOS American or Japanese ELH's at auction and have never had issues with them. Sometimes the contacts may be a bit oxidized, but a bit of sandpaper takes care of that and I use a small dab of dielectric on the posts. I print down to 135 on the DeVere 5108 but can also use the LPL 4500-II. I like the Devere much better than the Durst which I still have. L

  9. #19

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    May 2015
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    SooooCal/LA USA
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    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    An ELH bulb tip...

    A common use for ELH's was Kodak carousel projectors, so if you are looking for NOS bulbs, the vintage GE projection lamps are common, so some supplier catering to vintage AV or commercial lighting might have a stash... There's a smiling retro girl with a projector on the box... ;-)

    Good Luck!!!

    Steve K

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Zurich, CH
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    6

    Re: CLS 301 Restoration

    After frying another bulb I decided to do the suggested conversion and wired the bulbs in serial. This indeed seems to work much better. I will now control the lights straight through the timer (once I get my hands on one that can handle the 600W). Unfortunately, in this setup I would have to control the fan manually.

    Does anyone know if the EST301 just switches on the fan whenever the lights are on, or does it do something more elaborate (e.g., measure temperature or let the fan run for 20s after the lights were on)?

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