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Thread: Durst 138 vs. Zone VI w/ cold light

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    No. Virginia

    Durst 138 vs. Zone VI w/ cold light

    I'm still looking for a 5x7 enlarger. The Durst's always seem to be in a box of parts. The condensers are expensive. I just checked with Calumet and they no longer have 5x7 heads nor intend to get any. Aristo has a D-57 head for the 138. Does this slip into the lower slot for a condenser? If so, can I then remove all the other extraneous equipment? Would it then print very slowly in 6x7? Does anyone know of a Aristo model that would cover 5x7 for the Zone type II?

    Any cold light info you can give me for these two enlarger's would be welcome. Any leads on a #138/139 with all condensers somewhere in the NE accepted. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Cape Town - South Africa

    Durst 138 vs. Zone VI w/ cold light


    I assume you are in the states. Here in the UK there has been several Durst 138's on ebay--2 weeks ago a friend of mine picked up a 138 with Ilford 500 VC head incl. full set of unused condensors for £80 = $160 (crazy!) The problem is that shipping will prob. be a lot and you never really know until you see it. I have several links to places in the states that has used/refurbished durst 138's and others, but they are quite expensive and so I don't know whether it will be of any real help or not, anyway
    (lots of parts etc. )

    hope it is of some help - the 138 is an amazing machine to use



  3. #3
    Michael Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Durst 138 vs. Zone VI w/ cold light

    The Aristo (and Durst manufactured) cold light heads indeed slip into the lower condenser slot. The heads have a lot of power for quick printing times. These are designed for commercial use where time is money. Slow printing speeds are the last thing you get with a Durst. Some come from the factory with 1000 watt light sources. (An Omega D series uses a 150 watt or so bulb). Other heads are easily adapted to the neg carrier "chassis" allowing you to remove the head completely yet still retain neg masking as well as neg and lens stage adjustments. The surface of the neg "chassis" is relatively flat and sturdy enough that you can home brew nearly any size (11x14 hold any interest?) head to it. The reason you want a Durst is the rigidity of the entire enlarger, the variety of accessories and adjustments that lock down to solid. Once you use a Durst, you’ll never want to use any other brand. There really is that much of a difference.

    eBay is a reasonable place to look for enlargers and cold light heads, as is APUG (or your local commercial lab that is now digital. That's where I found mine.) Good luck.
    “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Dodge City, KS

    Durst 138 vs. Zone VI w/ cold light

    I agree with Michael. I found a Durst 139 on ebay last summer (one comes up every few weeks) and am very happy with it. It's amazingly rigid (I can't believe I put up with my Elwood as long as I did. Know anyone who wants one?). It has a condensor head (wish it were a diffuser, but had to make a decision and am satisfied) and an adjustable base that I love. I fashioned a set of 12 Polycontrast filters that fit into head above the condensors. It will last me the rest of my life, and cost me less than $1K. I was previously looking for a Zone VI but am very happy with what I now have.

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