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Thread: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    49

    Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Hello,

    Does anyone have any experience with Durstpro USA's lamp kits? (http://www.durst-pro-usa.com/5x7lampkit.php) It seems like a great solution, albeit a very expensive one. I've got a Durst 138s, and I'm planning on what to do when the inevitable happens and my Durst Atlas bulb blows. I like the idea of having the 4 contrast modes in one.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,215

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Uhhh... this outfit certainly has good tech knowledge on Durst. But otherwise, doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation for ever delivering what you paid for.... Take
    your chances. I learned the hard way. You could also try Glennview, who has never disappointed me. Otherwise, there are all kinds of options for the 138's.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hudson Valley
    Posts
    159

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Quote Originally Posted by mbuonocore View Post
    Hello,

    Does anyone have any experience with Durstpro USA's lamp kits? (http://www.durst-pro-usa.com/5x7lampkit.php) It seems like a great solution, albeit a very expensive one. I've got a Durst 138s, and I'm planning on what to do when the inevitable happens and my Durst Atlas bulb blows. I like the idea of having the 4 contrast modes in one.

    Thanks,
    Before you make the major expenditure for the DurstPro kit, I suggest that you see if you can be happy with the results with a PH213 bulb in your enlarger - you'll need to spend a bit of time to center the optics, of course.

    I have one in my Durst138 and am happy with the results, some other folks who post here also use the PH213. It won't be a costly experiment, the PH213 bulbs are inexpensive.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    679

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Uhhh... this outfit certainly has good tech knowledge on Durst. But otherwise, doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation for ever delivering what you paid for.... Take
    your chances. I learned the hard way. You could also try Glennview, who has never disappointed me. Otherwise, there are all kinds of options for the 138's.
    Drew said it and I absolutely agree. I bought a negative carrier from Durst USA and was over charged $50.00. I asked for the money back. Pause in time. I contacted him, name withheld, and checked, he said it's a credit toward the next purchase. That's an example of how they operate.

    Glenn is knowledgeable and exacting. He also machines and fabricates to tight tolorances. He made a diffusion disk that he tapered the edges and sized it for my Durst 138 and a diffusion liner kit. Each piece fits exactly in place.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    49

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    I've heard about their reputation; it's a shame, really. They seem to be the only one offering said product, which looks and sounds very interesting to me. I'll use a ph213 if I have to, but I'm looking to upgrade the enlarger, not settle for something if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for all your input.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    250

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    I've had mixed results with Jens. Sometimes he's the only guy in town who can help out. But I always hold my breath after making a purchase from him. My last transaction ended badly. He sold me a spacer to attach a traditional Durst condenser head to a cls 1000 camera (for an outrageous sum, I should add) and then took the liberty to charge my card an additional couple hundred dollars for a 6x17 glass carrier that he shipped along with the spacer. Problem was not only that I did not order the holder but I don't shoot 6x17. On top of that he had the audacity to charge an additional hidden $35 packing fee to an already too high shipping fee! When I called to complain he blamed the misunderstanding on his evil partner, Svenny Svenson (who I still maintain is Jenny Jensen's alter ego when it comes to shafting the customer). I was so miffed I insisted on sending the entire order back to him and get a full refund for the goods plus shipping both ways. Jens said that it was not his policy to take returns. I responded by calling the fraud dept. at Visa and was soon refunded once I showed proof of having sent back the goods. But it did not end there. Six weeks later I got a notice from the Hillsboro Or. county small claims court demanding my presence for the hearing of suit leveled against me for mail order fraud! Luckily I have a lawyer friend who drafted a letter to the court informing them of my lack of holdings in the state of Oregon which essentially recused me from the suit. It made me wonder how many times Jens has used this strategy in the past to shaft customers. I never did get compensating for the price of return shipping but after that nightmare, who cares?!

    But you're right, the lamp kit looks really spiffy and I'm sure the build quality is on par with Durst, Italy. If you decide to pull the trigger make certain that you pay with a credit card that has fully girded customer protection. I use paypal smart connect in sketchy transactions like this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    896

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    I looked at getting the Durst Pro kit, but settled on making my own LED solution. It was certainly cheaper if I don't count my labor (which I don't since I love to tinker with stuff like that). I also get variable contrast, fstop timing, and a nice quite darkroom without the fan cooling the head.

    The main reason I didn't get the Durst Pro kit was I was looking to use pencil shading masks which only work with diffusion. While the Durst Pro light claims to have a diffusion mode, from what I gathered it simply adds a diffusion sheet above the negative. In my testing I couldn't get even lighting no matter what I tried with this method. My conversation with the manufacturer didn't lead me to think they were doing anything different than I tried, so I am skeptical of their claims. But I have not tested it out, and they may have a better diffusion material or some magic baffling solution they don't mention.

    You can also use the PH/303 bulbs. They are much larger than the PH/213, and almost the same size as the Atlas bulbs. I find they work well with 5x7 if you are very careful centering them. I use an RH Designs baseboard meter to get all the corners even. Once that's done the results are very close to the Atlas bulbs. I forget, but I think there was about an extra 1/5 of a stop of fall off in the far corners. I remember having issues with the PH213 bulb for 5x7. Since the PH/303 is a 500watt bulb you need a blower. I also use a variac to cut the light and power down a bit (at the expense of a slight contrast change).

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    49

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Hi Larry,

    After looking at the manual for the light (I somehow missed it on his website - it's at http://durst-pro-usa.com/pdf/LAMP%20...%20LAMPKIT.pdf) I agree that using the cooling fan is not a route I want to go down. It wouldn't work in my current set up.

    Thanks for your information about the ph303. I wonder if maybe the LED solution will be the way I go. Believe it or not, I use the enlarger almost strictly for 6x6 negs - blasphemy on the LF forum, I know. I just like working with the 138s because it's so sturdy and sharp. I don't need the full coverage a 5x7 shooter might require with a bulb.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    North of Chicago
    Posts
    1,416

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Without boring you with the details of my own experience I would strongly urge you not to buy anything from Jens Jensen and Durstpro. The products are first-rate (the light kit is made in England), but his way of doing business is totally unprofessional, misleading, and should not be tolerated or supported. I'm being kind.....

    Run away!!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    679

    Re: Durstpro USA 5x7 lamp kit

    Quote Originally Posted by frotog View Post
    I've had mixed results with Jens. Sometimes he's the only guy in town who can help out. But I always hold my breath after making a purchase from him. My last transaction ended badly. He sold me a spacer to attach a traditional Durst condenser head to a cls 1000 camera (for an outrageous sum, I should add) and then took the liberty to charge my card an additional couple hundred dollars for a 6x17 glass carrier that he shipped along with the spacer. Problem was not only that I did not order the holder but I don't shoot 6x17. On top of that he had the audacity to charge an additional hidden $35 packing fee to an already too high shipping fee! When I called to complain he blamed the misunderstanding on his evil partner, Svenny Svenson (who I still maintain is Jenny Jensen's alter ego when it comes to shafting the customer). I was so miffed I insisted on sending the entire order back to him and get a full refund for the goods plus shipping both ways. Jens said that it was not his policy to take returns. I responded by calling the fraud dept. at Visa and was soon refunded once I showed proof of having sent back the goods. But it did not end there. Six weeks later I got a notice from the Hillsboro Or. county small claims court demanding my presence for the hearing of suit leveled against me for mail order fraud! Luckily I have a lawyer friend who drafted a letter to the court informing them of my lack of holdings in the state of Oregon which essentially recused me from the suit. It made me wonder how many times Jens has used this strategy in the past to shaft customers. I never did get compensating for the price of return shipping but after that nightmare, who cares?!

    But you're right, the lamp kit looks really spiffy and I'm sure the build quality is on par with Durst, Italy. If you decide to pull the trigger make certain that you pay with a credit card that has fully girded customer protection. I use paypal smart connect in sketchy transactions like this.
    That's really creepy! It's the full blown version of my experience. My $50.00 loss pales in comparison. The blaming it on someone else sounds familiar and the no returns too. Steer clear!!!!

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