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Thread: Durst cls 450

  1. #1

    Durst cls 450

    I'm looking at buying a durst 1000 with a cls 450 color head. The enlarger comes with 2 lenses. I'm curoius what I should pay for the whole lot and what caveats I should know. The price is around $500. Also I'm wondering if I should bother with the darkroom or just find a good lab as I am new to LF photography. A buddy of mine has a darkroom 90% set up with a jobo processor and just about everything else. The only problem is his enlarger can't handle 4x5 film. My problem is if I'm in for a penny I'm in for a pound. I would like to do the whole process start to finish. Thanks Johnny

  2. #2

    Durst cls 450

    As a fan of durts enlargers and owners and user of many of them i regard the cls 450 a very nice colour head, what it lacks to the more recent cls 501 is only the density contol while the transformer is better and has a faster respose making it easyer to get useful test srips. I only print BW and guess the the density control is a more useful feature when printing colour. Spare parts are not so easily available and generally expensive (L1000 as long been discontinued and L1200 just recently), so check that the enlarger is complete. It must have the diffusion boxes for all the formats you intend to print, the negative carrier, lens plates (common with nowaday lenses are 39, 50 and 55, for 50mms you need a recessed lensboard), format masks (if you use them) and glasses (check the anti-newton, which is more difficult to replace). Also check that focusing is not too hard (dryed grease, easy to fix) or vorse too sloppy and unstable (friction worn out at worst, or just some wearing). The head is balanced by a very dangerous steel spring behind the column, put the head all the way down and look at the spring that should not have no rust at all. I own 5 l1200 with various heads and find them very well made and relyable. Nowadays price for those kind of thing is going down, i persnolally would happily paid $500 for a complete and working one.

    Regarding printing on your own i think that it is grat idea. I know that with some study and good teachers usually people get satisfing results quick enough. Experiencing the process on your own will also make you aware of what's possible to get from your negatives and what's not or very difficult enabling you to better "deal" with photo labs, in case you need them again. Also important is that you will surely improve your taking skills and vision by acting in the whole process.

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