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  #1  
Old 5th February 2019, 03:49 PM
normwg normwg is offline
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Default Durst Laborator 1200

Hello,

I have recently joined this forum as I am looking to set up a colour darkroom in my spare room.

I am interested in printing up to 5x4 and I am looking for a Durst Laborator 1200 (or an alternative equivalent) and wondered if anyone knows of one for sale or could point me in the right direction? They seem quite hard to come across these days.

Many thanks,
Norman
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  #2  
Old 6th February 2019, 09:53 AM
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B&W Neil B&W Neil is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normwg View Post
Hello,

I have recently joined this forum as I am looking to set up a colour darkroom in my spare room.

I am interested in printing up to 5x4 and I am looking for a Durst Laborator 1200 (or an alternative equivalent) and wondered if anyone knows of one for sale or could point me in the right direction? They seem quite hard to come across these days.

Many thanks,
Norman

Norman,

To take the 5x4 format you are basically looking at Durst, De Vere or LPL. There are some others but these three are popular with printers. I use De Vere.

Whilst a 5X4 enlarger is good for 5x4 and MF they can be a bit over-kill when doing 35mm. But this can be done, something to consider if you do a lot of 35mm?

Buying - keep an eye on the auction sites and look at places like the Secondhand Darkroom Supplies who keep a good selection of used enlargers.

Best of luck finding your enlarger.

Neil.
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  #3  
Old 7th February 2019, 05:19 AM
mpirie mpirie is offline
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Hi Norman, and welcome to FADU.

I use an L1200 with the Ilford MG500 head. I won't be selling it though.....i'm more likely to be buried with it!

Mike
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:07 PM
normwg normwg is offline
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Originally Posted by B&W Neil View Post
Norman,

To take the 5x4 format you are basically looking at Durst, De Vere or LPL. There are some others but these three are popular with printers. I use De Vere.

Whilst a 5X4 enlarger is good for 5x4 and MF they can be a bit over-kill when doing 35mm. But this can be done, something to consider if you do a lot of 35mm?

Buying - keep an eye on the auction sites and look at places like the Secondhand Darkroom Supplies who keep a good selection of used enlargers.

Best of luck finding your enlarger.

Neil.
Hi Neil,

Many thanks for your suggestions. When you say overkill do you mean in terms of size/clunkyness? I shoot a majority of 6x7 and 5x4 but also 35mm on trips etc which I have a stack of and would like to start to print up. Ideally I would like to have two enlargers set up Ė one for pre-flashing and the other for printing. I recently purchased a durst printo processor.

I have found a laborator 900 with lenses and carriers etc at a good price. Iím thinking to maybe purchase this to use for MF and 35mm and keep a look out for a good deal on a 5x4 enlarger that I could use for flashing and printing LF.

Does this sound like a good idea practically speaking? Or would I be better opting for a LF enlarger and a dedicated 35mm enlarger? In this case, could the 35mm enlarger be used for pre flashing prints?

Many thanks,
Norman
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Old 8th February 2019, 09:07 AM
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Norman,

My experience with printing 35mm on a 5x4 enlarger has been on the De Vere 504, so my comments are limited to that enlarger.

A 5x4 enlarger is a big piece of kit and I find for LF and MF my De Vere 504 is a joy to use. The enlarger will also do 35mm (with the correct neg holder, lens and lensboad) and the results will be superb. But I find using such a small neg, on this big enlarger, the process can sometimes be frustrating. However, the other 5x4 enlargers may do 35mm better ?

So I would say if you mostly do LF and MF, with the occasional 35mm, the De Vere 504 maybe all you need. If it doesn't suit you for 35mm you can then buy a dedicated 35m enlarger.

With pre-flashing there is a much better way of doing this now with RH Designs Flasher. I have been using one for years and thoroughly recommend it. They can be obtained new from Secondhand Darkroom Supplies.

A 35mm enlarger would pre-flash papers up to its max printing size. But would take up space and would not be as versatile to use for pre-flashing as the RH Designs Flasher.


Neil.
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Old 8th February 2019, 10:26 AM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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There's a De Vere 504 chassis etc on Ebay for £99, heads & power supply do appear seperately as well.

Ian
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:17 AM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Iíve printed 35mm on the LPL 4x5 enlarger, which is probably the most compact Ďmoderní 4x5, but prefer using a smaller, dedicated 35mm enlarger. If circumstances changed, and I could only have one enlarger, however,I would keep the LPL and use it for all formats. Iíve also used the DeVere 504, and The Durst L1200 with 35mm, and agree with Neill that they are quite big for 35mm work. Having said that, I was using those enlargers in a communal darkroom where I was having to adjust them to my use every session. If you have one for your own exclusive use, you can set it up to suit yourself, and spend more time becoming familiar with its operation.
Alex


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  #8  
Old 8th February 2019, 03:16 PM
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The L1200 negative carriers are very good in accommodating different size inserts so from a practical viewpoint I suspect you will find it good for 35mm. There is even a system that replaces the larger mixing boxes on the colour head with mixers and negative carriers especially designed for smaller film sizes. I was lucky to get these as part of an enlarger back when these big enlargers were ending up in skips but they are pretty rare now and can cost a fair bit - but the standard mixers and neg carriers are fine.

I did used to use just a 4x5" mixing box for all sizes until I got hold of some film-size specific ones - print times were longer, but not onerously so.

However, if you have the space, then two enlargers can be helpful in terms of not having to swap out lenses and negative carrier inserts (and possibly condensers) etc.

Have fun!

Last edited by Bob; 8th February 2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 8th February 2019, 04:38 PM
Jimmie Jimmie is offline
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I can recommend the L1200 for 35mm work as well and can confirm the previous comments regarding the mixing boxes etc. L1200 is very heavy machine, but I guess that's just what you get if you need to print those large format negs. Purely for 35mm it would be maybe a bit overkill..

My feelings are that Durst offering is/was one of the most used one, in Europe at least, so in this sense the situation could be worse as well regarding the spares etc.

About having multiple enlargers for different formats, I find this maybe a bit odd setup. I feel I would rather maintain one precise and top notch setup over multiple ones for different formats. But then again, I have photographed mainly in 35mm only.
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  #10  
Old 17th February 2019, 01:14 AM
normwg normwg is offline
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Thanks so much for all of your advice Ė really helpful in influencing my decision on enlarger choice and the rest. I will keep looking for a good deal on a 5x4 enlarger keeping your recommendations in mind.

Thanks,
Norman
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