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Buying my first enlarger Durst M605

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One guy was offering a complete darkroom equipment for 50 euros incl. Durst M605 bw enlarger with Schneider companon lens (he doesn't mention which one). I will go and see its condition but I have very limited knowledge. 

 

So I need your help. I would like to ask what should I look for? Only things that I am think of the film carriers, fungus/scratches on the lens, timer, bulb.

 

Thanks a lot in advance!

 

 

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You did very well. That is an especially rugged unit.

 

Try it and check for alignment. Download the instruction manual, and get a grain focuser. That's all I can recommend at the moment. You have the rest covered. (Eventually get the ready-made multi-contrast filters for the filter drawer.)

Edited by pico

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Thanks Pico, 

Actually the ad was not very descriptive so I asked for more photos. I have no idea if it has a bulb. But if not, do you think it is easy to find? Because 50 euro is very cheap so I was thinking to upgrade the lens and other stuff if they are not working.

 

 

You did very well. That is an especially rugged unit.

 

Try it and check for alignment. Download the instruction manual, and get a grain focuser. That's all I can recommend at the moment. You have the rest covered. (Eventually get the ready-made multi-contrast filters for the filter drawer.)

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Here is some more photos from the seller

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Thanks Pico, 

Actually the ad was not very descriptive so I asked for more photos. I have no idea if it has a bulb. But if not, do you think it is easy to find? Because 50 euro is very cheap so I was thinking to upgrade the lens and other stuff if they are not working.

 

The manual (link in previous post) should show what lamp you need. I use the quartz halogens in reflector and have no trouble finding them. Post again if you cannot find them.

 

Try the lens first. There are sample variations, but yours should be a good start.

EDIT: brain oops - the Componon-S is the best lens for 35mm. I use them when

I can afford them.

Edited by pico

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Looks good so far. The lens is excellent. It is for 35 mm film. If you like to do 6x6 cm also you need a additional 80 mm lens.

This is the classical BW version of the 605. IIRC it uses a 150 W opal lamp. These are a bit hard to find nowadays, but I think Fotoimpex or Foto-Brenner should have it.

I can't find a set of multigrade filters on the pictures. If they are not there you can only use fix graded photo paper or multigrade paper will work with gradation 2,5. Fixed graded paper is rare today and mostly you can only get one or two grades, so it hardly makes sense. In the past there was about 4-6 grades available. So maybe you need to buy a set of filters. But for 50 euros it's always worth the money.

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If you are keen to try darkroom work, then 50 Euros is a bargain, I'd just grab it. Really, the lens is worth that.

Other stuff, like Multi-Grade filters can be found, so get it, try it and go from there.

Beware though, it is such an enjoyable process, it will destroy any spare time you currently have.

Gary

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Regarding multi-contrast filters, for my small enlarger (Focoma IIa) I modified the red filter holder to hold multi-contrast filters. No observable loss in quality. (I should probably modify for a better system, but I should live so long.

)

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I think he also has contrast filters because he told me he has everything. So we will see.

 

And if I want to upgrade to a color version, can I find a color head only for these enlargers? I checked ebay but couldn't find one.

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I think he also has contrast filters because he told me he has everything. So we will see.

 

And if I want to upgrade to a color version, can I find a color head only for these enlargers? I checked ebay but couldn't find one.

 

I do not recommend color printing. It can drive you crazy. The instructions do show you how to set the color head to B&W multi-grade paper filters, but IMHO, it's not worth it. There are heads that have intelligent timers that automatically set the right time for each individual multi-grade filter, even split grades. I use an Ilford 500 multigrade system (head and controller) for LF and rue the day it breaks down.

Edited by pico

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I picked up the enlarger and other stuff today and assembled at home. It is working quite well but I have a question.

 

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It comes with two different timers. First one (wooden box) is hand made and it is hard to adjust and I think it is not accurate. 

The other one looks much better but I have to make the connections myself. Do you know how to do that?

 

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It is a condensor version, so you need an Opal 75W or 100W version. 150W can be to hot for in a Durst M605 and I would not recommend it. Spare parts for Durst are getting more difficult to get. In timers you can get better for small money or going to a system with darkroom computer like FEM-Kunze or RH. When calibrated you get the right exposure time and MC filter value to put in. State of the art is a Heiland Split Grade system which will do all things automatically.

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It is a condensor version, so you need an Opal 75W or 100W version. 150W can be to hot for in a Durst M605 and I would not recommend it. Spare parts for Durst are getting more difficult to get. In timers you can get better for small money or going to a system with darkroom computer like FEM-Kunze or RH. When calibrated you get the right exposure time and MC filter value to put in. State of the art is a Heiland Split Grade system which will do all things automatically.

 

 

I also thought of buying a new timer but I paid 50 euro for everything and it has already two timers. I would like to make use of them

 

And do you think all new timers works well with m605?

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About color printing (RA-4) I have done this with separate filters 30 years ago and then it can make you crazy. For a good color development you need at least apart from a color head, a Jobo processor or roller machine (Thermaphot). A good color analyzer with positive densitometer (FEM-Kunze CFL-4012 and AD2000). RA-4 printing is a very technical job. When above system is running, every 90s you have a nice color print, however to set it up and let running it in a stable way is not that easy. And above equipment is much more difficult to get unless you have a lot of money and buy it new.

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All timers who can switch >150W/230V are suitable. Because you are working in an wet environment safety of the timers and a grounding of the system and differential switch is important.

 

Said already that most darkroom sets in HOLLAND can be a bargain. Some are even not going for free.

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All timers who can switch >150W/230V are suitable. Because you are working in an wet environment safety of the timers and a grounding of the system and differential switch is important.

 

Permit me to double up on that. Timers are inexpensive, and later ones are very good - the least of your worries.

Best of luck!

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