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Buying a Durst M605

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by fulvio, Dec 8, 2001.

  1. fulvio

    fulvio Well-Known Member

    I have been offered a Durst M605 colour enlarger for £250, with timer (don’t know which sort), lens (ditto) papers wet trays, tongs etc. The condition is described as "excellent" but what should be the basic checks I do before going ahead. And is this price any good?
    (I only do B&W)
  2. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Sebastian, I think that sounds like a reasonable deal to me considering you are getting the lens, timer, trays, tongs etc all thrown in. I am not familiar with the Durst M605 enlarger but I have a feeling that it is capable of handling medium format negs as well. Check this out before you buy as the ability to handle medium format greatly increases the versatility of the enlarger. OK, so you may not do medium format at present but that is not to say that you may not want to do it in the future. Is the lens that comes with it a good quality one? This is the most important feature of any enlarger and do not skimp here if you want quality results. It needs to be a six or seven element one to be any good for big enlargments and not one of the cheap 3 or 4 element ones. What is the largest print size the enlarger can produce on the base board without reversing the column? Can the column be reversed for giant enlargments? Anything less than about 10x12 inches on the baseboard is too small and 16x12 or 16x20 is preferable.
    Once you have got satisfactory answers to these questions I would go ahead and purchase the enlarger and good luck in the darkroom and happy printing.
    P.S. Don't forget to buy a spare enlarger bulb. There is nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of an enlarging session than having the enlarger bulb go "pop" and not having a spare to hand!

  3. fulvio

    fulvio Well-Known Member

    Will, You are a national treasure - I had never thought about the extra bulb before.
  4. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    We think he is a national treasure too. In fact the sooner he is locked away the better. Only joking Will.

    Steve C Thompson
  5. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    It's oft been remarked that my family jewels are priceless! /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
  6. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Been down the pawn brokers again. Lead in for a joke there, think of the sign

    Steve C Thompson
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    They certainly make people laugh!

    Nick NRIPN
    Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
    (Mae West)
  8. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Thats Steve, always talking those things that hang outside a pawnbrokers shop! /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif Just joking Sinister me old mate.
  9. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Jealousy will get you nowhere! /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
  10. GreyArea

    GreyArea Member

    I have had a Durst M605 enlarger for what must be about 10-12 years now. It is a superb piece of kit, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone (even though I've only ever used it for B&W). You can get different interchangable plates which should be used for different film sizes (I've only ever done 35mm, so I don't know how easy these plates would be to find). Also, although it has a good base size high column, you can rotate the enlarger head to project against a wall, so in theory you make prints any size (as long as you have the facilities to develop them of course).
    The enlarger feels solid and of a very high quality. The lens on mine is a nikkor 85mm, which is probably more suited to medium format work, but I found it to be excellent.
    Incidently, I paid £150 for the enlarger and all the darkroom kit, but that was a long time ago, and I reckon I got a hell of a bargain. £250 seems reasonable, though I would probably have expected to pay closer to £200.
    Not sure what checks you could do on the enlarger, as there doesn't seem to be that much that can go wrong with them. A good quality lens with it is the most important thing.

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