Friday, March 23, 2012

New enlarger arrives on the scene - welcome Durst 606

As some of the readers may still remember (after all the updates about counters and benches, and closets, and flooring, etc.) this bus will indeed contain a functional darkroom.  After careful consideration a decision was made to have one enlarger set up for printing smaller formats and another one for larger formats (as well as prints larger than 16x20).  We have plenty of Saunders LPL 4x5 enlargers to serve as the 'larger-enlarger', but only a few days ago I found this beautiful vintage Durst 606.

I  have to admit I'm rather impressed by this old Italian design.  It is both very functional and extremely weird. The light come from a bulb positioned in the rear and goes through a condenser before being reflected down a mirror. The universal negative carrier has one piece of glass on the bottom and the negative is actually held down by the second condenser (!).  The carrier also has masking blades built in to mask off a negative of any format from Minox to 6x6.  With it's compact design it is a perfect fit for our darkroom and it can produce 16x20 images from either 35 or 120.

The enlarger was bought from a very nice local photographer who, after hearing my interest in testing it out set up some developer and fixer in his bathroom so I could test out the light spread and see if the minute scratches that were barely visible on the glass would show in print. I'm glad to say that they did not and I was happy to walk out the door with a brand-new 40+ year old enlarger.  I was also extra happy because with the enlarger I also was carrying a bundle of old paper that was included as a bonus in the sale. One of the boxes is extremely intriguing - 250 sheet box of 11x14in Kodak Polycontrast F in Single Weight.  Can't wait to experiment with that.

Now - off to the Bus to install a black water tank.



  1. I have one of these, a 606, which I bought at auction last year for £6, but I do not have a manual with it, do you perhaps khnow where I can get one, or a copy of one, as I would love to use it.
    Thnk you in anticipation

  2. Hi Alan,
    Sorry for the delay in replying. You got a pretty darn good deal there as these are great enlargers. I don't have a manual either and don't think I know of a place to find one, sorry. All I know is that mine came with two lenses - a 50mm on a flat lens board and 75mm on an extended board (both boards are actually metal and round from what I recall, it's been a while since I used this one). It also came with negative carrier with masking blades and as part of that there is a condenser lens that sits right atop your negatives. Provided you have all that it should be no problem at all to plug it into a timer, fire it up and start printing. Sorry I couldn't be more help. If you have more questions feel free to email me and I'll take a look at the enlarger and see if I can help in any way further.


  3. Hi Anton and Alan,

    I'm considering buying a 606 and found the manual here:

    I found someone selling a 606 for about £68 (not £6 unfortunately!). Do you think this remains a fair price for such an enlarger?