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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Durst Ceases Production of Enlargers

Durst AG of Brixen, Italy, a longtime world leader in the manufacture of photographic enlargers, will cease production of enlargers on the 31st of July (i.e., Monday).

Durst's production peaked at 107,000 units in 1979, the high water mark of the home darkroom hobby. That was the year that Paul Steptoe founded Darkroom Photography magazine. Seaton Preston, a chemist with an interest in photochemistry, began Darkroom Techniques magazine a year later.

Last year the total number of Durst enlargers sold was in the hundreds. The company says the decline has been long and gradual, beginning in 1982, and mentions that the advent of minilabs and 1-hour processing started the process lately finished by the advent of digital technology. Durst has been making enlargers for 70 years, since 1936.

Durst will continue to manufacture digital photographic products and will provide service and parts for existing enlargers directly from its website.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with a tip o' the hat to O.G.
Photo: Trinity College

5 Comments:

Blogger eolake said...

I had one. It was a really nice product.
I won't say I miss the darkroom, and I would have traded a hundred enlargers for my Mac, but still there's a sting of nostalgia. Isn't there always.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Just Plain Hugh said...

Well that's almost as depressing as all the photo papers that are no longer available. I wonder if there is a connection. I remember when I bought a Durst Laborator 1200 at Lens and Repro in 1987 and thought to myself that would probably be the last enlarger I would ever need. Little did I know...

12:57 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

The market's rejecting darkrooms. Used enlargers and entire darkrooms are selling for next to nothing. The local classified ads often have 4x5-capable darkrooms for less than $500.00. That's with a Beseler or Omega enlarger.

Kind of hard to sell new against that.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

That's sad really, but doesn't come as any surprise.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Raleigh said...

Durst was a great product. But you can find them again!

http://photographyenlargers.com/DurstEnlarger.html

10:58 AM  

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