How to ship a Durst 138

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by john_porter|1, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. Due to all the great info I have heard about the Durst 5x7 enlarger I
    have decide to try to purchase one. However I would like to hear from
    anyone who has had one shipped. I would assume they will break down
    into four parts(Feet,Baseboard,head and pole) How ever I am talking
    with someone who has one that says even with broken down only the head
    can be shipped UPS. I find this hard to believe and I'm kind of
    thinking this is just being said because it might be easier to for him
    to ship with a private trucking company or he might make more money
    that way. If someone can give info if they have ever had one shipped
    or if they know the weights and dimensions of the different parts.
    Any Ideas on shipping would be great.
  2. John, I bought a 138S which was shipped from NJ to MO last fall by truck freight. It was in 2 wood crates with the head and top of column in one and the feet and lower column with the baseboard in the other. Total shipping weight was near 400 lb but about half of that was the heavy particle board crating. It was well packaged, strapped inside and padded and arrived in perfect shape. It was shipped by the CEO of a chemical company as "detergent" for less than $200. Doubt the average shipper would be able to package that well and ship for so little.

  3. UPS has a limit of 150# and it most likely arrive broken to your place. They must be the worst shipping company in the world! When I had my plate maker shipped to me they used Roadway and it was crated and packed with insulating foam. Very thorough job. If you want to get your enlarger in good condition I would suggest you go this route. Other wise you open yourself to no end of grief with UPS, truste me, 2 current claims in progress with them.
  4. Don't you know what you are buying? He is not lying nor trying to profit from you. This is one big heavy enlarger.

    Mine came in a cardboard box measuring about 4.5ft x 2.5ft x 2.5 ft on a wooden pallet. In shipping anything, freight forwarding companies take the volumetric weight or actual weight whichever is higher. So, even if your enlarger weighs 50lbs but occupies a space which can hold 200lbs, you will be charged a volumetric weight of 200lbs. There is a weight to volume ratio which every freight forwarding company uses. It varies with the forwarder.

    Okay, for the specifics. The enlarger breaks into two in the middle. There is a key which slackens to allow the top column to be removed. You can choose to keep the head attached to the top column or remove the head. There are four allen head bolts which hold the head to the top column head carriage.

    The baseboard comes apart by loosening the milled knob on its underside.

    There is a key which you slacken to remove the star-base.

    I do not know what head you have but you are looking at one heavy enlarger that will cost you about $400 to $500 to pack and deliver, depending on how far away you are from your seller.

    Unlike the correspondent above, I was not so lucky to get free packing. It cost me $190 to pack it and $65 for the packer to pick it from the seller and another $300 to truck it to me. I paid too much to pack it and truck it but my hands were tied as my seller just wanted to get it over and done with.

    It cannot be shipped by UPS that is for sure. Weight of the 138S with condenser head is 165lbs. It stands 81.9inches with the head not fully raised. The baseboard is 23.6inchesx31.5inches.

    You will need the operations manual to get it set up if disassembled. You can get it from .
  5. Thanks for the details Jack however I do know what I am getting. I understand that this is a very heavy object. However I do not have the money to pay what you paid for packing and shipping. I'm sorry that really sucks you had to pay that much. You mentioned this enlarger breaks down quite a bit. Now it seems the only thing I would really need to worry about would be the head with the condensors. From what I see the post looks very tough and solid as well as the base board and feet. Once again my question is Do you think these items once broken down can be shipped by UPs, Fedx or some other carrier besides a freight company . It would seem that nothing broken down would be to big for UPS. As far as UPS goes I understand things might get broken but same for every carrier and thats what insurance is for. I'm willing to take that risk if the item is packed as it should be. Is there any object broken down that can not be transported by a normal carrier???? Would like hear from some other people that maybe have tried to have the Durst shipped that way I am trying to do. Your Email dosn't work Jack.
  6. hi john

    when i was looking into 5x7 enlargers, i almost bought an
    omega E4 from photographic systems in alburquerque, and if i
    followed through, it was suggested to me that an easy way to
    ship an enlarger is in the belly of a bus. i ended up buying the
    same enlarger locally and transporting it in the back of my car. i
    am not sure if shipping it in a bus' belly sounds like a good idea
    to you, it might be a lot cheeper than freight ups, &c for the least
    fragile items, and the condensors maybe insured through one of
    the national carriers ... that is if you live near a bus station :)

    good luck and happy printing -

  7. I have not sent a 138 UPS, but have moved one cross country. It can be broken into six parts: base, lower column, upper column, baseboard, head (you can pull out that long focusing rod), and light source (put the negative carrier into the box with the light source, and pad this box extra well, making certain the condensers can't rattle around). Having handled each part, I don't see any reason it would be a problem to UPS it. I would certainly want it packed well, and would want it insured appropriately.

    I just remembered a guy claiming he UPS'd this enlarger. Look at under durst enlargers. He claims they are "UPSable".
  8. Hi John!
    About a year ago I had the same situation with SM183 { similar head, heavier base } finally decided that since it was within a days drive, that it was easier and faster just to go get it myself. So, off we went and fifteen hours later it arrived in perfect condition, and we arrived in decent condition since two of us shared the driving. At the time, I felt that even a night in a hotel was better than having it shipped and buying it sight unseen. Good luck, Steve
  9. My 5x7 Durst had some damage when shipped UPS. Midwest Photo co. packed it well except for three plastic handles that were broken(left unwrapped) and a baseboard that was dented(also not bubble wrapped with cardboard). The baseboard will shift, so extra care needs to be taken there and all handles need to be bubble wrapped individually and then with cardboard.Condensers of course need extra care.Probably best to pack all the major parts in separate boxes as the damage will happen as shifting occurs.
  10. We sold our Durst 138S in 1979. It was a package deal which included our own home made 48x96"x8" vacuum frame; and 3/4HP motor & blower. For Horizontal motion towards the vertical Vacuum frame; we had minature rails; ie like a train track rail. For vertical work; we used the stock 30x40"??? Durst vacuum frame. All these items were crated up; and shipped by truck. The enlarger head was boxed; plus the 3 lenses; and 6 condensors.<BR><BR>Our Durst 138S was replaced by an Acti process camera; which was a 17 foot long rail; and is built into our building.<BR><BR>The Durst 138S of ours had slight leakage from its point light source bulb socket; if the cord was plugged in reversed; one would get a slight shock with damp hands. Make sure you ground your enlarger. <BR><BR>The focus rack of ours got worn and would slip a micro-grunt and cause slight focus problems. after much testing; this weird problem was discovered. The replacement rack was something like 300 bucks; my dad reversed the rack and redrilled it to make it work on the unused end. <BR><BR>The point light source; if you have this option is very contrasty; like one paper grade roughly. <BR><BR>Streaks on the condensors will show up on ones prints; alot more than other condensor enlargers I have used. <BR><BR>
  11. DURST-PRO-USA, Inc is a very small independent and personal company. You are welcome to contact us, or me personally, for any kind of advice in regards to shipping and assembly of the enlargers.
    We ship Durst enlargers on a weekly basis. We ship L138S enlargers anywhere in the continental US for a flat fee of $250.00 we have never had a damage so far on domestic transport. We have shipped enlargers to Singapore, Nepal, countries in Africa, The Philippines, even to a photographer in the hometown of the Durst factory. On overseas shipments we have only had damages two times. Once we had a crate dropped out of an airplane, I believe it rolled off the loading device, and we had a crate damaged by a forklift 4-5 years ago also in an airport. Since 1994 we have had only 3 issues with UPS for smaller packages. Considering the number of packages they ship I think they have a very low error margin.
    The L138S does come apart in several pieces, base, base column, top column, head, baseboard etc. And as such they easily ship with UPS and are virtually indestructible. However this shipping method is more expensive than shipping it in one piece with all the parts, such as head and accessories, well packaged in the opening between the different portions of the chassis.
    DURST-PRO-USA Inc, is a small company independent of the factory except for the fact that we are their distributor of optical enlargers. Our price level is certainly aimed at small individual users, and we back it with a 5-year warranty, 8 days of unrestricted right of return, our personal service etc.

    Sincerely, Jens J Jensen DURST-PRO-USA, Inc and WORLD-IMAGES, Inc.
  12. This is a very interesting thread about Durst 138. I have a
    question that someone out there might know the answer to.
    I've just acquired one with an Ilford 500 multigrade head (plus
    the original Cold-cathode and point light sources, and all the
    condensors) and all the advice about dismantling was very
    useful. However I have another problem and wondered whether
    anyone might have encountered this one before and know of a
    My darkroom has a ceiling height of 79.5 inches, and I believe
    the total height of the 138 column is 81.5 inches. Is there any
    simple way in which I can modify the enlarger to 'lose' 2 inches
    when I reassemble it in situ? A radical solution would be to cut a
    small hole in the ceiling, but before I do so I would welcome any
    advice you might have...
    Kind regards

    Peter Hamilton
  13. Regarding your limited height: <br>
    You can take away the wheels at the base to gain say 1/2 inch there. (The wheels are quite useless unless you plan to put the enlarger on rails anyhow. The rails are used for easily moving the enlarger sideways if used for horizontal enlargement of huge enlargements.)<br>
    For the top, you just have to be careful not to bang the head into the ceiling. (Which is easily done if you use the smaller, ligher condensers, or e.g. the cold light insert. The counterweight spring(s) are normally adjusted to balance the head with the heavier condensers.) You will lose roughly 1 inch of height, which isn't of great importance, unless you need it for that extra hefty large enlargement. The baseboard is almost as easily adjustable as the head.
  14. Hi there,
    I know this is an ancient thread but I'm curious to know if Peter ended up squeezing the 138 into his darkroom. Was the enlarger exactly 81.5" tall at the I ask because I have exactly the same issue of a low ceiling in my darkroom, and the prospect of a wonderful 138 for sale here in NZ. Thanks to a recent leaking water pipe I now have a perfect hole in my ceiling, and I'm quite tempted to fill it.

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