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Friday, November 4


If you've been reading this blog from the start, you'll know that my Durst L1200 5x4 enlarger died just before I could actually make any prints from the pile of 6x6 negatives I'm building up. The enlarger has two power demands - 240v for the air cooling fan and 24v for the bulb. The problem is that the transformer/stabiliser is only providing the 240v supply to the enlarger. It's kind of like the antithesis of "the light's on but there's nobody home".

I've changed the bulb with two new ones just to make sure it wasn't anything simple and obvious. That would have been too easy. The other easy fix would have been the replacement of the ceramic bulb holder. Well, a new one came through the post today and - bugger - it isn't that either. I was hoping that's all it was but it now looks as if the problem is in the transformer/stabiliser unit.

Now, I'm handy with electrical appliances in the same way that David Cameron is handy with election pledges but Cath's father, Donald, is a retired electrical/mechanical maintenance engineer. He kindly agreed to take a look at the unit if the bulb holder proved to be OK so that's where we'll be heading tomorrow. Fingers crossed he'll be able to identify the source of the problem and that it's something that can be sorted. Failing that, there's a transformer supplier in the north of England who can supply a unit, sans stabiliser, for about £70.

It's difficult to overstate just how annoying this has been. The Durst is sitting there waiting for me to get to grips with it and I've got some very nice negatives I'm desperate to print from. Since locking away my DSLR, I've been shooting 6x6 black and white film exclusively, apart from a couple of rolls of 35mm that don't have anything particularly exciting on them. In the meantime, then, I'll just have to keep scanning the medium format negatives until Donald can work his magic.

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