Established in 1936 by two brothers, Julius and Gilbert Durst, who were enthusiasts in the field of photography, encouraged by their mother, who was also a keen photographer and had her own darkroom.
Durst ended production of their enlargers, well known for their quality, in late 2006, due to a drop in sales, probably due to growth of minilabs and later digital imaging. In the 70 years of manufacturing enlargers their sales peaked in 1979 with 107,000 sold. Durst have filed over 500 patents for various components and designs of enlargers.
Now, Durst produce a range of photochemical (Durst Lambda and Theta printers) and super wide format inkjet printers based on UV polimerization ink technology. The quality of the output of these products is exceptional, as was the case with the company’s historical enlargers, for high quality image reproduction and high versatility of application, from paper and plastic materials to ceramics and wood.
The Durst Lambda and Theta models are widely used in the photographic printing industry to produce digital C-Type prints on light sensitive colour and monochrome papers and transparency display materials such as Kodak Duratrans/Duraclear. Images are produced by exposing light sensitive material with RGB laser light which is then developed through the relevant chemical process. The Lambda is a standalone machine the requires a separate chemical processor and takes a 50″ roll of paper, whereas the Theta is a 30″ machine and has its chemical processor built in. The Theta is also capable of holding two different paper types at once.