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Our History

The company history of Durst Phototechnik AG is closely related to the biography of Julius Durst, without whom the company Durst, which proudly bears his name today, would not exist. Although the technology today make us a completely different company compared with the early times of Julius Durst, his drive for innovation in the field of visual communication still shape the spirit and the culture of our business today.


From Hobby to History 1929 – Present

The initial hobby soon became a paying profession. In 1929 Julius and Gilbert dared to take the big step and set up their own business.

Durst Phototechnik AG was officially founded

in January 1936 Snapping photos with Gil. Right from the start the biggest dream was creating a serially-made camera. The dream came true in 1938 with the first Durst camera, called Gil.

Size Enlarges

In 1942 began mass production of a huge enlarger for 30 x 40 cm negatives. Soon after, creating very thin pressure-cast aluminum components made it possible to create sophisticated designs. In fact, in addition to smooth running the machine had to look good, and the use of special lacquers gave an elegant appearance to its surfaces.


Durst’s sales abroad continued to grow. Even in the 40s and 50s a good part of its production was for the international market. In 1953 the first distribution company was founded, the Deutsche Durst GmbH, with offices in Munich. In the 1950s Durst was one of the few companies offering a lot of jobs in tiny Bressanone, at the time visibly undersized, industrially.

New Headquarters

This was the year the new production plant starting operating. After the 1964 car accident that cost Julius Durst, the inventive builder, his life, the young team he had organized took the company ahead, ambitiously and courageously. Developing, for example, the first color head that automatically controlled exposure for all film formats, from 24 x 36 mm up to 13 x 18 cm. In 1966 eleven models of products were being made, including enlargers and various types of darkroom equipment. Salient features: extremely high precision, compactness and exceptional ease in handling.

In fact, in addition to smooth running the machine had to look good, and the use of special lacquers gave an elegant appearance to its surfaces.


The Closed-Loop System

The closed loop includes a system of measuring light with a microprocessor able to correct all variations in light quality before and during exposure. With three narrow-band measuring cells in the aim-finder, the percentage of the three basic colors – blue, green and red – is measured five times per second (practically continually) and compared with the filter value while data is memorized for input and correction.

Durst goes “Horizontal”

The leading company in the sector enthused the professional world with the first horizontal enlarger. In the early 80s Durst also brought out a new amateur enlarger with automatic control of exposure and an incorporated analyzer.

For the delight and easy use of demanding photography buffs! The innovative Durst HL 2501 model with microcomputerized regulation and electronic focus was able to satisfy all customer requirements.


Durst Goes Digital

In 1992 began intense research and development work. Presented in 1994, the Lambda 130 was the first result. Lambda is a laser printer for large formats displaying high-resolution digital texts and images on all traditional photographic supports up to a width of 127 cm. With more than 900 installations, starting in 1995, in professional photo and reproduction labs, pre-print centers and industrial departments, Lambda inaugurated a new era in the large-format technique and set new standards in terms of image quality. “Lambda print” became a synonym for quality in the art photo sector.


Durst New Production Facility, Lienz, Austria

Durst opens a new production plant in Lienz, in the eastern Tyrol With the advent of inkjet technology and its growth potential, it was necessary to expand production capacity. Thanks to generally favorable conditions in the eastern Tyrol, it was decided to open a new production plant (2750 sq m) in Lienz. July 30, 1999 saw official inauguration of the Durst Digital Technology GmbH plant in Lienz.

Revolutionary Quadro Array Technology Introduced
Durst’s Quadro Array technology is based on Spectra nozzles. Four slots in a single heated plate with continual ink flow in an array of a total of 512 nozzles is introduced…a high-tech innovation for the world-wide inkjet industry.


July 23, 2010, the Lienz Research Center Inaugurated

This new research center for inkjet technology, equipped with one of the most up-to-date chemistry-physics labs and a suitable scientific team, specializes in researching the bases for using inkjet printing in the energy technology, life sciences and health sectors and in security codes for brands – the products of 2018 and beyond…

April 5, 2019, Corporate Headquarters Inaugurated

With a company history dating back more than 80 years, Durst’s new headquarters, a landmark for the industrial town of Bressanone. For the company, the new building represents a watershed in its transformation from a highly qualified mechanical engineering business into a highly integrated process service provider. Driven by the mantra of innovation, Durst will continue to offer complete solutions from pixel to output.

Missions & Values

R&D Innovation


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