4 Blade Easels

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by David Ruby, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I think I've finally come to the realization that I need a 4 blade easel. I'd rather not spend a fortune right now, and most of what I see on Ebay are Saunders, and some LPL easels.

    There appears to be various types of Saunders easels. Does anyone have anything good (or bad) specifically to say about Saunders in general? How about the various models? What are the differences between "Universal", "V-Track", "Slim Track"? Thanks all.
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, David,

    The Saunders Universal is an excellent all-round easel, provided you're working only up to 11 x 14. I've seen some at good prices on E-Bay. I think that the others you mention are somewhat more expensive.

    Konical
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I use the Saunders SlimTrack for prints up to 11x14, and a Saunders Universal for 16x20s. Both are well made, and work well. The 16x20 Universal, while it will make smaller prints, was too large to allow moving it around for various crops on smaller prints with my old Omega D2V.
     
  4. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    a bit off topic, but I bought an Adorama 11x14 (which I think is actually 12x16) 4 bladed easel, and can work just fine with it. It was cheaper than a new Saunders at the time. The only down side is that it does not lock down, but rather the blades are pressed agaisnt the base by placing strong magnets on top of them (the easel came with 4 magnets, two long and two short). Just another suggestion.
     
  5. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    You can read about the Saunders easels at http://www.tiffen.com/Header_page_Saunders_Easels.htm. I have one of the "clutch drive" models, the UA1114 and love it. The 1-inch base works under autofocus enlargers, too.
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    David, you are in the US so you could go with a Saunders, which I considered myself (either the Heavy-Duty or the V-track) but as they are not available outside the US I found a LPL Universal 14x17" which has great built quality and can handle both metric and empire sizes (cm and inches), as they are different (30x40cm is larger than 11x14" even though they are "treated" as equivalents).
     
  7. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I have the Saunders Universal 11x14. After some initial tweaking (it apparently was not properly aligned as it came from the factory) it is a joy to use and I recommend it highly. You may have to spend some time with a screwdriver and a measure to get is square but it's worth it.

    One caution. Four-blade easels don't fit properly under some smaller enlargers. I could not utilize mine properly with my previous enlargers. There needs to be enough space between the column and the center of the enlarging lens so you can place the center of the easel directly under the lens. Even with my current enlarger, there's not much "wiggle room" for cropping and being able to print in the center of an 11x14 sheet of paper.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Is that the easel with blades that pop out for 14x17? So it handles 30x40cm with the blades in? It would be a nice easel for 8x16" if it did.
     
  9. arigram

    arigram Member

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    That's the one. It was very importand for me as I work in cm sizes and 30x40 is a standard here that 11x14 Saunders wouldn't cover it. I bought it new for 145 euros, which is a great price if you compare it for example with the Kaiser 30x40 that costs 450 euros!
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  11. arigram

    arigram Member

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  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The Omega looks to be a few dollars cheaper then the Saunders. Even better. Thanks.
     
  13. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Not sure about the availability in the US, but don't overlook the Beard 4-blade. I have a 20x16 and it's build like a brick... erm, outhouse and a delight to use. Classy kit.