Easel for square prints

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Fintan, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I've a saunders 20x24 4-blade easel and I have to say it can drive me nuts at times.

    I would print square, perhaps 85% of the time.

    10x10 on 12 x 16in sheets
    14x14 on 16 x 20in sheets
    18x18 on 20 x 24in sheets

    I use a few cardboard templates to try to setup the easel, placing the print area in the optical centre of the rectangular sheet. It shouldnt really matter how the print is done on the paper when it will be mounted later but I just like to make the prints in this way. Maybe I need therapy :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    I'm looking for advice from the forum on any products on the marketplace [new or used] that would make this task any easier.

    Is there anything beyond the saunders and beards?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    One of my easels is exactly what you describe. It is square and has 4 blades moving from the edges to the center. You set the center at the optical center of the lens and then set the blades to 5.2 on all 4 blades and you have a centered 10x10 with a 0.2" border all around. It takes sizes up to 16x20 only.

    There are slide inserts for differen size papers up to the max and at different distances from the edge.

    There is no lable on this that I can find, but I know that the answer to your wishes out there.

    Sorry that I cannot help better than that.

    The blades are crackle finish black and the base is gray. It is good heavy stainless construction with a spring and catch to hold the blades and frame up while inserting paper.

    PE
     
  3. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Hi,

    Forgive me for sounding a bit mythed, but I am not familiar with the Saunders easel, though I am sure that it is not dissimilar to my Beard. I assume that there will be measurment markings around the outside four sides of it, as the Beard has

    I use a piece of card the same size as my printing paper and mark the optically centered area that I wish the image to be, on the card. I make the optically centering a bit easier by using this program here:http://www.russellcottrell.com/photo/centering.htm

    I then sit the card in the easel and move all four blades to the pencil marks. I then make a note of the easels outside edge measurement markings and keep for the next time.

    It seems so simple that i can only assume that the set up of the Saunders is totally different.

    I hope this helps you.

    All the Best

    Stoo



     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Of late I've been making square prints on 11x14 paper with my 4 blade Saunders easel. I'm not sure why you find it a problem. To avoid wasting paper, and since I drymount prints with a small border between the paper and the overmat and don't need any more paper than what the print takes up, I cut off the lower section of each sheet and use it later for a test strip.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I think this question has arisen because 2 blade and some 4 blade units are designed to work from one corner rather than from the center. In fact, all of my easels but the one I describe above work from one corner, but this one can be worked in any position, as all things are measured from the center out.

    The design difference is obvious when compared to my other easels. The only other one that compares is the vacuum easel, which is borderless and works with paper anywhere.

    PE
     
  6. Clueless

    Clueless Member

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    Too bad you're so far away from the Pacific NorthWest (Washington state USA)

    "have I got a deal for you...." Kostiner easels, heavy, powerful, detailed
    Like SaltHill no longer around.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?cat_id=&pid=1668

    i think this is what you are looking for. It comes in 20x24 and 16x20 as well as 11x14. I use the 11x14 for everything 11x down to 5x paper and the 16x20 for 15x15 or 15x19s.

    A really good easle that is adjustable for alignment
     
  8. Clueless

    Clueless Member

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    Oddly, we're moving the wrong things here. Flexible blades aren't going to solve the issue; rather, 3 single size easles, one for each size paper and its single size aperture would be quick and true. Well sealed Marine plywood for each size of print, rubber feet, sheet metal (lid) with a bent edge (over the back) hinged cover with the aperture skillfully cut out. Not having to fuss with "those issues" will be a pleasant relief that makes the single cost well worth it.
     
  9. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Perhaps a fixed frame easel can solve you problem? I have a Versamask easel myself, and am very happy with it. You can have a look at it here:

    http://www.versamask.de/

    I ordered mine from http://www.phototec.de/, they will ship worldwide.

    Trond
     
  10. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    My wife seems to print her 6 x 6 negs square prefectly well with a normal two blade 8 x 10 or 16 x 20 easel. She trims off the excess paper with a rotary cutter before exposure and uses it as the test strip. I don't really see the problem.

    David.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This is very similar to mine except mine is not a Saunders.

    I'm sure this is what was described in the OP.

    PE
     
  12. haris

    haris Guest

    Me too use ordinary 2 blade (Meopta) easel. I do one of two things. Either cut paper to make it square after printing and drying or I leave rest of paper under bottom of image, but during printing I cover part of paper showing up on other side of blade to prevent any stray light maybe fall on rest of paper.

    But, I will buy 4 blade (LPL) easel.

    I simply have one paper with lines painted on it for all paper sizes I use, and line blades with those lines, so no worries about correct placing of blades...
     
  13. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions.