Easels - Borderless or...

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by bvy, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I can't decide what easel I want. I like the borderless look, and previously was using masking tape to tape the paper to my enlarger's baseboard. Tedious at best, but I got a borderless print. I've read that dedicated borderless easels are a pain if the paper is curled at all (and this happens to me sometimes). So I'm looking at one of these now and wonder if it's worth the price:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/260966191487

    I realize I'll get borders, but if it holds the paper flat and is relatively fuss free, I guess I'll be happy.

    Any thoughts on easels?
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I had several two blade easels and they all shared a common problem. It was really difficult to set the paper in correctly so that fixed portion of the borders are parallel to the edge. All of them had a little adjustable L shaped "tab" to set the corner - that was it. There was nothing to support the long end. The end result was, crocked paper and uneven borders. I gave them away.

    I watched the APUG classified closely and picked up a pair of nice 4 blade ones for $50 each. I've been happy since.

    On the in-expensive side, I have some fixed hole easels. (the kind it has metal plates with holes on both sides) These aren't adjustable but easy to use, consistent, and inexpensive.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If I want borderless, I just adjust my easels to form a very shallow "well" that the paper can sit into without the blades or edges having to be on top of the paper.

    I use a lens aperture that assures a bit of depth of focus, and just rest the (RC) paper in the well.

    The paper is flat enough to ensure that the image is sharp.

    My last couple of postcard exchanges have been printed this way.

    It is important to have an image that allows for a slight amount of "slop" on the edges.
     
  4. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I use Saunders easels, and have no problem with paper alignment.
    The easel has a shallow groove into which the top of the paper slides, holding it square.

    I also have a Saunders(???) borderless easel. It has a fixed rail on top and movable rails on each side.
    The side rails are angled very slightly inward as you move up, away from the paper.
    This angle tries to hold the paper flat, and does a reasonable job, even with fiber.

    The main problem with these is that the side rails are natural aluminum, and thus reflective,
    so some light from outside the printing area gets bounced back onto the print.
    I suppose I could paint them black, but I've not yet done so.

    If you use an overmat, nobody can tell whether the original print is bordered or not.

    - Leigh
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you shoot rollfilm and want nice prints that don't need to be matted, get a 4 blade easel.
     
  6. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    How important is it for you to have the full-size print without borders? Can't you create a small border and trim it off to make it borderless? You'll end up with a borderless print a bit smaller than the paper you use. +1 for 4-blade easels.
     
  7. bill@lapetelabs.com

    bill@lapetelabs.com Member

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    Hi Leigh, I have the Saunders bordeless and I lightly sanded the side rails and spray painted them matt black! Krylon has a spray that works on plastic, it will stick to anything.
     
  8. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I still have, and sometimes use, a set of Paterson magnetic corners for doing borderless prints. Imagine an 'L' shape, with a half-circle extension on the inner side at the end of each limb of the 'L'. These are ribbed, and grip the paper edge close to the corner. The curved ends allow some variation in position of the clip since the paper corner is kept away from the angle of the 'L'. It should be possible to fabricate something similar.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I got one of these a couple weeks back. Really works great. http://www.adorama.com/DKEB1620.html in expensive too.

    Put the negative in the stage, use the back of a trash sheet of paper to set up your paper position, slide a magnet up to one side of the trash sheet then one on top or bottom, remove trash sheet.

    When ready to print slide the fresh sheet of paper up to the magnets then remove the magnets, prints perfect borderless.
     
  10. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Hi Bill,

    That's probably the best way to control the problem. I haven't done anything since I seldom print borderless.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    - Leigh
     
  11. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    What holds the paper flat?

    FB paper has a definite curl.

    - Leigh
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The magnets have an edge to catch the paper also. Not borderless at that point, but not much to trim to get there.
     
  13. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I was thinking of this too. I have the Saunders standard easel and a few other ones. I used to use fixed size easels since they are easy. But some of the standard sizes are too small for my standard photo frames. So I had to get more print from the borders. I tried a couple of things and all work fine.

    I have an old easel that there is a knob used to adjust size of the borders. So I adjusted the borders to be very thin, 1/4 or smaller if you like. I also used a 4 bladed easel (like the Saudners) and set the borders to be thin too.
     
  14. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    I regularly use a Saunders 11x14 four bladed easel and print with a 1/4 inch border.

    For small prints (4x5 or 4x6) I have a Beseler borderless easel. This one has two "bars" that are adjustable and I make these to be about 1/16th inch or 1mm smaller than the long dimension of the paper. this holds the paper flat and gives a borderless print.
     
  15. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    Get the paper flat is the biggest priority. For wide paper cut from roll, you'll have to put on the blade to flatten it. 2-blade probably won't do it.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Add a couple of strong magnets to the arms of a two bladed easel and you will find that they are much better at keeping paper flat.
     
  17. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    I tried using some double-sided scotch tape tonight to hold the paper flat on the easel and that worked out well. Six small pieces were enough to hold it down and no problems getting the paper unstuck.
     
  18. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    Do you run the risk of damaging the paper?
     
  19. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    I picked up some 3M Scotch 667 double-sided tape from my local office supply store. This type of tape is supposed to be removable and photo-safe and so far no problems at all with the paper. I'm using Ilford MG IV FB so results may vary with other papers I suppose.
     
  20. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I've resorted to the same kind of double-sided tape since I started this thread. It works well, but the trick is not to apply too much pressure when placing the paper on the easel; otherwise the tape will come up with the paper.