I need a new easel

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Tim Gray, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    So I bought a Saunders VT-1400 easel about 6 months ago, and then scored a new-in-the-box Beseler 23CII-XL. I know I've read that the VT-1400 is a big easel, but DAMN. I can't even use it for 5x7's because of the way the 23C's head rides on the track. I think I can use it for 8x10's and 11x14's are fine.

    I'm currently not actually printing 11x14 because my bathroom isn't quite set up yet for 3 trays of the necessary size. Ditto for 8x10. So I'm actually only printing 4x6 and 5x7 for the time being. I really like the build of the VT-1400. Is there a comparably built easel for 8x10? Or a smaller 11x14?

    To further complicate matters, I just started printing 6x6. As I don't have a 6x6 carrier yet (looking), I've been using my glass 6x9 carrier. So I do kind of need some kind of masking - my speed easels aren't quite cutting it.
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I like the Saunders Slimtrack, more compact, although the blades are a little bit narrower.

    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2010
  3. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    Can you wall mount the enlarger? Why not make your own negative carrier out of blalck matte board? My wife made me one so I could make full frame prints as a birthday present. works great.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Tim:

    You need a longer lens (105mm?) for the enlarger. You will then be raising the enlarger head higher, and the image will be farther out from the supports.

    Matt
     
  5. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Have no idea how it compares quality-wise, but last year I picked up an LPL 8x10 two blade easel via ePrey. I wasn't running into the column with my larger ones, but I got tired of reaching under the big mask frame, having it flap around while I was loading to make 5x5 inch test prints. I paid the handsome sum of $15 for it, although the shipping was a bit high. The small sizes are more common and pretty reasonable, the big ones, especially four-blade types, even used are a bit sobering unless one gets lucky.
     
  6. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Wall mount - no I'm in the bathroom on a cart for now.
    Lens - looking for a new lens already. I will look into 105mm ones
    LPL - its an idea. I've used the regular run-of-the-mill Saunders easels. They are ok. The ones I used were in a school lab, which might have something to do with it, but they were just kind of ok - not straight blades, etc.