Making an enlargement

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by macandal, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. macandal

    macandal Member

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    First of all, let it be known that I'm a newbie. I just learned how to process and make prints of my film. I work on 35mm and 4x5.

    All aspects of photography are so exact until you get to making an enlargement of a photography. What I mean is that there is nothing that secures your paper in place while you make a print. I'm sorry but I'm still learning the names of the things one uses to make prints, so I'll do my best to describe what I mean. Once I have the negative I want to enlarge, I use a piece of paper similar in size to the paper I'm going to use for the enlargement, say an 8x10 white sheet of paper, or the back of a used piece of film paper. I place the paper in the holding tray, the tray that holds the paper (again, sorry about not yet knowing all the names), and focus my image. Once this is focused, I carefully remove the used piece of paper and replace it with a new one, again, careful not to move the holder thing, and make the print.

    I'm surprised that there isn't anything that aids the process of holding the paper down so as not to move it out of place. Because that tray is just laying there, anything can knock it out of place. If you're not careful, you can easily move it out of place and you have to start all over again to find your place.

    Did I make sense? Do you guys (and gals) know what I'm talking about? Is this how printing is done or does my school (where I'm learning film processing) just have very old enlargers? Meaning, with the new ones you don't have this problem?

    Thanks for listening/reading. Any tips will be appreciated.
     
  2. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    By "holding tray" do you mean an easel? The easel shouldn't move when you open it to change from a focusing sheet to the unexposed paper.
     
  3. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Yes, and it does. Like I said, this may just mean that my school has very old equipment.

    How do you keep the easel from moving?
     
  4. Kav

    Kav Member

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    I wonder too if you are using an easel. Here is one style that let's you use paper up to 8x10. It holds the paper in place and allows you to make repeatable prints.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    A good quality easel should have enough weight to keep from moving. If the one you're using moves, try a little Two-sided tape, "Blue-Tack", or "Sticky-Tack" on the bottom of the easel. Even some chewed gum would work. You just need something which will adhere the easel to the enlarger baseboard.
     
  6. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Kav, thanks. Ok, buy how do you keep the easel itself from moving all over the place? Like I said, if you're not careful, you could easily move that easel out of place.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Type of easel pictured has rubber feet as you can see (and on both sides). They keep the easel in place with friction and weight.

    Larger easels often have rubber or foam sheet glued on underside. With weight and friction, they won't easily move.
     
  8. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Fat chance. That, we don't have. The ones we use are metal, but quite light. They can so easily be moved out of place by ... staring at them. Maybe it's time I invest in some good quality easels.
     
  9. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Yes, Tk, I see that. What brand are those and where do I get them? New or used? How much should I pay for them? I hope they also come in larger sizes. I also print 11x14, etc. Thanks.
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Before you buy an easel, try folding some duct tape over, in reverse, so it sticks to the baseboard and the easel.
     
  11. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I am totally ham fisted and even I don't move the easel out of place.

    Can't you just try being careful.
    If not you can find 11x14 Saunders 4 blade easels for $30-40, I recently sold a ugly but fully functional one for about $6. These are good easels, They have weight and a rubber bottom so they are not easy to move.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Put rubber feet on the bottom of the easel. Different rubber has different holding capacity. I just re-replaced the rubber feet on my 20x24 easel. The rubber feet I initially choose were too sticky. I could not move the easel at all to compose. I replaced the rubber pads with felt pads.
     
  13. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    A simple and cheap alternative to rubber-feet, and which you might already have around somewhere, is just a couple of strips (or squares, if only small areas are used as supports under the easel) of flat self-adhesive foam draft-excluder. That would be fairly grippy on the enlarger baseboard. [EDIT: even cheaper and more easy to find. get some masking tape and fix the easel base to the enlarger with that. A couple of inches on each of two sides would do the job.]

    Just to state the obvious, don't forget that you lift the easel frame to slide at least two of the paper edges underneath. The paper will not stay so flat, or so still, if you just lay it on top of the easel.
     
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  15. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I wonder if the OP is using one of the Ganz SpeedEzl eseals?
    They are quite light and easy to move and I don't think they have anti-slip on the bottom.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Rubber pads and feet wear and get dirty and, as a result, get slippery.

    Try cleaning the bottom of the easel.

    A good easel is a joy to use, and well worth paying for.
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You can find them at most large photo stores, like B&H and Adorama.

    http://www.adorama.com/DKE41.html

    I have this one and it works well. I have NEVER seen these for 11x14. If you are short on cash, you could buy what is called a "quick easel" for 11x14.

    http://www.adorama.com/PE1114AE.html These are also option for economy minded darkroom owners. You can get them cheap used or buy one new. I had one SIMILAR to this one. I tended to have problem placing paper square to the corner, so I eventually gave mine away. I bought 4 blade variety. They are much more expensive but to me, it's worth the cost.
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is also Speed Ez El which is made in most sizes up to 11x14. I find them very convenient and have a large set of them. They are particulary handy if one is making multiple prints.
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    does your enlargwr have a red filter? for easel alignment, i use two strips of masking tape. once i'm done withe focusing paper , i tape one down on the table along the horizontal edge of the easel, the other along the vertical edge. after placing the exposure paper i can use them to check if the easel has moved at all,and if needed ,put it back into alignment.
     
  20. macandal

    macandal Member

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    mw, ours are very, very light and no anti-slip at the bottom. I just looked up what you were referring to, and it appears those are the ones we're using. They're yellow and so very light.
     
  21. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    That explains it then.
    You could try some of the suggestions already made and/or add some anti-slip material to the bottom.
    In the long run you should look for a quality 4 blade easel such as a Saunders.
    As I already pointed out these can be found quite cheaply in 11x14 size and are well made, heavy and do not move around the baseboard without a lot of effort assuming the rubber on the bottom is intact.
     
  22. macandal

    macandal Member

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    We'll do.

    Now, why are these so freaking expensive?!!!

    Some of these 11x14 easels I've found on eBay for about $40 or so. Are the adjustable kind, easels that can be adjusted up to an 11x14 size or what is it meant by "adjustable"?

    Thanks.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Those really large Saunders easels are expensive because they are worth it, and relatively rare.

    The 11 x 14 Saunders easels are actually 14 x 17 on the outside, but you can only used the moveable blades on paper up to 11 x 14. Those easels are also very good, but as they are/were very popular, there is a fair supply of used ones available.

    Easels come essentially in two versions - adjustable easels which have blades that move to allow adjustment for different sizes of paper or custom crops/borders, and fixed size easels which can only be used for one size of paper, with one size of borders.

    Within the adjustable easels there are two sub-types - two blade easels which allow adjustment on two sides only (except for minor adjustments of border widths) and four blade easels that allow adjustments on all four borders.

    The four blade easels are preferred by many, but two blade easels have some things going for them, including lower cost, and slightly more flexibility when using unusual paper sizes.
     
  24. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I used to use the yellow SpeedEzels all the time. Use drafting tape, or even masking tape. A small piece on each end and the easel will stay put. This is not rocket science.

    And yes, good 4 bladed easels can be more expensive than enlargers, especially the big ones. Adjustable means just that - you can adjust the size of the image. (unlike the SpeedEzels)

    BTW, when bought new, the Ganz easels had little foam or rubber feet that could be stuck on the bottom. They never worked well, and eventually fell off ...
     

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  25. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    yup

    these startout with small flimsy "foam feet" - they don't last long, and yes the easel is very light... a trip to the hardware store for something to replace them is called for.

    ogara
     
  26. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    I have one of those multisize easels also and the rubber feet dry out over time and don't have much grip. What I found that works well is a roll of this drawer lining material that is sort of a spongey rubber mesh like material; cheap, grips well an I used some of it to replace disintegrating foam in my contact print easel as well. I think it was about 5 bucks for a roll at dare I say Walmart in the kitchen dept shelf lining area. BTW... This stuff is non adhesive backed so just roll up when done. Has just the right amount of slip vs grip on a formica covered enlarger base to adjust easily but doesn't bump out of place when lifting easel lid.
     
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