Shopping for a used easel. What about this one?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by sterioma, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Stefano, some food for thought.

    You are starting out with your enlarging using RC paper. This paper doesn't really need a four bladed easel to hold it flat. Most RC paper especially what you are using, Ilford MGIV Deluxe / Satin. Ilford Multigrade is the same that I use. Sometimes the paper comes out with a slight banana shape, I just gently roll it on either side to straighten it out and I'm off.

    When I use this paper (8x10" 203x250mm) I use a flat board (chip board) with a small lip attached on two sides. I marked out the majority of paper sizes up to 400 x 500 (12x16") and put 4 small rubber feet on. It's great for all of my RC paper work and I made it about 15 years ago.

    The Beseler Easel in the picture looks pretty similar to some other brands I've seen in this country, but at a starting price of nearly $200 Australian I think it's not on the cheap side.

    For your early darkroom needs, possibly a Jobo Varioformat easel could be quite handy, especially for doing tests and multiple prints on a single sheet of 8x10" paper. I have one of these as well and basically it gets used for making all sorts of different pictures on a single sheet of paper often. Check out one of these by googling.

    Mick.
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Stefano,

    I don't know how the prices run in Italy, but I think this easel sells new in the U.S.A. for ~$175. 4 bladed easels are the most flexible in terms of cropping, particularly if you are going to make an odd size print to suit a particular composition.

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    We have several of these at the school (a nice gift from another source).

    I find the fact that they are black to be a pain, but that is a personal thought, as a piece of paper takes care of that.

    The price seems a bit high, but if that is what they bring maybe i should sell the ones we have, as they get little use, if any. :smile:
     
  5. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I'm not able to help on the pricing either, but I agree that a 4-blade easel is the way to go if you can afford it. I used a standard 2-blade type for many years simply because they didn't cost as much. Once I finally got a 4-blade, I discovered how much more impressive the final print began to look when the image was centered on the paper.
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I also recommend a four-blade easel. But I have to say that I got by for 20+ years with a two blade easel. The difference is mainly a matter of convenience.

    But this seems to be a fairly large easel - 16x20" in the archaic system of measurements our government insists that we use here in the US. If you are just starting out, I would expect that you would be concentrating on smaller prints, and you should be able to find a smaller easel that will cost less.

    I bought a NEW 28 x 36cm easel for about the same that the seller wants for this used easel.
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    So as not to avoid confusion and based entirely on the photo, the easel in question is an 11x14, not a 16x20.
     
  8. haris

    haris Guest

    U bought new Meopta 30x40cm 2 bladed easel for 80 USD... Secondhand should be a lot cheaper. Me to wanted 4 bladed easel, but never be able to justify price...
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    oops ours are 16x20, but basically the same with regard to how it is used and functions.

    by the way, the "arms" snap in place with a maganetic type of locking device
     
  10. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Neal, the seller claims it's a 40x50cm (so I guess that would make it a 16x20 inches if my math is not wrong).

    I understand this might be a bit big for a beginner like me, but you don't see too many enlargers listed in Italy: shipping prices from outside the country can be fairly high on these items.

    Thanks every body for your comments by the way :wink:
     
  11. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    ... and a side question: would it be a problem if the easel was bigger than the enlarger base?
     
  12. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Stefano,

    Unfortunately, my language skills are quite limited (my sister has all that talent in the family<g>) so I really can't tell what the listing actually says. If it will accept 16x20 paper with a small border it is a very good deal. I would jump on it. If those are the outside dimensions than it still may be an honest deal and a worthwhile purchase. My concern is that the scale on the long axis goes to a reading of 14 on both ends and the short axis to 11 on both ends. Theses easels are designed so that when you use the same value for both blades, the image is centered in that direction.

    Neal Wydra
     
  13. haris

    haris Guest

    I have no problems with easel bigger than enlarger base.
     
  14. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Big easels are a pain when making smaller prints. Lets not even mention the huge Beard easel I got a "deal" on. I'd need a big 8x10 enlarger to use fully.

    A four blade with slots in the middle for the paper won't be much easier to use with smaller prints. The middle of the easel needs to be more or less under the lens. A big easel you can't move around means no cropping.

    Doesn't Fotoimpex have flat rate shipping to Italy?
     
  15. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    The text indicates that the easel is 40x50cm with 5cm borders, and while the photograph is not all that clear - it must be digital (sorry, couldn't resist!) - it appears to me that the markings on the horizontal axis indicate a center of 0 and progressing out to 14 at both ends (28cm total). Frankly, I can't read the vertical markings, but I agree with Neal that it appears to be more square than rectangular.

    I found a reference to a Beseler 28 x 35.5 easel - which leads me to wonder if perhaps the advertiser has exaggerated the size of this easel.
     
  16. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Nice easel but too pricey for used easel. I just bought a Saunders 11x14 4-blade easel on Ebay for $65. I already have a Saunders 20x24 4-blade. I think 4-bladeis the way to go if you want one easel that is versatile.

    I have never seen a 2 blade worth getting. You can't really adjust the borders because 2 of the 4 borders are fixed.

    Also, I would get an easel one size larger than you think you need so that you have options in the future.
     
  17. C Rose

    C Rose Member

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    I echo these comments!! The day I started using a 4-blade I thought I was in heaven.
    Also strongly agree with getting an easel 1 size larger (or more) than you think you will use as things always seem to change (for the bigger). I have an 11X14 and I really wish I had bought a 16X20. I also have a huge 20X24 that I got a great deal on but as of yet have not used it as it doesn't fit in the enlarging stations at school. Wouldn't want to use that big one all the time anyway. Still I wouldn't trade it as I do want to print 20X24 - have the paper : )
    If I could only have one it would probably the 16X20 but since I am not limited.......??
    I say GO FOR IT you won't regret it

    Beckie
     
  18. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    A lot depends on the size of print you want to call your "standard print". I make 8x10's and 16x20's nothing else, so my Saunders 4 blade works wonder full for what I do. My whole therory of photography is "if you can't make good prints, make them big"!!!! :smile: I also love and use borderless easel's
    for display prints. Charlie..........
     
  19. haris

    haris Guest

     
  20. 127

    127 Member

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    We originaly bought a moderatly expensive ($100+), moderatly large ajustable easel. It seemed a good idea to get one big enough to handle anything we might need.

    Turns out 95%+ of what we print is 8x10" or 8x8"

    I got a REALLY CRAPPY plastic 8x10" fixed size patterson easel. No adjustments. I got it as part of a job lot 5x4, 8x10 and 16x11 for about $30. It is absolutly fantastic. The paper slides in from one side: no more miss aligned paper - it's just not possible to put it in wrongly.

    I also came by a smaller adjustable easel which is pretty permenantly set at 8x8. If I could trade it for a fixed size 8x8 I would. It's still too easy to misalign the paper, but it's way less hassle than the big one.

    It's a bit like having huge developing trays - they seem like a good idea "just in case" you decide to print big", but they're a pain once you get them. By all means get a large adjustable easel - it's great to have it available, but if most of your prints are small(ish) then a dedicated small one is more practical.

    Of course YMMV - depending on how much space you've got and how large you typically print...

    Ian
     
  21. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    "... and a side question: would it be a problem if the easel was bigger than the enlarger base?"

    There is no problem with a large easel on a small enlarger base. A much bigger problem could arise with a large easel being too big to use effectively with a smaller enlarger. You have to center the easel under the head of the enlarger to center the image on the easel. If your enlarger's upright gets in the way, you cannot center the image. Many enlargers without an angled upright will cause this problem.
     
  22. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Not much space, actually: I use the smaller bathroom in my house and everytime I have to set things up from scratch of course and tidy it up afterwords.

    About print size, well... I have just started with 10x15cm :smile: Since I print from 35mm, I guess 30x40 would be the upper limit, but 20x30 sounds more reasonable as a "big" print for me. At least for some time.

    Thanks again for your comments, keep them coming!
     
  23. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    I think you may find that 16x20 is nearing the limit of top quality 35mm prints. Larger of course can be made, but a lot tender loving care is with out a doubt necessary. I find I can't afford to use larger sizes as the ratio of keeper prints to those consigned to trash basket can very quickly get very high. It can be done, but for most, it is just plain hard work!
    Charlie..........
     
  24. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Adjustable easels are useful if you are going to make irregular sized prints. They give you the flexability to crop the image for best effect. If you just make full sheet prints with white boarders, the Ganz Speed-Ez_Els are hard to beat. If you don't make prints over 11X14, a two blade easel is cheaper and easier to set up. The key here is whether you have room on the enlarger baseboard to position the easel. For big prints or limited baseboards, the 4 blade easel is needed. You can set the blades up to cover just about anywhere on the image, although the borders can be troublesome. You pay dearly for these, and the price goes up rapidly with size. Don't buy anything larger than the biggest print you will ever make. For most people (and most enlarging equipment) that's 16X20. You also pay for quality, but you really appreciate it in use. The Saunders and Besseler easels both have good reputations.