Which is a good easel?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by naaldvoerder, May 10, 2004.

  1. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Hi Forum,

    I,m thinking of buying a new easel. It should take 11x14 paper and hold stubborn fiber paper absolutly flat. Is the Saunders Universel 4-bladed easel a good choice?

    Thanks Jaap Jan
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening,

    I use the Saunders and find it totally satisfactory, although I'm sure that there are others which are equally good.

    Konical
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Jaap,
    I have the Saunders 11x14 and 16x20, both purchased used and think they are very good. There are others, one from UK or Europe, but memory fails me now...know they are well thought of though.

    Good luck, I know it made a world of difference for my own personal enjoyment in the darkroom, made life much easier.
     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    sauanders makes several easels, two of which i have. their 14x17 easel is really an 11x14 one. in that that's the largest paper size it'll accomodate.
    they also offer a so-called V track model, the advantages of which i can't attest to, but it's a lot more expensive. the universal 4 blade model is excellent. my only regret is not buying a 16x20 model so that i could use that paper size, but, using the 4 blades, crop to a smaller dimensioned image for mounting with 'corners' rather than dry-mounting. good luck!
     
  5. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I use a Saunders 16x20 V-track and can attest to its qualities. Even margins, easy to adjust with spring hinges to keep the blades up while you change papers. Its only drawback (also an advantage) is the weight of the easel, which is at least 20 lbs. If you go no larger than 11x14 they make a "slim line V-track" which will have the advantages but be much lighter.

    edit: I should add that the v-track is also very large and may not fit under smaller enlargers. I can measure tonight when I get home if anyone wants me to.
     
  6. Seele

    Seele Member

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    I suspect you might be thinking of the British-made RRBeard; they two-bladed easels and massively made, although top and left borders do not offer fine width adjustment.

    For smaller formats I also use a Elande which has been out of production for a long time; also two bladed, but the upper structure is a welded rectangle made out of rolled steel sections, and the blades are held at both ends by screws. Not easy to adjust, but once done, very accurate indeed.
     
  7. Leon

    Leon Member

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    RRBeard also make VERY good 4 blade easels, but they are costly.
     
  8. edz

    edz Member

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    There are a few excellent European masking frames.. the most popular are Ahel (France), R.R.Beard (Photon-Beard/Calument UK], Dunco (Germany) and Kaiser (Germany). Among the 4-bladed easels the Ahel (Marge- not to be confused with the cheezy Marge-3), Beard and the Kaiser are very good but quite expensive.

    I tend to advocate multiple 2-blade easels for different formats and my favorite 4-blade is the old Leitz/Leica from the Focomat era. Among the new, in production, 2-blade masking frames I tend to find the Kaiser TopMask in the smaller sizes and the R.R.Bead ProMask to be the best in the large sizes where the "limitations" of 1/4" quantums for top and left margins don't bother...
     
  9. skahde

    skahde Member

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    I second Edwards recommendation. I know the Ahels, Leitz, owned a Dunco for a short while and now I own a Kaiser Promask. The Duncos are a bit on the high-side for what they are.

    Stefan
     
  10. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Easels

    I have a pair of Beard two blade easels for 12x16 and 16x20. They are both fine robust pieces of kit. I had a disaster with my 12x16 one when i got careless and caught my sleeve on one of the arms bending it quite severely. Beard sold me a replacement set of arms at a very reasonable price. Top and left margins are adjustable from 1/4 to 2 inches in 1/4 inch increments. My models both have screw locks on the arms so when they are set they do not drift.

    In my opinion they are one of the finest two blade easels you can buy. But they are very expensive. They will last forever.