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  1. #1
    bvy
    bvy is online now

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    Easels - Borderless or...

    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. #2

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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.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
    Leigh B's Avatar
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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
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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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. #6

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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.
    Bob Walberg

    The fix is in!

  7. #7

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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. #8

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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.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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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.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill@lapetelabs.com View Post
    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.
    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
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

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