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  1. #1
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Paint the easel?

    While I've got my black paint out (see my other post on making an new negative carrier), I saw a passing reference recently to using a black easel.

    I've got an 11x14 easel that has a beige base. Should I spray paint it flat black while I've got the paint out? Will that improve my prints (by reducing reflection back into the print from below)?

  2. #2

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    Paint Easel?

    Chuck-my saunders adjustable and several others that I have all seem to have a flat matte yellow paint. I suspect that the makers of these easels know what they are doing. If your prints don't have a problem why bother to paint? If it aint broke don't try to fix it
    Best, Peter

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    I have seen a few people do that over the years. I used to think there might be some logic in having a black non-reflective easel.

    Then I realized that the enlarger light would first encounter the WHITE paper base before reaching the easel...

  4. #4
    clogz's Avatar
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    The best thing to find out - before taking the drastic measure of painting the easel matt black - is to make a print with a piece of black paper underneath the photo paper.

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  5. #5
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    The reason that the easels are painted that sickening yellow is that it the same color as the OC safelight and will appear white in the darkroom. Then it is easier to focus the negative on the easel. But of course if you are a proper darkroom worker and have a grain focusing scope, then the color of your easel does not matter.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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  6. #6
    ScottH's Avatar
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    Not too long ago I purchased an old 11x14 easel in good mechanical condition, though some area's had begun to rust while others had paint flaking. I sanded it down and painted the paper area flat black. I've not noticed any difference, though I do have to insert paper to get an image bright enough to focus on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
    ...Then it is easier to focus the negative on the easel. But of course if you are a proper darkroom worker ...
    A "proper darkroom worker" is not going to be focusing on the surface of an easel but rather will be using a sheet of the same paper they are printing on to focus upon. The thickness of the paper makes a difference in sharpness of the prints. Some workers actually attach a cut-out of their favorite paper to the grain magnifier to correct for the difference in focusing plane.

    Either do that or paint the easel black. Personally, I'd paint the easel black, especially if you are doing any color work. In color printing, the reflection of the easel color through the back of the paper can affect the color balance of the resultant print.

    Joe

  8. #8

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    Have an old Saunders that came black. A pain to use.

    Slip a black paper under a 5x7 and make a plain one. See if there is a difference.

  9. #9
    RAP
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    Well, my 11x14 easel is painted black. I gave it a quick sanding, blades and all with fine grit sand paper just to rough up the surface so the paint would hold better. Then I spray painted it flat black.

    I also took a small lawn mower blade and shaped it to fit the bottom blade of the easel and then epoxied down.

    My paper sits about as flat as possible on the easel.

    Innovations often lead to inventions.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  10. #10
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Decided to see what if any difference the easel colour has on B&W prints so....

    I exposed a transmission grey scale in the enlarger neg carrier so as to favour the highlights (the logic being that that is where any fogging will show). The scan below is of the resulting three prints (MG-IV RC glossy). The 1st strip is with just the white easel surface, the second is with a sheet of matt black cartridge paper under the paper and the third, just for a laugh (I thought), is with the shiny side of some aluminium kitchen foil underneath the paper.

    No difference. Not in the scan, but more importantly, not by inspecting them under a variety of lighting (i.e. from daylight, up to and including a 1kw security lamp). There is actually a very, very, slight hint of a suspicion of a suggestion of a possibility of extra density in the foil strip when viewed by transmitted light on the light box, but other than that, they are all identical.

    Cheers, Bob.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Easel1.gif  

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