I'm trying to decide on a new easel.
I'm currently using the following which I obtained secondhand along with the rest of my darkroom clobber (the first two get the lion's share of the usage):
Durst fixed 10x8 1/4" border
LPL 12x10 2-blade 1/4" border
LPL 18x14 2-blade 1/4" to 1/2" border
I generally print on 10x8 RC, dropping to 5x7 for some giveaway mantelpiece shots. My intention is to move more to FB paper, keeping the image size the same or larger and giving more generous borders. My enlarger is an LPL 7700C and I print from 35mm via a 50mm EL Nikkor.
My shortlist consists of the following (in no particular order):
Dunco 90/5 16x20 4 blade
Dunco 90/4 12x16 4 blade
Beard 16x20 4 blade
Beard 12x16 4 blade
Saunders V-Track 4 blade 16x20
Saunders V-Track 4 blade 12x16
Saunders Pro 16x20 4 blade
My questions are:
1) Does anyone have personal experience / recommendations of any of these?
2) The only place I can find online quoting prices on these in the UK is Silverprint, and the prices are painfully high (between £287 and <gulp> £528. However, a conversation I had in Calumet this week leads me to think that I can get a Beard easel from them for RRP £70 less than Silverprint and actual price £140 less than Silverprint. Where would you recommend in the UK for a good price on an easel?
3) Am I going in the right direction here, or is there something I've overlooked?
This purchase will blow my darkroom budget for the year and probably some of next year too, so all help is very much appreciated!
Thanks in advance.