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Old 10th October 2009, 03:37 PM
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Default Four-blade Easel

Any recommendation on a good four-blade 12x16 (30x40cm) easel. Those made by Kaiser still go for 500, LPL is about half the price. I know many would advocate the importance of a good easel for the hassle-free darkroom workflow. But 500 seems too much, or am I wrong? What is your experience?

Thanks, Miha
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Old 10th October 2009, 04:13 PM
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Hi Miha, I purchased a Dunco 16"x20" 4 blade second hand a while ago. Still cost me 200+ but one of the best darkroom purchases I've ever made. A real joy to use, being rock solid and precise.
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Old 10th October 2009, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Crone View Post
one of the best darkroom purchases I've ever made.
Hi, Trevor. So it is true. I use one of the cheaper Kaiser two-blade easels, not rock-solid at all. It also takes time to aligne the paper properly. And blades won't stay in the open position either.

Thanks for the tip on Dunco.
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Old 11th October 2009, 12:14 AM
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I have a four-blade LPL (one with the yellow base) and although it is perfectly fine in use, I doubt it is up to the quality of Dunco and certainly not the now defunct Beard easels. It does not appear to have any way to adjust the square-ness of the blades which is a bit of an omission, but mine do not need it (yet!). It is the easel I use 95% of the time - only when printing too large for it do I reach for the big 2-blade Beard...

On the plus side, if buying second-hand, Dunco (if you can find one) and Beard (ditto) will quite likely have been used (and abused) in a pro lab whereas an LPL will probably have seen gentler use in a serious amateur's darkroom.

Good hunting!
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Old 11th October 2009, 12:04 PM
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The Beard 4 blade or 2 blade easels are very good and built to last. I use both the 4 and 2 blade Beard easels, but prefer the 2 blade versions.

Neil.
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Old 11th October 2009, 03:52 PM
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Bob, does your LPL look like this: http://www.fotoimpex.de/cgi-bin/shop...ikel/15855.jpg

Neil, do you prefer the two-blade version because it's (I presume) easier to center the paper?

Thanks!
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Old 11th October 2009, 04:13 PM
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I have a Beard 4 blade easel,which is very good but slow to change print sizes. I believe the Dunco unit to be a much better design and although very expensive, worth the money.
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Old 11th October 2009, 04:24 PM
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The above link doesn't work Here is the picture:


Miha
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Old 11th October 2009, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miha View Post
The above link doesn't work Here is the picture:


Miha
Yes, that's the bunny - although mine has white blades.

I should have mentioned that, if it is the same size as mine, it is only designed to hold paper up to 11x14 inches. Having said that, 12x16 inch paper will fit under the blades just fine as long as you want a wide border - 11x14 is as wide as the blades will go. You need to mock up some card spacers for 12x16" as the easel has channels to hold the paper centred for the smaller sizes but not for 12x16".

Last edited by Bob; 11th October 2009 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 11th October 2009, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miha View Post
Bob, does your LPL look like this: http://www.fotoimpex.de/cgi-bin/shop...ikel/15855.jpg

Neil, do you prefer the two-blade version because it's (I presume) easier to center the paper?

Thanks!

Like Dave I find the 4 blade Beard slow to adjust so I tend to use my 2 blade Beards as they are much easier to use, they also have a white baseboard which I prefer. The advantage of a 4 blade is does not need to be moved about under the enlarger where 2 blade boards do. But this is not a problem if you are using the correct sized 2 blade board. If you use say a 12x16 2 blade board for 10x8 papers you will find it will overhang the bench occassionally and can be knocked. So I use a 10x12 2 blade for small prints and a 12x16 2 blade for large prints. I used my 4 blade easel more when I was doing colour work and puttling black edge lines around my prints.

Neil.
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