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After many years of using a two blade easel,I feel its time to upgrade to a better easel.Does anybody have any expierience with vacuum or four blade easels?

-- Anonymous, July 31, 1997


re: easels

I have a 4 blade Saunders v-track. It's very nice, and works well. But for the most part, I print standard sizes 8x10 or 11x14, and I think a fixed size easel would be easier to work with.

Getting the border identical all the way around is a little bit of a hassle, and the fixed easel would remove that problem. The blade and tracks are pretty wide, so my 11x14 easel probably takes as much space as a fixed size 16x20 model would.

The markings on the easel are calibrated to 5x7, 8x10, and 11x14 paper. When I put in the 4x6 postcard sized Ilford Multigrade, I have to mess around some more.

It really does work well, there are just aspects that could be better...

-- Anonymous, August 01, 1997

borders on 4 blade easel

I have a 4 blade saunders easel. To line up the margins I have an old 8X10 print which is lined on the back in 1/2 inch increments from each side. This makes it eay to get the margins right.

-- Anonymous, August 09, 1997

4-bladed easels

I love my 4-blade. It's a pretty inexpensive one as they go, but I wouldn't go back to 2 blades for anything (well, maybe something...). I also have a Saunders that I bought at a photo flea market for $30 after some bargaining (retail for $160-200 depending on what store you're in). I highly recommend this route if $ is a concern, but make sure you check that the easel sits flat, that the corners are square, the blades aren't bent or nicked, and the blades move freely.

I esp. like the 4-blade because I use 35 mm and often like to print the entire negative, for instance, printing 4x6" on 5x7 paper or 6x9" on 8x10" paper. With 2-bladed easels I usually can't center the photo on the paper and so photos that aren't matted look ugly to show to people.

If you get a 4 blade, be careful with it... it's pretty easy to bend the blades and the sliding mechanisms.

As the previous responder notes, there are some limitations- not all easels will accomodate every paper size or let you easily place the paper to locate the photo where you want it on the paper. Think about your printing needs as you compare them.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 1997

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