Advice on Saunders masking stage for 4x5 glass carrier? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello All,

I am considering starting to use a glass negative carrier to hold my negs flatter. I use a Saunders 4550XLG enlarger and will be using the unversal 4x5 glass carrier with the anti newton top.

My question is has anybody been using the masking stage that Saunders sells that replaces the usual stage? This device has four blades that then can be adjusted to mask off the unused area of the glass carrier if you switch to formats smaller than 4x5. Any thoughts on this type of device?


-- Scott Jones (, November 20, 2001


Best bit of equipment I've bought for the enlarger!! I use the glass carrier and don't have any problems with Newtons rings either! (Keep the glass clean though). The masking stage is really handy, and allows accurate cropping and also good instead of using filed out carriers for "sloppy borders". Its good for all formats too.

-- paul owen (, November 20, 2001.

I have a Saunders masking stage for use with my universal glass carrier and it works as anticipated *except* that it won't close down nearly far enough to effectively mask a 35mm frame; in fact, it barely works for 645. Mine is about ten years old, so it's possible they've improved them since then.

I read once of a "mod" for this problem which involved taking the thing apart and reversing the blades. This is said to allow the blades to come closer together, but then a certain amount of "slop" is introduced, and the blades no longer hold their proper geometric relationship (90 degrees) with one another.

James Meckley

-- James Meckley (, November 20, 2001.

This is very intresting, if Paul said that this is a good piece of equipment I should trust him, problem is, I bought the masking stage and, when iserted in position, this makes nearly impossible to put in the glass negative carrier, what do I do wrong? I of course remove the frame which is at the base of the negative "tray" before insering the masking stage. Thanks

-- andrea milano (, November 21, 2001.


I'm not sure you're doing anything wrong; the masking stage is thicker than the "non-masking stage" that it replaces. It reduces the clearance available to insert the glass carrier (which, as luck would have it, is thicker than the glassless carriers). I find the fit tight but still perfectly workable.

-- James Meckley (, November 23, 2001.

Hi all

I like the masking stage also like Paul and I have also not any problem with it. But I almost work without glass neg carrier, because you are loosing a bit of sharpness and resolution because of the anti newton glass. I only take the glass carrier if I take many pictures from the same neg! Have a good time!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, November 24, 2001.

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