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03-18-2009, 11:01 AM   #1
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Dumb question, why use an easel?

Excuse me for asking this dumb question but I don't see a point to using an easel in a dark room for a full size print. This is my first semester in the darkroom and I've printed a few print so far following the teacher's instruction.

I understand the easel is to help you frame the image on the enlarger and to hold down the paper flat. But if you are printing a full sheet an 8x10, whats the point? The paper that I've used are flat already. Can't I just put a marking on the base board where the 8x10 sheet paper will be and use that to frame the image when I turn on the enlarger? Also this way you get to print the image all the way to the edge without boarders.

I know you can buy some paper in rolls and you cut them to the size that you want. If you don't buy the paper in rolls and only print 8x10, are there any advantage to using an easel?

03-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
. Can't I just put a marking on the base board where the 8x10 sheet paper will be and use that to frame the image when I turn on the enlarger?
or you can just use an easel :P

QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
.
Also this way you get to print the image all the way to the edge without boarders.

i think the whole borders thing is a convention.. remember, there are no rules
03-18-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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I think there's a thing called a borderless easel.
Beseler | 8x10" Borderless Enlarging Easel | 8508 | B&H

But yes, you could do the marking thing - though an easel probably will hold the paper flatter and steadier.
03-18-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I think there's a thing called a borderless easel.
Beseler | 8x10" Borderless Enlarging Easel | 8508 | B&H

But yes, you could do the marking thing - though an easel probably will hold the paper flatter and steadier.
I am not trying to pick a fight but the paper that I've used are flat and they don't really move around when I lay it there.

I am just trying to understand the "big picture" here.


03-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
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Nothing stopping you, then!

Can you refresh my memory (I last used an enlarger... 30 years ago?) - when using one of those focus scopes, you have to sacrifice a piece of paper to put it on, to get the precise plane of focus? Seems about right, but the years have taken their toll...
03-18-2009, 11:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Nothing stopping you, then!

Can you refresh my memory (I last used an enlarger... 30 years ago?) - when using one of those focus scopes, you have to sacrifice a piece of paper to put it on, to get the precise plane of focus? Seems about right, but the years have taken their toll...
yeah the grain focuser, i just used the back of an wasted photo.
03-18-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
yeah the grain focuser, i just used the back of an wasted photo.
I didn't know you needed to put a paper on there. I've used the grain focuser without any paper and it came out fine, well at least for me. But it does make sense to use a piece of paper.
03-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
I didn't know you needed to put a paper on there. I've used the grain focuser without any paper and it came out fine, well at least for me. But it does make sense to use a piece of paper.
yeah, every mm counts when it comes to that thing,plus photo paper is not as thin as regular stuff.

for general use i doubt any one could really make a difference, but you figure if you got the tools, why not.

03-18-2009, 12:01 PM - 1 Like   #9
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RC papers stay nice and flat, and will happily sit where you've put them, when you get away from the greasy kids stuff and start using fine art fiber based papers, you will want the easel to hold the paper flat.
03-18-2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
RC papers stay nice and flat, and will happily sit where you've put them, when you get away from the greasy kids stuff and start using fine art fiber based papers, you will want the easel to hold the paper flat.
Thanks that was the answer that I was looking for. I've never used any other type of paper besides RC paper. So RC paper is child's play stuff?
03-18-2009, 12:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
Thanks that was the answer that I was looking for. I've never used any other type of paper besides RC paper. So RC paper is child's play stuff?
I'm a paper snob, so yes.
I prefer bordered prints to borderless, so it is a happy conjunction of convenience and preference for me. It is a lot easier to position the paper accurately if using an easel. Borderless easels work, but I find them less convenient than a weighted mat board with an L on it for positioning the paper.
03-19-2009, 12:04 AM   #12
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The easel is a tool, you can use it or not
For me is just convenient since it allows me to rotate and tilt the paper
03-19-2009, 03:01 AM   #13
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What Titrisol said, but it also keeps your paper from shifting when you use the grain focuser and such. I would suck to see your image appear with a white border on the left side and missing a chunk of image to the right.
03-19-2009, 06:11 AM   #14
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It's a convention. I learned to make prints with an easel with no arms. I used tiny pieces of masking tape in the corners to hold the paper perfectly flat and keep it from drifting out of position.
03-19-2009, 06:14 AM   #15
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There are also vacuum easels, which are sort of like air hockey tables with the pump reversed. Sucks the paper down firmly, and therefore doesn't cover any of it.

Expensive, though. Might be able to rig one up with some of that drilled masonite and an old vacuum cleaner.
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