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l2oBiN
31-Jan-2017, 05:27
Can anyone recommend an affordable lightbox for viewing slides?

There is a bunch of LED stuff on eBay that is quite cheap? It's labeled as tracing box, or dental Xray box etc... Not sure about evenness and color temp on these???


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vdonovan
31-Jan-2017, 05:32
As an alt-lightbox, I got one of these and made a box for it:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-1-ft-x-1-ft-White-LED-Edge-Lit-Flat-Panel-Flushmount-74029-HD/206040712

The light seems quite even. It says the color temp is 4000k, but I don't know how accurate that is. It's dimmable, which I like.

Bob Salomon
31-Jan-2017, 06:29
There are a few things that are important for a light box for photography, especially for viewing and judging color slides.
1: Kelvin temperature, 5000K.
2: Color Rendition Index (CRI) must be 95+
3: evenness from edge to edge no corner to corner.
4: out put in lumens. It takes too much light to judge a X-ray as compared to a slide. It takes too little light to do a tracing then to judge proper highlight to shadow ratios in a negative or transparency.

Buy a proper photographic illumination. Or don't waste your money.

tgtaylor
31-Jan-2017, 10:49
About 15 years ago I bought one of these that had the 5000K bulbs:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1223085&gclid=CNjboKj37NECFU6VfgodPIUH5A&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&c3api=1876%2C52934714882%2C&Q=&A=details

It's still working.

Thomas

Thalmees
2-Mar-2017, 02:38
Hello,
Photos attached are of Porta-Trace 11X18 light panel.
Second one is unmanipulated, to show luminance difference, both light boxes are on.
In reality, you will not going to see that magnitude of difference. You may see lesser difference.
The upper part, is of a Kaiser fluorescent tube light box.
Yes, maybe lighter weight, but it's condensed in the thin panel. Still more portable than classical light box.
I'm using my old Kaiser light box for judging my negatives because its hanged vertical on the wall of my darkroom(fixed) and it did not break.
The panel IMO is enough to examin films specially if you unify your viewing to the panels only.
.
162034162035
.
Hope this useful.

Aelthen
20-Apr-2018, 05:47
You will find good info in this tracing lightbox (https://www.latelierdiy.fr/en/best-drawing-tracing-lightbox/) comparison table (color temperature, max brightness, etc).

Most lightboxes have color temperatue of > 6500K. If you really need a color temperature of 5000K for viewing transparencies, you should pick the Zecti A4. Its color temperature is adjustable from 3200 to 5600K. It also have adjustable brightness. Plus, it's really cheap :)

If money is not a problem, then you can go for an Artograph Light pad pro: https://www.artograph.com/lightpadpro/
Probably the best lightbox around, and it has color temperature adjustable from 3000K-6200K,

Alan Gales
20-Apr-2018, 06:42
I bought a large used lightbox off Ebay. It came in an oversized box full of shipping peanuts. The shipping peanuts alone were worth at least half what I paid for the lightbox including shipping. ;)

Randy Moe
20-Apr-2018, 07:03
Cheapest, I just bought was this amazing light. Hard to beat $25 delivered. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VWBG73Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's not perfect, it does have a gradient. I made it into a wall hanging to show off one positive print 8X10 X-Ray. Works fine, very thin and light. Low voltage USB power, Mitsubishi plastic.

But look at CL and eBay. I bought 2- 48" Acculight wall mount boxes for $20 locally. Great for 14X17 and 14 X 36" X-Ray. Or a hundred slides.

No box I have seen is perfect in color temp or evenness. I have 6 light boxes.

pchaplo
21-Apr-2018, 13:44
In the meantime, if you have a tablet like an iPad, open a blank memo page. Adjust the brightness and you have a makeshift, highly portable light table.

At home I use a 48” GraphicLight with color-corrected fluorescent bulbs to accurately judge color and exposure.

Bob Salomon
21-Apr-2018, 13:55
In the meantime, if you have a tablet like an iPad, open a blank memo page. Adjust the brightness and you have a makeshift, highly portable light table.

At home I use a 48” GraphicLight with color-corrected fluorescent bulbs to accurately judge color and exposure.

Color corrected tubes do not mean that you have a light box with the proper color output. You need a properly corrected light box. That means that the interior reflecting surfaces, the tubes, the acrylic or glass plate are all properly designed to give you correct daylight color temperature at around 5400k with a CRI of 95 or better.
You will not get that from inexpensive boxes or with art store or graphic arts boxes or with medical/dental boxes.
In addition the brightness of the box must be limited to give good details in shadow areas and not burn out the highlight areas.
Lastly, to properly view multiple slides or negatives the box can not have hot spots and must deliver even levels of light over the entire viewing area.

Jac@stafford.net
21-Apr-2018, 14:41
In the meantime, if you have a tablet like an iPad, open a blank memo page. Adjust the brightness and you have a makeshift, highly portable light table.

Good on you! We can also create a 'picture', an otherwise blank image with various color corrections. Choose the one that works best (correct viewing Kelvin) and your iPad light box is calibrated!

Bob S. - eat your heart out. Wait - not serious. We still love you.

Randy Moe
21-Apr-2018, 14:43
So what you are saying Bob, is a perfect lightbox does not exist?

I believe that, but most film photo stores I saw had the below from B&H. When I had my film store developed they always said use our fancy lightbox.

https://static.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/Product_Resources/SourceBookProPhoto/Section10Lightboxes.pdf

"Four-Foot Acculight Viewer (6000)
Full-sized viewer holds up to 168 two-inch
slides. It can be placed flat on a tabletop or
at 15 and 70-degree viewing angles using
folding legs in back of unit.
Item # ACV4........................................209.95"

It's what o bought for $20 with the stand to hold 2. I mount them on my walls.

A lot of people also make their own. Drew most likely!

Bob Salomon
21-Apr-2018, 14:59
So what you are saying Bob, is a perfect lightbox does not exist?

I believe that, but most film photo stores I saw had the below from B&H. When I had my film store developed they always said use our fancy lightbox.

https://static.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/Product_Resources/SourceBookProPhoto/Section10Lightboxes.pdf

"Four-Foot Acculight Viewer (6000)
Full-sized viewer holds up to 168 two-inch
slides. It can be placed flat on a tabletop or
at 15 and 70-degree viewing angles using
folding legs in back of unit.
Item # ACV4........................................209.95"

It's what o bought for $20 with the stand to hold 2. I mount them on my walls.

A lot of people also make their own. Drew most likely!
A commonly used box but for critical use it would be one more like the ones Kaiser sold that had fluorescent tubes. Even the paint inside the box was custom formulated to balance out spikes and dips in the tubes full spectrum and then the plexi was also formulated to even the CRI even further. As viewing straight into the box would result in a hot spot the length of the tube special metallic tape was placed on the top of each tube to even out the light distribution.
A big difference in technology, results and cost over boxes like the Acculite!
Some other European boxes were also,similar in technology as well.

Jac@stafford.net
21-Apr-2018, 15:07
Even the paint inside the box was custom formulated to balance out

Of course because they were trying to balance the flaws of the light source. With digital displays that's not an issue because it can be so finely tuned - and without paint or flawed glass.

Bob Salomon
21-Apr-2018, 15:25
Of course because they were trying to balance the flaws of the light source. With digital displays that's not an issue because it can be so finely tuned - and without paint or flawed glass.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, the market for highly corrected boxes is greatly diminished today as the large market for them has diminished along with the use of transparency film. 20 years ago the need for these types of boxes was much higher, especially with ad agencies, studios, clients, etc.. It was not that unusual to find that everyone in the chain actually used the same brand of box to ensure that everyone was viewing the same colors and densities.
Today digital has replaced much of that demand.

Randy Moe
21-Apr-2018, 15:31
I can understand the rigors of viewing Chromes on a lightbox. Color temp rather high.

But if we are only viewing B&W film negs, what would be the ideal color temp?

Seems something closer to actual enlarger lamp specs could be advantageous.

Scanners don't need a lightbox.

Or do they?

Jac@stafford.net
21-Apr-2018, 15:47
[...] But if we are only viewing B&W film negs, what would be the ideal color temp?


Whatever is handy. Really. When I was a daily news photographer we viewed our 35mm negatives (sometimes still wet) in a loupe against any available light source, usually a single bright bulb. We also printed our own work, so our eye/brain interpreted the negatives appropriately to our print habits. It was always rush-rush and produced some very good work.

This is what we used. We had a dozen of them or Russian copies. I still have one. Somewhere. One can pass the roll of film through and when a candidate image appeared, we could press a button that notched the edge of the negative to make darkroom ID tactile, easy.

177409

The experienced, trained brain is unfathomably good.

Bob Salomon
21-Apr-2018, 16:38
I can understand the rigors of viewing Chromes on a lightbox. Color temp rather high.

But if we are only viewing B&W film negs, what would be the ideal color temp?

Seems something closer to actual enlarger lamp specs could be advantageous.

Scanners don't need a lightbox.

Or do they?
If you are viewing black and white on a box then color isn’t really important but evenness and output are. You still need a box that properly reveals the shadow and highlight details.

Randy Moe
21-Apr-2018, 17:06
Agreed and I have that.

Thanks as always for your sage input.

Greg
23-Apr-2018, 06:03
In the early 1990s, I wanted to get the "best" lightbox available out there. After some research, acquired a "graphiclite D5000 STANDARD VIEWER". Back then was several hundred dollars. Viewing area is 10 plus x 10 plus inches. Measured the light area once with a digital meter and the reading didn't change wherever I placed the probe, so was well within 1/10 f/stop. Lightbox even has 4 LEDs that tell you the life of the bulbs. Have been using it regularly for 27+ years, and the "full life" LED has never changed. Around 2005 used it to digitize thousands of glass plates for a museum. Lately I have seen them going for $100+ at that auction site which is a real bargain.

For viewing my 11x14 negatives, tried out a few LED light panels over the past few years. First couple of purchases had visually uneven illumination and were returned. Based on the advice from a friend, last year acquired a "generic" LED light panel at what I consider a bargain price. It has truly amazed me. Illumination seems to be close to 100% even! Don't have the digital meter any more, but using my Pentax and Soligor ZONE VI meters... well the needle never moves as I move each meter across the illuminated area. Specs: Illuminated area is 12 plus x 16 plus inches. Label on back: LED Copy Board, Model A3, Supplier: Honor Management Consulting Limited, Made in China. Has 3 levels of illumination but I always use it on the highest level. Color temperature visually has to be around 7,000K. I use it to shoot digital images from my 11x14" B&W negatives and to quickly sort color transparencies. Apparent high color temperature is the light panel's only minus point.

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2018, 06:25
In the early 1990s, I wanted to get the "best" lightbox available out there. After some research, acquired a "graphiclite D5000 STANDARD VIEWER". Back then was several hundred dollars. Viewing area is 10 plus x 10 plus inches. Measured the light area once with a digital meter and the reading didn't change wherever I placed the probe, so was well within 1/10 f/stop. Lightbox even has 4 LEDs that tell you the life of the bulbs. Have been using it regularly for 27+ years, and the "full life" LED has never changed. Around 2005 used it to digitize thousands of glass plates for a museum. Lately I have seen them going for $100+ at that auction site which is a real bargain.

For viewing my 11x14 negatives, tried out a few LED light panels over the past few years. First couple of purchases had visually uneven illumination and were returned. Based on the advice from a friend, last year acquired a "generic" LED light panel at what I consider a bargain price. It has truly amazed me. Illumination seems to be close to 100% even! Don't have the digital meter any more, but using my Pentax and Soligor ZONE VI meters... well the needle never moves as I move each meter across the illuminated area. Specs: Illuminated area is 12 plus x 16 plus inches. Label on back: LED Copy Board, Model A3, Supplier: Honor Management Consulting Limited, Made in China. Has 3 levels of illumination but I always use it on the highest level. Color temperature visually has to be around 7,000K. I use it to shoot digital images from my 11x14" B&W negatives and to quickly sort color transparencies. Apparent high color temperature is the light panel's only minus point.

I can't find it online. Anymore clues?

This comes up on Amazon, but I have pne like and it definely is uneven.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013SHKTXO/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?pd_rd_i=B013SHKTXO&pd_rd_wg=cb1m1&pd_rd_r=PRTQDJ0NP2G0QGW7930Q&pd_rd_w=5vinh&th=1

Greg
23-Apr-2018, 06:56
I can't find it online. Anymore clues?

This comes up on Amazon, but I have pne like and it definely is uneven.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013SHKTXO/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?pd_rd_i=B013SHKTXO&pd_rd_wg=cb1m1&pd_rd_r=PRTQDJ0NP2G0QGW7930Q&pd_rd_w=5vinh&th=1

The LED light panel looks like the one you listed that URL to but mine has no logo on printed the bottom right. Unfortunately don't remember where I ordered it from. All I can remember that it was from a store in NYC. Mine is black masked for the central area of 11x14 inches, so not measuring the evenness of light along the edges of the panel. Just measured it again with my analogue spot meter and the needle essentially never changes. But then measured it using a LUNA-PRO digital meter: 75% of the time, reading stayed the same, but 25% of the time read either + 1/10 f/stop or - 1/10 f/stop. Has worked great for shooting digital files from my 11x14" negatives and making digital negatives to print Platinum/Palladium or Salt. If there was an unevenness in the illumination of a 1/4 f/stop, because it was gradual, I'd most surely never notice it in my final prints. Next time I set it up will shoot an image of just the lit area on the light panel. Then open up the file in Photoshop and Image>Adjustments>Threshold and move the bottom slider... should be interesting!

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2018, 06:58
Thank you!

pchaplo
24-Apr-2018, 18:24
Approx $78 brand new. They use and sell these at local lab. I use it at the counter when I check negs. Dimmable.

177504

Update: price is $87 at Photographique in Dallas.