View Full Version : Infrared lightbox?

10-Nov-2005, 14:25
So I have just developed 10 sheets of HP5 12x20 with my new Bushnell Night Vision goggles.

It was REALLY cool to see the neg come to life!!!

Now the goggles I bought can focus to 6 inches for really good inspection.
However trying to study the neg that close all I get is flare from the IR source on the front of the goggles.
Plus it doesn't fell all that great to have the light source that close to the negs, although it hasn't affected the film anyway.

So I am wondering if anyone has made a kind of hanging light source for on the wall be hind the sink?

I am also wondering if it wouldn't be sufficient to paint a white section on the wall to then have an IR light source shining onto it.

But where can I find an IR light source for this purpose?

Have have you other IR darkroom gurus done it?


Tedd at Soost.com

Michael Kadillak
10-Nov-2005, 16:15
You can acquire infrared light banks that are used as illumination sources for security applications on E&%y or other places on the web for reasonable prices.

I connected a 38 LED infrared light bank to a foot switch and put a $1.50 standard diffused globe over it with coat hanger wire and it works great.

One of the reasons that one needs to look carefully at IR goggles and which one they acquire is to find out how they are designed to be primarily used. My point is that when an IR goggle has close focus capabilities, it usually means that there is an adjustment of the IR light to adjust its intensity so you could read a map in the dark without to much difficulty. Look over your owners manual to see if there is an adjustment to the intensity of the IR beam.

My inexpensive Argus has a dial that takes the IR light from a point source to a diffused source with the turn of a dial. My IR goggles also have a screw on caps over the viewing lens with a small hole in the end that one can use to view. It significantly cuts down on the illumination you see on your subject. I am not familiar with the Bushnell make of goggles.

Hope that helps!

Ken Lee
10-Nov-2005, 17:06
I found that it's easiest to view the negatives when sitting in the tray. After a little practice, you should get good enough at it to judge when things are cooked long enough. When you think about the people who steal a peek with an amber or green bulb, and make their decisions, this is fairly easy by comparison.

For me, holding them up in front of a white wall doesn't work, so if you really want to look through them, then follow Michael's advice and build a light bank.

By the way, I have found the IR method is great for loading film in and out of their holders. Much fewer mistakes, scrathes, etc.

Using them, I was also able to check and adjust the temperature of the chemicals in their trays, while performing tray development. It's great !

John Berry ( Roadkill )
10-Nov-2005, 17:40
I made my own clear acrylic tanks for semi-stand development. I have NVD's with built in IR source and I can get a close focus. I have had no problems with reflections coming back at me but I am never looking at the negs square on, I'm always a little off axis. I have been at minumum focus watching development for over a minute with no ill effects on FP-4. I use pyrocat for developer. I read a post on APUG about a guy that made a box for his IR source that let the tray sit on top of it so he had a see thru source under the tray.