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Thread: LED Light Table?

  1. #1

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    LED Light Table?

    Can anyone recommend a color-corrected LED light table that you know is good? I don't need anything larger than 8x10.

    I plan to lay some of my 4x5 transparencies and also some of my color negatives on a light table and then use the digital camera on a copy stand as a scanner in order to digitize the film and then bring the RAW files into Photoshop for editing, etc.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: LED Light Table?

    I just bought a Kaiser Slimlight LED light box. Very thin. rechargeable through a USB that it's furnished with and AC charger. They come in different sizes - I have the smallest version. Thjey have larger version that would work for you. 5000 Kelvin light. Although I just tried it today, it seems very well made in Germany.
    http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/en/...ge.asp?nr=2454
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...attery_ac.html

    They also have a version that is used for photo copying with a stand. I know nothing about it but it might work for you. Good luck.
    http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/en/

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LED Light Table?

    Why do you specifically want LED? Right off the bat I detect a potential discrepancy in the ad. If the LED's are allegedly 5000K, it means the light box is not, because you still have a color bias in the diffuser, backing, and quite possibly a quality control issue. Kaiser is certainly a reputable brand, but squeezing this all into such a slim package introduces some real issues which their older tried-and-true, deeper tube technology is known to have ironed out. I mention this because duplicating work is a more demanding application than just slide viewing. If it were me I'd want to at the very least have the right of return if my color temp meter detected something significantly out of whack which can not be easily corrected with filters. Some of these LED lighting devices are more than a thousand degrees K off from the rated specs. Merely light balancing your camera might not correct for certain imbalances. I went to the trouble of making my own duping copystand lightbox using very high quality CRI 98 German color-matching tubes and an optical glass top. I can't think of anything LED that color accurate. Quite a bit goes into this kind of project, including special interior paint. The thinner the box, the more some kind of compromise comes into play.

  4. #4

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    Re: LED Light Table?

    That is very interesting Drew. Whether it is LED or not, are there any commercial color-balanced lightboxes that you can recommend for digitizing film?


    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Why do you specifically want LED? Right off the bat I detect a potential discrepancy in the ad. If the LED's are allegedly 5000K, it means the light box is not, because you still have a color bias in the diffuser, backing, and quite possibly a quality control issue. Kaiser is certainly a reputable brand, but squeezing this all into such a slim package introduces some real issues which their older tried-and-true, deeper tube technology is known to have ironed out. I mention this because duplicating work is a more demanding application than just slide viewing. If it were me I'd want to at the very least have the right of return if my color temp meter detected something significantly out of whack which can not be easily corrected with filters. Some of these LED lighting devices are more than a thousand degrees K off from the rated specs. Merely light balancing your camera might not correct for certain imbalances. I went to the trouble of making my own duping copystand lightbox using very high quality German tubes and an optical glass top. Quite a bit goes into this kind of project, including special interior paint. The thinner the box, the more some kind of compromise comes into play.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LED Light Table?

    You could look at either traditional fluorescent tube Kaiser boxes (not cheap) or Just Normlicht, which B&H still also offers, I believe. They have relatively compact versions ideal for your needs. These don't flicker like fluorescent room lighting sometimes can, which is an important feature when copying. These high quality brands also use a specific interior white paint which offsets most of the diffuser color bias. One technicality with color matching tubes is that some of them are designed to pass a certain amount of UV comparable to sunlight, even if they're 5000K balanced. This has a slight effect on most digital receptors which a simple 1B skylight filter can easily handle right from the start better than post-correction. Singh-Ray has a special filter for this purpose, but it's quite expensive, and an ordinary coated Hoya 1B is nearly as good.

  6. #6

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    Re: LED Light Table?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    Can anyone recommend a color-corrected LED light table that you know is good? I don't need anything larger than 8x10.

    This may be perfect: https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Camcor...32&sr=8-3&th=1

    Click image for larger version. 

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    At +95 CRI color accuracy has to be perfect. You may need to place a white plastic diffuser on it for perfect even intensity.


    On any doubt, and recommended, place an IT8 transparent calibration target on it, shot it, and make a calibration. From that all colors in the IT8 patches will be nailed to standard RGB values. It is true that different targets made of different films may deliver different calibrations, but result will be close enough in practice. Use that profile in PS, etc.

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: LED Light Table?

    I have an old light table in the attic that I haven;lt used in years. I ought to pull it out and sell it.

    I wonder if I used my NEC Spectraview II program and puck used to calibrate my NEC monitor, whether it would give me accurate readings of it and the new Kaiser Slimlight LED light box I just bought as to Kelvin etc.??? Any thoughts on that?

  8. #8

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    Re: LED Light Table?

    Personally prefer to use a graphiclite D5000 STANDARD VIEWER. Think I acquired it around 1990, and it has served me exceptionally well since then. The evenness of its illumination is amazing. Have used it to digitally copy well over 2,000 glass plates (up to 8x10) over the years for museums. Yes it is big and bulky compared to a LED panel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails graphiclite.jpg  

  9. #9

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    Re: LED Light Table?

    These are reportedly the best, and also very expensive: https://heilandelectronic.de/led_kaltlicht. There's a link to an Ilford test report om that page.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LED Light Table?

    No Pere, that cheap toy you post would be inappropriate for copying applications for reasons I already mentioned. Not only will the color temp be way off from the advertised rating, but the illuminated surface will be quite uneven in a dimply-looking sense. All it takes it one look at these things actually turned on to detect that flaw. And reading them with a color temp meter will give them the final blow. CRI 95 is far from ideal, especially when you need to factor in about a 15% BS Coefficient in how cheap gear is advertised. An ideal light source would be a modern upside-down 8x10 colorhead, except that it would be hot and probably blind you too. Since the colorhead option is generally unrealistic, there are indeed high quality light boxes made for this kind of purpose. Three brands have already come up - Kaiser, Just Normlicht, and Graphiclite. You could also obtain something from the MacBeth Prooflite series (now owned by XRite, I believe). Lots of authentic options; but you don't get something for nothing. I should add that truly calibrating any such system requires a good color eye and goes beyond shortcut instrumentation. But always start with a precise control like a LF chrome of a MacBeth Color Checker Chart shot under ideal exposure and color temp conditions. I've been through all this rightside-up, upside down, sideways, backwards, you name it. And at the present time I cannot fully recommend any affordable LED option. Remember, this is for sake of color sheet film being copied when laying right atop a diffuser. There won't be intervening space to allow that further diffusion like an LED head intended for enlargement, or a flat panel intended for general portrait lighting from a distance, etc. The IMMEDIATE SURFACE has to be completely evenly illuminated.

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