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Thread: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

  1. #1

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    Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    Hi, I am getting ready to replace my old viewing lights that I have in my darkroom that I use to view the prints while making them. I know there are a lot of different opinions about light temperature, wattage, distance from the prints, etc.

    I would like to know what you use to view your prints and any tips or advise that you think might be helpful.

    I am looking forward to the responses because I always learn something new that I would have never thought of myself.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    While you are printing them or to examine after they are still wet?

    While printing a sodium vapor, afterwards a light that approximates the lighting they will be viewed at. But remember they will darken down after processing.

  3. #3

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    Hi Bob, why sodium vapor while printing? I want to make sure I understand why.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    While you are printing them or to examine after they are still wet?

    While printing a sodium vapor, afterwards a light that approximates the lighting they will be viewed at. But remember they will darken down after processing.

  4. #4

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    Hi Bob, why sodium vapor while printing? I want to make sure I understand why.
    It is variable in output and, if you wanted to, you can read all labels or a newspaper without fogging.

  5. #5

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    How about a sodium vapor lightbulb like this? https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-03610...dp/B0036Z033A/


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    It is variable in output and, if you wanted to, you can read all labels or a newspaper without fogging.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    I have always used quartz halogen lamps over the washing bath and bleaching area but I see led technology has improved offer similar color temp. I actually have a bunch of MR16 LEDs in front of me now, but I have not tried them yet.

  7. #7

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    I was hopeful that LED lights would make it into the mix. What color temp are your lights?


    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I have always used quartz halogen lamps over the washing bath and bleaching area but I see led technology has improved offer similar color temp. I actually have a bunch of MR16 LEDs in front of me now, but I have not tried them yet.

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    I process the prints under red LED safelight. Once a print comes out of the fix, it goes up on a glass plate set at an angle in the sink. I then have a pull chain to turn on a regular 15 watt bulb. The bulb should be dim, as your eyes are dilated, and it also helps account for dry down. I rinse the print with running water quickly, and then it's into the trash or the Versalab. (All of this is for fiber-based prints.) I hold the prints in the washer until toning time, tone, final rinse, dry....
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  9. #9

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    Thanks Peter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    I process the prints under red LED safelight. Once a print comes out of the fix, it goes up on a glass plate set at an angle in the sink. I then have a pull chain to turn on a regular 15 watt bulb. The bulb should be dim, as your eyes are dilated, and it also helps account for dry down. I rinse the print with running water quickly, and then it's into the trash or the Versalab. (All of this is for fiber-based prints.) I hold the prints in the washer until toning time, tone, final rinse, dry....

  10. #10

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    Re: Viewing Lights in the Darkroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    How about a sodium vapor lightbulb like this? https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-03610...dp/B0036Z033A/
    You want a used Thomas or a Kaiser/Osram. But new tubes are difficult, if not impossible to find with the second as Osram discontinued them many years ago.

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