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Thread: Daylight lamps for judging prints

  1. #21
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Like many here, I judge dry prints with Solux bulbs and window light. The original poster, though, asked about lights for judging prints in a darkroom. When I take prints out of the fix and lay them on a glass plate for "wet" viewing, I follow Bruce Barnbaum's advice and use a very low wattage tungsten bulb. It's probably 15-25w, and it's about 2 feet from the center of the print. You don't want a super bright light because you just spent a number of minutes under safelights.

    It's my impression that so far the CRIs of LED bulbs are not very good.
    “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

  2. #22
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Solux bulbs. Get the 4700K (which are about half the price of the 5000K). Yes, for B&W as well as color.

    I had a really bad experience with the Solux fixtures. The bulbs however are first rate.
    I can recommend the low voltage Solux bulbs. I compared the various temperatures of these bulbs and found the 3500K to be preferable for monochrome prints while the 4100K was best for color. The 3500K were really fine for both in my estimation, and were selected for display of all media in a real world gallery, as well as my darkroom. This matched closely the findings and usage of the Eastman House.

    I did not use the pricey Solux fixtures. Instead, I purchased Home Depot Hampton Bay tracklights (3 to a box, cheaper than buying individual fixtures, same look as the Solux variety) and "recycled" the four foot tracks by CraigsList. There were no failures in at least six months of continuous operation.

  3. #23

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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    SO after a long interrupt I am back to setting up my darkroom and now have to figure out a good way to judge prints. Unfortunately my darkroom does not have a separate room with windows where I can do this, so it has to be done in the darkroom itself. I have to create some sort of artifical light source that I can flick on and off as necessary to judge prints. I know there are "daylight" flourescent bulbs but honestly they seem a little...soft? Blue? cold?... to me. I suppose if they're OK then I just need something like this to judge prints? How do you do this?
    Are you aware of "Ott Lights"? They are used by many of the appraisers on PBS TV "The Antique Road Show" Google Ott Light to find their web site. Howard Tanger

  4. #24
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Thanks all -- how well do these lights handle being clicked on and off quickly and regularly?
    The halogen bulbs should be no problem in this regard. Fluorescent fixtures vary, but generally the instant-on ballasts are pretty tough. Some of the compact fluorescent replacements for screw-in bulbs may not be quite as tough, but my negative experience in that regard is pretty old.

    The real problem with fluorescent bulbs is that they continue to glow for some period of time after they come on, and they also take a while to reach full brightness when first turned on. I would wait a while after turning one off before doing work with film. It's probably not an issue with paper.

    I have used such fixtures as Ott lights for viewing Epson prints, but I'm getting a little tired of seeing two "daylight" fluorescent fixtures putting out grossly different colors, one pink and the other blue. I'm going to look into a fixture for the Solux 12-volt halogen lamps. I also like the idea of not having any flicker, as will be the case with the DC-powered lamps. But be careful with the fixtures--these bulbs make a LOT of heat.

    Rick "especially intrigued by the Solux bulb with the black back" Denney

  5. #25

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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Oooh! Nevermind! Found it!

    A homemade proofing booth is a great idea! The track lights can be cheaper but I'll just put solux bulbs in there...

  6. #26
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    I used Rustoleum magnetic primers to paint a section of wall. On top of that I used a neutral paint. I use rare earth magnets to hold the prints, and two Solux lights in non-Solux fixtures to light the print. It works well.
    “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

  7. #27

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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    I used Rustoleum magnetic primers to paint a section of wall. On top of that I used a neutral paint. I use rare earth magnets to hold the prints, and two Solux lights in non-Solux fixtures to light the print. It works well.
    Brilliant! But upon further investigation I hear not so good things about the holding power of Rustoleum so I think I'd use a sheet of cold milled 16 guage steel which with delivery would be less than a hundred bucks. Or a couple of sheets of magnetic vinyl which already comes in white or gray

  8. #28
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Hi Cyrus. In my case, the Rustoleum allows magnets to hold the prints fine, but if you need to hold something heavier than a print (?), use more coats of the Rustoleum, or, as you say, a sheet of ferrous metal would work.

    I get my magnets from: http://www.kjmagnetics.com/ I use the black epoxy coated ones, mainly because I also use them in my salt water aquarium to hold corals to the glass.

    If you go with a sheet of metal, the magnets I just talked about could be hard to remove. You might get silver ones and epoxy a small wooden dowel to one side, or you could get a few of these: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...59&cat=1,42363 I have four of them on my fridge, and they're very nice.
    “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. #29

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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Thanks Peter! That was a great idea
    The good thing about using a sheet of metal is that it can substitute for a large squeegee board.
    I was thinking of using the magnetic strips one finds in refrigerator doors. They're non-marring and flexible, and not too strong.

  10. #30
    Michael Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight lamps for judging prints

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post

    The real problem with fluorescent bulbs is that they continue to glow for some period of time after they come on, and they also take a while to reach full brightness when first turned on. I would wait a while after turning one off before doing work with film. It's probably not an issue with paper.

    Rick "especially intrigued by the Solux bulb with the black back" Denney
    This is a real issue and the extent & duration varies with the bulb (size & manufacturer). It will fog film is a heartbeat. Why risk paper?

    Mike

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