Darkroom lighting

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by chorleyjeff, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    I use a daylight balanced (6,500k) flurescent tube 36W/54 in my small darkroom. The tube is ceiling mounted at 7ft immediately above my work area.
    Questions are 1) is this light level OK for monochrome RC and FB papers or should I use the same level of lighting I use in my home, or should I attempt to approximate daylight? 2) for colour printing is this quality and level of lighting suitable for judging colour balance and density of prints?
    Or alternatively is there a standard colour chart that I could use for comparison purposes that would work in different lighting circumstances.
    Any advice gratefully received
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The light should be OK to judge finished prints. But in general fluorescent lights are not recommended in a darkroom, since residual fluorescence can fog papers even a long time after the light has been turned off.

    I use a small clip-on spotlight, tht's the only "white" light in my darkroom. I seem to get my prints close enough to what I want.
     
  3. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day chorley

    i also wouldn't use a flouro in the darkroom

    why not try daylight balanced tungsten globes?

    many darkroom workers attempt to judge prints by replicating the light that the prints will ultimately be seen under

    consider - prints on display in an exhibition may actually be poorly lit, whilst prints being judged in a competition may be harshly lit, or vice versa
     
  4. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    Hello chaps.
    Hadn't realised potential fogging from flourescent tubes.
    Thanks.
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  5. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    I work only in B&W, and my prints are mostly done for myself - I personally hate flourescent light so my home is lit entirely with tungsten (OK, I will admit to a 24" flourescent tube in the pantry - helps with the diet :smile: ). My darkroom white light comes from three tungsten spot lights.
     
  6. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    I use fluorescent safelights, and a small halogen desk lamp for checking my work with.
    I also have one of those little dome safelights which I use occasionally.
    Edit: I only do B&W
     
  7. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    Darkroom and garage are the only places I have flourescent light and the darkroom one is to be binned this weekend.
    I have gone for the option of using the light the prints will be illuminated by when wall mounted at night!