Fluorescent light film developing in trays

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by henk@apug, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. henk@apug

    henk@apug Member

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    In my darkroom I use fluorescent light. This gives some afterglow, but I have absolutely
    no problems with that when enlarging.

    I am thinking to start developing my 4x5 film in open tanks or trays.
    Could the afterglow give problems of fogging film ?
    Anyone experience with that ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Paper is far less sensitive to light than film. I would sacrifice a sheet of film and do something similar to a safelight test.

    Tray processing in total darkness is a pain in the ass!! Some people use an IR vision systen to see what they are doing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2013
  3. henk@apug

    henk@apug Member

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    The military among us, I suppose :smile:
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Turn the lights off several minutes before opening the film holders and there should be no problem at least I have never had a problem with a similar set up. You could also use a small lamp or clip-on bulb holder found in hardware stores with a regular tungsten bulb (while they still exist) to set things up and not turn on the fluorescent bulbs at all.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Simplest option, as mentioned above, is to turn off the main lights an hour (huuuuge safety margin) before you will be developing then just use a desk-lamp (with tungsten, led or halogen bulb) for the time remaining. Even an led bike light would make enough illumination to set up your developing trays, if not already done earlier under your main lighting. Basically there is no need to solve the problem when you can avoid it with no effort or cost. :smile:
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I have never had a florescent light in my darkroom, so my comments are purely anecdotal. A ceiling fan in my bedroom has cfl bulbs in it. I notice that if that I turn that light off at night and go to bed, the bulbs glow for a really long time. I don't know if cfl bulbs glow longer than florescent tubes, but it made me a believer that florescents have no business in a darkroom if one intends to have unprocessed film out and about.

    Like Gerald, I too used to think tray developing was a PITA, until I was forced by circumstances to do it. Now I consider it a test of my organizational skills, to make sure that everything is set out in exactly the right place and in exactly the right order and that I follow my procedure precisely. I have also learned to give myself little tactile clues like the developer tray is the only one with the spout facing me so that I know that I am moving the slosher tray from presoak into developer and not stop bath (as I did once a long time ago...) Now I rather enjoy those 15 or so minutes in total darkness.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Fluorescent lights though have very positive characteristics. So, one could either wait for a (tested) time for the luminescence to diminish, or just mount a flap(s) at the fixture to easily be swung into position.
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I.e. piece of black cardboard you put over the lights after turning them off.
     
  9. jbrubaker

    jbrubaker Member

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    I worked in darkrooms for years with florescent lighting and never had a problem fogging paper or film. There are, however different types of florescent ballasts that may affect the situation. Our lights appeared to be instant on and instant off. At any rate if you sit in the dark for a minute or two, your eyes will tell you if there's any light coming from the tubes. regards ---john.
     
  10. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I'll add a data point to Dan's post. In the name of energy conservation I originally put four CFLs in my darkroom ceiling cans but they glowed for so long after turning them off I immediately replaced them with 40w incandescents. I also use a single 48 inch fluorescent wrapped with an (over-priced) plastic safelight film sheet. No problems there.

    s-a
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    A bit off topic: I experienced a luminescent afterglow with a incandescent lamp too, with a 40W halogen G9-socket lamp.
    I inquired at the manufacturer (Philips) but never got a reply.
     
  12. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    I have four CFL bulbs in my darkroom, and when I work with film, I usually give them about a minute before I bring out the film. Yes, you can still see some glow, but you can also see some glow from your thermometers and your timers. Never had a problem.

    Back in the 90s, I worked with a photographer who shot 4x5 chromes and nothing else. He would have me load his film in a closet, where after about 60 seconds, I could literally see the outline of my hand. I'd say, "Brad, I can see my hand in there!" He'd say "Don't worry about it. It's not enough to fog the film." And it was never once a problem for the two years I assisted him. It always freaked me out, though.

    If you've ever flashed paper, you know how much light it takes to get to the threshold. It's always way more than you'd think, which is good. :cool:
     
  13. ROL

    ROL Member

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    For you. Many, many others do it often and well, without undue stress.


    Here's a positive suggestion for the OP. Wire up a footswitch to any incandescent source, even a hardware store portable clamp style light, over your developing area. Use it instead of your fluorescents, when developing film.
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I said it was a pain to do not that it was particularly difficult. There IS a difference. Something like dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. :smile: