Recommended darkroom torch

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by thomsonrc, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. thomsonrc

    thomsonrc Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi

    I want to try lith printing and understand that a darkroom torch is very useful. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good one? Cheers

    Ritchie
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    fotoimpex.de was giving away some red LED keychain lights that are handy in the darkroom a while back as a promotional item. Maybe they sell them.
     
  3. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I recommend and use the RH Design safe torch Ritchie
    Look here ...
    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/safetorch.html

    I use them on all my Lith workshops and everyone wants one!
    Even if you don't do lith they are a must have item IMHO
    Tim
     
  4. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'll second that - I was tearing my hair out with lith, and the RH torch is a lifesaver!
     
  5. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe it would be worth trying a backlight from a bicycle?
    /matti
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    In the US, Super Bright LEDs sells several LED flashlights ("torches" to you Brits :wink: ). I've got one of the tiny keychain "Beamer Micro Light" models from that page (in red, of course). I've never done lith printing, but I find it handy for checking the aperture of my enlarger lens, finding dropped pieces of paper, etc. I'm afraid I don't have a reference for a European distributor of similar flashlights, but there must be some place that sells them in Europe. If you're desperate, you could see if Super Bright LEDs ships internationally. Buying a small item like a small flashlight or bulb would probably not incur utterly ridiculous shipping charges, although for a small order the shipping cost would probably be more than the price of the products, even for domestic shipping.
     
  7. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Henrico, Vir
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I love my RH Designs Safe Torch
     
  8. phritz phantom

    phritz phantom Member

    Messages:
    213
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    i just use a normal (military) torch with a red filter, i think the smaller maglites have those filters too. i don't know if this the exact color the paper requires, but i make sure to cover any photographic paper in the open with a piece of card.
     
  9. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Messages:
    877
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I use a small maglite with red filter in the darkroom. In the US, one can buy a kit which contains the light and filter. I like the maglite because I can hold it in my mouth and use both hands if needed.
     
  10. El Gringo

    El Gringo Subscriber

    Messages:
    147
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've always used a normal torch and just held a spare safelight filter over the end of it for lith printing, it's a little awkward but I've found it works well enough for my needs.
     
  11. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The small Maglites work fine. I used one for ages until the RH Designs one came out and I wouldn't go back now. The Maglite is a twist action and so needs 2 hands. It stays on until you twist it off. The RH is a 1 hand action click on/off. It goes off when you let go, which I find much more convenient. Also, it hangs around my neck all the time (in the darkroom!) so I never have to go looking for it. The maglite does have a wrist strap, which is useful as you don't drop it, but it will hang into the dev easily, so you can't really let go anyway.
     
  12. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

    Messages:
    548
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Sheffield, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just got the RH one this morning for Lith printing. It looks very useful and compact and comes with neck strap. It was brighter than I expected. Going to try it later...
     
  13. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I too find it just a little bright for my preference so I put a strip of sellotape magic tape across it. This just diffuses it very slightly and makes it perfect for me. Otherwise when used at close quarters I find the slight 'circle' pattern on the print distracting. The subtle diffusion gets rid of that.
    Tim
     
  14. du a gwyn

    du a gwyn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    i'll also recommend the RH torch for lith printing,couldn't do with out it then that goes to say about all the RH stuff,'they do exactually what the say on the tin.'
    Tim Rudman,is there another way of paying for the new lith book of the web site,i don't want to put my card details over the net(can i phone you personally?)
     
  15. bwakel

    bwakel Subscriber

    Messages:
    534
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    England
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    The RH torch seems very expensive for what is essentially the rear light from the bicycle! As a keen cyclist I've always got two or three different LED rear lights of varying intensity and beam patterns. They work fine and cost a few pounds. You can easily attach a bit of string to most of them if you want to hang the light round your neck and they turn off with a single press mostly (though some go through a range of different flash patterns with each press).

    Barry
     
  16. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Of course. PM me & we'll discuss.
    Tim
     
  17. thomsonrc

    thomsonrc Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the replies: RH designs it is then.

    Ritchie.
     
  18. roy

    roy Member

    Messages:
    1,308
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Small Maglite with red filter and a piece of paper masking tape over the filter.
    I also have a small Jobo light which is colour safe.
     
  19. thomsonrc

    thomsonrc Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    magic tape

    Is it Sellotape Magic Tape or Scotch Magic tape, I cant find the former? If it matters!

    Cheers

    Ritchie
     
  20. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Umm. ?
    I'm away from UK at present and can't check. You could be right about Scotch I think
    Tim
     
  21. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

    Messages:
    703
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Blue Mountai
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I found, at an astronomy supplies for amateurs shop, an Orion Red Beam II Variable Brightness Astro Flashlight , which has two red leds and no filter, and a rheostat (?) to wind up the level from dim to fairly bright, all with one hand.

    It has a lanyard to hang it around your neck, possibly just long enough at full extension to dip it into your tray-full of chemistry if you are careless! It uses one 9v battery of the common kind.

    Made in (where else?) China.

    I like it very much.

    Regards - Ross
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2008
  22. Lee L

    Lee L Member

    Messages:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Online source for the Orion astronomy flashlight: http://www.telescope.com/control/ca...onid=8C3CA71F12FBC20CFAA6517494C1D629.ivprod1
    Rigel Starlite models (google for retailers) are similar.

    scopestuff.com has a few choices under "red things" at their site: http://scopestuff.com/#Red Things

    I'd recommend the torches/flashlights and replacement bulbs at http://superbrightleds.com/flashlights.htm as well. They are more reasonably priced than many other places.

    BTW, you can easily and permanently diffuse an LED by roughing up its surface a bit with a fine synthetic abrasive pad. I do this so that it's easier to read star charts with red LEDs and more even illumination over a broader angle.

    Lee