Thomas Duplex Xafelight Filter Replacement

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by darrelll, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. darrelll

    darrelll Member

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    I just bought a full darkroom setup used including a Thomas Duplex safelight and I noticed both the red and orange filter gels are cracked and from the searches about the safelight, nothing on replacement of the filters.

    Can someone recommend the filters I should use to replace them with? Will roscoe gel filters be good?
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    my Thomas fell out off the hook and broke a couple of filters. I went to a glass shop and bought the required size and number of glass and I used Ruby Lith material to sandwich between the glass. I think it cost me about 15 dollars total. The replacement filters are available from Calumet Photo and used to cost about $100 for the set. What ever you do, run a "how safe is my safelight" test before trusting it.

    lee\c
     
  3. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    How Safe Is Your Safelight
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Lee I have a used Thomas and will be installing it. I noticed that the chain is kind of like "cheap". I was wondering about having it fall on my head. I am thinking of putting some stranded wire in it as a safety measure. Those Thomas safelights are really heavy! I like the why you made your filters. Prolighting.Com has lower wattage bulbs and also transformers.

    Curt
     
  5. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I bought some at B&H about 6 months ago. Or like Lee suggested, try some ruby lith or red or amber Roscoe gels. Or if the filters are just cracked, maybe put some black electrical tape over the cracks.

    One other note.... Remember, VC paper tolerates less safelight. I put some cardboard "shutters" over about 75% of my filters, and still there is more than enough light. Then try a safelight test.
     
  6. darrelll

    darrelll Member

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    There's already some translucent paper over the filters. Was that standard issue?

    Thanks everybody for your input, I think I'll pickup some Roscoe gels and replace the old cracked filters.
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I do not use filters on my Thomas. I put cardboard painted flat black in the space and vary the opening to reduce the quantity of light. I have not had a fogging problem with VC, or graded papers. I do a lot of alternative work and open the flaps almost entirely when coating. I have not had a problem with this either.

    Yes, I have run a "How safe is your safelight" test about every 6 months.

    Jim
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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    Hi Curt,

    yes, the Thomas is very heavy. The chain should be able to hold the weight. That is how mine is currently suspended now. That said if you feel safer with the stranded wire by all means don't let me talk you out of it. Mine fell because I am a dumb butt most of the time. I hung it on a hook that I did not install and it never occurred to me that the hook was not embedded in a timber. It wasn't and one day it dropped out of the ceiling.

    The ruby lith in the filter glass I think is a good idea for several reasons, one is it is cheap two it is a quick easy thing to do and third ruby lith offers a different color for the safe light and I believe it makes the vc paper less sensitive to the spectrum of light that the Thomas light normally puts out. The Thomas has always had a reputation for not being as safe for some vc papers as others. I now can use Forte Warm Tone paper with the vanes full open and if you can believe the reports FWT is the least safe under the Thomas. Good luck.

    lee\c
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Lee, that's a great idea. I have issues all the time with fogging since I switch back and forth between Ilford and Forte.
     
  10. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Can someone give some hard info about what constitutes a ruby lith filter? Is there a rosco color or some other product?
     
  11. lee

    lee Member

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    I can't give you a number but I would think a red and a orange sandwiched together would be good and give you ample protection. Ruby Lith is its own product. It used to be used in graphic arts before computer paste up became the way to do it. You might check Rocso's web site and see where the cut off is on the spectrum. Most paper sites will have that info also. Here is an example http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/20061302015431815.pdf top right hand corner.

    I just happened to have some real ruby lith that I got for another project and it was very cheap (like close out prices). Check for it in a drafting store or an art supply store.

    lee\c
     
  12. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Thanks Lee, I'll give "Topeka Blueprint" a call.
     
  13. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Thanks Lee, I used Ruby lith when doing strip up and layouts for printing a long time ago. I'm going to make some new filters for my Thomas.

    Curt
     
  14. lee

    lee Member

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    Curt,

    I did not strip off the clear part of the Ruby Lith I just cut it to size and used it that way. It is a lot less delicate that way.

    lee\c
     
  15. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Lee, sounds good to me and easier to use that way. I love unique cost saving alternatives don't you?

    Curt
     
  16. lee

    lee Member

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    yep as long as they do a good job

    lee\c