Those little darkroom lights

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by severian, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. severian

    severian Member

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    You know the ones I mean. There on your extension cords. stereos, timers and other things. I recently moved into a new house and built a new darkroom in the garage. Very comfortable but a bit snug. Just enough room for the Elwood 8x10 , Omega 4x5 and a sink big enough for 20x24 prints. Living on the Gulf Coast you quickly realize that the summer is not the time to be out making photographs. Its the time to be in a nice air conditioned darkroom. I've been printing in this darkroom since June and everything was going smoothly. Until i developed a batch of 8x10 film. It all had a base fog on it. .5 above the fb. Pretty heavy. I have a new camera so I examined it almost microscopically. No leaks. Took a sheet of film from 6 different boxes of film. All fogged. I really knew it wasnt in the camera because the edges were also fogged. So I figured that somehow in the move, although I was careful, it picked up heat fog. So I'm in the dr thinking, thinking and notice all those littlepinpoints of light. That couldn't be it. I've been doing this for 35 years . I know better. 42 little points of light including from three timers, 2 gra labs. Another test. One sheet form each box of film. ALL red and green pinpoints eliminated. No fog. Base as clear as glass. The moral of this story? Well Yogi might say, "your darkroom aint really a dark darkroom unless its dark"
    Jack
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Another case for black electrical tape!
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I had the same problem Jack. It's difficult to buy any electrical item that doesn't have a neon or LED on it. I cut as many of the little *%* out as I could get at, the reminder are covered with black duct tape.
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I feel your pain. :wink: (been there, done that)
    • The new RHDesigns timer has an "off" switch! (and does not glow in the dark)
    • Gralab 167 also does not glow in the dark, and replaced the 300.
    • Stereo - except for the speakers and an analog volume control - is outside the DR door.
    • No led's or pilot lights in power strips or extention cords.
    • Everything else is on a switched circuit, so when I'm loading film, it can all be turned off.
    A bit of effort (and "AR" attention to detail :wink: ), but it can be done.

    I even take my watch off. :rolleyes:

    Cheers,

    David
     
  5. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    I have a question, will gralab 300s fog film? I leave mine hanging up all the time even when developing film, and have had no noticable results untill now. The LEDs in my GFC outlets are all covered, and I do remove a time-o-lite timer because its entire face glows a brighter green then the Gralabs.
     
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I develop all my sheet film in trays directly in front of an old Time-O-Lite unit on the wall that does indeed glow, but it's never been a problem. I have a metronome that blinks as well as ticks. I cover the blinking red light with the rear lens cap from a long since departed lens. Everything else has black duct or electrical tape over the glowing parts which has been sufficient to eliminate any problems.
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Probably not. However, it bugged me. (see the "AR" reference in my other post :rolleyes: )

    I didn't buy the Gralab 167 to replace the glowing 300. I bought it because it has waterproof switches (it's my film timer on the wet side), and because they sell on Ebay for pennies. The fact that it does not have a glow in the dark face was a bonus. :D

    I know what you mean about the Time-O-Lites! They're bright! :surprised:

    Cheers, y'all.

    David
     
  8. severian

    severian Member

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    Joseph'
    I have to assume my fogging was caused by the total amount of red and green light that was in the room. The timer is a Gra-Lab 300. Now it faces the wall with a towel over it when film is being loaded or developed.
    Jack
     
  9. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    I'm thrilled to hear that I'm not the only person in the world who put a darkroom in the garage. In Tenn. you have some problems in winter, unless you don't mind blowing out your electric bill with the space heater.
    I haven't had much problem with light leaks. A new garage door helped fix that. My Gra-Lab 300 hangs over the sink, but I haven't had any problems with fog.
    I also do some studio work in the garage. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, the cars stay in the driveway.) I leave a backdrop stand up with some backdrops hung on it, which helps seperate the "darkroom" area from the rest of the garage. I've tray developed film on sunny days with no problems.
    The only light problem I really have is with the big green one on the D/A converter that sits on top of the CD player. I just throw some black velvet over it. Dean
     
  10. Ronda F.

    Ronda F. Member

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    At the college where I am taking beginning photography as a non traditional aged student, we used a paper darkroom for loading film, since the film ones were too busy. We turned all the timers to the partitions, and it was fine. Then someone who was done earlier got stupid and turned on the safelights after one person said they were done. "Oh, I thought everyone was done!" They had been told to turn them back on when people had finished. Anyway, those who had their film safely away didn't have fogging from the timers. I now am using a changing bag.
     
  11. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Welcome aboard Ronda!

    Murray - who once was a student but is now definitely 'non traditionally aged'
     
  12. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    I have tried in vain to fog Efke PL100 with my two Gralab 300s. I also tried to intentionally fog some with my watch. I was able to arrive at some fog with the watch directly on the film for 1 min. A few inches away for several seconds would not do it. Maybe some 1600 ASA pushed 2 stops would be a problem, but standard film won't be fogged under normal darkroom conditions.
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've two timers in my darkroom, one a Gralab 300 and the other an ancient Time-O-Lite. When loading film, I'm careful to drape a sheet of 6 mil black plastic sheet over the face of each. But there have been times when I've forgotten to do that. Fortunately there were no ill effects, though that could be due to my having my back between the timers and the film. I have fogged some film with a glowing watch face though.