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Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ajuk, Dec 3, 2009.
Is it possible to get an enlarger bulb that will emit UV for platinum printing?
UV Bulbs Available
There are several choices. Look for a SB100 100 Watt self ballasted mercury vapor lamp. Google will direct you to several places where you can get them. You may also be able to get them at an electrical jobbers outlet like Graybar. There are many sizes up to 450 watts or so.
These lamps are clear, need no ballast or special socket, (fits a standard Edison medium base socket). Although I would use a ceramic socket over plastic because the UV will eventually cause the plastic to degrade.
The Hg bulb sounds like it is worth a try. These bulbs have an inner bulb that puts out the light and an outer bulb made of special UV absorbing glass. Still they put out more UV then normal bulbs. If the outer bulb is broken they can put out dangerous amounts of UV. The main problem you might find with them is uneven light distribution. Remember typical enlarger bulbs are very well frosted to give an even light. But at $20 a bulb it is worth a try. If nothing else you will have bought yourself a very long life and energy efficient porch light. If you do try it let me know. I have quite a bit of AZO paper and many want to try one of these to enlarge a 6x6 negative.
They also make gemicidal UV bulbs that are have no shield. The reason is for them you want to have the UV to kill the germs. But remember they bad for you as well. So don't look at the light they put out of you may wind up with Sun burned eyes.
Platinum and palladium printing is usually done in a light box designed for that purpose. In mine the clearance between the bulbs (tubes) and the printing frame is only about three inches and there are eight bulbs. I don't think an enlarger with a UV bulb will work. I have also used the sun.