where to buy a safe light from!?!?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ryca, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. ryca

    ryca Member

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    hi all

    i've tried the search function for a definitive answer to no avail.

    i'm starting a darkroom at home and need a safe light.. can i make it? if not where can i buy one? (im in Australia)

    any advice would be so appreciated

    thanks!
     
  2. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    If you can find an amber or red LED bulb, they work quite well. They aren't very hard to find on the internet. Red is safe for all BW paper and most BW papers. Amber is a little easier to see with. The reason I like te LED bulbs is that they are much brighter than a traditional safelight and still "safe"
     
  3. ryca

    ryca Member

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    LED bulbs really!? Yup I'm only doing B&W so this will help. Thanks Mark.. I'll hunt some down...
     
  4. AFlood

    AFlood Member

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    My advice is buy good quality LEDS, that only output red light (about 650nm). Ive rigged an ultra bright Red Led to a couple of AA batteries with a 20ohm resistor. Chucks out way more light then my wall socket safelight, and you can move it around. Variable Contrast papers are still a bit sensitive to it though.
     
  5. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Interesting, although I'd like to know which variable papers fogged with your led safelight. I ask this because I've safely used yellow green darkroom lamps with Ilford's MG IV RC. Of course, I tested these lamps before doing any printing and from a distance about 1,5m 2 minutes was the maximum safe time. At the 5-6m I've placed it, it is safe for a lot longer. These lamps are totally unsafe with papers like Fomaspeed Variant. After only a 10'' exposure from 1,5m I got a light grey tone.
     
  6. shotgun1a

    shotgun1a Member

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    Adorama ships down there, don't they? Or Freestyle? Plenty of safelights of various size, color and configuration come up on eBay fairly regularly as well. The question to ask is what are your needs? Do you have a large room or a small one? Is there somewhere to mount a permanent light, or would you rather use an off-the-shelf lamp with a special bulb? Lots of options depending on your specific requirements. Make sure you keep it several feet away from where your enlarger will go and point it somewhere other than directly at the enlarger base.
     
  7. AFlood

    AFlood Member

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    I did some brief experiments, holding the led about a foot away and Fomatone 132 fogs significantly (i got a mid grey tone) after 30 seconds. The LED is very bright and the beam is quite focused. I had a look at the diffracted beam off of a CD and there was quite a lot of yellow and green light present- this is why I said make sure you buy high quality LEDs. Mine were very cheap from ebay. Maybe Foma papers are especially sensitive?
     
  8. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    One foot away, focused beam, very bright, all these explain your results. For the record, Fomatone has it's peak sensitivity at about 525nm and drops to zero at about 560nm, according to the manufacturer. Fomaspeed/Fomabrom is even worse, with peak sensitivity at 550.

    In any case, quality leds are a good idea, but I'd try finding their datasheet first. Sometimes they offer a graph representing their output power of their spectrum.
     
  9. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I use a string of red LED christmas tree lights, staple-gunned to the ceiling trim. Cost me about $4. When I first put them up, I set out a sheet of Ilford MGIV for about an hour and then developed it -- nothing. I've also done 4x5 Efke Ortho 25 in trays without any problems.
     
  10. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I have a mixture of red christmas tree bulbs in night light fixtures and red LEDs. Bright enough for me and no fog.
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I use a low-pressure sodium safelight (Thomas Duplex) for Kentmere Bromide. I reinforced it, however, with some very carefully selected Roscoe sheets in DIY custom glass filters after inspection with a CD disc showed several of the other standard emission peaks in the blue-green end as potential problems. All that passes now is the standard orange doublet and that one additional peak further into the red end.

    For VC paper I made a bar of six red (635nm peak) LEDs that sits atop the suspended Thomas as an alternate safelight. My trusty CD also showed a little unwanted blue-green from these, so I simply covered the LEDs with a sheet of Rubylith as a high-end cutoff filter. Voila! As perfect a bright pure red as you'll ever see. Or at least need in a working darkroom.

    I then tested both of these configurations with pre-threshold flashed sheets of their target papers for well over one hour each. Actually, I think it was 1:20 before I finally gave up. Not a hint of fog with either Bromide (orange) or Ilford MGIV (red). And both safelights are still bright enough to read the fine print. Especially that Thomas.

    Ken