Which UV Bulbs..?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Jersey Vic, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

    Messages:
    3,924
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia Cou
    Shooter:
    Holga
    I'm building my 4 foot long UV unit and bought Phillips 40 Watt Black Light bulbs with the mercury and UV hazard warning (at the Home Depot in Hudson NY - for any locals ) for about $15 each. Are these the ones I want? They seem a bit dark when illuminated...?
    Thanks
     
  2. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jersey,

    They will work, but they're not the ones I recommend for a few reasons, especially if you are not going to be very dilligent about eye protection.

    Many people us the BL lamps, not the BLB lamps that you have purchased. The BLB lamps (black light blue) are very similar to the BL (black light) lamps, but they have an additional visible light wavelength filter on the glass that reduces the visible light output from them considerably.

    The BL print a little faster then the BLB, but the difference is apparently minimal for most processes.


    ---Michael
     
  3. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Location:
    Hudson, New
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I use the BLB bulbs, but the whole thing is a little too slow. I am thinking of rebuilding with either electronic ballasts or the spiral BLB bulbs. I live in Hudson, where is the Home Depot?
     
  4. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

    Messages:
    3,924
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia Cou
    Shooter:
    Holga
    The one across the bridge near the Thruway. You know..in the Catskill part of Hudson:smile:
     
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Before you give up on your BLB bulbs consider I am printing with 12 - 24 inch blb's. My print times are anywhere from 3 min - 30 min, depending on the negative. The key I found IS the negative. If you get one that is nice and thick, one that will take a lot of exposure with and enlarger, it WILL take a long time to print. The blb bulbs are not bad, but you will see very slight difference between them and the BL bulbs (check out Sandy Kings article over at www.unblinkingeye.com for an idea of the difference). When the time comes to replace mine I will most likely go with BL rather than BLB, but with over $100 in bulbs right now, I don't plan to pull them out...after all they are working. NOTE:I am using electronic ballasts (thanks to Michael Mutmansky for his help there).
     
  6. avandesande

    avandesande Member

    Messages:
    1,246
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tijeras, NM
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    BL bulbs are probably easier to burn with and less dangerous to your eyes since they are not 'fooled' into dilating. You should wear protection though in either case.
     
  7. juan

    juan Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    St. Simons I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm using spiral BLBs - with negatives made to print on the last Grade 2 Azo mine take about 8-10 minutes to print. I just start the timer and leave the room to avoid eye problems. Just another part of the slow-down of large format photography.
    juan
     
  8. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,754
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 360BL lamps are the usual and best answer, but a lot of things will work as long as they have high output in the blue to ultraviolet part of the spectrum. The alternative materials have very significant sensitivity in the blue region, so the 360BL tubes work better than the 360BLB ("blacklight") lamps. I use ordinary daylight lamps (20F12D) without much penalty. Phillips makes a "high actinic" bulb for plants that looks, in the specifications, like it would be OK (haven't tried it though). Some other "plant and aquarium" lamps with high bllue output may also work. If you can find them at a good price, the blue phosphor fluorescent tubes (20F12B) are excellent. I'm not sure if they are made in small sizes, but sunlight (as for suntan tables) lamps might be interesting.