Your light box

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Curt, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have a Porta Trace 10 x 12" Light Box - Stainless Steel Frame and One 5000K Lamp, I've wanted a larger one, what do you use for a light box and what size is it?

    Curt
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Around 10 years ago I bought an A4 solid-state light box with a 5500°K illumination beneath a frosted plastic top. It has stood the test of time with no trouble at all.
    It is a "VisualPlus" light box. Provides beautiful even light while studying trannies. Memory has it that it almost bankrupted me during my starting-out years in serious photography; it certainly cost more than $250. I'll never offload it; it was one of the very best purchases I made.
     
  3. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I usa a Porta Trace 18 x 24 with 4 5000K lamps. Quite bright, no problems. Also not inexpensive.

    Bob
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Big GraphicLite 5000k viewer, 21x49". Bought it from the studio I used to work for when it went under. About $600 new 10 years ago, I'm sure it's more by now. Nice, even illumination from three fluorescent tubes, long enough to roll out uncut 120 film.

    Peter Gomena
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I had two: a 8x10 and a 18x36, both home-made. I recently acquired a commercial one (about 16x20 - I'd have to measure), so the big one went to my wife's graphic arts studio. Since I only use them for B&W and occasionally sorting slides, color temp was never a factor.
     
  6. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    I have the same size lightbox, but with dual bulbs. I would gladly buy another like it, though I might get the wood framed box instead, just because it might look nicer.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
     
  7. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    I recently made myself a lightbox for viewing negs. I had to pay 14pounds sterling for a light unit and the rest was free. Maybe colour temperature is important for you but I wish I had made one 40 years ago, it would have saved many stiff necks!
     
  8. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    A friend of mine managed to pick up an unwanted xray viewer. Think he got it for $50 - it's rather large but does the job perfectly!
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have a Just 8x10. Bought off ebay in 2005, forget what I paid but it was much less than new price. Very nice colour correct light box.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I too have the PortaTrace 18x24 model. In fact, it's brand new from B&H. It's the 4-tube stainless steel version. I was a bit less than satisfied with the fit and finish at first. And the light distribution had noticeable - to me, anyway - hot lines along the tube lengths.

    But I'm a tinkerer always looking to improve things a bit. So I purchased a couple of 4-foot aluminum U-channel pieces and just today miter-cut them down and assembled them so as to raise the height of the plexiglass over the tubes by only 7/8 of an inch. This small adjustment made a huge difference in the eveness of illumination from below. It also served to noticeably lower the brightness level, which I found excessive.

    Tomorrow I'll cut some custom white reflector pieces and insert them at an angle over the now bare left and right inner sidewalls of the box. This should help alleviate the somewhat darker left and right edges. The upper and lower edges, along with the bottom, are already pure white.

    That ought to do it, I hope. 18x24 is big enough to display four 8x10 negatives at once. And with the above improvements, I should be able to reliably compare overall negtive densities for all four at a single glance. And my Kodachrome slides - the reason I purchased it in the first place - already look just wonderful.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2008
  11. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I like the PortaTrace box and it's easy to carry around but the box I built many years ago still is my best. I made a wood box dadoed for the top and put in two color corrected lights. I got the bulbs at a GE supplier and the top from a plastics distributor. I must have gotten it right the first time. Like Ken with 8x10 negatives a larger box is required. My ideal light box would be two by four or five foot unit on a stand like the commercial photo labs have, or had.
     
  12. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Curt,

    We have a local (Cleveland, OH) Amish printing equipment salvage company. 2-3 years ago four of us bought six light tables. I bought a B. Bacher (German) Control Litho metal light table model 1669 that has a 25” x 49” viewing area. Illumination is by three tubes through frosted glass. I haven’t had to take it apart to see what the tubes are. The table will raise or lower or tilt from flat to vertical, lockable at any point. I paid either $30 or $35, can’t remember. It can compare up to six 7x17 negatives at a time.

    Try to find a salvage yard that carries printing equipment. This one tries to sell specialty items to individuals, but most is turned into scrap metal and shipped to India. That makes me sick and I have already bought five pieces from them. They have been so appreciative that they have given me all the envelopes I will use for life. My wife teaches First Grade. She says the art paper they have given us will probably last, 18 six year olds, two years.

    John Powers
     
  13. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    I have a couple Cabin (they don't make these any more) 11x14 slimline light panels. Very thin (less than 3/4 inch thick), very easy to carry - more so than the bigger and bulkier Hakuba, PortaTrace, Gepe or Just brands, IMO. I wish they still made these.

    Regards, Art.
     
  14. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    I use a Dell 9300 17" Laptop. Works pretty good, but I do wish I had a lightbox again!
     
  15. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    I have a Knox Acculight. It's a big beautiful thing that can sit flat or upright (as pictured). I found it at a local camera shop in perfect condition for $75. I couldn't pass that up. I can fit 10 - 8x10 negs on it at the same time. The owner of the shop didn't want to be bothered trying to ship it. I'll bet there are quite a few good deals on these things out there... I know our local newspaper also got rid of something similar rather cheaply.
     

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  16. PVia

    PVia Member

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    If I were going to make one of these, how would I diffuse the light in order not to get hotspots. I know about frosted glass, but what about a diffusing system for the bulbs?