UV for Kallitypes
I am starting to experiment with Kallitypes, meaning I've ordered the kit from B&S, and I'm going to buy Arches Platine, which is only $6(!) a full sheet at Binders Art Supply here in Atlanta.
I need to set up a relatively small light source for 4x5 contact prints, and I'm a bit confused about what I need. Ideally, something I could grab at Home Depot, plug into a timer and go would be ideal. I've seen people using black light bulbs and all kinds of things, so I'm not sure what is best. A standard flourescent fixture would be great, if possible.
Right now, I would prioritize quick and relatively inexpensive over all other qualities. I don't want to sink too much into this until I know I'm going to enjoy printing this way.
Also, I assume these bulbs are safe for the eyes if they sell them at the Depot. Back about 15 years ago I experimented with platinum and had these bulbs that the lighting guy made me promise never to look at. I had a closet rigged up so I could set everything up, and turn it all on from a safe distance!
For the Kallitype process you need a UV light source. The sun is the obvious choice, but don’t know what sort of weather you have there. However, why not wait for a sunny day and experiment. If you decide you want to then continue with the process, perhaps buy a UV lamp. I use a facial tanning lamp I bought on ebay for about £20 which works fine. I disabled the timer on it so I could have it switched on for as long as I liked and put a timer on the wall plug. I mounted this in the ceiling of my darkroom and in this way I can set the timer to come on and go off during the night when I am not in the room, but fast asleep.
I should also mention that facial tanning lamps have an ideal short distance between the light and the subject for even illumination. So when exposing, my neg material is on top of a stool on a bench, about 12” from the light source.
I merely use BLB bulbs (the spiral type) and ceramic light fixtures; and plug the resulting unit into a Gralab timer. Spacing should be fairly close so that get even coverage (mine are 4" apart - on center - in zig-zag pattern, and the bottom of bulb about 4" above contact printing frame). Didn't cost much and works fine for Kallitypes and pt/pd printing.
Black light tubes work well. A 2X20 watt striplight with BLB tubes will work well for small prints. You want to keep the light even over the print. Spiral tubes sometimes take time to come up to full brightness, which can make exposures unpredictable.