Safelight Gels in UK
Is it possible to buy safelight gels?
I want a small piece to place under the enlarger lens..I already have a little under the lens holder for filters.
The actual safety filter for my Omega is only available in the USA.
I would also like to make a little safelight torch.
most of them for that use are just RED. Might find something you can use from theater suppliers as Lighting gels. (rosco, etc.)
You could get hold of a Lee Filters sample book. This contains a 1" x 3" sample of every colour gel they make. Clip off some likely looking pieces and test them by contact printing to see which colours are actually safe then see if you can get a large enough piece from a local theatre.
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The gel books will actually show you a little chart/graph like most film/paper information sheets show as far as where in the spectrum it transmits light and it will also give how much light transmitted in a percentage. It's all very clever. You're looking for a chart that is essentially flat until it peaks at around 600 nm. I have a few lee booklets here and just off the top there's Bright Red 026 and Medium Red 027 that should work but medium red does have a little bump at 350nm so Bright Red is your best bet.
I have a rosco gel book around here somewhere too, I know Flints theatre supplies will sell you half/whole sheets of rosco gels for a very reasonable price and they'll send you a sample book too but if you don't want to go through the hassle of it I can check mine.
(P. S. - I cringe at the thought of someone getting gels from the theatre our theatre group performs at because the House gels have saved our budget in the past. I'll try to put you off by saying that those gels have been used quite a bit in front of very hot & bright lights so their transmission will vary more than brand new gel and it'll be less scratched up too).
Originally Posted by Akki14
Good point. You definitely do not want a used gel. What I meant was to see if a local theatre can order a sheet for you or sell you part of a sheet they have already.
I have just had a look through my book to see if there is a suitable amber colour. Golden amber 134 has a little bit of everything down to 300nm so would not be any good and deep golden amber 135 has a similar response to the reds but tails off into the 525nm region. Ilford's data sheet shows that MG IV has its sensitivity trailing off just above 550nm so whilst on paper the golden amber 135 does not look like it will work, in practice it may be o.k.
Obviously testing is the way to go with this type of thing but that is easier said than done if you don't have the samples.
If I remember, I will take my sample book home (it's at work now) and test some pieces next time I am in the darkroom as I have been thinking about making an amber safelight myself using this method.
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of course, if you are in the UK, buying the offical ILFORD fliter will be 100% safe, and also suport the continued supply of B&W materials. heck I even have a genuine ILFORD safelight in my darkrrom. The Lee/Rosco red gel should be an ecconmical replecement for the red filter that hides under the enlarger lens to get the easel in the right spot.