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  1. #1
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    Paper and safe light question

    I have a few boxes of old photo paper paper. I decide to use it for some experiences, like doing some positive prints/contact prints using MF and LF negatives and a lamp with a 75 bulb lamp (no enlarger and even if the prints were completly crap i didn't mind).
    My safe light is a white lamp with a 15W red lamp, that I put above a closet, facing the ceiling and the oposite wall to were I decided to put the trays and the lamp for the print; my "darkroom" is a small bathroom, all white.
    I decided to test if the safe light was safe. But all the papers that I use, became black when I put them in the developer, with out being exposed to white light before. Photo paper when not exposed to light and then developed should remain white, yes? Or I making a huge noob mistake?
    1. the papers are old, they may be fogged because old age/ prior exposure to light before I got them?
    2. The bathroom is "light-prof" since I use it for my film developing and never had foggeg film when loading the reels.
    3. the safe light is not safe and fogs the paper.

  2. #2
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    became black when I put them in the developer
    That's a bit more than safe light fogging! The paper has been exposed to light at some time.

  3. #3

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    Something is awfully wrong.

    Paper do not turn all black even in not-so-dark darkrooms. For example, my "darkroom" used to be a temporary setup and it was "dark" to a point I could clearly see my hands after I get used to the darkness. My paper completely stayed white.

    So I'm guessing either your paper is fogged or your safe light isn't safe at all.
    Turn EVERYTHING off, and at night, in your "darkroom", just develop your unexposed paper, then fix. If you have fogged paper, it will be something other than white. If it turns black, then it's totally toast.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    My first thought! The problem is that I use two diffrent papers and got the same result. Have to see if the rest is also like that.

    Yes, will do that! Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Get a vintage Kodak bullet safelight with an OC filter & a standard 15-watt bulb. They are plentiful on ebay and quite inexpensive. One guy has three for 10 bucks available right now.

  6. #6

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    Hi Rhodes,

    It sounds to me like your 'safelight' isn't so safe... You say it's a "a white lamp with a 15W red lamp"; does that mean you're using a white bulb and a red bulb together; a white bulb inside a red lamp housing/shade; or a red bulb inside a white lamp housing/shade?

    Black and white papers (except Kodak Panalure (old) and the Ilford Digital range (current, only supplied in rolls)) are sensitive to green and blue light, which is the reason safelights are red, orange or sometimes yellow. You need to eliminate *every* source of 'white' light - red-coloured tungsten bulbs still emanate a percentage of blue and green light to which your paper is sensitive.

    On the other hand, your paper may be completely fogged, in which case it's useless for its intended purpose. Here's how you can test it. In complete darkness, develop and fix a sheet from the middle of the paper packet, and one from the top. If they're large sheets just cut a strip 2" wide along the top. If you see any greyness after fixing, the paper is fogged.

    If your first test comes out white, take another sheet or strip in complete darkness, lay opaque items like coins on top and switch on your safelight for two minutes. Again in darkness develop and fix this sheet or strip; if the outlines of the items are visible, your safelight is unsafe. If nothing is visible, try the same test using the same methodology for five, ten, twenty and forty minutes. If there's no visible fogging after forty minutes under the safelight, that's safe enough for everyday darkroom work.

    At a pinch, some red ultrabright LEDs wired to a battery and wrapped in red polythene will be safer than a red tungsten bulb.

    Have fun,
    Cheers,
    kevs.
    testing...

  7. #7
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    Kevs, it is the last one you mention. Dificcult to get the proper word from the portuguese "candeeiro"/google give me sconce, normally I use lamp, but this have very broad meaning. It's a red tungsten bulb inside a white lamp housing/shade!
    Yes, will test today or tomorrow and will post here the results!

  8. #8
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    Good and bad news! The bad is that one of my paper fogged and my safe light is not safe, did a good photogram with it.
    The good is that the 5x7 paper and the 8x10 is not fogged and that I know now that the safe light is not safe.

  9. #9
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Yes, you discovered that red coated bulbs are not safe. I am amazed at how often they are sold and used despite this.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  10. #10

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    You may have a Portugese e-bay but if not then most sellers on U.K. e-bay will post to Portugal. There are always plenty of safelights for sale. Another way to buy is from an official retailer such as Secondhand Darkroom Supplies. That way you can be sure that the safelight will be safe. Secondhand Darkroom Supplies(SDS) is a reliable business to deal with.

    pentaxuser

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