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  1. #1

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    WTB Cheap safelight

    I'm looking for a cheap safelight for my first home darkroom. I'm working with B&W so I would prefer it to be red. Other than that, I don't have any requirements.

    I know that one of you has an old safelight sitting around somewhere!

  2. #2

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    Read the Kodak information at the following site for safelights. http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consu.../k4Facts.shtml

    I quote from Kodak's recommendation.

    "The 'safest' color safelight filter for a particular material is not always the recommended one. For example, a red safelight filter often has less effect on photographic papers than the amber filter listed in the table. However, most workers find that they can judge print density or perform other functions better under an amber light. (So, although it is a slight compromise in protecting the paper from fogging, an amber filter improves working conditions.)"

    I have used both and what Kodak says is true. With red illumination the human eye has trouble discerning small details.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 01-27-2013 at 01:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3

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    You can make one practically for free. Obtain a free sample box of a Ulano product called "Rubylith" that contains ten cca 8x10 sheets of orthochromatic masking film (red, of course). Stack two sheets and you have a brand new safelight filter. Then build a totally light-tight box with a 25W or 15W of one of those banned and extremely energy-inefficient old bulbs, put a switch somewhere (cord switch is very practical), tape Rubylith on top and there it is - your first safelight!

  4. #4

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    You can also get "amberlith".
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5
    nicholai's Avatar
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    I would just get a safelight bulb. these can be acquired easily and will fit any regular E27 socket that you will probably already have in the room.
    Something like this one: http://www.macodirect.de/darkroom-sa...lb-p-2528.html
    Nicholai Nissen
    Kolding, Denmark
    nicholainissen@gmail.com

  6. #6
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    Those tubes that go over a standard flouresent tune work great, and don't bust the bank or leaving you wishing you had bought on later. Calumet should still sell them. Point source stuff cast too many shadows and will infuriate you.

  7. #7
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Available in red or amber, your choice after reading the above (and I agree about it - even those papers claiming to need red I've had no problem with amber but I'm careful to limit exposure) and very cheap:

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...60-degree/440/

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpwphoto View Post
    Those tubes that go over a standard flouresent tune work great, and don't bust the bank or leaving you wishing you had bought on later. Calumet should still sell them. Point source stuff cast too many shadows and will infuriate you.
    For "point sources" like the bulb I recommended, this is easy. Put in a light fixture with reflector you can aim, and aim it at a white ceiling, wall, or white piece of cardboard stuck to same. It's what I do with my Patterson in my current temporary darkroom:

  9. #9
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Let me check my inventory(!) I think I might have one or two Kodak standards I can sell.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  10. #10
    John&Tessa's Avatar
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    Hello P,
    go for yellow/amber. Irrespective of which you choose, you should carry out a test. A safelight is "safe" only for a certain time. It's a compromise - use dim lighting and bumble around knocking things over and losing stuff; OR use brighter light to see what you're doing, but maybe risk fogging your pix.

    It's simple to do, use the same technique as when making test strips. With your safelight(s) on, place a strip of grade 1 paper partially covered on your masking board for 1 minute, move the cover a bit and leave for another minute, and so on until you are bored with it all (but be sure to have one end of the test strip that has not been exposed for any more than the time it took to take it out of the paper box. Develop, fix and wash, dry, then study it for faint signs of grey scale steps.

    File this as a reference. Most safelights change as they age. Maybe do this every 6 months.

    Have fun. Enjoy.

    Just remembered.... white walls are the thing. If the safelight is safe, then the light reflecting off white walls is also safe. I once knew a photographer who painted his darkroom walls Black !

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