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  1. #1
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    Night vision w/ color RA-4 paper?

    hey guys,

    I've got a nagging question, and so far, haven't been able to find a suitable answer to this question:

    Is it ok to use a low power night vision scope in the darkroom when making color contact sheets?

    I've been shooting quite a bit lately, and I don't like using printfile sheets to organize my negs(scratches from putting in/out), i just prefer to lay the negs down on the paper directly, just as I do with b&w.

    Now I've gotten ok in the dark(totally dark that is), but my main problem is the darkrooms(individual rooms) at school are so damn small, and I'm so damn big (6'5" 260#), its hard to get around without dropping a neg, or fudging something up in the process. bent a nice set of 3 120 negs the other day, thought it was totally under the glass, wasn't... )

    I'm using Fuji CA totally now (except for my roll of metallic 12"). either of these papers affected by faint IR light from a low-power scope?

    I've heard of film processing operations using these when observing dip n' dunk lines, or hand processing in large tanks in the dark. I'm also interested in this for this use as well (found a guy local selling some stainless tanks and 8x10/4x5 racks)

    Help would be appreciated.

    thanks

    Dan

    p.s. the reason why i'm so 'anal' about this is I'm kind of OCD about making clean and proper contact sheets. I'm sure some of you can see where I'm coming from.
    I'm also designing my own proofer (going to get the glass now actually )


  2. #2
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I know that people do the same thing. Just make sure you're not emitting too much visible light. I've printed RA4 when I could literally see what I was doing using the light that filtered into the darkroom and I had no problems with fogging. I don't think you'll get any noticeable fogging. You can test it by putting the thing right up against a test strip for a minute and processing it. I think you'll be fine.

  3. #3

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    Daniel I feel your pain I'm 6'1'' 240 and I am always bumping into crap when I am doing my RA-4 prints and my contact sheets look like crooked death. haha the IR scope is a good idea, let me know how it goes, I may look into it.

  4. #4
    polyglot's Avatar
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    A near-IR camera (about 1um) and some IR LEDs as a light source ought to work pretty well. I don't think (without having the data handy) RA-4 is sensitive much past 700nm.

  5. #5
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I heard someone refer to using an "infrared monocle" or something to great success. I have a feeling once I start 16x20 and 20x24 prints it may get a little cramped though.

  6. #6

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    Any reason you can't/don't use a color safelight?

  7. #7
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I use a Thomas Duplex Safelight with the color filter set using RA-4 materials and can see across a 14 foot long darkroom without any problems. If you have the same kind of safelight in the darkroom, get a set of filters for it.
    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

  8. #8
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    color safelight you say? I thought that you can't use RA-4 paper with a light of any kind? I've been gettin edge fog on my paper from the timer, and that's two feet away.

    I think I'll be looking more into the NV side of things.

    -Dan


  9. #9

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    Also look for a Keiser/Osram (same company, same product) Duka 10 or Duka 50. These are (were?) top-o-the-line back in the day and cost huge cash. They can be had for around $50 or less now, but keep in mind the bulbs are very special and expensive, if you can find one. Fortunately they have a long bulb life but you may want to consider it a single use purchase just to be safe. You could probably buy 4 used ones for the cost of a new bulb.

    Anyway they also have an aperature control on them so you can dim them to match your conditions. Do a fog test, set the aperature, good to go!

  10. #10
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    We print RA-4 in a group darkroom - so of course it cant be pitch black, or we'd walk into eachother (well, more than we do anyway). We use very very dim yellow and green safelights, after a few minutes getting used to the very low light you can see what you're doing. As long as you dont keep you paper out for more than is necissary, you dont generally experience fogging. Keep your paper in a paper safe and just take it out when you need to expose it.
    We use an automated paper processor though, so I'm not sure how it would go if the processing was in trays.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

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