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  1. #1

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    White light source in darkroom

    Just putting the finishing touches to my new darkroom and realised I hadn't put any thought at all into the white light source - I vaugely recall reading an article (senior moments again!) somewhere that covered this - seemed to remeber it mentioned flourescent light but not sure. Can anyone throw any light on this for me - I know there are different colours of flouro but thats as technical as I can get. Can't be hard-wired though, has to be moveable, as in a standard lamp or desk lamp. Thanks everyone. Patricia

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Flourescent in a darkroom is usually frowned on because of the afterglow in the tube when it is turned off. A general purpose ceiling light as well as a hanging inspection lamp over the wash tray is what I use. If you do color a filtered inspection lamp for your dried prints is a nice touch, again not flourescent, but this time because flouros are a discontinuous spectrum light.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Anything can be moveable. Mount it to a board and hang it from whatever you've got.

    I'm using 12 quartz halogen on track lighting. I like it very much and there are many options and ways to change it.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  4. #4
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Gravel
    Anything can be moveable. Mount it to a board and hang it from whatever you've got.

    I'm using 12 quartz halogen on track lighting. I like it very much and there are many options and ways to change it.
    I like that idea! Maybe one day I'll be able to integrate it into my darkroom.
    Gary Beasley

  5. #5

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    White Light AGAIN

    I think I've asked the wrong question here - what I really want to know is what is the best light souce to view B & W prints over the trays and then when dry. At the moment I'm using standard houselight bulbs which seem to give out a warmish colour - would quartz halogen give a "truer" natural light effect - don't want to keep dashing out in to the real world to view the prints in daylight - far too distracting!
    Patricia

  6. #6
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    You need a fluorescent fitting with a daylight balanced tube. The afterglow problem mentioned above is no longer relevent with modern phospher tube coatings. Daylight balanced tubes are (or should be) used in light boxes.

    If its prints that you are working on, then these should be viewed under whatever type of light they will be hung under; which could be tungsten.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  7. #7
    Lee L's Avatar
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    I used GE Chroma 50 lamps, multi-phosphor 5000K daylight balanced flourescent lamps, for the last 23 years for judging both color and B&W prints. They have a CRI (color rendering index) of 90. I recently found Phillips C50 Colortone tubes in a local home center, which are 5000K and have a CRI of 92, to replace the failing GE lamps. These have more phosphors for a more continuous spectrum and a better match to daylight. You can get filtered filament based lamps as well, but the ones I have seen online are much more expensive. They have the advantage of a true continuous spectrum.

    I have seen advice recommending that you judge prints under the same lighting conditions that is to be used for display; good advice for prints you know will be displayed in a particular setting. However, for a combination of both color and B&W printing, I have settled on high CRI 5000k flourescents, some of which have up to 7 phosphors and CRI ratings of up to 96. The "D50" designation is one clue that you're getting a real daylight balanced lamp, as opposed to the misnamed "daylight flourescent" that often has a color temp of 4100K or is missing a strong red phosphor, and has a much more discontinuous spectrum.

    I'd do a Google search on CRI and flourescent to see if you can find some brands and suppliers in Aus that have high CRIs at 5000K. Phillips and others also make smaller E27 base D50 lamps that you might find useful over an inspection area. These will screw into a regular light bulb socket. Note that you can have high CRI ratings at color temps other than 5000K (often in the 6000K-6500K range), but you want a combination that's in the 5000K-5500K range with a high CRI; 90 or above. The maximum CRI is 100, indication a power spectrum that exactly matches standard noontime daylight.

    Lee
    Last edited by Lee L; 02-18-2006 at 05:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    esanford's Avatar
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    I use (2) 100 Watt flood lamps in two simple ceiling sockets about 4 ft apart positioned over the sink. I like to display prints in bright lights. So, I want to see them in bright lights when they come out of the fixer.

    I just had my first show at a little gallery here in North Carolina, and my prints showed really nice under the gallery track lighting. This verified for me that my darkroom lights were just right.
    Often wrong, but never in doubt!

  9. #9

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    White Light

    Many thanks for the response to my questions - I have plenty of info to work with now and will hit the lighting shops this week. Next week's job is a visit to the plumbers to organise a sink - on my wish list will be a set of mixer taps that will show the water temperature - if there is such a thing. It will be the first time I've ever had hot and cold running water in my darkroom so it would be great to get it all "just right ". Patricia



 

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