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Thread: DIY safelight

  1. #1
    joe7's Avatar
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    DIY safelight

    i have a few questions,regarding the safelight.i’m still a beginner,and would like setup a darkroom for B&W printing.Right now I’m looking for a safelight,and if possible, I would like to DIY it.

    1)i found this filter at Freestyle,

    Premier 10x12 Red Filter
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/101218...er?cat_id=1603

    Premier 5x7 Red Filter
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/57184-...er?cat_id=1603
    other than size,what is the difference between this two filter?it seems that both is having a different colour.

    Can I just buy this filter and make my own safelight?is it still the same as the one that is sold,like here
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/191210...ht?cat_id=1603

    2)what size of the safe light that is suitable for me, 10x12 or just get the 5x7?
    right now,my temporary darkroom(my toilet actually) size is 6x9x6 ft.

    3)can I just use the Fluorescent lamp,instead of the normal light bulb,because its produce less heat,and can be operated at a long hour..

    4)i believe,this safelight is paper safe,but how about B&W film,is it also safe?

    thanks in advance for any of your reply

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Either filter will do and yes you can build your own safelight if you want, it's been done often enough. And yes a flourescent will work, just be sure you get the level of illumination right. The lamp may be a bit bright compared to the 25 to 40 watt bulbs these are made for. in such case you should point the safelight at the ceiling to tone it down. This also has the advantage of making the light more uniform and will appear brighter than it really is. You should do the usual tests to assure the safelight doesn't fog the paper. Red is usually pretty good at not fogging.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3
    wildbill's Avatar
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    I've been using the same little red scoreboard light bulb as my "safelight" for over 5 years. I they cost less than $3 and don't fog any paper I've used. It's screwed into a socket dimmer and never gets adjusted. Freestyle sells red bulbs as well, #12622. I wouldn't use a safelight with b+w film.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  4. #4
    Lee L's Avatar
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    If you're thinking a compact fluorescent that screws into a standard bulb socket, check on it. They are not always rated for use in enclosed fixtures, and some are not rated to be used with the base up. Using them out of spec will result in shortened life. Also keep the wattage at or below the equivalent incandescent wattage light output recommended for the safelight filter you're using.

    Lee

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe7 View Post
    i have a few questions,regarding the safelight.i’m still a beginner,and would like setup a darkroom for B&W printing.Right now I’m looking for a safelight,and if possible, I would like to DIY it.

    1)i found this filter at Freestyle,

    Premier 10x12 Red Filter
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/101218...er?cat_id=1603

    Premier 5x7 Red Filter
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/57184-...er?cat_id=1603
    other than size,what is the difference between this two filter?it seems that both is having a different colour.

    Can I just buy this filter and make my own safelight?is it still the same as the one that is sold,like here
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/191210...ht?cat_id=1603

    2)what size of the safe light that is suitable for me, 10x12 or just get the 5x7?
    right now,my temporary darkroom(my toilet actually) size is 6x9x6 ft.

    3)can I just use the Fluorescent lamp,instead of the normal light bulb,because its produce less heat,and can be operated at a long hour..

    4)i believe,this safelight is paper safe,but how about B&W film,is it also safe?

    thanks in advance for any of your reply
    Safelights are paper-safe for a few minutes. Red filters are safer than the orange OCs. What's wrong with theses?

    http://www.amazon.com/Premier-5x7-Sa.../dp/B0002EE80M

    Not worth making your own. Distribute two or three, depending on the size of your darkroom.

    Film needs to be processed in total darkness!
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #6
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glbeas View Post
    Either filter will do and yes you can build your own safelight if you want, it's been done often enough. And yes a flourescent will work, just be sure you get the level of illumination right. The lamp may be a bit bright compared to the 25 to 40 watt bulbs these are made for. in such case you should point the safelight at the ceiling to tone it down. This also has the advantage of making the light more uniform and will appear brighter than it really is. You should do the usual tests to assure the safelight doesn't fog the paper. Red is usually pretty good at not fogging.
    I would be worried about the irregular spectral output of fluorescent light sources. Incandescent is more predictable and more towards the red end of the visible spectrum.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #7
    joe7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Safelights are paper-safe for a few minutes. Red filters are safer than the orange OCs. What's wrong with theses?

    http://www.amazon.com/Premier-5x7-Sa.../dp/B0002EE80M

    Not worth making your own. Distribute two or three, depending on the size of your darkroom.

    Film needs to be processed in total darkness!
    actually i'm from Malaysia,the shipment of the complete safelight like this to my country will cost more than the light itself,that's why i would like to DIY it,and at the same time,i love to DIY

  8. #8

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    When I used my master bathroom as a darkroom, I had one 5x7 with 15 watts incandescent bulb few feet over my dry side. Now that I have second bedroom as darkroom, I have the same unit but two of them on opposite side of the room. After my eyes adjust, they are quite bright enough. I bought mine from Adorama already made.

    I guess I'm impatient but in my darkroom operations, I turn on my room light on/off quickly and often. They are CFL type. Few seconds it takes to light up become quite irritating after few dozen times. Something to consider if you go CFL route. I'll be changing them to regular incandescent type soon.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Do a search on using LED's for safelight.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  10. #10
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe7 View Post
    ...and at the same time,i love to DIY
    I can't argue with that.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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