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Dome safelight or red light bulb?

River99

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Hi, I don't know much about film/developing, but want to buy a red light for someone's darkroom.
My questions are:
Is it better to get a dome lamp or a bulb for a current lamp?
And do the bulbs need to be 15 Watts?

(I already posted these questions at the bottom of my other thread but figured not everyone reads through the comments).
 

BrianS

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If you can get a Dome type safelight, or any safelight that comes with different color filters- that is best. Probably even more important years ago when various types of film and papers were in use. Red is usually safe for the paper used to print enlargements and contact sheets, but some used different colors. For example, Kodak Panalure required an Amber safelight. This paper was discontinued in 2005, was special in that it was designed to make B&W prints from color negatives. Much like converting Digital Color to B&W, you could use color contrast filters after taking the picture. The safelight color was "notched" out of the paper. Ilford apparently makes a similar product.

From the data sheet- "DARKROOM RECOMMENDATIONS For critical applications, use a KODAK 13 Safelight Filter (amber) in a suitable safelight lamp with a bulb of 7 1/2 watts or less at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) from the paper. For some applications, you can use a 15-watt bulb with a KODAK 13 Safelight Filter, depending on darkroom design and safelight location. Minimize safelight exposure to avoid unwanted quality changes. Excessive safelight exposure will lower paper contrast or affect gray-tone reproduction of colors before creating significant fog density. Be especially careful if you use other types of safelights. "
 

River99

Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
15
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
No
If you can get a Dome type safelight, or any safelight that comes with different color filters- that is best. Probably even more important years ago when various types of film and papers were in use. Red is usually safe for the paper used to print enlargements and contact sheets, but some used different colors. For example, Kodak Panalure required an Amber safelight. This paper was discontinued in 2005, was special in that it was designed to make B&W prints from color negatives. Much like converting Digital Color to B&W, you could use color contrast filters after taking the picture. The safelight color was "notched" out of the paper. Ilford apparently makes a similar product.

From the data sheet- "DARKROOM RECOMMENDATIONS For critical applications, use a KODAK 13 Safelight Filter (amber) in a suitable safelight lamp with a bulb of 7 1/2 watts or less at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) from the paper. For some applications, you can use a 15-watt bulb with a KODAK 13 Safelight Filter, depending on darkroom design and safelight location. Minimize safelight exposure to avoid unwanted quality changes. Excessive safelight exposure will lower paper contrast or affect gray-tone reproduction of colors before creating significant fog density. Be especially careful if you use other types of safelights. "
Hi Brian, I'll definitely go with a dome then. Is a 15 watt one okay? You got a little too technical for me there lol. Thank you for the advice!

I just tricked him into telling me he doesn't have a darkroom timer (uses his phone), I'm guessing there quite useful? Do you have a favourite yourself? On my other thread, people commented about ones with multiple uses.
 
Last edited:

BrianS

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The 15w Dome should be fine- The Dome type light can be used with different color filters, in case he works with some different types of papers.

Does he like "retro" and "Vintage"???


GraLab was the "gold standard" in the day.
 
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