How to build a lightbox

Bad Copy

H
Bad Copy

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Coffee!

A
Coffee!

  • 0
  • 0
  • 53
masked reader

A
masked reader

  • Tel
  • Jun 25, 2022
  • 0
  • 2
  • 73
Shoes f2.4 paper negative

A
Shoes f2.4 paper negative

  • 0
  • 2
  • 102
Schtumptd

A
Schtumptd

  • 0
  • 0
  • 67

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
177,846
Messages
2,441,547
Members
94,328
Latest member
thedwp75
Recent bookmarks
0

Nicole

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
2,562
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Shooter
Multi Format
I'm tired to trying to see my negs through the window or against bad lighting at night. Therefore, I'd like to get a collection of ideas/suggestions/warnings on how to build a good lightbox. I have seen a couple of posts on this subject on APUG and would like to get together peoples own accounts in the one thread on how to build a good lightbox.

Thanks so much for your input.

Kind regards,
Nicole
 

argus

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
1,128
Shooter
Multi Format
I built mine out of an old winebox (3 bottles), a piece of white PVC of 2mm and 3 15W TL-lamps that fit in the box. I added a simple switch to turn it off/on.

The lighting is not very equal throughout the surface but it is a great help. I spent about 50Euro on the different parts.

G
 

resummerfield

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
1,461
Location
Alaska
Shooter
Multi Format
I built a wooden frame with plywood bottom, 26" x 50" and packed it with as many 2-tube 48" fluor fixtures as wood fit (10 "full spectrum" 5000k tubes). On the inside of the frame, I glued aluminum foil as a reflector. For the top, I bought a sheet of 1/8" white plexi, and covered this with a sheet of 1/4 plate glass. The plexi and glass fit in a rabbit in the frame--leave some room for expansion as it warms up. The plexi cuts down quite a bit of light, so you need all the light you can produce, but it does give a very even light. The glass allows me to work on the table, fairly safely. (Never broken it in 3 years).

This is my 3rd lightbox, and the best so far.
 

rbarker

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
2,218
Location
Rio Rancho,
Shooter
Multi Format
Use lightwood? :wink:
 

eheldreth

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
113
Location
West Virgini
Shooter
Multi Format
I took a trip to the local craft store. I purchased a small wodden box, I christmas house light, and a plastic "Box" style picture frame for around $5 total. Drill a hole big enough for the light in the box, remove the lid. Cut a piece of white printing paper to fit in the box frame and sit the frame ontop of the wodden box. Works great.
 

Max Power

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
598
Location
Aylmer, QC
Shooter
Multi Format
Nicole,
I needed to build a small one not only to get better visualisation of my negs, but also to conduct film speed and development tests. I got the original idea from Build Your Own Home Darkroom by Duren and McDonald.

It was dead simple: I got a 7' x 1' piece of 5/8 melamine, cut it down to 8'' width. Next, I cut four sections to make a box (mine is 12'' to a side). Next I cut a bottom out of MDF and then placed a ceramic light socket with an 8'' circular fluorescent fixture. I cut two pieces of perspex for the top and sandwiched a piece of tissue paper in between to diffuse the light. Parting stops (mouldings) are used to hold the perspex in place.

It was really simple to make and I did it with some scrap wood that I had laying about the house. It took around 1 hour to make.

Kent
 

Jeremy

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
2,761
Location
Denton, TX
Shooter
Multi Format
I second watching ebay--you can buy them cheaper than you can buy the supplies to build one. Just won a 14x18" $100 Logan lightbox on ebay for ~$23 shipped for example.
 

Claire Senft

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
3,239
Location
Milwaukee, W
Shooter
35mm
Cold light source

When I obtained my Durst S45 it also had an Aristo cold light souurce. I print almost entirely 35mm negatives. I turned the Aristo grid upside down and use it as a lightbox for examing 35mm negatives prior to printing. I examine the entire negative with both a 7x and 30x loupe after loading the carrier. It is a very bright light and allows me to fully examine my negatives prior to printing and get rid of dust etc.
 

modafoto

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
2,101
Location
Århus, Denma
Shooter
Medium Format
If you want a light box:

  • Find a nice box
  • Be careful not to put heavy things into it

Then the box should remain light :tongue:

Sorry, Nicole
 

argus

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
1,128
Shooter
Multi Format
Jeremy Moore said:
I second watching ebay--you can buy them cheaper than you can buy the supplies to build one. Just won a 14x18" $100 Logan lightbox on ebay for ~$23 shipped for example.

It's not as much fun as making one yourself :smile:

G
 

craigclu

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
1,212
Location
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Shooter
Multi Format
If you end up getting a commercial box, it's worth taking the time to insert the optional glass overlay. It cleans easier, can be cut on and will prove more durable than the composite sheets. I've got a small 8X10 portable Testrite that is handy for taking out to a work table to spread out projects. I also am building one into my darkroom countertop as I'm accustomed to using at work. That way, the area serves a dual purpose and is always in the right spot in the darkroom.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
1,059
Location
Westport, MA
Shooter
Large Format
I found an 11x17" X-Ray Viewer at the local landfill.. Working tubes and all.
At my previous job they had one built out of wood and frosted plexiglass with fluorescent tubes inside.. Really simple but it worked just fine! Plus you can build it to your own dimensions!
 

Lee L

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
3,280
Shooter
Multi Format
Also, if you plan to judge color balance on transparencies, be sure that you find a light source with a high CRI (color rendition index) and a color temperature of 5000K to 5500K. Manufacturers of flourescent lamps often indicate that with a model number that includes the number 50 or 5000 in the name, like the GE Chroma50. Regular "daylight" flourescents are _not_ what you want for judging color. I'd give you more specifics if I knew the Australian market. There are even some 5500K LED light bars available on the web, which I plan to use on the next small lightbox I make. www.superbrightleds.com

Lee
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
1,059
Location
Westport, MA
Shooter
Large Format
I agree with Lee L about judging color with daylight fluoros. We judged little childrens smiles on Portra 120 NC, not color.

Those LED lightbars look like a great idea, please let us know how it works out!
 

glbeas

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
3,842
Location
Marietta, Ga. USA
Shooter
Multi Format
Sometimes you can find a good light table from a local printer going full direct to plate output. I've got one thats about 24"x36". It was a pain finding a good spot for it in the darkroom but a glass top table can be used for many different things.
 

gbroadbridge

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
374
Location
Sydney, Aust
Shooter
Multi Format
Nicole Boenig-McGrade said:
I'm tired to trying to see my negs through the window or against bad lighting at night. Therefore, I'd like to get a collection of ideas/suggestions/warnings on how to build a good lightbox. I have seen a couple of posts on this subject on APUG and would like to get together peoples own accounts in the one thread on how to build a good lightbox.
Nicole

Instead of a lightbox, consider placing a piece of tracing paper @ 20 cents behind the neg sheet and holding up to the light.

For a more up market version, get a couple of 12v 12 inch flouruescent automotive work lamps and put them behind the tracing paper. That's better than a light box :smile:


Graham.
 

Andrew A.

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2004
Messages
35
Shooter
35mm
Nicole,

Last year I built a light box based roughly on ideas I got in the book Build Your Own Darkroom by Lista Duren and Will McDonald (ISBN 0-936262-04-4). The plans are outlined in Chapter 8. I modified my dimensions significantly (20.5"L x 15.5"W x 6"H) and the light layout to accommodate easily found fluorescent light size and types. I used two (2) 16” Phillips Natural Light tubes and a mirror type Mylar auto tinting film as the reflector material inside the box (aluminum foil is not recommended). The top surface is white translucent acrylic. It turned out to be a great size light box that can handle 36+ slide selections very nicely yet remain very portable. What surprised me is the cost was almost $50 (including bulbs!). As a DYI project I thought it would be less expensive. I will try to post a simple picture below …Andrew
 

Attachments

  • Lightbox.jpg
    Lightbox.jpg
    48.2 KB · Views: 153
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
468
Location
Canada
Shooter
4x5 Format
Charles Webb said:
Nicole,
Use "garden flourescents" they are 5500K plus and very near to noon day
sun light at 6000K
Are these putting out UV for growing plants though????

BE CAREFUL!!!

joe
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom