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I'm making my own exposure unit and am having trouble with exposure lights.

 
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Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 3:06:33 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm making my own exposure unit and am having trouble with exposure lights.

Hi, I've been building my own diy exposure unit recently and found a fixture with lights in my basement but I'm not sure if they'll work. The fixture has long fluorescent tube lights and fits perfectly into the set up I'm using for exposing my screens, but I can't tell if they're UV lights. Are all tube lights like these UV? Or should I buy new UV lights to replace them. Note: I'm working with halftones and detailed images so I'm shooting for highest quality exposure possible within my budget.
 
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Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 5:47:30 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm making my own exposure unit and am having trouble with exposure lights.

Lots of people use multiple florescent lights and do well, but for detail and halftones you really need a single source light. A 500 watt shoplight from the hardware store would be a better choice if you really can't afford anything better. God Bless.
 
Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 5:47:33 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm making my own exposure unit and am having trouble with exposure lights.

Most likely they are regular tubes like in any office building, so no UV to speak of. Buy some tubes of the same style (length / diameter) but that are UV. You will probably need a few more fixtures to get even coverage as well as enough UV wattage. Look online at the commercial units and other DIY projects for clues on tube spacing and how many are required. I'd pack in as many as possible, as this is still a weak light source compared to metal halide.

My first DIY unit had 4 or 5 UV tubes. It worked, but was slow, and didn't deal well with my too thick and too uneven newby emulsion coating skills. My second DIY unit is 1000w metal halide. 25 second exposures with Saati PHU. (using a fast poly emulsion will compensate somewhat for having a weak light source)
 
 
Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 5:50:11 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm making my own exposure unit and am having trouble with exposure lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ole Jobe
Lots of people use multiple florescent lights and do well, but for detail and halftones you really need a single source light. A 500 watt shoplight from the hardware store would be a better choice if you really can't afford anything better. God Bless.
It is certainly a simpler and cheaper approach, and worth considering. Just remember to remove the protective glass from the shop light.
 






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