uv light source

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I've heard a rumor that full spectrum fish tank lights can be used as uv light sources for alternative proccess photo's ie pt/pd. Does anyone know if this is true?


-- doug (dmcgoldrick@usa.net), October 07, 2000


Doug, I just read an article in tis months Shutterbug about making your own UV light source fixture for Palladium printing. They used black lights. Outside of that, there are UV lights available in the 340 nanometer range. They are not the full spectrum fish lights but water purification lights. A search of UV on the net will yield a myraid of info.

-- Wayne Crider (waynec@apt.net), October 07, 2000.

They are known as super actinic lamps, commonly used for aquaria. Check out www.jrplatinum.com for pictures of one printer's home-made machine.

-- Erik X (xx@xx.com), October 08, 2000.

Super Actinics do not have the corrected wavelength for palladium/platinum. Tried then, been there, done that. On the otherhand, metal halide HID lighting works incrdibly well.

-- Bill Smithe (bs2@aol.com), October 08, 2000.

The lamps used in aquariums (AQ and AQA) are considered acceptable by some people for platinum/palladium processes. I personally haven't used them because the normal BL and BLB lamps are far more readily available.

One note, the BLB lamps, also known as Blacklight-Blue, are not as efficient as the BL lamps, and they typically cost more. In either case, you will probably have to place an order for them, any decent electrical distributor or supply house should be able to supply them.

do some searches on the net for platinum or palladium printing, and you will find volumes of info on the subject.

Personally, I wouldn't use a HID lamp like a metal halide or a mercury vapor without using a light integrator to determine exposure. HID lamps had a warm-up time that is very non-linear, and can cause consistancy problems. For that matter, I recomend a light intrgrator for the fluorescent lamps also, for the same reason.


-- Michael Mutmansky (psu4ever@ix.netcom.com), October 15, 2000.

Doug, If you are looking into UV bulbs, the fishtank ones do not produce sufficient UV rays. Consider bulbs used by Reptile Breeders. Try ZooMED bulbs. they have them split into UVA and UVB bulbs. The 5.0 series is very bright.

Hope that helps.

-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), October 19, 2000.

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