Re: building a viewing box (long)
> From: "steven0356 <stevenr@...>" <stevenr@...>Here's an archive post from Joe Holms from the ColorSync list that you may
> I would like to build a viewing box. My office is windowless and I
> keep it fairly dark when I am printing or working in Photoshop. I
> think I have heard that you can buy day light balanced florescent
> bulbs. If so, It seems like you could just buy a fixture at Home Depot,
> build a wooden box, wire it up and away you go.
> Although, how would you know if the box was to big or to small for
> the light source?
> If you can buy day light balanced florescent bulb were is a good
> Any suggestions or recommendation would be appreciated.
find useful. Credit to Mr. Holmes!
My favorite viewing light solution costs only about one seventh as much as
the GTI desktop lightbox with dimmers, takes up no desk space, doesn't
flicker, and has colorimetrically better quality light, as well as good
color temperature, but it is not very useful for viewing transparencies.
For that I use a mini-5000 Just Normlicht box. The print viewing light
consists of the following items:
One SoLux 4700K, 50 watt, 12 volt, 37 degree beam angle, halogen spot (MR16
type). Go to soluxtli.com for more information. Retail price $15. This
is the best quality artificial light that I know of in the world and has a
CRI of 99+ in the main part of the beam. Or call Tailored Lighting in
Rochester, NY, which created this wonderful lamp, at (716) 647-3199.
One length of Halo brand track (basic, single circuit type). Mine is
parallel to the wall behind my monitor and positioned 21 or 22" off the
wall (my 19" monitor is twisted at a 20 degree angle and almost touches the
wall). My track is hardwired and has its own wall switch. Cost maybe ten
or twenty dollars for the track. Halo Lighting (847) 956-1537 in Elk Grove
Village, Illinois (corporate headquarters, find a dealer).
Either a Halo L950 "Cord and Plug Connector" (12-foot three-wire cord with
grounded plug, ten amp rating) or a hardwired setup. Probably about
fifteen bucks for the cord goodie.
One Halo fixture, model number L2770 P (P is the color code which is white.
They also make black which has the color code: MB). Fixture costs between
about $127 and $179 depending on the store and it is the ONLY one I have
found that will make this work right. Beware of using the wrong one (any
other one) for reasons that I may explain later!
One Halo L111 Soft Focus Lens, cost about $10 to $15, which is a glass disk
with a bumpy surface to put into the fixture in front of the lamp to get
superior beam smoothness.
Mount the fixture right over the monitor's left side and point it down and
to the right to illuminate prints held just to the right of the monitor,
and put a bit of black mat board across the top of the monitor to keep your
dust from being lit up on the face of the monitor. The top of the track
(i.e. the ceiling) should be about 45 inches straight up from the center of
the monitor to get the intensity right with the 36 degree SoLux lamp. I
think they also make both 24 and 12 degree beam angle versions which would
need to be mounted further away and might accommodate a much higher ceiling.
Total cost about $200 and maybe three hours of work, including mounting the
track and getting the parts. The lamp works by letting amber light out the
back of the lamp with its dielectric reflector coating and by reflecting
more bluish light out the front, accounting for the color temp far above
that of the filament. This amber light coming out of the back must be
totally absorbed by the fixture so as not to pollute the room with the
wrong color of light (about 2000K), and the light coming out the front, but
at a wide angle to the beam, which is coming directly from the filament,
must also be absorbed by the fixture because it is about 3000K. Only the
model L2770 fixture achieves sufficient absorbtion of this unwanted light
coming from the lamp.
If you want to illuminate a print as large as a full sheet of IRIS output,
all you need to do is have two fixtures and adjust them accordingly. This
is a wonderful solution to an obnoxious problem, that I love using every
Prove it! has lots of features for making soft proofing really work...
Natural Light Photography