Need design or layout for building a light table

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by shipwreck, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. shipwreck

    shipwreck Guest

    Figured I'd head to Home Depot and build me a small light table. Need
    suggestions on the type of plastic they use and they right lamps to

    Only need one about 10" x 16".

    shipwreck, Dec 11, 2003
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  2. shipwreck

    jriegle Guest

    Here's a couple starter tips. Build the box to a size to accommodate a
    couple F15T8 fluorescent lamps (15 Watt 18" tubes). 10X20" will probably be
    your final size. Paint the inside of the box white and keep the viewing
    surface about 2" above bulb to avoid "hot spots" of light. Select a
    fluorescent tube that has a high CRI (color rendering index) and a color
    temperature of around 4100 Kelvin. Home Depot should sell the ballasts and
    lamp contacts among the other items you'll need. Use white translucent
    acrylic (Plexiglas) for the viewing surface. 3/16 to 1/4" thickness will do.

    HTH, John
    jriegle, Dec 12, 2003
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  3. Adding to all that, which is excellent info...

    Put a glass surface on top. You'll thank yourself, especially if you
    have a tendency to lean on the table when using the loupe. It will also
    make it handy to shoot products on sometimes.

    I left one edge of the glass 'open' (unframed) so I could slide the
    slides off of one side easily, rather than picking them up. Reduces
    fingermarks on the glass, easier to whip through a stack. Be sure the glass
    edge is smoothed on that side.

    Make it easy to remove glass and plexi. You *will* get some annoying
    speck on them from time to time, and want to be able to remove it.

    I had hotspot issues, which I eliminated by making some reflectors
    out of foamcore covered with aluminum foil. Easy to cut to shape to fit
    inside, easy to angle into good alignment - I used cardboard stands. One
    end of your box should be openable or removeable for this, to make it
    possible to angle while viewing through the diffuse Plexi.

    Cut some vent holes in the box. Fluorescents are cool but the ballast
    isn't always, and they can build up heat and begin performing poorly. Make
    sure there's cross ventilation (in and out).

    Your call on making a tabletop version or one that stands alone. But
    test things out a little first. Remember you often have to lean over every
    portion of the box to use a loupe on the slides, so you want this
    convenient (which generally means not much higher than a normal tabletop).

    Good luck!

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Dec 12, 2003
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