Saturday, 17 August 2013

new print lightbox - construction starts

Initial thoughts were to construct primarily of 6 mm marine ply, as this would save considerable weight compared to a chipboard style of construction (which our previous lightbox used), this would be offset by the larger size of course, however after discussing a number of approaches, we decided that a space frame type construction, skinned with ply, would be a better option.

There are these nice parts in the USA, but trying to match inches with SWG wall thickness to metric threatened my sanity, apart from lead times and import problems, so I went with Easyfix from here

Here is the base unit built from 25 mm square tube using standard corner pieces. This weighs 3.8 kilos.

The top will be slightly lighter as it is not as deep. The light fittings are 0.7 kilos each.

I'm still waiting for more parts to arrive, but I have further refined the sketchup design and produced this animated video showing how the main parts pack away.

Friday, 16 August 2013

new print lightbox - proof of concept

Well that's just fancy words for a quick lash up...

I found that B & Q do a nice range of fluorescent fittings with electronic ballast that are also very compact. They also conveniently trap all the light coming out of the 'back'. I aim to make sure that only the light that is necessary shows, all the other light is, as far as possible, stopped. These fittings will take the tubes that we really want to use.
Using some big pieces of cardboard and handy black paint.....
I decided not to paint the background as it would probably have gone wrinkly which would have made the illumination measurements more difficult.

new print lightbox - getting started and theory

My local photography club decided the time had come for a new lightbox for viewing prints (both general viewing and for competitions).

The old lightbox used low voltage quartz halogen bulbs above and below and worked fairly well, but it was difficult to view more than 1 print at a time and it has a black background, which is no longer à la mode.

Could we invent a better mousetrap?