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Author Topic: DIY approach to print viewing station?  (Read 1028 times)

TonyW

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DIY approach to print viewing station?
« on: January 07, 2021, 03:01:03 pm »

At this time I am not prepared to lay out any real money for a professional print viewing station and I am considering some sort of DIY approach (cheap!), which may be either a track system or even a light stand. 

I understand that the Solux halogens are very well regarded but I really do not relish the heat that these units are said to output.  So having heard a little about the Soraa LED's (good and not so good) I was wondering if these may be a fair option and would welcome the thoughts of anyone who uses them.

The particular LED I have looked at:

Soraa Vivid 3 GU10 240 volt
https://www.savemoneycutcarbon.com/product/soraa-led-vivid-3-gu10-7-5w-4000k-25-degree-beam-angle/

Soraa Vivid 3  MR16 low voltage
https://www.savemoneycutcarbon.com/product/soraa-led-vivid-3-mr16-7-5w-4000k-25-degree-beam-angle/

The GU10 240-volt unit appeals due to the fact that there seems to be a wider range of lamp fittings to choose from without the need for a separate driver.  The MR16 I would not necessarily rule out as a worst case scenario would be to use an MR16 to GU10 adapter along with the driver if no suitable fittings are availible.

I appreciate that largely You get what you pay for but thought it worth seeking some opinion
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2021, 11:57:41 am »

Go with the SoLux MR-16 12V bulbs, either ceiling mounted or in table lamps. LED lighting isn't nearly as good. For viewing I have 2 of those bulbs hanging from the ceiling at about 4 feet above my desk surface, about 12" apart. Never ever felt any heat at that distance.
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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 07:01:07 am »

Thanks, yes I know it makes sense to opt for Solux, but was hoping that the LED options had improved enough to be considered. 

Anyway I think that I will be taking the Solux route and now need to decide on the colour temperature, wattage and beam angle after designating an area for that purpose
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GWGill

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 06:25:20 pm »

Thanks, yes I know it makes sense to opt for Solux, but was hoping that the LED options had improved enough to be considered. 
A number of people have favoured the Yujileds for this purpose: Yuji.
(Note that I haven't examined them myself, but they look good on paper.)
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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 06:04:46 am »

A number of people have favoured the Yujileds for this purpose: Yuji.
(Note that I haven't examined them myself, but they look good on paper.)
Thanks I will look into this option as well.
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Lessbones

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 11:57:20 am »

Im using the D50 LEDs from waveformlighting.com for a similar setup, they’re pretty fantastic-
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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 10:45:25 am »

Im using the D50 LEDs from waveformlighting.com for a similar setup, they’re pretty fantastic-
Thanks, those look interesting too.  Ideally I am looking for a supplier in the UK
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MfAlab

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 09:48:39 pm »

check this link:
https://indiecinemaacademy.com/complete-led-color-database-cri-tlci-cqs-tm30-15/

They did not test waveform lighting ABSOLUTE SERIES strips, which I think it's the best standard LED lighting for DIY.
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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 09:38:48 am »

check this link:
https://indiecinemaacademy.com/complete-led-color-database-cri-tlci-cqs-tm30-15/

They did not test waveform lighting ABSOLUTE SERIES strips, which I think it's the best standard LED lighting for DIY.
Thanks for the link I will check it out
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PeterAit

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 05:51:03 pm »

I would not put too much effort into a viewing station. I put 5 x 7 of corkboard on the wall with 2 gooseneck Solux lamps--3400k IIRC--in a location that I can see while sitting at the computer. So I can look at the screen and pivot 90 degrees and see the print on the wall. It has served me well for some 10 years. But the important thing is to realize that no one will ever see your prints under the same conditions as your viewing station. So putting a whole lot of time, effort, and money into the "perfect" viewing station is a waste of, well, time, effort, and money. Unless you just enjoying for its own sake!
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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 06:06:50 pm »

I would not put too much effort into a viewing station. I put 5 x 7 of corkboard on the wall with 2 gooseneck Solux lamps--3400k IIRC--in a location that I can see while sitting at the computer. So I can look at the screen and pivot 90 degrees and see the print on the wall. It has served me well for some 10 years. But the important thing is to realize that no one will ever see your prints under the same conditions as your viewing station. So putting a whole lot of time, effort, and money into the "perfect" viewing station is a waste of, well, time, effort, and money. Unless you just enjoying for its own sake!
Thank you, after considering what I need I have reached a similar conclusion.  I think I will try and adopt a KISS approach and see where I end up  :D
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markgunion

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2021, 09:34:05 pm »

     Here's another vote for Soraa LED lamps.   I have 5000K Par30L's (vivid, 60 deg, CRI=95; no longer made, unfortunately), and I love them to pieces.   Best light I've ever had.   They are aimed at a wall-hanging corkboard covered with white craft paper (the reddish beige of the cork throws off my color perception).   The Soraa LEDs are dimmable and don't change color temperature at all as they are dimmed until just before they extinguish completely.   With an LED compatible dimmer (Lowes.com) it was easy to adjust them to exactly the light intensity I prefer (EV 9 plus-minus a third across the entire board, top to bottom and left to right).   
     I'm glad I ditched my Solux lamps.   I had four of them on a 120v rail, each with it's own transformer.    As I eventually discovered, each additional lamp/transformer after the first one lowered the color temperature of all of them by 100K.    I also had to use the green glass diffusers due to the inadequate beam spread, which knocked down the color temperature another 300K or so on each lamp.   There was no easy control over light intensity without also changing the color temperature.   
     An alternative to LED or halogen is fluorescent, which is what I used after the Solux lamps and before I heard of Soraa LEDs.    There may still be some are 5000k tubes out there.   As with LEDs, if you have a CRI >= 90 they should work well enough.    I only changed to the Soraa LEDs from fluorescent tubes because it was difficult to get even illumination across my wall-hanging corkboard with the fluorescent fixtures I had.
     I prefer 5000K because color prints tuned under 5000K can be viewed under a wide range of color temperatures and still look reasonably good.    For example, when I showed color prints tuned under my 3500K Solux lamps (which I eventually found were actually at about 2900K; see above) in a room lit predominantly by north blue skylight, all the warm colors in the prints just died.    I still show prints in that location, but since I changed to 5000K illumination all the colors seem fine.    Also, I have some monochrome prints that look completely neutral under ~3000K light, but are hideously green under 5000K or daylight.    If you cannot dictate the color temperature of light that will be used to view your prints, I think a neutral color temperature is the way to go when it comes to an evaluation set up.
Mark G.
     

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TonyW

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2021, 06:11:11 am »

     Here's another vote for Soraa LED lamps.   I have 5000K Par30L's (vivid, 60 deg, CRI=95; no longer made, unfortunately), and I love them to pieces.   Best light I've ever had.   They are aimed at a wall-hanging corkboard covered with white craft paper (the reddish beige of the cork throws off my color perception).   The Soraa LEDs are dimmable and don't change color temperature at all as they are dimmed until just before they extinguish completely.   With an LED compatible dimmer (Lowes.com) it was easy to adjust them to exactly the light intensity I prefer (EV 9 plus-minus a third across the entire board, top to bottom and left to right).   
     I'm glad I ditched my Solux lamps.   I had four of them on a 120v rail, each with it's own transformer.    As I eventually discovered, each additional lamp/transformer after the first one lowered the color temperature of all of them by 100K.    I also had to use the green glass diffusers due to the inadequate beam spread, which knocked down the color temperature another 300K or so on each lamp.   There was no easy control over light intensity without also changing the color temperature.   
     An alternative to LED or halogen is fluorescent, which is what I used after the Solux lamps and before I heard of Soraa LEDs.    There may still be some are 5000k tubes out there.   As with LEDs, if you have a CRI >= 90 they should work well enough.    I only changed to the Soraa LEDs from fluorescent tubes because it was difficult to get even illumination across my wall-hanging corkboard with the fluorescent fixtures I had.
     I prefer 5000K because color prints tuned under 5000K can be viewed under a wide range of color temperatures and still look reasonably good.    For example, when I showed color prints tuned under my 3500K Solux lamps (which I eventually found were actually at about 2900K; see above) in a room lit predominantly by north blue skylight, all the warm colors in the prints just died.    I still show prints in that location, but since I changed to 5000K illumination all the colors seem fine.    Also, I have some monochrome prints that look completely neutral under ~3000K light, but are hideously green under 5000K or daylight.    If you cannot dictate the color temperature of light that will be used to view your prints, I think a neutral color temperature is the way to go when it comes to an evaluation set up.
Mark G.
   
Thank you for your thoughtful advice on your colour matching journey
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: DIY approach to print viewing station?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 12:10:20 pm »

But the important thing is to realize that no one will ever see your prints under the same conditions as your viewing station. So putting a whole lot of time, effort, and money into the "perfect" viewing station is a waste of, well, time, effort, and money. Unless you just enjoying for its own sake!
The purpose of a viewing station of any kind is to match your print with what you see on your monitor. Without that match you can't do any meaningful editing.
Color constancy (you may want to look up that term) adjusts your and others' print viewing experience under many different lighting conditions.
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