Building a slide presentation light box

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by AlexBC, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. AlexBC

    AlexBC Subscriber

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    So I've been thinking a lot about how I can give my close friends and family a really cool and unique gift. At first I thought I could just give them prints that I've made myself of my photographs, but then I thought it might be fun to make miniature light boxes and a couple film slides that they can put inside and have on their desks or wherever. Maybe a little switch to flip on a light inside so they can look at the slides. Neat idea, but there are a few issues with this plan. Obviously, slide film is delicate. It probably would not respond well to being constantly illuminated. I don't want to give someone a nice photo only to see that it has completely faded within a couple weeks or months. I was hoping that I could use a couple of tiny led lights inside the box to illuminate it through a piece of diffusion tissue. Alternatively, I could maybe make some kind of elaborate clear resin block that the slide could fit into and it would be illuminated by ambient daylight. I know I'm not the first person to imagine tiny display boxes, but I'm just not sure whether it's feasible as a lasting gift. I don't need them to last years and years, but maybe a few months in a fairly dim dining room or office would be good. Is there something that I can treat the slides with to protect them from fading or put them behind some kind of glass that would protect them? Alternatively, could I print the images on some kind of transparency that I could put in a box? Maybe it would look exactly like a slide, but be more durable like illuminated signs on sidewalks in big cities?

    I hope someone can help me, when I've searched for this online, I only find links to making light boxes for film inspection and print-making.

    Also, when I say small, I mean 120 film. I don't have access to a 4x5 camera.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    An LED back-lighted 120 colour transparency should probably last well for a decent length of time - maybe a couple of years before any appreciable change.
    It may actually suffer more from the room light than the back-light.
    There are actually materials designed to be printed on to for eventual back-light display - think of ads in bus shelters.
    In the old days I would have recommended duplicate transparencies, because that would allow you to protect your original and easily replace any faded ones.
    If you have moderately low contrast originals, you might try using a slide copier for that purpose.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Just bring home from a car boot sale a illuminated slide-viewer. They have a lens to magnify the slide image.
    Cheaper and bettter than what you proposed.
     
  4. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA has a bench made of Plexiglas or some such in their photography section. The top and the legs, which are equal in width to the top encase dozens of mounted color slides, illuminated by some light source. Ambient lighting is quite low, too low IMHO for good viewing of the prints on display. An interesting idea, although doubtless quite expensive! The bench has been in the museum for a year or two, but I don't know whether or not the slides are changed out periodically.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Sorry, I overlooked that you have it about typ 120 slides. Well, there is less need for magnification, and I never came across such format viewer anyway.

    Instead of buying/making a common light box there would be the alternative to use a flashlight with a non-point-like illumination and mount the transparency flat onto it.

    There had been RA-4 print films to make large transparencies from. Such films seem to have vanished.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017