Chinchillas.com Newsletter
Volume 5, Number 1 - Febuary 22, 2007


Auction Update
A Seminar on Chinchilla Judging Lights by Dick Bradford

Auction Update

7030 Ritterspach Bred Show Quality White Mosaic ( Sapphire Carrier ) Male ChinchillaFor the first time in several months, we are offering a beautiful Ritterspach bred chinchilla at absolute auction, with no reserve and a $1 minimum bid. This week, we are offering #7030 ( http://www.chinchillas.com/listings/details/index.cfm?itemnum=856675914), a show quality white mosaic (sapphire carrier) male. This is an excellent opportunity for a breeder to add desirable sapphire Ritterspach bloodlines to his/her herd.


The 2007 Royal Persian Angoras will be arriving this week. Once again, only a very small group of Angora chinchillas will be offered for sale. This year we will be offering two different color mutations that have not been available before. Please look for these exceptionally rare and beautiful chinchillas in the coming weeks on the auction.

As we approach the culmination of show season in the US, we thought it would be a good time to reprint this very useful article about show/grading lights. We hope it is a help to our clients as they assess the color and quality of their chinchillas at home. This article was written and complied by one of the 2007 ECBC National judges, Mr. Dick Bradford, a very accomplished chinchilla breeder.

A Seminar on Chinchilla Judging Lights
Reprinted courtesy of Dick Bradford

On Friday night, before the recent Oklahoma Branch Spring Claiming Show, several ranchers, including some of our ECBC National Directors, took a little time to do some comparison of Chinchilla Judging lights. We took four, 4-bulb fixtures, and installed different fluorescent lamps in each fixture.

In fixture #1 there were Durotest Daylight 65 lamps installed.
In fixture #2 there were Service F40DX lamps installed.
In fixture #3 there were GE SP65 lamps installed.
In fixture #4 there were GE Daylight F40 lamps installed.

Durotest Daylight 65’s have a CRI of 92.
Service F40DX’s have a CRI of 84.
GE SP65’s have a CRI of 74.
GE F40 Daylights have a CRI of 75.
CRI*

We found after considerable comparison, discussions and reaching a consensus:

Standing back and viewing the overall view of all 4 fixtures the GE SP65s definitely appear to have a brighter illumination that is very “reddish or pinkish” in appearance. The other 3 fixtures illumination appeared to be about the same in intensity and of the same light blue hue. When one passed his bare arm under the four different fixtures 3 of them illuminated the arm equally and you could see the pinks, blues and whites in your arm as one would in “north light” daylight. Under the GE SP65 the arm became very, very reddish pink, nearly obscuring the “blues” in the veins of the arm.

When chinchillas were viewed under the lights of the other 3 fixtures, one could detect the natural colors of the chinchilla’s fur and could detect degrees of clarity very well! Under the GE SP65 lamps the pinkish, reddish hues seemed to cause the “brighter”, “bluer” animals colors to be distorted and less easy to detect from the “off color” and “red-tipped” animals. The intent of the judging of chinchilla fur is to enable the detection of fine degrees of clarity, blueness and fur qualities. If the blue, clarity characteristics are “masked” by a red/pink light, then the only remaining characteristics the animals are judged by are: size, fur strength, darkness, etc.

*The CRI mentioned above refers to Color Rendering Index, the higher the number, the better for being able to detect “fine degrees of color variations”, as compared when viewed in a “true North Light”. A minimum CRI of 80 they say is best for “grading work”.

The persons participating in this “mini-seminar” graded the lights in their opinions as follows:

The Durotest Daylight 65, CRI 92, was the most “critical”.
The Service F40DX, CRI 84, and the GE Daylight F40, CRI 75, were fairly close to each other, but the F40DX, was “picked” by all to be a little better than the F40, but both “usable”!
The GE SP65, CRI 74, was seen to be very poor and actually considered a light that should be “banned” from use as a chinchilla judging light!

The late Ron Rowen gave several seminars on the Durotest Daylight 65, and its good light spectrum features. It is suspicioned that someone “confused” the GE SP65 as being the same light spectrum quality bulb, and it is definitely NOT!!

Now the bad news!
Durotest Daylight 65 lamps cost about $16 each.
Service F40DX, or equivalents, are about $3-$5 each.
GE Daylight F40 lamps, not available any longer.
GE SP65 lamps, around $5-$6, “cheap” but of no value as a grading light, we believe!

Several other manufacturers (Phillips, etc.) make an F40DX lamp, but these have not been “tested/viewed” by these individuals.

During this little “seminar” we also viewed 5 different rolls of paper for the judging tables and witnessed the importance of using a very white, white quality paper! The best being as bright as some of the whitest computer paper, in Brightness ratings of 84-92! Even the slightly off-color paper tends to cause the “casty belly” to appear acceptable. We feel the “soft towel-like” paper absorbs the light and does not allow the judging of the “bellies” as well as the smooth finished paper!

This is not to indicate we have found the answers, only that in our opinions:
we should no longer use the GE SP65s,
The Lamps used should have a CRI of 84, or more!
The paper used should be smooth finished, and as bright as 84, or more!
And, the lamps and paper used in ECBC Shows should be semi-standardized, as nearly as possible! Perhaps with ECBC National guidelines as to minimum CRI lamps to use from several manufacturers, and nationwide sources of “judging table” paper.


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