An economical way to run a Kreonite.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by 2F/2F, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    Some friends and I are thinking about getting a "collective" private lab together for ourselves. It would not be a rental darkroom, as we don't actually want to run a business. It would just be a place for us to come and print, for which we would share costs.

    I have a Kreonite Pro Mate. To get started, I need to pick up some color enlargers (2-4 4x5 enlargers would be ideal to start), get the Kreonite checked out by a service person, get a water panel for it, get the space for it, and build an isolation room for each enlarger.

    A project, for sure. However, my little group of friends may be interested enough to make it happen in the next few years or so, as we are at our wits end dealing with the costs of lab work and rental darkrooms now that we no longer have access to the school darkroom. We like to do it all ourselves, as well.

    We shall see about this, but I would like to get some information on a good source for Kodak RA chemicals at a good price. Buying them from a retailer like Freestyle is very expensive, and they don't even carry the Kodak brand.

    I suppose Fuji chemicals would work just as well, but if not, I am interested to hear the details.

    I am also curious as to whether or not there is an RA process that consists of separate bleach and fix steps, rather than using a blix.

    The first step would be getting 4x5 color neg printing up and running. Next step, if this is successful, would be adding black and white printing. Then, it would be getting a color film processing setup together; probably a Jobo machine that takes Expert Drums.

    There are probably 6-8 people in the group who will be staying local and continuing to shoot film (mostly 4x5 and medium format color neg). If it all goes down as planned, I am thinking that we will all coordinate to do all our printing during the same few days each month, so that the machine does not have to be constantly filled with chemicals that will mostly just oxidize.

    Any thoughts on my best bet for scoring a good deal on RA chems in quantities suitable for a 24-inch Kreonite?
     
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  2. AlexG

    AlexG Member

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  3. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Awhile ago I was pointed towards www.labdepot.com for trebla chemicals. The site isn't working for me at the moment though. Don't know what is up.

    Can you move closer to me? I'd love to participate in a setup like this, but there is a slight problem with distance...
     
  4. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    have you checked out the tri-community photo center? they have color and b/w darkrooms available. they're located in covina, just above the 10 freeway

    http://www.tri-communityphotoprogram.com/

    they have a pretty nice set-up, albeit, the enlargers get used my numerous people, but for $160, you can get the "all you can eat" type thing.

    PM me if you'd like more details. We can talk by phone if you'd like. I printed there for a while, but since I'm at college right now and they have a ra4 processor, its cheaper to print there than at TC right now.

    -dan
     
  5. AlexG

    AlexG Member

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    Yeah thats the website that sold the cheap Trebla/CPAC chemicals that I was looking for. There website has been down for about 3 months.

    I wonder what's going on.
     
  6. langedp

    langedp Member

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    Try www.libertyphotoproducts.com Not sure if this meets your idea of cheap but they sell Kodak chemistry and paper and have just about everything. I have the setup you described above. A 30" Kreonite, a Jobo ATL for the Expert drums and prints up to 20"x24", and enlargers for 4x5 and 8x10 negatives. Printing your own RA-4 is the only way to go if you have the space.
     
  7. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    You might have success asking a local pro lab where they get their chemistry. I've found good prices occasionally at local stores and on ebay. If you want cheap buy local.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I would second the idea about chemistry though a local smallish photofinisher. It helps them build thier volume, and you can split the delivery charges.

    I run Kodak RA-RT, in a fujimoto CP-31, which will print to 12" wide, and move to drums with anything larger. I use the b/f additive to stretch the usefull life of the b/f in my low utilization stuation. I would go with the dev additive too, butit comes in cases of 6, which I would use up in about 9 lifetimes, so I just mix fresh developer more often. I transfer the colour develoiper part of the a+b+c syrup top glass, and top it off with inert gas, and find that the kits, kept at 20C, have stayed viable for more than 2 years now.

    I usually lightly use the solutions, and have stretched things out to 8 weeks. I store the chemistry in glass out of the machine between uses.

    I had a 19" Kreonite, all overhauled by myself, and ready to go, but after 2 years in the garage, I realised that I would never need the thing often enough, so I scrapped it.