B&W Prints from B&W Negs on RA4 Paper

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by pentaxuser, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Seeing the recent thread on: "Why is B&W Paper So Expensive" has led me to think about what filtration might be a starting point for B&W prints from B&W negs on RA4 paper.

    My local mini-lab manages to do this and produce almost colour-cast-free prints but it has the advantages of a machine that tells it what is needed.

    With a normal dichroic head has anyone tried to make B&W prints from B&W negs on RA4 and if so any ideas on at least a starting filtration.If there is/are threads on this please point me to them

    I am hoping that if the correct filtration can be worked out to get a neutral print then it should be hopefully possible to stick with that filtration for at least the rest of the roll

    I currently have no idea how to work out how to even start on achieving the correct filtration nor can I recall any book I have ever come across that mentions this.

    Part of the reason may be that most colour books are quite old and were published when RA4 paper was much more expensive than B&W paper which certainly isn't the case now so there was no reason to even try to do this

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It would help if you first filtered the light with the orange mask built into colour negative film. A blank (clear) piece of colour negative film sandwiched with your black and white negative would do the trick.
     
  3. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

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    There are a couple of threads around that mention this.

    I've tried it with some success by using an old piece of developed colour negative film leader sandwiched in the carrier to provide the orange mask for the benefit of the paper. It have me a good, warm-toned b&w print, but contrast needed attention.

    Whilst I was doing this (and trying reversal processing some colour slides onto RA4 paper) my darkroom sink split and stopped play! I've just about out finished the replacement of the sink and other mods, so hoping to be back in after Easter. Will dig out and scan some prints then.
     
  4. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Yup. Color neg film is much lower contrast the B&W film (so RA4 paper is high contrast by B&W standards).
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Is it possible to put this in a different portion of the light path, such that the extra piece of film does not add any extra dust to the print? I was thinking perhaps of using a larger piece, like a piece of 120 film below the lens, perhaps?
     
  6. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Better yet a developed but unexposed sheet of 4x5 cut to fit in the lamphouse would do it.
     
  7. momus

    momus Member

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    The RA4 prints will last an indeterminate time, then fade (don't ask how I know), and the true B&W paper will give higher quality prints of known permanency. So like most things in photography, if it's cheaper, there's a reason. So you could, but.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2014
  8. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    ^^^agreed.

    It is worth it to keep in mind that by going RA-4 with b/w negs, you are giving up VC dodging/burning control, any form of true toning, as well as various archival characteristics. Additionally, you're limited basically to out of date Kodak paper, and Fuji FCA (which, albeit, is fabulous color paper, but far from my first choice in black and white printing).
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Chris:

    There is lots of current Kodak colour paper available in rolls, at very reasonable prices.

    How about the equivalent of 255 sheets of 8"x12", for $70.00: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...33157_Ektacolor_Royal_Generations_8_x255.html ?
     
  10. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    B&W Prints from B&W negs on RA4 paper is indeed possible. I use an LPL 6700 enlarger with the 35mm carrier but on to of the carrier I lay a square of 120 film that came from a part exposed but developed C41 film. I don't actually have any problem with contrast and when using Fuji Crystal Archive paper a filtration of 25magenta and 35 yellow gives me a print that is very similar in tone to Ilford warm tone B&W paper. Those filtration values of course will alter according to your darkroom and RA4 chemicals used, but they will be a good starting point. The exposure times tend to be a little longer than for straight forward RA4 with C41 film, I assume due to the extra film density and any tint in the B&W film base..
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I never tried to filter it to neutral and I don't recall what filtration I used for this, but I did print some torchlit TMZ shots on RA4 paper filtered to look "torchlight orange" that I was very happy with. Worked great for this application and I can see maybe a blusih/cool cast giving a good effect for snow scenes etc.:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    That's fun Roger.
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks all so far and especially BMbikerider for the suggestion on starting filtration. As has been said and Roger Cole has showed it, a variation on filtration gives a wide range of tones as well.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. davedm

    davedm Member

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  15. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Since writing my post you refer to I now exclusively use Kodak paper 'off the roll' A 12" roll will set you back around £80 in UK but it is by far and away the better of the two papers available. (I made myself a light tight dispenser to hold the roll)It is on a thicker base, so less prone to kinking. Using the same method as described before the filtration is now around 50Y and 60M. It also a little slower (by about 25%) so will show less colour cast if your exposure is long and you are using a Duka safelight set at too hugh a level.