Back in business with color developing and printing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RichardH, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Hi All
    In the 80's I had a studio and a color lab that I printed mine and other studios work. I closed it down when digital started taking over film. I missed processing and printing so much that now that I am retired, I have set up a home darkroom. I have been printing B+W but I missed color. I started looking at color again and I think I have what I need to get back into it. Instead of Kreonite and durst printers, I am going to use trays and try that. I set up for testing temp. this week and came up with a body heating pad under each tray. It will stay at 85 Degree F. That will suffice with a time of 1minute and 30 sec. for development. Any advise and help on this setup will be appreciated.

    As for film, I have set up a deep tray with 4x5 tanks in it. I used 2 aquarium heaters to get the temp to 102 F. Once it reached that temp, I set the dials to keep it at that temp. I shoot 4x5 and med. format, so I can use this for both. I can stay in the dark without any problems during this developing time. Any advise on this setup would also be appreciated.

    This is my first post here and hope to continue and contribute when needed.

    Thanks

    Richard
     
  2. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Welcome home, Richard!
     
  3. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Thanks ME Super for the welcome. This will keep the mind active for a while. Knock the cobwebs out and enjoy something I like doing instead of mowing and pulling weeds HAHA.

    Richard
     
  4. RPC

    RPC Member

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    You don't need such temperature control for prints. You can develop at room temperature With Kodak RA Developer Replenisher RT, usually referred to here on APUG as RA-RT developer, for two minutes. Being a newbie here on APUG I suggest you go through the archives to find out more about tips on color processing from member's knowledge and experience, as well as posting questions. There is a wealth of information there!
     
  5. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Thanks RPC
    I have looked at the archives a little and I have seen where 2 minutes is used. My darkroom stays at 74 degrees pretty much the year round. Would this not be too cold. I know when I was doing it for a living that temp control was the thing back 25-30 years ago. But that was for consistancy. I guess if I am at 74 degrees constant that would be consistant?? I used Kodak paper and chemicals back then and tried a little Fuji paper once in a while. Fuji was a lot more contrasty. Also since Kodak has just about gone, I see Fuji is the way to go now. Does Fuji allow you to go that low on temp. and stay consistant?? I'll just have to finish ordering chemicals and doing it various ways and setups before I get back in the swing of things.
    I have file cabinets crammed full of negatives I shot back then that I want to print.
    I'll stay in here and report my setup as it is used.
    Thanks
    Richard
     
  6. hrst

    hrst Member

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    No, it will just work... If 2:00 is not enough, develop for 2:30. I have settled with 2:20 + draining time of 0:10 before stop bath, when working at 73-74 deg F. There is a VERY minor difference I can see in contrast and Dmax between 2:00 and 2:30, but with careful side-to-side examination, indeed you could argue that blacks are lacking a bit with 2:00 development time at 73 deg F, that's why I use a bit longer time.

    Of course, if you have the heating pads ready and they work, you can use them to save a little bit of time.
     
  7. RPC

    RPC Member

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    Your situation is for some reason different than mine. At 68 degrees I never have any problem getting D-max at two minutes. But I have determined that I get more parallel curves if I lower the pH by adding a small amount of acetic acid to the developer. In this case increasing the development time to 2:30 gives blacker blacks. So the pH is quite important in fine tuning the results, and the pH of your developer must be slightly different from mine, perhaps due to the water, if you have to go 2:30 at 73-74 degrees. Have you determined how parallel your curves are?
     
  8. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I have not plotted curves. I need to clarify; I don't think I have to go 2:30. It is just to be "on the safe side", based on one single side-to-side comparison with one single negative, with a long used developer, with a difference just barely noticeable but in favor of 2:30 with that particular negative and my particular taste at the time.

    Now, this was in context of answering the OP that yes, you can definitely do it at 73 deg F, and you can compensate by adjusting time if the result is too low in contrast or Dmax.
     
  9. RPC

    RPC Member

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    Another tip, Richard, store your developers in high quality plastic or glass containers (I use canning jars, available in different sizes) filled to the top to retard oxidation and they will last many, many months, or even years.
     
  10. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Thanks for the replies. RPC, I have plenty of sizes of canning jars. Good idea. I also have brown jugs ( a lot of them ) that I can use but most are gallon size. I think I'll change over to the jars but have to be careful not to mix it up with the moonshine.:munch:.
    From looking at the products and paper that are avaliable now, it looks like a limited choice to choose from.
    What are most printers using now?
    B+H won't ship chemicals, Adorama doesn't seem to carry bleach except in huge containers, Freestlye is getting Tetenol but I haven't called yet to see if it is in stock yet.
    Paper is very limited in choice. I haven't tried Arista but since it is so cheap, I will try some.
    Back in the 80's, Kodak was geared to the large and mini labs and I couldn't order direct from them at all. I had to go through a camera store for all my paper and chemicals. I probably printed more than a mini lab did but they wouldn't work with me since I was a studio with a lab. I would shut the studio down 2 times a year for a week each and print nothing but furniture showroom 8x10's. Thousands and thousands of them. I lived practically day and night in the lab during this time. I guess you can say, " that was the good old days."
    Now it is totally digital. Times sure change fast.
    Didn't mean to get off track here.

    I'll check back later in the week.
    Thanks

    Richard
     
  11. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    I've been getting the Arista kits out of ease and that I'm doing small batches right now. That mixed with the Fuji CA paper has been a good combo. I recently got some of the Arista paper in 11x14 to try. Life's been to busy lately to mess with prints, but hope to soon. I would say that the Kodak chems are going to be cheaper in the long run, but bulk is the only way to buy now I think...no more kits.
     
  12. pinholer

    pinholer Member

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    There is a photo supply here in Denver that stocks RA-RT cheistry in the 10 liter sizes. I mix my working solutions up from the parts as I need them -- usually in 500ml batches. If you have any large shops that stock darkroom supplies near you, you might see if they can order it in. The mini-labs use CA papers. You might see if they would sell you some chemistry either as stock solutions or freshly made working solutions.
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Which place is that? ProPhoto?
     
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  15. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    I ordered the kodak RA--RT chemical from Adorama and it is on the way. There aren't any labs left near me. They all closed down years ago. I live in the country and in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, so what I get I have to order. I could have bought double amounts for what the shipping is costing now. The last time I shipped something with UPS, I told the lady to give me the keys and I would pick up the truck later that day that I had just bought. HAHA She didn't like the remark. It's not her fault the prices are high and I did apoligize for the remark. I'm sure she hears enough of it.

    I am going to use a stop bath and all I have is B+W indicator stop. Will this be OK or do I need another kind?
    I have read where some were using white vinager. If that is what I need, at what dulution do I mix?

    I am getting very excited about printing color again that it is hard to sleep with the thoughts running through my mind.
    It doesn't take much anymore to make this old man happy. :D

    Thanks
    Richard
     
  16. pinholer

    pinholer Member

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    Denver Pro Photo
    800 South Jason St
    303-698-1790
     
  17. pinholer

    pinholer Member

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    I make my stop bath by sdding 1.25 oz of Glacial Acetic acid to a gallon of water. This gives a 1% solution. Most Vinegar is about a 5% solution so 1 part Vinegar plus 4 parts water would give a 1% solution.
     
  18. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Thanks pinholer
    I'll give that a shot with the vinegar.

    Richard
     
  19. wogster

    wogster Member

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    One thing to remember with shipping anything, the first lb costs the most, it's not uncommon if a 1lb shipment costs $10, that it will easily take 9 more lbs to get the next $10. Often the cost for dangerous goods or liquids handling are flat fees, which is something else to keep in mind. If your buying different chemicals for different processes, order them all at once from the same place, have it all shipped at once. If one piece is backordered, tell them not to ship the remainder, but to hold and ship all at once.
     
  20. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    I bought the chemicals on Ebay. Adorama has a bunch on there. As I sent them to the list, they used the shipping price for each item. Next time I'll order by phone. I actually paid seperate shipping for each item. They didn't or have not offered to refund any of the amount for combined shipping. For a $90 order, I paid $31 for shipping above that. One of these days I might learn but I doubt it.

    Thanks
    Richard
     
  21. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    Don't short change yourself to quickly...I do know of some public darkrooms in Asheville. Not sure of the names, but do know they still exist.

    As for a stop, I use a mix of white vinegar and water....diluted to about 2.5% acidic. It seems to work well.
     
  22. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Thanks Mike
    I was only talking about labs that were fairly close to me. I didn't mean to refer all labs were gone. Asheville is about a good 1 1/2 hour drive from me and I think it has been about 7 years since I have been there. Pretty country there. Back when I was working, I did a lot of work in and around Asheville. I used to visit a camera store there but I don't remember their name. It was stocked pretty good at that times.
    Also thanks for the vinegar dilution. I have seen 1% and your 2.5%. So this weekend I plan to start making test.
    YAAAHOOOO. Can't wait.

    Thanks
    Richard
     
  23. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    I went with 2.5% because Photo Engineer I believe had stated that ratio. I think it was actually like 2.6% or 2.4%, I can't remember anymore. The 1%, I'm not sure about that one...if it works, cool, but that's first time I saw it mentioned for RA4.
     
  24. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Hey Mike
    I am going to give it a try this weekend. I have never used vinegar. Easy enough to get at the grocery store. I have a lot of botttles of B+W indicator stop. I am going to try that also.
    I looked at your website and saw you just got a RB67. I love that camera but they are heavy to carry around. I used one for years and years in the studio. I have one with the newer KL lens. Sharp as a tack. I also read you have a F3HP. I wish I had the lenses you have. I have the F4S but I don't shoot much with it. I just don't like small negatives. That's just me on that part. Nothing wrong with small but I can't seem to vision what I am wanting through the viewfinder.
    There was a post earlier in this part about mixing 1 part to 4 parts water for vinegar stop. I'll play around with it and see what comes of all of it.
    I have never printed color in trays either, so it is going to be an interesting weekend getting a standard setup on chemical and printing.
    By the way, where are you in VA? And also your shots on the website look very good.

    Thanks
    Richard
     
  25. wogster

    wogster Member

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    You need to ask at the time of ordering if they can combine shipping costs by putting all of the items in a single box. If the items being shipped are liquids, then they may not, because there are weight limits and liquids can be heavy. It's may also not be possible to ship different DG classes together or even different chemicals, that depends on the carrier rules and often government regulations. Government regulations are why they don't often ship DG's across borders.
     
  26. RichardH

    RichardH Member

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    Hey wogster,
    I used ebay since I was looking on it and ran across the chemicals they were offering. Next time, I'll call and order. I had a little paypal money to spend and that's the only reason I used ebay. I understand the liquid reasons but it looks like ebay or them could have combined the shipping since it was only 3 items. It's no big deal. I feel I could have saved a few dollars if they combined. I'll know tomorrow if it comes in 1 box or not. Thanks for the info.

    Richard