Color enlarging

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by macandal, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    So I finally did it. I finally developed my first roll of color film. Now things get exciting. I've done B&W enlargements. How different are they from color? Is it something you guys can tell me how here or is it too difficult to learn this way? I went to Rayko here in San Francisco to process the film. I was planning on going tomorrow to make a contact print and one enlargement. They offer a tutorial for $60. If I have to, I'll pay the $60, but if this is something I can figure out on my own, then won't.

    What say you?
     
  2. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Capital of O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IMO $60 is a very good price if the teacher is good. I'd say do it. You can figure out color printing on your own (I've done it), but having someone around with experience will help you get up to speed much-much quicker.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,191
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1

    $60 is cheap for a hands-on, actually see (and hear and smell :smile:) learning experience.

    It will give you invaluable context, that will serve to enhance the value of all the internet and printed resources you may subsequently consult.
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,610
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Seems a fair price, when you consider you could know how to do it by tomorrow! Reading about it would take a whole day and you would be intimidated. Doing it will take a few hours and you'll build confidence.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,924
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'd say that colour is quite different from B&W. One has, err.. colour in the print and the other err.. doesn't:D

    OK couldn't resist it. On a serious note $60 sounds reasonable to me as well. It will give you the kind of confidence that otherwise might be missing and lack of confidence means more frustration and mistakes. It might even save you a chunk of the $60 in paper.

    Have fun

    pentaxuser
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear Mario,

    Take the class. You should also search the forum using the key words "tray processing RA-4 room temperature".

    Printing color is good fun. You will enjoy it.

    Neal Wydra
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I learnt how to do it from reading posts on here, I made a file full of information on colour balance and then I printed it out. I still refer to it now. However, I think I would have taken a lesson if it was convenient - it's more social isn't it?

    Colour printing is lots of fun, it's not difficult.
     
  8. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    768
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Basically RA4 processing when you get the hang of it is actually a doddle. It is a balancing act between temperiture - exposure-color-balance-film-printing paper-and chemicals.

    Get one set of materials that suits you and stick with them. Get one set of chemicals to process the film and one set to develop the paper and stick with them. Make sure your temperiture is consistent and the remainder will come naturally. You can 'dodge and burn' in the same fashion as B&W but you run the risk of odd areas with different colour balance. It is all a matter of practice. That $60 fee to teach you looks like a good deal. There is nothing like someone to show you the ropes
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,821
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Personally, I would try it on my own first. Where you may need help would be with color filters on the enlarger. Again, not rocket science, DIY is how many learn to adjust the filters, along with available aids. Then again, $60 is not much, may help get you on a fast track. Good Luck.
     
  10. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It's not a class. It's someone showing me the steps. It's one-on-one. I guess that's even better. :smile:

    They don't do tray processing. They use a big machine. Like the ones one used to see in places where they developed film.
     
  11. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Maybe you could share the information you put together? I'd love how to do it.

    You guys have convinced me. I'm going to go for it. And, as I said before, it's not a class but someone showing me the steps of color printing.
     
  12. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    They provide the chemicals for printing and I don't know what they use. I only had to provide my chemicals for developing because they don't offer that. I don't know what kind of chemicals they use.

    Thanks.
     
  13. pinholer

    pinholer Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For the tutorial, will they start with one of your negatives and then work through determining the correct filter pack and exposure? If you have your own darkroom, how similar is your setup to the one that you will be using for the tutorial?
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. shutterlight

    shutterlight Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    C-printing is hard. I did one print and that was enough for me. I've watched a few people who are great at it, and gotten to see the work of some others who are masters of it. It's a dying art, in large part because color processors are so rare now. Word to the wise: Chemistry for C-printing is bad stuff. You don't want your hands on it. Gloves are a must.
     
  16. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear Mario,

    Do the search anyway unless you will continue to have access to the processing machines after your tutorial. I assume you will want to print color at home using your new enlarger. Further, as noted above, if you do process at home use gloves. Also find out where your household chemical waste collection site is. In the Chicago area we have several that will collect hobby chemicals for free.

    Neal Wydra
     
  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    5,437
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Color printing is hard and you really need a color analyser to get good results. Then there is the need for a dichroic enlarger head or silters, etc. Color paper is expensive and unlike BW paper it does go bad. I tried it for awhile and decided it was too much hassle and too expensive. One has to be very determined to print color.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
  18. RPC

    RPC Member

    Messages:
    572
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ignore the naysayers.

    I find color printing quite easy. I too thought I needed a color analyzer and bought one but now I only use it for exposure determination when changing print sizes as with a little experience I learned to color balance quickly by eye. Learning color theory will help with this. You can determine a starting filtration for each film type you will be printing (which with today's films are very close to each other) then tweak from there. Not that hard!

    The use of trays and room temperature developer makes making small test prints quick and easy. Don't use drums or high temperatures.

    Color paper can be frozen extending the life for years. Color chemistry, stored properly, can last as long as B&W.

    Color printing may seem problematic at first but once you get experience it is just as easy as B&W and very rewarding.
     
  19. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,821
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A good book, a box of color paper, proper chemicals, and an evening to yourself will be a good start. Printing at home may be very different that the process they do. Different chemicals, paper, enlarger or printer, method of delivering the chemicals, example, machine vs tray or drum. Its not hard to learn, it does take effort and commitment.
     
  20. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Capital of O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I respectfully disagree. The color paper is half the cost of BW rc paper and dirt cheap compared to fiber. Kodak's color chemistry lasts forever after it is mixed and is reasonably cheap when you buy it in bigger volume. This makes for low cost experimentation. I find I enjoy color printing much more because of the lower cost, so I can experiment much more without worrying of paper/chemistry wastage. Yes you should have a dichroic enlarger for easier filtering. But I find color analyzer unnecessary. I do have it, but rarely use it. Color is all in the mindset. Just find the quickest possible way to process test strips, and remember that color paper is cheap. Most important to have fun with it. Yes, color paper goes bad, so the solution is to use more of it so you can go through it quicker :D
     
  21. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Mmm? I'm not sure what search you're referring to? In any case, I don't have a home darkroom and, for the foreseeable future, I won't so I will continue using the facilities at Rayko. I don't have to worry about getting chemicals on me because they don't use the tray system. It's a machine that does the processing.

    Thanks.
     
  22. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,821
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In that case, they will be teaching you on the exact process you would using, its a good deal then, go for it. Have fun.:smile:
     
  23. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I can't use trays; they (Rayko) use the drum. As far as room temperature chemicals, in San Francisco, especially at this time of year, room temperature means having chemistry at 50 F, isn't that a bit too cold?
     
  24. RPC

    RPC Member

    Messages:
    572
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes. Turn up the heat and take off your coat.:D

    I inferred from your OP, as I think others did that your ultimate goal was to print at home.
     
  25. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,181
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    You use a heated water bath or tray to keep your bottles of chemistry at the correct temperature.
    And you want enough solution volume in the drum so the temp doesn't drop during development.
    A prerinse with correct temp water prior to actual dev will help condition the inside of the drum. I
    use RA4 chem at 84F. But ambient temp in the room itself shouldn't be so far out of whack that
    you get a temp drop in the general process (and I live in the Bay area, so know what 50 deg is like
    even midsummer!). Drum work way better than trays anyway, and are safer on your lungs. Make
    sure you have decent ventilation!
     
  26. macandal

    macandal Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I was wondering...? Does color paper come in fiber based and resin coated varieties or is it just one kind of paper?