Color paper in black and white chemistry

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Too Many Cameras, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Too Many Cameras

    Too Many Cameras Member

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    A few months ago I accidentally bought two large rolls of Kodak Portra color paper. The seller had described it as film and the return shipping was too expensive to make it worth my time. So I was wondering if I can develop color paper in black and white chemistry similar to how color film can be developed in D-76 and other similar chemicals. I know that all color work has to be done in complete darkness. Has anyone tried this? My Google search didn't yield any results.
     
  2. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    You may want to sell it. Portra paper is much missed by some.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    It would work similar to that b&w processing of colour film.
    Keep in mind that the silver image is only intended as intermediary and might not give the result you expect from proper b&w materials.
     
  4. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    it is much faster than black and white paper but the silver image that remains is very weak--very little dmax
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Seems like a great time to consider learning how to print colour.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I am ordering bw negatives printed on color paper for a very long time. If you can manage to develop your color paper in color developer and print with bw negative , its a success story.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Since you clearly shoot C41 film, you should learn to print colour! It's very easy, assuming you have a colour head on your enlarger. And one of those is probably cheaper than the paper you just bought :wink:

    As for developing it as B&W, I suspect it will be disappointing with muddy blacks and low contrast. Colour paper depends on dyes to achieve its Dmax so I suspect there will be insufficient silver present to form very much dynamic range. And the contrast is not adjustable!
     
  8. Too Many Cameras

    Too Many Cameras Member

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    Thank you very much, everyone! This is a huge help. I will sell the unopened roll for sure. I may use the opened roll in some of my pinhole experiments and see if my local photo lab would be willing to develop the paper for me.

    I'd love to develop color, but am told it has to be done in total darkness. Also, one of my friends was telling me about a friend of one of her friends who died from inhaling color processing chemicals. My apartment lacks good enough ventilation for me to feel secure using the chemicals. And my girlfriend may not really approve, either. She tolerates the black and white work, mostly.
     
  9. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Seriously, is there NO way to get an adeqate DMAX with B&W developer here? I have tried and get only weak results. Curious. - David Lyga
     
  10. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I think there must be more to that story. As far as processing, I find that drums work best for me: processing is done in room light, and you're only ever dealing with a small amount of chemicals at any given time -- for 8x10, it's exactly 60ml.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Snorting cibachrome would knock you off your perch, but RA4 isn't all that bad. The developer smells pretty bad (strong amine smell, as with most chromogenic devs) and will cause skin sensitisation so I would never use it in a tray, but it's completely fine in drums. I use a Jobo and in most sessions, won't even get a whiff of it.

    David: no. There's not enough silver in the paper, you need the dyes to get any meaningful density.
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Thanks, Polyglot. I thought that there might be a way around this deficiency.