"Digital" RA-4 paper and optical exposure

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Petzi, May 8, 2006.

  1. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    The manufacturers of RA-4 photo paper now offer papers that are optimised for exposure in a digital printer, i.e. through laser or LED.

    I understand that the digital papers are formulated to give maximum density with a very short exposure. I heard of cases where Dmax of conventional papers could not be reached with the very short exposure times in digital printers, which can be a small fraction of a second at high intensity. I assume that this is due to reciprocity failure.

    Now I wonder, if one uses these papers that are made for digital, do they have any disadvantages when you expose them conventionally, i.e. at multiple seconds exposure? If the manufacturer improved reciprocity behavior at very short exposure times, does that mean the papers still work well at regular times? Is it simply an improvement of one characteristic while maintaining other qualities of the paper?

    Characteristic curves are now given for "laser exposure" or ".04 s exposure" in data sheets. But no curve for reciprocity behaviour is given.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2006
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There is a recent thread regarding this. You may want to look it up.

    The answer is that all of today's color papers will work with either type of exposure.

    PE
     
  3. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I have not been able to retrieve substantial information from the archives other than "Yeah it seems to work". I would like some more background information.

    I have studied the data sheets for "optical" and "digital" papers, and the characteristic curves look quite different. I suspect in some cases though that they are the same paper. But I am not sure. The differences might be due to the effect of different exposure times.
     
  4. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    When I was working at an optical minilab we made the switch from fuji CA to fuji CA type II(both the consumer stuff and type II meaning "optimised for digital exposure units). Once calibrated to the new paper, results are identical by my eyes, my lab tech's eyes and our customer's eyes.
     
  5. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    I have read on a minilab forum that the Agfa digital paper was not really suitable for optical labs, that it suffered from unusual colour shifts when expsosed in an optical machine. Not really an issue now that Agfa is gone. However I think most papers are suitable for both optical and digital exposure.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I assure you that due to improved reciprocity characteristics, both the Fuji and Kodak ppaers are fine with either type of exposure.

    PE
     
  7. game

    game Member

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    Hi petzi,
    Still having some doubts :smile: ?
    The guys I can order from were not so sure about wether it was possible or not. They said something about me taking an risk when buying a for digital use optimized paper. On the other hand there are some reasons to believe it must be possible with good results.
    One is that when reading the original product pdf, on in this case, the ilfoflex digital paper, one will find that the paper is intented for both ways of exposing. Also, a seller should not be taken to objective. On one hand he wants to sell, on the other hand he does not want any argueing afterwards about money backs etc.
    I also was wondering, if using digital machines for exposing an done wants to make a really large print at lets say f16, and the negative is thick, what exposure time will you get? Maybe the same as with a small print, with f5.6 and a thin negative... the optical way

    Anyway, I am not to concerned about wether digital papers are suitable or not, I think it is possible....

    game
     
  8. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I just like to get to the bottom of things. :smile:

    Last week I saw an Agfa printer in action, that made about 7 prints per second from 35mm film. It is fed with 550m rolls of photo paper. When taking into account the time needed to advance paper and film, that results in some pretty short exposure times for fully optical printing...
     
  9. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Petzi, about 20 years ago I was in the Melbourne Kodak photo finishing lab watching machines processing 1,000' rolls of 35mm colour film, which was going through enormous machines making colour prints.

    These machines were printing so fast that the strobes sounded like machine guns firing. If the paper that was in use then, could handle those short exposures, whilst at the same time be used in my darkroom with exposures measured in minutes, I wouldn't be worried.

    Just use the stuff.

    Mick.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I have used 'Digital' RA4 under the enlarger and it works as the non digital stuff. Konica's (it may now be gone from the market) appears to be identical to Fuji CA. i've used it digitally and straight under digital it uses the same profile as CA and looks identical. Kodak's old digital II and III (I think that was the designation) appeared to be a match for Supra -- both types are out of production or atleast rebadged.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have just seen this thread. What are the advantages of using digital RA4 paper and are there any disadvantages? For instance is digital RA4 paper OK in the same safelight such as a DUKA as conventional RA4?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    There are no differences to my knowledge between the papers other than packaging and sometimes the back printing.
     
  13. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Say whut?!?!

    I am presently printing from Fuji "PRO 400H" negatives exposed with DynaLites in my studio - on Fuji "PII" paper.

    The results look good ... but I am sort of dumbfounded by the dichroic head settings; this combination (Fuji + Fuji) appears to require cyan filtration, unlike Kodak or Agfa films printed on Kodak, Agfa, Ilford or even Fuji RA-4 papers.

    "Standard" color filtration on my Omega D5500 (? Is that the model? - I haven't paid attention to that for a while..) for Fuji Pro 400H + Fuji Crystal Archive PII:

    C(yan)= 12; M(agenta)=22; Y(ellow)= 00 (!!!)

    Cyan - and NO yellow?

    Any input from anyone else here?

    BTW - I've checked ... It IS daylight film.
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ed. I am not sure if you are referring to digital paper here. If so what I am about to say may be irrelevant but I posted a thread about 2 months ago highlighting a problem with Fuji Crystal Archive MP which I had not experienced before with this paper. Most of my prints required under 10Y and some 0Y. A couple even needed 0Y and about 3C.

    After correspondence with the supplier and Fuji and sending Fuji some prints, it sent fresh paper which I have yet to use. I could not eliminate several possible causes such as temp, dev etc for sure until I tried a box of Kodak Supra Endura which I hadn't realised I still had. I had noticed that my negs(Fuji Superia 100 and 400) were quite thin compared to what I had processed before and I wondered if this has any relevance. Anyway the Kodak paper prints required exactly the same filtration as it had been with previous Kodak paper. I sent this Kodak paer print to Fuji as well.

    Fuji didn't actually give a reason why Kodak paper should use the previous Kodak filtration but Fuji required a quite different filtration from previously but still maintained that its new paper which is now labelled Fuji Cystal Archive( without the MP bit) required about the same filtration as the former CA MP.

    I have yet to try it so can't say but I will let you know once I do try. I don't want to set unnecessary hares running and the problem may very well disappear but I thought I'd let you know what had happened as you seem to be indicating the same issue which until now I thought was only my problem.

    pentaxuser
     
  16. Photo Engineer

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    I have seen similar comments about Fuji paper.

    This type of speed mismatch can cause degradation of colors, especially in yellows, due to punch through of the other layers when there is a yellow object.

    You typically get orange yellows and orange reds.

    PE
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ed As an addendum to my reply, I can say that the local lab using Fuji digital paper does excellent prints so the Fuji paper it uses is certainly OK for its machines. This raises the possibility( remote I admit) that maybe I was given a box of Fuji digital paper which was wrongly labelled CA MP and that the problem stems from it being different to the former CA MP.

    More questions than answers, I know but this remote possibility would fit with your experience and my problem, although you'd think Fuji would have mentioned it if it was even a remote possibility.

    Anyway I should be able to confirm or otherwise this weekend hopefully whether my new Fuji CA paper exhibits this low Y phenomenon

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Photo Engineer

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    The new CA II paper from Fuji requires a new color developer.

    Could this be the problem?

    PE
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you mean to say that fuji is deviating from standard RA4 dev. for its paper?
     
  20. Photo Engineer

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    Fuji has announced CA Type II paper and the CP-49-E process for it.

    This process uses a new developer, blix and a different wash cycle which they claim is incompatible with conventional RA paper and process.

    The results are reported by Yosida, Deguci, and Takada on P 257 of the ICIS proceedings. This new paper uses a new set of couplers to match with this entirely new process.

    They say, don't mix and match papers and processes.

    PE
     
  21. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Great :rolleyes:
     
  22. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    It absolutely does NOT require Cp-49e chemistry. I've used it in CP-49e chemistry in a frontier 340, CP-48s in a frontier 370, and I belive it was labled as CP-47L? on an SFA. On the SFA test prints swung drastically magenta untill the machines master balance was corrected for the new type two paper, but it was completely correctable. My personal understanding is that the CP-49e chemistry is Ra-4 but designed to work at a higher temperature than usual. If memory serves me developer and blix were at 40 degrees C instead of 38.5 degrees C using the SFA and the stabilizer was at 45 degrees C in the frontier, dont remember what it was in the SFA.


     
  23. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've just checked with Fuji's web site, [ http://www.fujifilmusa ] and the data sheet for "Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Paper Type PDII" states in section 6:

    "This paper is designed for use with Hunt CP-RA, FUJIFILM MINILAB process CP-48S or RA-4 Type process."

    Type PIII (Brochure - I couldn't find a data sheet) states "This RA-4 professional base paper is easy to use in the lab...". I'm not quite sure what they mean by "professional base paper, but..., all other Fuji Type P and C papers are described as "RA-4" with occasional references to additional process.

    I certainly HOPE Fuji is not having some sort of brain spasm and introducing a paper incompatible with the widely accepted RA-4 processes. We "color" types are engaged in enough of a struggle as it is.

    As an aside ... I REALLY, REALLY LIKE this paper, so far. The color balance and general aesthetic characteristics are beautiful - at least in my eyes. Some may not like the *extremely* glossy finish ( like unto a mirror), but to me that is more than compensated for by the skin tones. Truly "alabaster - like", something I've been trying to obtain for years. (Note 1)

    Now, if the lot-to-lot and size-to-size - uniformity and stability can come close to my dear, deceased Ilfocolor, I will have one less "search" to worry about.

    Note 1: So the syntax isn't quite elegant ...
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    Guys;

    I am merely reporting from a presentation. In that presentation, the Fuji reps said that the new paper was not compatible with the old paper in terms of process. They showed data related to new couplers, new sensitization and new emulsions which made this so, and showed a development, blix and wash time series to 'prove' their point.

    Perhaps they are just trying to sell the new kits. IDK. It was actually a series of 2 or 3 teams that showed this data which included Tellurium sensitization and a new dye type for better dye stability.

    Since they report that the new process is incompatilbe, I also hypothesized that this might be why there is an apparent color balance shift with some Fuji papers and processes. I have no evidence beyond their presentation than this to prove it.

    I can say this. They have decreased the silver coated in the new paper, and have increased the development rate. This, they indicated, allowed for shorter development times, and a more dilute blix, among other things. It would also allow the developer to be more dilute or less powerful for the type II paper.

    They said they took an environmentally sound approach to process design. Assuming this to be dilution, I expect that the old process would overdevelop the new paper, and the new process would underdevelop the old paper and would leave silver behind in the coating.

    Just some thoughts from hearing the talk, and reading these comments here. I reread the article and they support some of your observations and my thoughts, but actually without tests they prove nothing either way.

    PE
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    On another matter.

    About 3 years ago, Kodak did much the same when Endura paper replaced Supra III paper. The Endura paper needs less development and can survive a longer development time without fogging. The paper also seems to keep better at room temperature than Supra III.

    The Endura papers have new emulsions and new couplers as well.

    Kodak apparently did not change the process, nor did they recommend a change in process. The basic color balance of the paper did change by about 15 magenta.

    That is another reason why I felt there was some kind of link here to the change in products from both companies.

    PE
     
  26. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use Fuji Crystal Archive matte , and Fuji Crystal Archive Flex material , on Dichroic Enlargers, as well with Lambda laser output device, with no problem whatsoever.