Fuji crystal archive, or Kodak Supra Endura?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Bobby Ironsights, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Hi, I'm about to start printing colour.

    Paper is only sold in 8x10 100's and up, no 25 packs of 5x7's so I can't do what I'd usually do, which is buy one of both and test.

    I'm leaning toward the Fuji, because I respect fuji more. But it's occurred to me that it's only because the lab that prints Kodak here is Walmart, and the lab that prints fuji is blacks and doesn't suck.

    Is the more expensive kodak paper worth starting on?

    Also, I've been looking at the chems.

    Is there anything particularly wrong with the Unicolor powdered chems?

    What about the Arista RA-4 kit?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    What film do you use?

    Scuttlebutt says Kodak film does not print well on Fuji, and Fuji film prints well on both.

    Vaughn
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You've got a shop selling boxed Fuji paper? I think that's rare. Most shops I've seen only stocked Kodak.

    Anyways to the question.

    Make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Both Fuji and Kodak make varioius similar named papers. They always seemed fairly similar in price to me.

    Can't you get a 100 sheet box of 5x7? Kodak used to sell these.

    Blacks in Canada? Blacks is owned by Fuji.

    I like Kodak Portra paper. At the moment you'll be having enough problems that any difference in the papers will be minor. Buy a box and just use it. If the paper is fresh and not fogged that'll be good enough. Once you get the printing down you can try them out and see what you like best.
     
  4. stevewillard

    stevewillard Member

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    Hi Bobby, I have been shooting with Portra VC 160 and printing with Fuji Crystal Archive paper for years now. I have been told that the Kodak film with Kodak papers will produce better blues, but I have not notice a problem with the blues. I develop my own film and prints.

    I use Fuji's paper because it has name recognition like Cibrachrome does in the art world of fine-art prints. I have received countless questions asking if I use the Fuji papers. When I say yes I can tell it was the answer they were looking for. In fact, the Fuji Crystal Archive paper has become the benchmark all color papers for both digital and analog are tested against.

    Here are some links you may want to consider. The first link contains a discussion about printing color negative film and the other links are simply examples.

    www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33432

    www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33433
    www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33431
    www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33546
    www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33619

    Good luck...
     
  5. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

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    There seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that Kodak is easier to use and I would confirm that I have found better results on hard to print negs with Kodak Endura paper. However; I use 99% fuji CA and get some beautiful prints. I think reliability of supply is the question you need to address. I have loads of paper with a base fog (from age) that means nothing other than snapshots can be printed on it. This paper has been supplied by pro suppliers so you can trust nobody. Find out when the supplier bought the stock and if they can't date it, don't buy it! Fuji technical told me who they had shipped to recently and I bought from them; hence I use Fuji, no other reason. Good luck>
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have tested Kodak paper with Fuji and Kodak film, and have gotten excellent results. The reason this was done at Kodak Research was due to complaints that Kodak film would not work well with Fuji paper. An analysis showed that their dye set in the Fuji films and papers were a good match for each other, but the dyes in Kodak film was a poorer match for Fuji paper. We found that Kodak and Fuji films both matched the Kodak paper equally well. This is a very technical issue involving the spectrophotometric characteristics of the paper sensitizing dyes to the spectrophotometric characteristics of the film imaging dyes.

    In addition, Fuji has recently made changes to their paper which resulted in CAII paper and a new process. There have been reports that the old process works well in spite of Fuji statements, but I also have seen posts here of people complaining that Fuji paper now uses much less red filtration and in one case a person reported cyan filtration here on APUG.

    The bottom line is what pleases you. I suggest that if Fuji paper pleases you, then use Fuji film for best results. If Kodak pleases you, you should feel freer in your choice of film.

    PE
     
  7. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Well, here's the problem PE, I don't know what pleases me, and if I get poor results from the paper, it will take FOREVER to nail it down as a hundred sheets of 8x10 colour will probably last me awhile.

    But, I guess if a guy who is "doing for colour what Ansel Adams did for black and white" says fuji is good stuff, who am I to question, mere mortal that I am?
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    I gotta say that the Fuji film I printed on Supra Endura did not look the same as the Frontier prints I have on Crystal Archive. I don't know if it's because of the digital intermediate, though.

    RA4 paper is actually pretty cheap compared to B&W paper, so buying a box of both Supra and CA will not tank your budget. A 100 pack of 8x10 is about 30$, cheaper for smaller formats. If you end up not liking one paper over the other, then sell it back on APUG. You'll save a few pennies at least, and make a new friend!

    But given that you're just starting, I would say: start by picking a Fuji/Fuji or a Kodak/Kodak film/paper pair. It's the safest thing you could do. At this point, it simply does not matter enough which one you use. If you like Fuji simply because of trust, then go for it. I started with Kodak just because I liked my drugstore prints better on Kodak film! Again: it does not matter right now. Making an informed choice requires, well, information! Right now, your intuition is as much as you have. Trust it, and adjust your preferences later.

    Learn how to process accurately your paper, make sure you understand properly colour balance, that you can maintain proper temperature, etc. Try to get a Kodak Color Print Viewing Filter Kit on eBay. This will help you enormously with colour balance. You should be able to achieve decent starter's knowledge with a few printing sessions.

    Then, if you haven't given up on colour printing (you never know...), a few sessions later, expose a roll each of comparable Fuji and Kodak films (eg 160S and 160NC), and print them on each paper. If you can shoot a Macbeth chart, it might help you as well. That will be a long evening, nailing 4 colour balances at once, but you'll know quite a lot after that.

    Think of us poor souls doing also B&W who have an almost infinite number of combination to choose from! With colour, your choices are much less numerous.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    To answer you and Michel both, photofinishers use a different paper and printer. This changes the entire picture (pun intended). You will not be able to easily duplicate the result of a photofinishing lab.

    They are both good papers, and my tests with Kodak paper were done in the 80s as part of a color reproduction study of Ektaflex R and C and Ektacolor and Ektachrome papers. So it is old. Like me.

    Endura used to come in 5x7, 100 sheet boxes for under $20. Locally, I could get that off the shelf at RIT in their camera store. IDK about Fuji sizes and I don't know about current Kodak sizes.

    I've been lucky in my life. If I didn't like the paper or film, I fiddled with the formula and coated it the way I wanted it. :D I have not done that for years though, and the new technology is quite different.

    PE
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    When I first started color printing, I found that I went through my first 100-sheet box fast. The reason was that I was using a lot of paper learning how to get the color balance right. Each test took an entire 8x10 sheet, and to get the color balance right for a single print took several test sheets. (Note that the color balance usually stays fairly consistent within a roll if the entire roll is shot under similar conditions, so if you make several prints from a single roll, chances are you'll be able to use the same filtration settings for all the prints.) I now use less paper, since I've gotten better at quickly finding the correct filtration. The point, though, is that you'll probably go through that first 100-sheet box more quickly than you expect.
     
  11. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    I have used, and like, both papers. I tend to like the Kodak papers better because it is thicker and a bit stiffer. When it comes down to it, if I had to choose one paper it would be Kodak Ultra Endura. Being that color paper is so cheap, I would do a side by side comparison on small paper sizes and then buy some larger.

    Adios,
    Matt
     
  12. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I haven't printed color in awhile, but when I did I used Fuji crystal archive portrait paper. I didn't have any problem printing on it with Kodak or Fuji negatives.
     
  13. frotog

    frotog Member

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    About a year ago Kodak whittled down their 5x7 color papers to supra endura f surface. It was recently discontinued so what's on the shelfs is all that's left for kodak 5x7 color papers. I've never seen fuji 5x7.
     
  14. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I can't compare for you but I've been using Fuji Crystal Archive and Reala and I like the results I'm getting. How fast you go through a box depends on how conservative you are. I'm conservative with my paper but somewhat less so at my school when I'm not paying for it. I've been chewing through a box of 100 sheets for a while. The hard part is establishing base values, that takes a lot of test strips. Once you have that and if you have good exposure you can pretty much make prints without testing them. I find it takes me 3 sheets if I'm finding new base values or 1 if I already know time and values. It depends how perfect you want each.

    For chemistry kodak sells gallon size developer kits and I used paterson universal (film and paper) bleach fix. That made it simple but now I'm going to the same developer with the kodak blix. Film the same but seperate. I don't like kits because blix lasts about twice as long as developer.