Getting started with color negative printing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Tony-S, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Alright, I'm getting a color head for my 67C XL for Xmas. So, is there a guide or tutorial somewhere on the forums (or elsewhere) that describes what is needed for processing color prints?
     
  2. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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  3. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The colorhead will be fine. You also need some sort of simple processing drum and a waterbath
    to keep the chemistry constant temp. The Jobo tempering boxes work nicely and can still be found
    used. Fuji Crystal Archive paper works just fine. I find it easiest to use Kodak RA/RT starter chem
    at 82F for 2 min dev & blix, with stop and rinse in between. Don't let the temp drift or you will have
    a bad time color balancing.
     
  4. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Just give it a shot if you can get it more easily. Never had a single problem. Prints perfectly at 23 deg. C in Kodak chemistry, just like the Kodak paper. It might be possible that there are several different products under the same "Fuji Crystal Archive" name to explain these differences; this seems to be the only negative case I can find, though. But it's hard to find positive cases either. Most people just print and don't write on forums :smile:. The only paper that has a full consensus on APUG is the discontinued Supra Endura. Most of the others seem to work for most people but apparently not all.

    -

    Also, you don't need any water bath, and especially not a processing drum. That's just a good old internet legend. Tray processing at almost any temperature between 20 degC and 38 degC will give consistent results. The color balance will change only very slightly if at all. Yes, I have tested. Yes, many people have tested. Yes, you can check it from the official instructions. You just change developing time if you change the temperature. If the color balance drifts within natural temperature drift limits, the actual problem is somewhere else and it's happening randomly at the same time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2011
  5. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The second I heard Supra Endura was discontinued I dropped $400 on paper for my fridge :smile: I found that my Fuji Type C would get a nasty magenta/green crossover in the highlights when processed at room temp. Maybe there were other problems? Also, you can buy paper in rolls and cut it down for cheap off eBay usually. I used some 11 inch rolls from kodak with good results, although cutting down paper is a PITA. Kodak film prints best on Kodak paper, and same for fuji.
     
  6. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    I concur with hrst-- I routinely print both Fuji type C and type II and find that they work perfectly with Kodak chemicals at room temperature. I have also tried Kodak Edge (similar to Endura?) and find it also works fine, but I prefer the intensity of the Fuji colors (although the papers are quite similar). In general, I have found that the RA-4 process is incredibly robust to changes in conditions - developing time, temperature, age of chemicals, etc. Also, it certainly works as well in trays as in drums, though I recently switched to drums since I don't like sniffing the chemical fumes and working in the dark.

    wn
     
  7. hrst

    hrst Member

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    "Kodak film prints best on Kodak paper and Fuji on Fuji", well, this might be possible; after all, they probably do most of the testing with their own films, giving a bit less attention to the competitors. BUT. All the color neg films are VERY SIMILAR in properties, including the dye absorption spectra. There are some differences in "palette" etc., but that difference is also visible in the prints regardless of paper type. It is totally impossible to compare "compatibility" because both the films and the papers have their characteristic "look" in it. Thus, we will have four different looks, Kodak on Kodak, Fuji on Kodak, Kodak on Fuji and Fuji on Fuji. It is impossible to say which one is the "best" combination, and, the look is 99% because of the properties of the film and that of paper. Maybe 1% will come from the "compatibility" between the brands.

    To elaborate, they say that Fuji paper has a little bit more saturation, which I find true. Well then, this small effect holds true regardless of the negative brand. The effect of changing the paper from Kodak to Fuji, or vice-versa, works predictably.

    Well then, let's say Ektar has strong cyans and warm tones to it. Again, this holds true for any brand of paper. Of course the differences between the papers add to this effect, but just in the same way they would do with Fuji films.
     
  8. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I've never had a problem with any color neg film on any Fuji paper using Kodak chem. But there is one way crossover can occur which certain folks aren't generally aware of. Apparently it takes a minute or so for the latent exposure characteristics to fully "set". If you put the print instantly in the tray or whatever, crossover might occur. I've never had it happen because it takes a minute or two to load the drum. Trays aren't in my vocabulary anyway because I see no sense getting sensitized to fumes.
     
  9. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I haven't had that occur; I usually place the paper in the developer tray INSTANTLY (in a few seconds) after the exposure. Maybe I've been lucky, or maybe the risk is overstated.

    RA-4 chemicals release very little fumes, unlike, for example, Ilfochrome bleach. I find that the lack of fresh air (or rather, CO2 from breath) is an equal problem in a closed space; hence, it's just best to have a good ventilation anyway.

    I use acetic acid as a stop bath. If it smells too much to make it uncomfortable, that is either a sign of too concentrated stop bath or a totally lacking ventilation.
     
  10. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I think that your primary focus should be learning how to balance color. At the start you have two variables: brightness and filtration. Know that the filtration changes will change the brightness. Start with a test strip to gauge exposure, and then do confirming strips to nail color balance. Try to evaluate in the same lighting conditions in which you will view your print (ie tungsten or a white light for brighter conditions.) Adding yellow decreases yellow and makes it more blue, and vice versa. Start with 75M 75Y and work from there. You'll get more used to the effect of each correction and how much to make. 5CC is fairly subtle but noticeable and 25CC is dramatic.

    I develop 2 mins and blix for 1-2 for test strips, but a full blix is about 4-5 minutes (supposedly, I have no idea to be honest but my prints still look good after 3 years with that timing) for prints. Have fun and get messy, it's a intricate hobby with rewarding results.
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The problem with RA4 chem is not odor, or acid fumes as with Ciba. It's long-term sensitization. No
    problem then all of a sudden you can never get around it again. That's happened to a couple of lab
    owners I know. I can only work with it outdoors, so actually wheel my dry processor outside during
    mild weather, and I haven't even been exposed to much of it over the years.
     
  12. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Color calculators help a lot with negative printing, if you have the patience and time learn it properly. The picture shows what you can easily find on the used market.

    color_calcs.jpg