Kodak RA-4 chemistry - More than impressed.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Dave Starr, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

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    Last year I switched from Tetenal to Kodak for my C-41 and RA-4 chemistry, and liked it much better than the Tetenal. Anyway, back on Feb 20, I mixed up a quart of RA-4 and made 5 8x10 prints. Two weeks ago, I had to make 18 contact sheets, and thought I'd try the chems I mixed in Feb. Why not? If the first one's junk, just mix a new batch. They looked GREAT! Two days ago, I finished making another 18 8x10's from that chemistry! Color balance and exposure remained consistant throughout. 36 8x10's from 4 month old chemistry; I'm very impressed.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I've kept it for up to 6 months.

    PE
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    How long do you think the concentrate would be good for? I generally mix only partial and use up the mixed chemicals shortly but I wonder about the shelf life of the concentrated after the bottles have been opened?
     
  4. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Kodak recommends that you use the chemicals within two years if the production date on the bottles but I have let some go past that with no bad experiences. If you are going to mix smaller quantities you should take the left over concentrates and store it in smaller bottles and reduce the air in the bottles as much as possible to extend the life of the chemicals. Adding a inert gas to the bottles forces any air out as well.

    Gord
     
  5. Iskra 2

    Iskra 2 Member

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    How about freezing the chemicals for longer term storage? Freezing D76 and Fixer has worked for me. Regards.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    As long as the bottle of concentrate with developing agent is not black and tarry, the concentrate can be used.

    The blix can be used as long as the hypo part is not cloudy due to sulfurization.

    PE
     
  7. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    RA-4 chemistry seems to be more robust than what the instruction leaflets would lead us to believe. I think they can withstand some abuse :D

    When I was still into wet printing, I didn't usually dump-as what the books would tell- the chemistry used in my Durst RCP 20 after a printing session. I would drain them into 2 litre soda PET bottles and keep them for another session. That "next" session would usually be a week or so after.

    For the succeeding sessions, I would load the used chemistry (developer looking more like cocacola than developer) back into the roller processor and put in about 2 jiggers' worth of replenisher for measure- never really made exact measurements. :tongue: This is really a sloppy way of doing things.

    I would use the stuff for making proofs or work prints at first, saving the important jobs for later to see first if the brews would still cook the papers right. Contact sheets also have plenty of black in them which would reveal the first tell-tale sign of developer failure: eggplant-purple instead of real blacks. I threw out the developer after about a month's use, and started again with a fresh batch. BTW, I had to use "developer" which was marked as "replenisher". This was out of necessity, since I was really using chemicals (which I got in 5-litre packs) meant to be used for automatic printers used in 1 hour labs. The seller I got my chemistry from never had the actual developer in stock. I did get a starter additive once, but I couldn't really tell the difference between a print developed in a solution which had "starter" in it from another which went into a straight developer replenisher.

    Well the proofs always came out right. The workprints also came out proper-looking. The hues and tones pretty much resembled those found in the prints which came out of commercial labs. The methods which I just described would probably cause the more knowledgable to frown :D...As I said earlier, my method is really sloppy. But it worked for me.

    Three years later, those colour prints still look right. I don't know if they'd still be OK after another three, four, or ten years. Some of these are in display in glass-bound frames, others are in albums. They seem to be in the same condition as other prints made in labs.

    Jay