Kodak RA4 RT/LU replenisher, starter ?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by clasbou, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. clasbou

    clasbou Member

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    Hi,
    I know this subject has been addressed several times on apug, but I've read different opinions on the subject so I would like to be sure before operating in the darkroom.
    I bouth a RA4 RT/LU 4x5L kit here (http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-ra4-developer-kit-4x5l-295-p.asp).
    By reading the description, this kit seems self-sufficient, but as it is called "replenisher", my question is, do I need to add starter to the mix ?
    Another question, I would like to fraction the mix preparation in order to make only 500ml of mix at a time, and keep the remaining concentrates in their bottles, to improve conservation lenght. Does someone know the exact bottles capacity of A, B and C bottles, and also for blix bottles of the 4x5L kit ?

    Thanks for your help !
     
  2. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Hello clasbou,

    You'll improve conservation by mixing it all up (all 5L) and then storing it in five 1L pop bottles. Fill them to the top and squeeze out all the air. I've had dev last over one year this way.
     
  3. Simonh82

    Simonh82 Member

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    I have used this kit happily without the starter. I'm new to colour printing so can't make a comparison but the colours look great to me.
     
  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I prefer to use it one-shot in a drum and mix it proportionately, just enough for a daily work session.
    Yes, it's used as a replenisher in appropriate systems, but also works superbly as the primary developer. I'm making the assumption that the RA/RT kit sold there is equivalent to the one here.
     
  5. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    OK, found my notes (I'm at the office, not the dkrm). DEV: start w 300ml H2O, mix in sequence
    25ml A, 12ml B, 25ml C, add water to make 500ml. BLIX: (sorry, this is in US fluid oz, but the volume
    is about right to your needs - just convert with a calculator): start w 250ml H2O, add 63ml A, 93ml B,
    add water to 16 US fl oz. Again, this is based on the US packaging. I don't know why the ratios would
    be any different there, but obviously test.
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    There are a number of inconsistencies in this thread, however, each to their own I suppose.

    I have used the 4x5l Ektacolour RA4 replenisher for at least 20 years and always followed it to the letter - BUT - the way I have progressed I ALWAYS use the following dilutions. If you are using a NOVA Processor where the chemicals are stored for further use after each session -for 1 ltr working solution the correct mixes are as follows:-

    25cc of 'A'
    12cc of 'B'
    25cc of 'C'
    80cc of 'starter'

    For 2 ltrs just double the quantities

    For the replenisher use the same mix as for the prime solutions, but leave out the starter.

    For those who use a rotary drum or dish you will need to use the starter for every fresh mix.

    When mixing either the prime solution or the replenisher, ALWAYS add the different solutions to the water which should be warm, say around 25 30 degrees C otherwise they may not mix properly. The solution will initially go green but soon clear and go to a pale straw colour.

    There is absolutely no need to mix all 20 ltrs at once, but for the replenisher it is best that the solution is stored in dark brown glass bottles. I use a mixture of empty wine bottles with a screw top and 500cc bottles bought from the Pharmacy. They really are very cheap. When breaking into a new bottle of replenisher I decant the contents into 100cc bottles as I find 100cc is enough for an evenings session.

    Concentrate solution 'A' will go off in a part empty bottle and it will be of no use. Either squeeze the bottle to exclude all the air or, as I do add glass beads to bring the level up to the top of the bottle so there is no air to speak of.

    Replenishment rates

    100cc per 80sq inches of paper. it doesn't matter if you over replenish, but it does, if you under replenish. You will find the solutions don't last as long and you may start to get odd colour casts as the chemicals deteriorate.

    The same replenishment rates apply for the Bleach fix and the stop bath.

    I use a 12 x 16 Nova and currently, the original working solution was mixed at the end of June 2012 and is still working perfectly. I have just made a fresh 1 litre of replenisher which I am using and have found little or no difference when developing the prints with regard to colour balance.

    by varying the methods of mixing/concentration you will never get consistency and you will be making it hard work for yourself.

    If you don't use the 'starter' initially it will work, - because the paper contains a similar chemical and gradually the starter level builds up, but I doubt if it ever gets to the correct level to get the best out of the developer
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  7. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Well,you certainly don't need any separate "starter" for the RA/RT kits sold here, for drum use. That
    turned out to be a big myth. But things might be out of synch in terms of specific product offering there.
    One has to look at the specific packaging numbers. One-shot usage rates relative to these are available
    on Kodak's web data base, though the search might take awhile. I have since switched over to the
    Arista (Silver Pixel) RA/RT kit, which appears to be identical in every respect.
     
  8. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Some other RA4 kits, principally Tetenal over here in UK doesn't use a 'starter' as a separate solution. It is already included in the concentrates they provide. Perhaps the one you are using is the same. They (Kodak) would not tell you to use a starter if it wasn't necessary.
     
  9. RPC

    RPC Member

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    If the RA-4 replenisher is used at room temperature for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes it does well without starter. But if one uses it at the standard high temperatures, for the standard short developing times, then perhaps starter may be required to be added to replenisher for proper results. I don't know for sure, as I always use it at room temperature. Perhaps someone who knows for sure can comment.
     
  10. RPC

    RPC Member

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    A distinction must be made between regular developer and replenisher. The regular developer does not require any starter; the replenisher might when used to make working solution out of the replenisher that is to be used to develop in the standard manner. I would just do what the instructions say.
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    This has no resemblance to the Tetenal product. It is exactly the same Kodak product used in large roller-transport units. I use it in my drums of all sizes (including 30x40), or I could use it in any automated roller machine. For the latter usage, they recommend a stabilizer. I dev at 30C for 2min.
    It works wonderfully and reliably. I never had luck with that Tetenal "room temp" nonsense.
     
  12. clasbou

    clasbou Member

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    Well, thanks a lot to you all for your help.
    After querying the product vendor (ag photographic), and after tests made this night, I can say that this kodak RA4 RT/LU 4x5l works well in a rotary jobo processor, without starter.
    For information, if someone is willing to split the mix, here are the quantities of concentrates for this kit (in europe, at least) :
    Concentrates to make 5L :
    Dev :
    A = 250ml
    B = 120ml
    C = 250ml
    Blix:
    A = 700ml
    B = 1000ml

    (this matches the DREW WILEY's indications)
    Thanks all.
     
  13. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    The starter is used to keep the color balance equal in large tanks where replenishment is a must. On a rotary unit where the chemicals are discarded after each use that doesn't matter. I use this exact kit in an ATL and in a nova vertical processor without starter and it works just fine. Replenishment rates on the nova are per processor quantities without starter; no problems so far. Solutions last at least two months there.
     
  14. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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    That doesn't agree with my own findings made today (15/12/2013)...

    I have a Kodak RT/LU 4*5L kit bought from AG Photographic some time ago (around 2010).
    The instructions on the dev bottles (A,B,C) state:-
    "3.5L water + a + b + c + water to make 5L".

    I wanted to initially only mix half to give 2.5L (my 12x16 Nova tank capacity is 2L per slot).
    As the bottles do not indicate the quantity of each concentrate, I decided to measure the content of each using a measuring cylinder.

    For the total concentrates to make 5L, I measured...

    Dev Replenisher:
    A = 400ml
    B = 230ml
    C = 400ml

    Blix:
    A = 720ml
    B = 1025ml

    Has Kodak changed the concentration?

    Here's something else I discovered...

    For 1L Dev Replenisher, the measurements for my kit indicate I would need :-
    A = 80ml
    B = 46ml
    C = 80ml.
    Water = 794ml.

    That doesn't agree with the figures published by Kodak (PDF dated 2009):-
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/cis49/cis49.pdf

    Kodak's figures for Dev Replenisher RT indicate :-
    A = 50ml
    B = 22.2ml
    C = 50ml
    Water = 877.8ml

    Dev A gives a ratio 50/80 = 0.625 for the difference.
    This is exactly the same ratio as the difference of the amount to make 5L (=250/400) which again suggests the concentration in the kit has changed.

    For Dev B, we get = 22.2/46 = 0.48
    For 5L, 120/230 = 0.52
    A Similar ratio, although this time not exact.

    I'm now trying to figure out how much starter I need.
    I have a 1.2L bottle of Kodak Ektacolor RA.
    For RA-4, the instructions on the bottle give:-
    700ml Replenisher + 25ml Starter + 275ml water = 1L.

    Kodak's PDF for 1L gives:-
    A = 40ml
    B = 17.8ml
    C = 40ml
    Starter = 24ml
    Water = 878.2ml

    Alternatively for 1.25L:-
    Mixed Replenisher = 1000ml
    Starter = 31ml
    Water = 219ml

    That doesn't tie up with the instructions on the Starter bottle.
    Has the starter concentration changed also?
    What do I use? :confused:

    My brain is starting to hurt. :sad:
     
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    This kit is no longer available. Just curious if you have determined whether the regular Arista RA-4 2/4 literkits are identical or not.
     
  16. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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    On re-reading the Kodak PDF again, I now realise the figures I quoted are for RA Developer Additive, rather than RA Developer Starter. Doh!

    Kodak's figures for 1L "Developer Replenisher RT" are:-
    Mixed Replenisher = 800ml
    Starter = 25ml
    Water = 175ml

    They have a separate set of figures for 1L "Developer Replenisher" (without the 'RT')
    Mixed Replenisher = 700ml
    Starter = 25ml
    Water = 275ml

    The first set of figure matches the instructions on the starter bottle for "PRO RT/PRIME LU".
    The second set of figure matches the instructions on the starter bottle for "RA-4".

    The question is - Which do I use for my Nova Tank? :confused:
     
  17. RPC

    RPC Member

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    I am not familiar with the RT/LU and don't see it in the PDF. I think the RT figures in the PDF are for the RA/RT replenisher, that's why the difference. For your developer I would go by the label and your measurements and calculations. Don't know about the starter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  18. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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    I decided to rely on my measurements as far as mixing the replenisher is concerned.
    However, when it comes to adding the starter, the label on the starter bottle is somewhat confusing:-

    Replenisher Starter Water

    PRIME SP 500ml 40ml 460ml
    PRIME SP LORR 500ml 45ml 455ml
    PRIME/PRO 700ml 30ml 270ml
    PRO RT/PRIME RT 800ml 25ml 175ml
    RA 161 700ml 30ml 270ml
    RA-4 700ml 25ml 275ml

    I don't understand the meaning of the labels on the left column.
    I assume they refer to various professional minilab/processor systems?
    Can someone enlighten me?

    Should I use the "RA-4" quantities given in the last row for a Nova tank?
    Adding 275ml of water to 700ml replenisher seems like a lot of dilution.
     
  19. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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  20. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

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    I've spent ages trying to work out what all of Kodak's acronyms mean!

    I don't know how much of this will be useful to you, but here's what I "think" things mean!

    LORR= LOw Replenishment Rate (good for high throughput, lower replenishment rate reduces chemical effluent)
    RT/LU = Roller Transport/Low Utilisation (good for low throughput - apparently less susceptible to oxidation)
    SP = Single Part

    Also, I bought one of the Kodak's RA-4 dev kits from Ag-photographic in 2009. It remained in storage from early 2010 while I moved house and rebuilt my DR. The kit was oxidised when I took it back out of storage. I bought a new kit from Ag at the start of this year and both the concentrate bottle sizes and the smell of the developer are different. I don't know if this is because Ag have changed the version that they offer, or whether Kodak have changed the formulation. Point is, it's possible that older product numbers (and therefore potentially different formulations) are still kicking around.

    HTH. :smile:
     
  21. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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    My RA-4 kit has also been in storage for a while too (I think it was bought in 2010).
    The Kodak cat no on my 4*5L dev kit is 5292396.
    I just haven't had time for darkroom printing until now.

    In my case, the concentrates look ok as far as I can tell. They don't seem to be discoloured.
    The bottles are sealed with plastic film underneath the screw caps, so I'm hoping that oxidisation will not be a problem.

    I have a quantity of Fuji Crystal Archive paper that came from a part used roll I bought for pennies back in 2010.
    When I first bought it, the processed, unexposed paper was slightly off-white but it was still useable.
    I cut the roll to give about 70 12"x16" sheets.
    It's been kept in the fridge since then (my freezer is too small).
    I did a test the other day and it looks as if it will still be ok for non-critical prints or images where pure white highlights are not important. I wouldn't use it for wedding photos!
    It gives a density measurement of R=0.05, G=0.07, B=0.15 as measured on my Macbeth densitometer.
    As a comparison, I measured R=0.06, G=0.08, B=0.11 on the white border of old prints made on fresh Fuji paper some years ago.
    The higher value in the blue channel results in a slight yellow appearance on the print.

    I have read on APUG forums that adding small amounts benzotriazole to the dev can help bring back white in the highlights but it apparently gives other problems such as blue colour casts and increased exposure times.

    I've decided to take a gamble and try the starter dilution marked on the bottle for "PRO RT/PRIME RT" (800ml replenisher + 25ml starter + 175ml water = 1L).
     
  22. RPC

    RPC Member

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    So it appears, then, that sometime between 2010 and 2012 the concentration changed for the RT/LU replenisher parts so it is now the same as the RA/RT. Both of these are designed to work with roller transport, so I wonder what the difference is. I use the RA/RT (at room temperature) with no starter and so do others at different temperatures with good results as well as the RT/LU as seen earlier in this thread so you might think about trying the RT/LU without starter. If you choose to use it, I think the starter dilution you chose should work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2013
  23. brian_mk

    brian_mk Member

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    That should read "PRO RT/PRIME LU".