Kodak Ultra Endura N for darkroom enlargement

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by MNP, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. MNP

    MNP Member

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    Hello APUG

    Apologies if this has been discussed before, I have done research on this forum and elsewhere without finding a clear answer from end users. I have come to the conclusion that Fuji Type II is a low-contrast paper and requires a higher-contrast negative to make a "good" print (YMMV, etc). My negatives, due to my subject matter/factors beyond my/my camera's control are low in contrast. My prints don't look good on Type II.

    The FAQ on Kodak's site about the new Endura papers states they are optimized for Digital-C's and will produce darkroom prints with off color. I've heard a handful of printers say it works fine for them in the darkroom. I see Maco Direct sells cut sheets of Ultra, which I would be willing to buy and then move on to a roll if I am happy with the results. Has anyone here used any of the Kodak material for darkroom enlargements with results they are happy with?

    Thank you for your time,
    Martin
     
  2. Sergejs Orlovskis

    Sergejs Orlovskis Member

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    I print on kodak ultra endura matt N paper and on Fuji cristal arhive luctre paper. for me pers?nally kodak is better. Because contrast is higher than fuji paper. But maybe it depends from chemicals before I use fuji paper and chemicals I use kodak endura and kodal lorr developer and results was much better. But maybe I don't know some details or nuances about this paper i don't know yet, but I have big roll of this paper and I think I found the reason ever.
     
  3. frotog

    frotog Member

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    I too was initially put off by Kodak's FAQ on the new, digitally optimized Supra VC. In actuality it's a close match to the discontinued Supra except with slightly higher contrast (nowhere near the Ultra) and a much brighter white...saturation is about the same as the old Supra. I've only found Ultra to be necessary when printing underexposed negatives. Otherwise Ultra's contrast is just too damn hot.

    I can only fathom the strange reasons why Kodak insists on marketing this paper solely in rolls and as a digital exposure only paper. It might be helpful to recall that the discontinued Supra, in all of it's versions over the years, was optimized for digital exposure. The only major difference now has to do with the way this current paper is being marketed.

    I have several rolls of Supra VC N surface in my film fridge. I also have a roll paper cutter should you like to test out a box of 50 sheets. PM me if this interests you.
     
  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I have not worked with Kodak Supra, but when Fuji recently optimized Crystal Archive paper for digital printing, it was simply a slight increase in the green light sensitivity and had no significant effect in the darkroom. Tweaks of contrast take a little more getting used to, but this can be easily
    accommodated by learning unsharp silver masking for either minus-contrast or plus-contrast.
     
  5. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I think the main issue as outlined by PE numerous times, is that there is color crossover in shadow/highlight areas. Or at least that's what I recall.

    -Ed
     
  6. frotog

    frotog Member

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    There's no cross over. All the hoopla over whether or not this paper is fit for optical came from one small mention in the FAQ in its tech bulletin..."when exposed optically, the image will be high in contrast. If balanced for the skin tones the neutrals will appear cyan." Well, after printing nearly 1000' of this stuff I can tell you that whatever bias the paper has is no more or less than any other ra-4 paper I've used. Besides, if you're using a technique of processing other than roller transport at 35 degrees c., your parameters are way too wide for you to be remotely concerned about the consistency of gamut across the whole range of exposure. As for contrast, as I mentioned before, it's much closer to the old supra than it is high contrast of Ultra. If contrast is still a problem for you, try flashing before spending absurd amounts of time and money making unsharp contrast masks.

    I know that there are photographers who prefer the color gamut of fuji CA so I won't comment about color comparisons between the two papers. But I will say that the Supra VC has a much higher dmax than the fuji paper. Most peculiar though is how much sharper the resolution appears with the Kodak vs. the fuji. Side by side, the fuji paper looks mushy.
     
  7. Matt Brown

    Matt Brown Member

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    frotog,

    Have you used any of the paper that's popping up on ebay as Supra Endura? From what you've described -- slightly higher contrast that the old Supra, fine for optical prints, etc. -- it seems pretty close. The base of the paper is different from the old Supra as well; instead of the purple I'm used to, it's a dark pink color.

    Just curious. I think I may give Maco Direct a try and order some Supra Endura VC and make a comparison to this ebay stuff.

    -Matt
     
  8. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Hi, Matt,

    I'm not familiar with the stuff that's being slung on ebay. Could you post a link? If it's dark pink out of the box than it's most likely the vc. In any event, the kodak papers blow away the fuji papers both in palette and, interestingly enough, in apparent acutance. I've been using the Kodak Royal and getting great results with it as well.
     
  9. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    The color of the paper is often tweaked to adjust color balance, so white-light color of the various paper before processing doesn't tell much, really. I've seen everything from pink to purple to teal, all from Supra Endura cut sheet paper.
     
  10. Matt Brown

    Matt Brown Member

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    Frotog,

    Here's the ebay link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KODAK-11x14...134?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d315386e6

    I bet it's the Endura VC, but it doesn't have a Kodak watermark on the back, so I'm not sure. But it's great stuff. I'm going to do some side by side comparisons with Type II and figure out what's best for me, but Kodak was always my brand while printing color.
     
  11. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I will be interested to try the Endura Premium paper that Kodak just released. I expect it won't be available in cut sheets, but everything else about it sounds good. They even give data for optical printing, with no caveats about crossover or other problems, so maybe it will be well suited towards enlarger users? Hopefully so. Cutting down rolls is a pain in the ass, but I am glad they are still advancing the quality of the paper and that it appears (!!!) that it might work better than Supra Endura VC for optical enlargement. There's a data publication on Kodak's site (e4070.pdf I think) that details it. Should be available Q1 2012 supposedly.

    -Ed
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Here is the link for the data sheet: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/e4070/e4070.pdf

    It includes the following:

    "Optical Printing

    Expose KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Premier Paper in automatic printers and enlargers equipped with tungsten or tungsten-halogen light sources or photo
    enlarger lamps. Set up and balance the printer or enlarger according to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use fluorescent lamps to expose this paper. Use
    a heat-absorbing glass to remove infrared radiation. "
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I hope you are wrong about this. As Kodak is creating a new RA4 paper, you'd hope that it would consider the home users as well as the minilabs. Presumably it has kept the cutting machines and can factor in the costs of cut paper.

    Ilford could take the same position and offer only rolls but it knows its sales would suffer. I hope that Kodak thinks it through to the end for the customer, that end being the sale of cut paper, including 5x7. If it is really good stuff and it seems that it should be, then I would be prepared to pay a bit more for it and not turn to Fuji cut paper.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I wonder if there's enough of us colour printers in the UK to get together and cut down a roll or two. My darkroom is way too small to deal with rolls, but I'd gladly pay a premium to someone who can take on the task.
     
  15. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    I have been cutting rolls for the past 6 months and find that I don't need a surface which is larger than about 4' by 3'. It is fairly easy to do and I fear that this approach will be increasingly necessary for color paper in the future. (I cut 12"x12" squares from 300 foot rolls of 12" wide Fuji and Kodak paper.)

    Warren Nagourney
     
  16. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Yes, I think you're right, it will become the only way in the future. Sadly, my darkroom is 34" x 65" and is cramped enough without a big roll of paper and guillotine.
    84-24.jpg
     
  17. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Steve, you should get that bow in your door frame looked at :smile:
     
  18. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Hi, Ed,

    I thought you have yet to try the VC? But maybe you have and had unsatisfactory results. Having gone through several rolls I can confirm that this paper prints well - no cross over, great dmax, clean whites, saturation and contrast close to that of the old Endura.

    Kodak will not put out Endura Premium as cut sheets, I can promise you that. While it is exciting that Kodak is introducing a new RA4 paper, it will most likely phase out the VC and it will most likely be higher in color saturation and contrast. In other words, it'll most likely phase out Ultra as well as VC. I'm not concerned about losing Ultra since I'm interested in normal contrast, normal saturation papers. But if Premium is in fact contrastier and more saturated than the current offerings than I will be worried about losing VC. In any event, at least I still have Royal and Edge to work with in sizes 11" and smaller.

    If any of you guys need cut sheets let me know - I'd be happy to ship overseas as well. I have plenty of VC in 8", 11" and 20" rolls. Alternatively, if anyone has a roll they'd like rendered to a specific size, I can do that to. Prices will be much better than the guy on ebay. Happy Holidays, Frotog.
     
  19. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    frotog -

    They definitely stated they would discontinue endura vc and ultra, in the statements about the new paper. They say the new paper has greater dynamic range, and better saturation, but that it's still good for flesh tones, so sounds like best of all worlds (except for lack of cut sheets).

    -Ed
     
  20. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    One can cut the paper in any place which is dark and has a small amount of surface area. I do it night with all of the lights in adjacent rooms turned off and place the cut paper into a large paper safe. I usually cut 20 sheets at a time, so I don't need to do it that frequently. Using rolls is also quite a bit cheaper -- my 12"x12" sheets cost about $0.20 each, compared to $0.40 per sheet for 8"x10" and $0.80 per sheet for 11"x14", all of this for Fuji paper which is identical to what is on the rolls.
     
  21. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Kodak seems to have discontinued Ultra Endura, as well as Supra Endura VC. At least it says so on their website.
     
  22. John Meyer

    John Meyer Member

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    Does anyone know the US Kodak #s for 20in rolls in E lustre,F glossy,Y silk for this new paper .Id like to ask my supplier if they have it in stock yet. Im especially interested in this Y silk paper..
    John
     
  23. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Silk sounds interesting.
     
  24. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Not out yet, they said early 2012