New at colour developing, please help!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by celtic_man81, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. celtic_man81

    celtic_man81 Member

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    To anyone who can help;

    I've finally got colour paper, the only thing is that I am new at this. I've found a decent guide, but I've noticed in several guides it says you need to do colour paper processing in complete darkness. Is this totally necessary, or can I get away with the red light on? I have also noticed that several guides have mentioned using a roto drum? Can I get away with using the usual four bath solution (like with B&W)? I am using RA4. Thanks to anyone who responds.
     
  2. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    You must process in the dark. You can process in trays.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    It has to be done in total darkness. No red light. You can use the tray if you're comfortable to do that in total darkness. I always use drum as I don't feel comfortable handling the chemicals in darkness.
     
  4. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    RA4 is developer and bleach-fix. Temp control is crucial, as is replenishment. Also, be very careful handling paper in total darkness. The paper is easy to fingerprint. Dean
    p.s. It used to be worse. Ektaprint C was six chemicals: first dev, color dev, bleach, fix, hardener and stabilizer. DH
     
  5. celtic_man81

    celtic_man81 Member

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    Thanks everyone
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The issue of the need for total darkness continually arises in RA4 processing threads. There are some safelights you can use such as DUKA 10 or 50. Basically these are sodium lights which work on a wavelength which doesn't affect RA4 paper. They are expensive, especially the bulbs, and unless you use them on a low setting they may affect any colour analyser in terms of exposure and correct colour.

    These lamps shouldn't be switched off to avoid probems with enlarger exposure or correct colour filtration but have a shield inside the lamp which progressively covers the sodium bulb to reduce the light intensity to a safe level.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    To elaborate a bit, you can use B&W papers with a safelight because they're sensitive to blue and green light but not to red light. To reproduce the full range of color from a color negative, though, color papers must be sensitive to blue, green, and red light, so a traditional red (or amber) safelight is unsafe for color paper. Exposed to a red light, a color paper would produce a cyan fog. Kodak, and probably others, have documents showing the spectral sensitivities of their color papers on their Web sites, so you can do some digging to find the details, if you're interested. Safelights such as those that pentaxuser mentions work by emitting light in a very narrow band of wavelengths that corresponds to a dip in the overall spectral sensitivity of color paper.
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Unless tey have changed their web pages Kodak has a lot of detail on processing times at various temps for Ektaco;or paper. Processing in the dark is NOT hard to do..
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Kodak made a safelight filter supposedly for colour paper. It's VERY dark. #13 I think. It might be okay if you're never turning on the white lights. OTOH if you expose a sheet. Process then turn on the lights to look at it you'll never adjust to the low light levels.

    Drums will save you a lot of money on chemicals.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I don't think that's true. Yes, drums use very low volumes of chemicals, but the chemicals are only good for one or two sheets before they're exhausted. When you use trays, you can process many more sheets in a larger volume of chemistry.

    Where the drums would have a cost advantage would be if you want to do a small number of prints and don't plan to do more for many days. In that case, much of the capacity of the chemistry you mix for trays would be wasted because the chemistry would go bad, whereas you could mix up a smaller quantity of chemistry for drum use.

    Given the setup overhead (getting everything out, mixing any quantity of chemistry, etc.), I personally prefer to wait until I've got lots of prints to do. I then do it in two or three sessions. For that sort of scenario, drums offer no chemistry-saving advantage over trays.
     
  11. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I use drum because I don't like to work with the chemicals in the dark but also I use the chemical only once in the drum so the result would be more consistent than with tray as the chemical gets weaken with every print processed.
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I've no problem getting full stated number of prints from RA-4 chemicals. I know the developer is supposed to go bad but if used in a reasonable period of time [basically months not days] it keeps just fine. Big gain for me was using a pre-wash. Before that the paper would suck up developer so when it went back into the bottle the headspace would increase. That led to developer death plus the lost developer.

    Setup/cleanup is also easier for me with drums. I put my three bottles of chemicals plus a few bottles of wash water in the water bath and walk away. When I come back it's all up to temperture. I do the intial wash in the drum so when I'm done it's a quick rinsie of the drum and leave everything in the sink to dry.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You can safely handle color paper under a Wratten series 13 safelight. Instructions are probably available on Kodak's web site. I use 2 bulbs directed away from the paper handeling area, and have 15W bulbs in them.

    Processing at 68 degrees in a tray is a snap. I have posted detals here and elsewhere on this.

    PE
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Nick. As you will know from kindly helping with my learning curve for the colourstar 3000. My quest for knowledge hasn't gone away but more of that in my thread later. I am a Jobo drum user. Can you expand on the use of pre-wash? I assume this involves washing the exposed print in the Jobo drum with water at or about 35 degrees C?

    I now use Paterson dev and have noticed that it certainly uses dev quickly. The replenishment rate specified by Paterson is barely enough to cover the rate of use. It's now a while since I used Tetenal and memory can play tricks but Tetenal replenishment rates seemed to be lower than Paterson maybe it was absorbed into the paper more slowly.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  15. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    That's it really. Add some warm water. Let it rotate for 15 seconds or so. Dump it out. It'll pre-heat the drum. Soak the paper with water so it doesn't just suck up developer. It helped me with Supra III which was giving a green cast without the pre-wash. I didn't have that problem with Endura but it doesn't seem to hurt anything.
     
  16. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Why use cc filters at all? when i go to the lab i ask them not to use filters and i like these better than my filtered results
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    In traditional (non-digital) color printing, color filters are necessary to get proper color. If you just exposed the paper using unfiltered light from a bare light bulb, similar to what you'd do with graded B&W paper, you'd get something with massively wrong color -- in most cases it would be way too red, unless I'm spacing out on the color filtration effects and typical filtration values. The color process is designed to work this way, but I don't claim to understand all the reasons, details, and tradeoffs involved.

    If you go to a lab and ask for "no filtration," I'm sure they'll do one of three things: educate you, ignore your request, or adjust their machine's settings in some other way (such as disabling the more advanced computer-driven color-correction features).
     
  18. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I think they ajusted it to only get rid of the orange mask color cast, they came out perfectly balanced Vs before, when i didnt ask for it
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks Nick. I currently use the new Fuji Crystal Archive but I'll give it a go. I suppose it's a question of balancing the extra time for the pre-wash as against the saving in developer.

    pentaxuser