Printing Color and B&W in the Same Space?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by LJSLATER, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I am tentatively planning on quitting my job this summer, moving to California, and dedicating my full attention to photographing and printing (that is, when I'm not playing video games, drinking, cleaning up after my dog, drinking, etc.)

    I have a little experience with black & white printing, and I have all the stuff I need for that (including an enlarger that can be used for color). But, I have a couple thousand slides that have never been printed or scanned. My plan is to try to make internegs from the slides and experiment with color negative printing from those, while still continuing to make occasional b&w prints.

    Does anyone else print both color and b&w in the same darkroom? I'm not currently interested in scanning my slides, but I want prints of at least some of them. But I still want to do some b&w.

    Does it behoove one to focus (printing-wise) solely on b&w or color, rather than trying to do both? I'm less worried about the equipment/chemicals and more worried that it will be too much for my brain to handle.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Most people use the same enlargers etc for colour and B&W.

    It's better to master one before going on to the other.

    Ian
     
  3. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    No problem if you have a decent colorhead. But just realize that color chemistry is a lot nastier to
    breathe than typical black and white stuff. You need good ventilation.
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear LJSlater,

    Search the forum using the keywords RA-4 and Trays. I do it in complete darkness using exam gloves instead of tongs to make it easier to work in total darkness.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I haven't printed color in a couple of years, but I had no problem doing it in the same darkroom as black and white. For color printing you need to maintain close temperature controls on the solutions. The easy way is to use a machine like the Jobo or DevTec, which takes up the same space as the trays do for black and white.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You don't really need a color head. Nice, yes, essential, not by a long shot. I've never owned a color head and used to print a lot of color. Color printing filters take about 10 seconds to change versus 2 seconds for the knobs on the color head. Not a big difference at all and totally lost in the overall scheme of things. You get finer control with a color head but I have CP filters that go down to 2.5 units, a difference I find barely distinguishable on RA4 (and even less so if you still have some Ilfochrome - the Ilfochrome filters re only in increments of 5.)

    Color head is better, if for no other reason because the diffusion source will show less dust, but a condenser head with a filter drawer (I just lay 6" filters atop the upper condenser on my D2) and a set of filters works fine.

    I printed in the same space when I did color, and hope/plan to again. I agree the fumes can be nastier.
     
  7. kerne

    kerne Member

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    My darkroom is 4' x 10' and I do both color and B&W with a Beseler 23CII Dual Dichro. Color can be done in trays, but it's much easier with drums and a motor base of which Beseler are my fav. Their drums don't leak, are very sturdy and are very easy to fill/dump thanks to their spouts.

    Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer ways to print slides optically these days. Cibachrome is gone and interneg film is going away. :sad: Scanning is just about all that's left. 'Tho I do have an old slide copier I've been playing with lately.

    +1 ventilation!

    Decent price on an 8x10 drum, and the seller also has a Unicolor base (ends in 2 hours)-
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beseler-color-8-x-10-processing-drum-new-unused-/320861703837?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab4d90e9d#ht_500wt_1202
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I hate drums and the rinse dry cycle. Did that, graduated to trays with AT chems but that has problems with yellow whites and is no longer available. Regular RA4 can be used at room temp but many folks say Kodak paper, which has to be cut down from rolls or bought from someone else who has, works much better for that than the readily available Fuji.

    I think the best thing would a Nova slot processor. I have the little print pod 8x10 model that has no temp control that I used with the AT chems. It really cut down on the odor. Unfortunately Nova no longer has a North American importer and I imagine bringing one in yourself might be pretty expensive to ship.

    You don't need interneg film to make internegs, at least according to Kodak and a couple of folks who have posted here. Kodak recommends Portra 160 and I've read folks saying that worked well for them. But it is clearly more trouble than Ilfochrome.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  9. kerne

    kerne Member

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    +1 on the Nova's http://www.novadarkroom.com/cat/31/Nova_Print_Processors.html if you can afford it! My darkroom was built on a shoestring. :sad:

    Btw, I've never had a prob reloading my drums wet. Just a thorough rinse and on to the next print. It does take a bit longer than trays, but I'll take that trade-off for being able to have the light on.

    I do prefer Kodak paper over Fuji and luckily have a bit of a stash in my freezer of cut Supra Endura.

    Good point on the new Portra 160. It's an awesome film. I'll have to try it with my slide copier.

    Cheers!
    -- David
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    It's not a "problem" as such, just that getting them completely dry takes a while and I always thought was a PITA.

    I happen to have also picked up an Osram Duka 50 safelight which lets me work with RA4 papers in an illumination level comparable to a dim black and white safelight. What I'll do when the bulb (no longer available at any price) burns out is another question, though I do have a Jobo LED one that's supposedly safe too and bounced off a white wall provides enough illumination to make out outlines, which is really all you need.

    It's a myth that you can't use a safelight for color. P.E. has even said they routinely used one of the dark color printing safelights for RA4 at Kodak, recommendations to the contrary notwithstanding. That will be very dim, but even making out outlines is very helpful. I don't use the Duka for BW anymore, to save the bulb life for color.

    Let me know how the Portra internegs work out. I'd but a slide duplicator in a heart beat if it's that easy but I'd prefer to be able to easily do larger format internegs of large format transparencies. Contact printing onto film sounds like a huge PITA to get exposure and maybe filtration right, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    There is no reason not to learn to print color and B&W at the same time. They are different in that you have different controls and what you can do with one, you cannot really do with the other. But likewise, there is much that is similar.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You do need to be specially careful to avoid light leaks in a colour darkroom. And you may prefer to have an additional set of tongs, trays, storage bottles and graduates in order to permit "dedicating" one set to each process, but otherwise the only practical differences are:

    1) tighter constraints regarding temperature; and
    2) less (or no) safelight illumination available.
     
  13. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Win the lottery?

    You do know that means becoming a Californian, don't you? A resident of the most hated state in the union. Your friends will no longer speak to you, unless they want to come for a visit and sleep on your couch. You will have to give up your godly incandescent light bulbs for unholy CFL's. You will be ostracized and attacked out of state, particularly in Oregon (have your gas pumped for you by a toothless attendant!), Montana (no speed limits!) – and I'm really not kidding here, IDAHO (speed, on every corner), simply because your California plates identify you prejudicially as a member of a certain political class. Just remember where most Californians really come from, other states and places. Think about it.

    Welcome to California, now go home.:laugh:
     
  14. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Thanks for the advice, all. The Nova processor thing looks like a great idea; why haven't other manufacturers copied them?

    I'm going to be in a small apartment, so ventilation may indeed be a problem. I am trying to get one with a tiny patio or balcony, so maybe I can take the drums outiside. I wonder if a respirator would help?

    ROL, I though Texas was the most hated state in the Union? I agree with you about Idaho drivers though; they are everywhere here in Utah.

    And I actually like CFLs, especially daylight balanced ones. However, in my experience, they don't work in a darkroom because they keep emitting light for several minutes after they are turned off!