RA-4 filtration problem

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by davestarr, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. davestarr

    davestarr Member

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    I know this sounds goofy, but......
    I'm making some prints, and one of the negs has a Macbeth color checker in it. The light grays on the color checker are slightly Cyan on the print. To correct, I need to subtract 5 or 10 units of Magenta, but.....
    I CAN'T!!! My filter pack is 0 Magenta and 50 Yellow!!

    Fuji Crystal Archive Type C glossy paper
    Tetenal RA-4 room temperature chemistry.

    Now what???
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Add cyan? But isn't cyan prints a symptom of something else?
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  4. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've made quite a few color prints using the illumination provided by the light passing through a color transparency projected onto the model with a Hasselbad PCP-80 Projector, and every one required additional cyan filtration, due to the imbalance of the light (all photographed on AgfaColor 400, balanced for daylight).

    I wonder about the color balance of your negatives: What was the color temperature of the light used for their exposure (approximately), and what was the "balance" of the negative film?

    I've just worked with Fuji Crystal Archive, and it does take less filtration - both magenta and yellow - than my "old standby" Ilfocolor.

    It may be that you will need to decrease the color temperature of the exposure using yellow/ orange filtration.

    Wait..... After "proof reading" this ....

    You say that your prints have a "cyan cast"? To compensate, you would have to ADD 5-10cc of CYAN, not magenta. Remember this is a negative printing process... you must ADD to the color filtration to remove the same excess color from the print.
     
  5. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

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    I wonder about the color balance of your negatives: What was the color temperature of the light used for their exposure (approximately), and what was the "balance" of the negative film?

    I've just worked with Fuji Crystal Archive, and it does take less filtration - both magenta and yellow - than my "old standby" Ilfocolor.

    It may be that you will need to decrease the color temperature of the exposure using yellow/ orange filtration.

    Wait..... After "proof reading" this ....

    You say that your prints have a "cyan cast"? To compensate, you would have to ADD 5-10cc of CYAN, not magenta. Remember this is a negative printing process... you must ADD to the color filtration to remove the same excess color from the print.[/QUOTE]

    The film was Kodak Ultra Color 400, 120 size. The shots are yellow daffodils with a black background, shot outdoors, mixed clouds & sun. Background was black mat board.

    What's got me wondering is, the flowers look pretty good. The 2 lightest gray squares of the Color Checker have the cyan cast. The white square looks fine & so do the other colors. Could UV light cause this? I know I've gotten a cast similar to this with a non-UV filtered Novatron strobe set-up and the brighteners in white paint (woodwork), but I'm not sure the Color Checker would do this as well.

    I'm going to try printing on some Kodak Supre Endura I've got & see what happens there. Also, I'll try mixing another batch of chemicals. This batch is 1 month old & used to about 1/2 capacity.
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Ah!! Yes, you could be running into UV fluorescence! - which will give you a cyan cast.

    I participated in a "turkey shoot" a while back (briefly!) where they were using Novatrons ... and they obviously were *not* UV corrected ... The colors were definitely cyan - casted and "out of whack". Difficult to print! I finally gave up on those. At that time, I used my Hasselblad "ProFlash" (Metz CT4) for a few exposures, and the colors were superb!
    I *love* my UV corrected DynaLites ( all Dynas are UV corrected).

    I've been searching for a *good* gray card ... In this search, I found a review of "cards", including the MacBeth Color Checker and it was reported that *some* of the panels were adversely affected (fluoresced) with UV- content lighting.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dave;

    If you need cyan filtration, your original negative is either improperly exposed or developed. All color negative products are designed to work with red filtration only, for proper tone and color reproduction.

    It could be fluorescent lighting or bad processing, or it could be any one of a number of things, but whatever i is, something is seriously wrong with the original.

    PE
     
  8. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Are you sure of this? Possibly true with an "additive" (RGB) system - but most dichroic heads in use now are "subtractive" ... (CYM... well OK .. K).

    I have never been able to balance out using pure magenta/ red filtration in 15 years of color printing - in either Color Negative (EP2/ RA4) or Direct Positive (R3/3000, P3/30) printing.
     
  9. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Using no magenta and having to add cyan is extremely unusual for RA4. Try rebleaching your negative. I am not certain if lueko-cyan can give this effect but underbleaching by either yourself or the lab sounds possible.

    If you take the negative to a pro lab they can check for retained silver...there should be none. If there is any retained silver the negative was not fully bleached.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Color papers are designed with the yellow layer on the bottom and are designed for a film with an orange color. This means that the blue and green speeds must be faster than red by the density of the film + a safety factor to prevent crosstalk.

    This results in an average filtration with tungsten light enlargers of 50R.

    If you are on the cyan side, something is wrong with your film or your enlarger etc.

    It is a tough call, but something is definitely wrong here.

    PE
     
  11. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    some here seem to be discussing slide transparencies and some negs. Which is the correct issue?
     
  12. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    OH! I see RA-4, must be a neg.
    Cyan should not be a problem when printing RA-4 unless you have
    1. a safelight which isn't safe
    2. stop bath that isn't stopping
    3. fix that isn't fixing

    Now I did find a very cyan problem once with a different color process, and I was dumbfounded when after weeks of chasing filters and trying to find chemistry problems, it turned out that all I needed to do was change my water from tap to distilled in my developer and stop bath. I have sinced moved the shop and no longer need to use distilled, but it was a big issue with the well water at the other shop.

    Hope something helps.
     
  13. ekjt

    ekjt Member

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    I have read this many times and it always puzzles me. I have never ended up with this sort of filtration. The filtration also varies much more between individual negatives than most people say.
    I get good maximium black and bright white and subsequent exposures are always very consistent, so the process should be ok (Paterson photocolor RA-4 chemistry). Anyway with both Dunco and Durst colorheads I'm always printing in the range of 100Y 90M. Is this because of the lightsource (halogen) or something else like different filtration units in enlargers from various manufacturers?
    I.e. Kodak Gold 200 in bright sunlight was balaced on Supra Endura with 102,5Y 92,5M. I don't have quality problems, filter values are quite far away from values other people quote.
     
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  15. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Dave,

    Check to make sure the filters are moving properly in your enlarger head (assuming dichroic). I had a similar problem once and chased it for a week before a little 3in1 oil solved my problem.

    Neal Wydra
     
  16. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I agree. I've never been able to print using either red or magenta filtration alone.

    One thought ... I've found the use of shortstop (1% acetic acid) to be *essential* between color developer and bleach-fix in RA4 printing. It has been so long after that discovery, that I don't remember WHY.I seem to remember streaking, or uneven color balance or ..? Anyway, I always use it.

    It was noted that NOT ALL panels of the MacBeth Color Checker were "off" - and the rest perfectly OK.
    That screams to me of UV fluorescence - not a processing fault.
     
  17. davestarr

    davestarr Member

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    First, I'll mix fresh chemistry & try the Fuji paper again. If the same problem's there, I'll print the negative on some Kodak paper & see what happens. My filtration for Kodak is higher in magenta & yellow, so this may give me some leeway. If that corrects my problem, maybe it's the Fuji paper. If I get the same results with the Kodak, I'll try a negative I know prints fine with Kodak on the Fuji.
     
  18. ekjt

    ekjt Member

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    Kodak actually recommends using acetic acid stop bath for tray and rotary tube processing of their RA-4 papers. I have noticed that skipping stop bath causes uneven magenta streaks with Kodak Endura papers.
    Citric acid odourless stop bath may cause brown stains. Personally I once encountered this when trying to use Ilfostop for color processing.
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Seldom if ever, do I need to include the cyan filter when printing a standard neg onto normal RA4 paper. All three filters should only be needed when adding density. One filter will always be set to zero (generally cyan), because the other two can create the same filtration of the the third.

    Ed, I am assuming that you know that any amount of Cyan added to a filter pack is equivalent to an equal amount subtracted from Y and M (eg. +10c = -10y and -10m).

    I always start my filter pack at 50y, 50m, 0c when printing a new neg, but I almost never finish there.

    ekjt, 102,5Y 92,5M is not an unusual filter pack. if 50y,50m is a conventional starting point, 0y, 0m, 10c (the inverse of your filter pack from 50y,50m) would be far more unusual.

    As I read this thread I would follow Photo Engineer's opinion as he/she appears to really know his/her poop.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    To EKJT, yes I agree. It is rare to end up at exactly 50R, that is just a suggested center starting point. Starting there, you should be able to determine what is appropriate for your enlarger.

    Over the years, I have found that well processed color negatives should be within a about a 10R of a central color balance for a given enlarger. The negative films from all manufacturers seem to be manufactured to rather tight speed tolerances just as much as the reversal films are.

    As far as the original question goes though, I took it to mean negative to positive printing (RA) and that the filtration needed would go into the cyan, as the checker was too cyan so you have to add cyan filtrataion, or remove red to correct this problem. The initial color pack is abnormally low.

    I also agree with the comment that mixed illumination in the original picture or safelight fog could give such a problem, but with the safelight you can test it with a blank piece of paper to see if it comes out cyan when you process it.

    PE
     
  21. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    10 units of Magenta = 10yellow and 10 cyan, so your new filter pack would be:
    60 yellow, 0 Magenta, 10 cyan

    or
    55y, 0m, 5c for 5 Magenta.

    This filter pack indicates a strong green cast to the neg not cyan. This would be a pretty normal filterpack fo a cross proccesed (e6 material in c41 chems) E100(s,sw,vs,g or gx).

    It would be interesting to know if your shadows were magenta and your highlights or midtones were nuetral or tended to be cool or green. If so I would guess that you have chemestry or some film developing issues.
     
  22. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    In response to no stop or utilitizing the stop too quickly in RA4 allows. . . for dull orange blotches wherever the developer didn't get fully stopped. If not using stop be sure to rinse well for at least a minute. I "remember" this because just last week, I got in a real hurry and rushed the stop. Haven't done that in a while, but there is was an orange almost fog through the middle of the print where apparently I didn't immerse as fully as I had thought.
     
  23. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Yes, I do know that adding cyan filtration is the equivalent of subtracting magenta and yellow. Necessary if you are already at 0 magenta (or yellow) and need to subtract more.

    I keep a running log of the filtration needed to print. My "start" will be at the average of color correction used for a specific film, exposed with a specific light source (e.g. studio flash), the specific paper and the specific chemistry. That is where I start. Lots more to follow, usually.

    BTW ... Your example ... Wouldn't 00 Magenta; 00 Yellow; 50 Cyan be the inverse of 50M; 50Y; 00C?
     
  24. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought you did know Ed. I was confused by one of your responces.

    Just as mine is confusing. My example was based upon 102,5Y 92,5M being 52.5y and 42.5m higher than 50y,50m, 0c. This would make the inverse (-52.5y and -42.5m from 50y, 50m) 0y, 10m, 2.5c not the number I quoted.

    There is a reason I sport a fried egg.
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I purposely left out the Cyan-Magenta-Yellow relationships to avoid confusion. Or, more truthfully, I left it up to someone else to take the bait. :rolleyes:

    I rarely use - or need - cyan filtration. Somewhere around here I have some .jpg images downloaded from the "old" PC I just replaced, of a model illuminated with the light from color transparencies projected through a Hasselblad PCP80 projector, and photographed on Daylight CN. Light source ~ 3600K - but really not too relevant after passing through the tranny. Those prints *needed* an offsetting cyan filtration. When I find those files, I'll post a few in the "Technical Gallery".
     
  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Found the files and Uploaded to the "Technical Gallery".