RA-4 Printing for $200

RA-4 Printing for $200

  1. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    tiberiustibz submitted a new resource:

    RA-4 Printing for $200 - RA-4 Printing for $200

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  2. E76

    E76 Member

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    It's possible to reverse RA-4 paper using a process known colloquially as RR-4. PE outlines it in this thread. It would seem, however, that your mileage may very when using this process, but it certainly looks to be a viable alternative to Ilfochrome for printing slides (and it's a lot cheaper). I haven't tried it myself, but it's on my list of things to do.
     
  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I have tried that. The contrast of the final prints is quite high, usually requiring the technique of contrast masking. The only paper that works with that process is Kodak Endura. All of the others don't clear to pure white. I will probably try again, but the success I had was limited. I did try it in an 8x10 camera and it worked, but contrast was high and it requires pretty weird filtration.

    You add a first developer which should be a low contrast or diluted Black and White paper developer. Then you stop the paper, re-expose to light, and place in standard RA-4 developer. You can try it, but I don't think it would become your standard printing procedure.
     
  4. E76

    E76 Member

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    I'm not suggesting it become a part of anyone's printing workflow; it's obviously a "primitive" process! I just thought it might be a good way for those looking to make prints from slides to get started before taking the plunge with Ilfochrome.
     
  5. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Cool article, am screwing up the courage to try this once I get my hands on a colour head enlarger.
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Minor addition detail: AVOID FUJI PAPERS AT ALL COST. Fuji papers, mostly the newer type designed to work with digital exposure, are intended to be used with a proprietary developer at high temperatures. In this setup they yield major bad magenta crossover in highlights like clouds. It's bad. Avoid it.

    On the bright side Kodak Supra Endura works wonderfully with both types of films. I'm amazed. Kodak 400 will go nicely 35mm to 11x14 and Ektar goes nearly grainlessly from 35mm to borderless 11x14 with awesome colors. Don't be afraid to shoot films like Kodak Gold 100. They're awesome. You really can't go wrong. Just shoot.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, for those who bash Kodak, here is an example of our design philosophy.

    Why screw the customer when all you will get is complaints and lawsuits. Make the paper work as well as possible with all color negative films. :smile:

    That way you have happy paper customers. It seems to work.

    As a byproduct, make the paper as insensitive to errors such as temperature and handling as possible. Well, that is why you can run it at 68 deg F (20 deg C), and why you can develop it as a reversal product (cross process).

    As an added hint to reduce contrast without preflashing, try adding 1/2 - 2 g/l of Sodium Sulfite to the color developer. This lowers contrast and Dmax rapidly. Also, I have not tried this but it might help. Add 0.1 - 0.5 g/L of sodium thiocyanate to the first developer.

    Just thoughts to play with.

    PE
     
  8. GGardner

    GGardner Member

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    This is a great article which is gotten me thinking that RA-4 at home may not be so daunting after all. A couple of questions. When you say

    -Chemistry-Kodak Stuff-

    What, specifically, do you mean? There's a confusingly large select of RA-4 chemicals at B&H, many of which can't be shipped.

    I understand that I may need to make test strips, but can you give a ballpark amount of time that paper exposure takes -- 6 seconds, 6 minutes?

    Finally, when you say "wash until the paper has no fix left in it", how do you know?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    "Wash until the paper has no fix left in it".

    If you are a good analog B&W photographer, you know the tests that are available. If not, read up on it. It has been posted over and over and over here on APUG.

    I hate to put it this way and kind of apologize, but having been one of the posters, I'm getting tired of it. Also, if you are not an inveterate B&W photographer, you may be jumping into color too quickly. Just a thought to pass on. I get testy sometimes so forgive me please.

    I suggest you read the Kodak color Dataguide with a list of chemicals and visit their website for literally pages of information that can help you.

    PE
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    One problem may be the search engine here. Maybe is just me but I find it very hard to even find post that I know exist, the date, and the poster.

    :confused:
     
  11. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    These are the Kodak product numbers for the 10 liter RA4 kits, Blix 8309031, Developer/replenisher 8415580. Adorama will ship them to the lower 48. Exposure times depend on neg density, magnification, aperture and light source, 15-30 seconds is a normal range. An automated printer/processor goes from unexposed dry paper to dry print in 3 minutes. :smile: Home darkrooms users can develop for 2 minutes at 20C.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Unfortunately, Kodak no longer makes an easy-to-buy kit for RA-4 (AFAIK). The result is that you need to buy several different things. At the very least, you need an RA-4 developer, an RA-4 blix, and a stop bath (regular B&W stop bath works fine). I believe some of these get broken out into multiple parts by at least some sellers, and there are variants (package size, etc.). You can buy either ready-to-use stuff or a combination of starter and replenisher. The former is easier for small-scale hobbyist use; starter/replenisher systems are meant for commercial or other high-volume operations. As you say, it can be confusing.

    IMHO, for somebody just getting started with RA-4 printing, a non-Kodak kit may be the way to go, at least to start. That way you get almost everything you need in the way of chemicals by ordering one item from the store. (Most kits lack a stop bath, though.) I see that B&H ships the Fotospeed RA-4 kit, which is another plus; but it's currently listed as a special-order item. Freestyle ships Fotospeed and their house-brand (Arista) RA-4 kits. If you want to buy Kodak, go to Adorama or Unique Photo; they both sell and ship Kodak RA-4 chemicals.

    In my experience, color papers are much faster than B&W papers. I typically expose color prints for half the time or less that I use for B&W prints -- and that's with yellow, magenta, and cyan filtration in place! (I generally use about 100cc of cyan and another 50cc or so of magenta and yellow. That's equivalent to over a three-stop ND filtration.) Typical times for me are 5-20s. These times are at minimum aperture (f/16) for 4x6 prints and larger apertures for larger prints. This is with a Philips PCS130/PCS150 enlarger. YMMV, as they say.
     
  13. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Different people have different opinions on the washing. I'm told RC paper only requires 90 seconds because it's plastic (which makes sense) but yet our school has used a 3 wash process 2-2-2 wash, fixer remover, and wash for RC paper for a very long time. Who am I to correct anyone? I use 5 minutes on the wash for final prints, 4-5 swishes in a bucket for confirming strips.

    Using a beseler 45C dichro digital head, and a 50mm lens, I get times of 18 seconds at F8 going to 11x14 paper. It seems to climb sometimes but that may just be my chemistry slowly dieing...
     
  14. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I made the jump to home RA4 processing a few years ago. So much easier than I thought it would be. I agree with the posters here, stick with Kodak chems and paper. I have been using Edge paper in rolls cut to size, at room temp. Results are great. As for washing, I wash for about 1 min in the drum, then run the print under running tap water for another minute before hanging to dry. No fading, and the whites remain white. The Kodak chems seem really versatile. I have been using the LORR ready mix chems at twice the standard dilution for 2 min at 70F with excellent results with edge and endura papers. The LORR blix I use at standard dilution for 2 min at 70F. I'm using the LORR chems because my local pro lab sold me some of their new chems to try. (nice of them!) The chems worked fine, so I ordered some from fleabay. I have no idea what age the chems are. They are darker than the new stuff I tried from the local pro lab, so I assume that they are old and starting to oxidise. However, they work fine with no difference to the fresh chems. I bought a bunch of 250 ml glass jars from fleabay and repackage the chems into the smaller bottles with no airspace. I find I can use a 250 ml jar up without it oxidising and becoming unusable. The old chems I bought are now going on two years in the topped up jars with no ill effects.

    My exposure times are about three to five seconds at f11 (35mm to 6X7). I use a Beseler 23C with a dual dichro head and condensers with a 200W bulb. ...not much time for dodging and burning... damn digital compatible paper! Oh well, I can always stop the lens down and increase the time if I really need to dodge and burn.
     
  15. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Here is the revised set of directions with links to products that you want to purchase:

    Don't use fuji paper. It's not made like the kodak paper and requires its own developer at the full 97 degree temperature process. Kodak paper looks great when processed at room temperature in trays using Kodak Ektacolor RT replenisher (just mix the developer from the three bottles, don't add the starter). Use this with the bleach fix and you are golden. For papers try either Kodak Supra Endura or Kodak Edge (search for it on ebay.)