RA-4 Problem making me crazy.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by guilleguillotina, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. guilleguillotina

    guilleguillotina Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here's the deal I've been trying to print RA-4 with the following specs and equip and nothing NOTHING comes out I end up with all white tests all the time :c, help please:

    -Beseler 67VC Printmaker.
    -Cibachrome A filter set.
    -Fujifilm Crystal Archive Type II Paper (Matte).
    -Trays:
    -Pre soak.
    -Kodak Ektacolor RA Developer Replenisher RT - 2:00 min.
    -Stop Bath - 1:00min.
    -Quick Wash.
    -Kodak Ektacolor RA Bleach-Fix and Replenisher. - 1:00-2:00min.
    -Last wash.
    -Temps I've tried: 75F, 90F & 105F.
    -Test Times: 10-30s (10 steps each test).

    Not a single thing appears in the paper after I'm done it comes out all white :c. My initial settings usually are C=0 M=40/45 Y=40/45. I've also tried going down to 20(M,Y) and up to 65(M,Y).

    I also tried a test on a 23CIII-XL the other day M=65 Y=65 and nothing, all white.

    Working in complete darkness: black walls, no light, black taping all tiny the edges of my enlagers, keeping continous movement on the trays and exact time with an analog cronometer.
    Help? :C
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,422
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome to APUG!

    My best guess is that your filters are the problem. They are designed to be used with transparencies and positive-positive paper.

    You are using paper which is designed to print from negatives and, I assume, a negative.

    I expect you are filtering out everything except the orange mask.
     
  3. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As a first step, I would take a piece of paper, expose it to room light, and develop it. If it turns black, the problem is with your exposure. If turns any other color, the problem is with your chemicals and/or process.
     
  4. guilleguillotina

    guilleguillotina Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Did this it comes out completely white :c
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,422
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Any chance that:

    a) it isn't actually photographic paper; or
    b) the developer is dead?
     
  6. guilleguillotina

    guilleguillotina Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    a) The item for BH is #600008963
    b) I would hope not I already mixed twice the 10lt set in 1lt sets as indicated keeping steady temperature and using 1/10 of each solution as instructed.

    Gonna have to mix a third new batch and check it out.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Very strange.
     
  8. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There will also be a problem as well with your timings. The developer (Kodak RA4 replenisher) for consistent results does need a 'starter' to be added to the initial batch. That is if you are using a deep tank such as a Nova. All replenishment after that does not need it unless you are using a single use processor (rotary drum) or in a dish.
    The recommended temperature for RA4 developer is 35 degrees 'C' and the time in the developer is only 45 seconds not 2 minutes. Colour develops much quicker than B&W. Over developing could lead to you getting very odd results (but not what you are achieving at present) The stop bath timing is fine but the bleach fix should be 2 mins no less and no more than 2.5 mins or it will stain.

    Am I right in thinking that you are using a black and white enlarger with separate filters? If so that will not help at all, really you need one designed for Colour printing.
     
  9. guilleguillotina

    guilleguillotina Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yeah I thought it might be that, but I read it is posible to achieve results, also I made a test with a dichroic Beseler 23CIII-XL and nothing, all white, my Dev is kinda champaigne colored and I've already made like 10 tests on it, made a new 1lt of it and replenished it with the old one, do I still need the starter? Also I'm processing in trays guerrilla style with a water constant resistance keeping the heat and still all white.

    Thanks for all of your responses guys but this is the first time something like this has happened at first I wanted to blame the CA-II but I made my research and found that people get decent results with it and me? nothing :C, I'll try mixing chems again monday and meanwhile keep and eye on for more info.
     
  10. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The developer colour is about right, it varies very slightly from batch to batch. I would try a starter and for 1 litre you need about 40cc's. You won't see any immediate difference but when you do actually get results they should be more consistent. As suggested a few posts back, expose a strip of paper to white light then develop for 45 seconds you should be able to get a deep black. If you don't get that then I would suspect the developer itself.

    Can you let us know what proportions of the concentrates you are mixing together to make the 1 litre of developer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2014
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,235
    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't see how starter could possibly be the issue here. I don't use starter and it works fine every time.

    Starter is only important on a replenished line to maintain consistency, it actually slows down developing by making new developer act more like older replenished developer. If you aren't running a replenished line, the starter simply isn't needed.

    Typically when there is no image it is exposure. For me this happens when I get in a rush and get the wrong side of the paper up. I've gone to testing each sheet as it comes out of the box by gently rubbing my check with the paper to verify it is right-side-up.

    It's not a big issue, and won't cause the image to go away, but stopping for a minute is overkill, 30 seconds including drain time is plenty, I use 30 seconds for the first wash too.

    Kodak recommends that the bleach fix time match the development time, that works well for me. Again even if there is a mismatch it won't cause a blank sheet.

    All three temps will work as long as an appropriate time is used, that's not the issue either.
     
  12. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,484
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Since guilleguillotina already stated that his paper remains white even after exposure to room light, I doubt that enlarger exposure is the main culprit here. IMHO there are basically two options left: either the paper has lost all its photographic sensitivity, or the developer went bad. These two things can be easily tested for:
    • RA4 color developer will also develop B&W paper, albeit slowly. Drop a clip of regular B&W paper into the color developer and see whether it turns gray or black. If not, I would suspect the color developer has gone bad, or was mixed incorrectly.
    • In similar fashion, RA4 paper in room light will turn black if you put it in regular B&W paper developer. If a test clip does not turn black, there is something wrong with the paper.
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,091
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It has been some time since I left an exposed but undeveloped piece of RA4 in room light but if I recall correctly it had a bluish look initially which then went slowly to a beige colour. If the paper is white as in the borders of a fully processed RA4 doesn't this suggest that it was never developed at all but went straight into blix. I am assuming that blixing RA4 is similar to simply exposing and then fixing in B&W without any developer.

    Totally exhausted developer given what the OP has said seems impossible. Might it be that he has mixed blix twice and used this in his first process step thinking that his first blix was developer?

    Sounds a crazy suggestion I know but whatever it was that he did or didn't do it has to have been pretty fundamental and drastic to get the effect he has got.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Exposure isn't the problem. Assuming your paper is good (which I would bet that it is), the problem is with your chemistry. Any chance you mixed up your blix and developer?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,422
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you blix before you develop, you will get the "white" result.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,578
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You do not need starter! That should be stated at the outset. It is only really useful for replenished processes. In fact, using straight replenisher should give you a tad more snap.

    Now, if color paper, right out of the box is white, it is NOT color paper. All color papers have some color from pink to green depending on manufacturer and product.

    Color developer should be a light tea color with a faint to strong odor depending on age. All of the parts before mixing should have either no color or a light tea color which darkens and then lightens. There are 3 parts to the replenisher.

    The blix is blood red. If you use it first or get any in the color developer, the developer is going to die!

    So, it sounds like you have either the wrong paper, have used blix first, have mixed things wrong, or have a bad developer. I hope we can help you through this.

    PE
     
  18. guilleguillotina

    guilleguillotina Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey guys I'm gonna test the Fuji Crystal Archive Type II (Mate finish I got it from BH ) in Dektol and Microdol to see if its the paper, also I found some guideline for mixing chems here on the site I'm gonna try mixing 500ml tests (I got the 10lt RA/RT and BLIX from adorama) with the following sets:

    Developer:

    H2O: 300ml
    Part a: 25ml
    Part b: 12 ml
    Part c: 25 ml
    +H2O: Final volume 500 ml

    H2O: 400ml
    Part a:25ml
    Part b: 11.1ml
    Part c: 25 ml
    +H2O: Final Volume 500 ml

    Blix:

    H2O: 250ml
    Part a: 70ml
    Part b: 10ml
    +H2O: final volume 500 ml

    H2O: 329ml
    Part a: 71ml
    Part b: 100ml

    If all of this fails to get anything on the paper I'm gonna burn it all up with gasoline either way I'll report back to you guys thanks for all of your responses C: .

    EDIT: Also I'm sure I'm not mixing the blix twice or using it before the dev I'm hoping I just screwed up mixing the chems, each step I stir the chem for like 2-2:30 min so I'm gonna try mixing again the 500 ml tests.
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,091
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I like the idea of mixing fresh and trying again but I have difficulty figuring out how it is possible to screw up the mixing to a sufficient extent to get a white paper result.

    I don't want to appear to be insulting you but I seem to recall at least one other APUGer swearing blind that he hadn't made a mistake with the processing order when he got clear film with no edge markings which is the classic fix first mistake. I did this once and was also sure that I hadn't made such a mistake but the irrefutable science involved made it inevitable that I had.:sad:

    Let us know how it goes

    pentaxuser
     
  20. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose Member

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When you mix fresh chems this time, use DISTILLED WATER. When I first moved out here on the South Dakota prairie, I ran into the exact same thing. Nothing would develop, B&W, or color. After going nutz I found it was the water. You would think that well water from 2400 feet down would be pure, but don't you believe it. Now all chemistry and solutions are made using distilled water and no more problems, A big plus is mixed chems store very well.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,578
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If your water is so bad you have to use DW to get an image, you have made a major error somewhere. Sorry! True!

    Do NOT use Microdol or any other film developer with an RA paper. These developers can inhibit development totally as the emulsion types are incompatible.

    PE
     
  22. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose Member

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    No errors !! Water problem !!!!
    My water was tested and contains the following in excessive quanties.....

    pH of 9.5-10
    Alpha Emitters
    Barium
    Radium
    Fluoride (not added)
    Copper
    Lead
    heavy disolved minerals. (dries leaving a white powdery residue). 1 gallon if left to evaporate will leave almost a teaspoon of "stuff" behind. HCL and Citric Acid are "normal" household items here. I distill all my drinking water (Midi-Still), as RO units are destroyed in less than a year.

    Tried a shallow well, but it was not any better. There is a reason its called the BadLands.
     
  23. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,760
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Holy Toledo! I hope you wear a lead hazmat suit to distill that stuff! Did the army test tactical nukes there or something? No wonder you have problems mixing developer with it... did you notice that your darkroom was glowing?
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,091
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Reminds me of the 1950s Mickey Rooney film "The Atomic Kid" He gets lost with a friend in the Nevada desert but comes across what appears to be a normal town with no people. It is of course an experimental nuclear test site. He goes into a very nice house and being hungry, puts a piece of bread in the toaster and then the bomb goes off.

    Nothing remains of the town but he emerges from the dust, blackened, hair standing on end, clothes in shreds etc with a small piece of blackened toast in his hand and says: "I guess I had it turned up too high"

    Sorry couldn't resist telling that story. That bit of the film has stayed with me for nearly 50 years :D

    pentaxuser
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,578
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds like Indiana Jones in his last movie! :D

    Sorry guys, I apologize. I never imagined water so BAD!!!

    However, under most all circumstances, the chelating agents Kodak and others use in their formulas will handle "most" problems. And I thought it would handle "all" problems. Geez, never heard of this.

    Anyhow, must be all of those buried silos with nukes. Right? Does the ground glow at night?

    PE
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,462
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I see other possible reasons being hashed out so I will just add that the filters are not the problem. The Ciba/Ilfochrome filters are standard CP filters. I made many decent RA4 prints using mine. The only problem with them is that they only go down to five unit increments which can be a little course for neg/pos printing but was plenty fine enough for pos/pos.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk