RA-4 Problems

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by afrank, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Hi all,

    I am trying to troubleshoot my RA-4 once again....
    I lowered the temps I was working on down to 20c from 35c as recommended (its a machine meant solution).
    My problem was that my agfa paper gets stained yellow with high temp chemicals, and the blix seems to be the most problematic in terms of making the colors go crazy.
    Now I am stuck with low saturation prints but pure whites.
    Is more time on the developer at 20c going to give more saturation? Do I risk yellow stains from more time or is it just the temperature?
    IS the stain a fault of the blix or the developer?
    If I don't bleach the paper and just use another fix I wont get colors at all right?

    Thanks!
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    What dev time are you giving at 20C? I found 2 mins which is what PE recommends to be fine. I don't used Agfa paper which by now must be quite old but unless the Agfa paper is now past its best then there shouldn't be any issues.

    If the Agfa stuff is no good at 35C and equally bad or not good enough at 20C then you might have to consider getting new paper

    pentaxuser
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    How old is the paper? Seems to me that Agfa color paper was last manufactured quite a few years ago.

    PE
     
  4. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Indeed its old, a Year or so past its expiration date.
    At 20c I am seeing no difference between 20-40s on a CPE. Whites are whites but the image is still not saturated enough. There is also no difference between +1stop more exposure so I know its not enlarging stage.
    Should I worry about over blixing?
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    It needs 60 seconds in RA-RT developer replenisher at 20C.

    You may have problems with its age.

    PE
     
  6. afrank

    afrank Member

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    I have done 3 different dilution test atm. It seems that diluting the developer and Blix helps. for the developer I was using at first the recommended dilution (recommended for 38c/45s) 1L=640ml water, 300 ml replenischer and 60 ml starter.
    Maybe its not a good combination of paper/developer.
    Here In Germany the AGFA stocks are still circulating. Maybe I should get some FUJI/KODAK paper.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The RA-RT developer Replenisher has 1 dilution recommended. I use it.

    PE
     
  8. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Thanks for the help PE! You are indeed right, the paper has a fog threshold that def, shows its old. I just make sure the prints have no border and the whites camouflage for now. They will make interesting retro prints.
     
  9. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Didn't Agfa get out of color paper over ten years ago now?
     
  10. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    You say that the BLIX has more impact on yellow stain than the color developer: have you thought about using a stop bath and possibly a wash cycle between CD and BLIX? Your CPE should have space for four containers IIRC. I could imagine that the BLIX fogs your paper a bit, so a stop&wash could help.
     
  11. afrank

    afrank Member

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    I am using a 10% acid stop bath. I ended up using 22-23c for around 20s and the contrast and saturation are perfect. At 18-20c I cant achieve saturation at all, maybe I need more time.
    Should a lower temperature with longer times tame the base fog better?
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    All I can say is that Agfa paper may respond differently than Kodak paper. Also, this paper is quite old which contributes to the problem.

    Good luck. I have no further suggestions for you.

    PE
     
  13. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Thanks PE, and happy holidays!
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It may not make any difference to what you have described as your problem but isn't 10% acid bath way too high? I simply dilute commercial acid stop to the same dilution as I use for B&W paper as per the stop bath's instructions and I had always thought this gives an acid percentage of 1-2 %

    pentaxuser
     
  15. Photo Engineer

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    Good point. The acid should be 1 - 2%.

    Happy Holidays.

    PE