RA-4 Reversal Processing Fogging

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by WayneStevenson, May 7, 2012.

  1. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    I have been re-exposing my paper negatives with both incadescant and daylight. I have found that I have a fogged mottling appearance on the finished print.

    Is this caused by the B&W paper development (Dektol in my case), or would this be caused by the re-exposure of the paper?

    Would using an E-6 reversal bath be possible with RA-4 papers and/or would this be preventative?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Use Dektol at 1:2 or 1:3 for 2' at 68F or 20C. You have to experiment.

    Stop 30" and wash, then expose with room light and then color develop for 2' with RA-RT developer.

    This gives me the best results. Fuji paper is not as good as Endura for this type of processing.

    PE
     
  3. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    Thanks. I have been experimenting. So far it has seemed that the most important aspect of this is the initial Dektol development. I am using Fujifilm Crystal Archive II.

    Dektol 1:2 for three minutes is what I have found to work the best for me. Then standard RA-4 process. My experimentation has not gotten to the point of extending it as of yet.

    Do you know what may be causing this fogging / mottling?
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A large proportion of people who tried this form of cross processing reported poor results with Fuji CA paper. That is about all I can say. My work was all with Endura. This process would not work for me at all with Supra I, II or III.

    I saw some mottle with Endura. It was not a consistent problem though. I used to see it with Ektachrome paper as well. Some old notes say that it is typical of reversal color papers.

    PE
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have a formula of a first developer for reversal that Ron gave me on a post here long ago; sorry, my notes are not at hand.

    I made it up to within the last six months to try to use some Radiance reversal paper that was gifted to me; alas the stuff was beyond salvaging.

    I have struggled with reversal processing conventional RA-4 Kodak paper's in the and have the concept of density of the print from exposure and 2' of first developer at room temp, optical fog and conventional RA-4 chems, but the prints lack 'pop' and have never drawn me beyond the experimenting stage.
     
  6. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I have always had some mottle, no matter what I do, both on Fuji CA and Supra Endura. And yes, it seems to vary. If the mottle is very excess, it's probably just the good old problem of too restrained development, causing also the "cyan highlights" problem. It is mitigated by lowering the bromide level.

    Dektol as-is, I got cyan highlights on Kodak Supra Endura, and white highlights but ugly greenish-grey shadows on Fuji CA. For Kodak, the solution was to lower the bromide level (scratch mix, as you cannot remove it from a solution...), for Fuji, it was adding hypo -- the bromide seemed fine.

    I have had equally good results with both papers (on average), but the optimum bromide level in first developer is very different; IIRC, something around 0.2 g/l for Endura and 1 g/l for Fuji... Also if you add a bit hypo or SCN to FD, these levels vary between papers -- Fuji NEEDED some hypo to get good blacks, and, OTOH, managed quite high levels of hypo without burning the highlights, whereas Supra Endura worked best without hypo or with 1/10 of the amount of Fuji, to give a careful boost on highlights. Hypo levels suitable for Fuji caused Supra Endura to go very wild in contrast, really a posterising effect, which I will definitely keep in my "artistic toolbox" if ever needed.

    Sometimes I had better results with Supra Endura, sometimes with Fuji CA! Go figure. This might need much more testing :smile:.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    My experience with Endura totally agrees with HRST.

    PE
     
  8. ctsundevil

    ctsundevil Member

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    I had halfway decent results reversing Portra, Supra and Ultra Endura. My only complaint was that the contrast was way too high. I also tried an old box of Agfa Signum paper. It reversed very well. The contrast was good, but the saturation was a little too low.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    You can reduce contrast by adding Sulfite to the color developer. But remember that Endura and CA are negative papers with one emulsion per layer, but reversal papers have up to 3 emulsions per layer. This is done to reduce contrast. But then, reversal papers are no longer made.

    PE
     
  10. hrst

    hrst Member

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    IIRC, 0.5 g/l was a good starting point for sodium sulfite in color developer for slight effect or 1.0 g/l for heavier effect. Of course, you can use this same developer in negative printing too to give lower contrast. It mostly eats away the blacks, lowering Dmax.
     
  11. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    Thanks for your help guys. Still battling this issue of the mottling. Not understanding why it is happening, I can't remedy it intelligently (not that I am a chemist) other than blind experimentation. Heh.

    But I have confirmed it is happening during the B&W development stage.

    I've added benzo, and bromide, tried development in Xtol, increased temperature and decreased development time. Nothing seems to have an effect on the mottling. Are these the dye clouds I am seeing giving this mottling?

    I am convinced there is a specific cause and if areas do not have this mottling then it is possible to prevent the mottling from happening altogether.... PH? Different developers? Anyone have any ideas?

    I know I could be more productive with my time then pissing around with this method of photography with color paper, but hell, it's keeping my brain active, and my hands busy.
     
  12. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I agree it was quite fun playing around with reversal RA-4. Maybe I get back at it some day again. When having no expectations at all, every discovery will be genuinely fun. And it's so cheap! I have still so much to try; for example, thiocyanate in FD; lower-contrast FD (e.g., increasing metol against HQ), or possibly two-bath FD. And SLIMT! None of these will be a silver bullet that would turn the paper into Ilfochrome, but I'm quite sure this process can be made surprisingly usable.

    Anyhow, I agree that the mottling is a very weird phenomenon. I found no reason for it, nor I found any solution to it. I just noticed that when the development works correctly and achieves a paper-white Dmin, the mottling is much less severe than when there was the problem of incomplete development (cyan Dmin). But it is still there, no matter what!

    Are you having good paper white with normal exposures from slides?
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    I've stated before that all chromogenic color reversal papers have some degree of mottle. IDK the reason, but it is mentioned over and over again in reports and comments that I read at EK. It seems to be worse on RC support than on FB paper IIRC. And, it varies with the process and scene.

    PE
     
  14. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

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    Finally have some free time to start messing around again. I picked up some Kodak Ultra Endura. Managed a single sheet last night and so far I am optimistic the mottling may not be a problem anymore. Under-exposed but I'm getting a nice black, and no mottling is visible at the moment.

    I still have to peg down ISO and filtration to be certain. I'll keep you all posted over the coming days or weeks.
     
  15. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Does anybody have an example of an RA-4 reversed print?
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes! There have been many here and on Photo Net. I have a 16x20 print on the wall just a few feet to my right.

    But a scan of a print just does not do justice to the image IMHO.

    PE
     
  17. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Oh, so the process can produce good results! From reading this thread, I thought that the results were, at best, not so good. Since I can only get Endura as a big roll, I didn't want to spend money and then have something that I wouldn't use up before it shifted.

    (Monday I got a 4x5 chrome back from Praus of the view from my work's kitchen window of Seattle, and my coworkers were totally blown away from looking at it through a loupe. So I'm trying to find a possible method for direct reversal printing. The image is in my gallery.)
     
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  18. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    Some have reported best results if using polyester based RA-4 "paper". Because it's not paper, there is no mottle. However, this material is rather difficult and/or expensive to obtain. Look for Ilfoflex or Fujiflex.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    It is important to pick the right slide. Portraits just do not work well. Some report mottle. Some report a cyan Dmin. It varies. I generally get good results with landscapes and flowers among others. I have heard more problems with CA than with Endura. I use Dektol and RA-RT developer replenisher. Others report poor results with these and use other first developers.

    I use a heavy magenta filter pack, as my prints come out very much off color.

    PE