RA4 Chemicals and B&W Film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by MikeK, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I arrived home to find out someone had dropped off a couple of boxes of RA4 chemistry. Now I do not process color film or paper but was wondering if this could be used for B&W film processing or should I just sensibly dispose of the chemicals?

    I was reading an old Darkroom magazine article and the author was recommeding developing Tech Pan in C41 chemistry for pictorial use, so maybe the RA4 developer could be used as a low contrast developer? And what about the BLIX - could that be used to fix regular film?

    Mike
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Did they give you blix? Or a bottle of bleach and a bottle of fix? It's likely a fix and bleach to be mixed together to form blix. OTOH it might not be labelled that way -( The fix should work peachy for B&W film.

    On the dev how much is your time worth? You could do some testing.
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    RA-4 is print chemistry for color prints (as you probably know). Totally not suitable for film of any kind. The blix would completely remove the image from b/w film, as it is intended to remove all silver from the final color print leaving only dyes. B/W film image is composed of developed silver.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The developer should give a low contrast silver image with the RA developer, but I wouldn't hazard a guess as to the time to use. Proably about 10 minutes or so at 68F.

    USE A STOP. The carryover of color developer can be much more than with B&W developers.

    The fix part of the blix (the clear part) will work fine with film. Use 2x the time needed to clear the film.

    Wash the film as usual and treat with photo flo. If you omit the stop, you may need about 3x the normal wash time to get the color developer out of the film.

    PE
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Ron knows back before film emulsions improved significantly 35mm users tried everything to minimise grain.

    Some of the finest grain developers were based on colour developer agents usually with a loss of film speed of between 1 & 2 stops.

    By the time I began serious photography films like FP3 and HP3 were the norm and these developers had gone back out of favour, so I never tried them.

    Give it a try but don't expect too much.

    Ian
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ian;

    Yes, ppd based developers are quite good, but the RA print developer was not designed for use with a film, so IDK how it will do for grain, speed or sharpness.

    A good HA developer could be designed by using an accelerator with the ppd or a coupler which will turn it into a new class of staining developer. This could give both fine grain and good sharpness. IDK.

    PE
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    We touched on this before Ron.

    A developer formula utilising a colour developing agent, with a colour coupler added would have a lot of potential for fine grain and good film speed, but it would need some experimentation to get an optimum balance of acutance, sharpness, fine grain & film speed.

    For those not sure what we mean essentially we are talking about developing a B&W film chromogenically like XP2, but instead of the coupler being in the film its in the developer, similar to Kodachrome. So you get a silver image amplified by the dye image.

    The process is superb for negative intensification too. Before digital the Astro-photographers looped C41 films. This means develop in C41 dev then fix, wash - bleah in a re-halogenationg bleach, re-expose to light re-develop in C41 dev, fix ----- the cycle repaeted quite a few times before finally bleaching & fixing.

    Maybe this is a winter project for me. A better dev than C41 is needed, but theres plenty published to use as a start point.

    Ian

     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ian;

    You can speed up ppd development by adding citrazinic acid or H acid to the developer and adjusting the pH back up. This gives no color to the film, but makes the ppd more active.

    PE
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    What's H acid Ron ?

    Ian
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ian;

    It is a 'colorless' coupler like citrazinic acid. It used to be sold commercially by several companies as it is a rather simple napthol derivative with a lot of commercial uses. It is used in some color reversal developers today instead of citrazinic acid IIRC.

    PE
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Now E-6 first developer to B&W print developer thoughts?

    I am in a somewaht similar boat; I picked up a whack of E-6 first dev, and E-6 bleach at the hazardous waste depot.

    I am about to use the E6 Bleach to replace my ferricyanide bleach step for the C-41 processing I do.

    The first developer I am thinking of converting to use as a black and white print developer. My thoughts are to check out the pH, boost it if necessary with some sodium or potassium carbonate, and probably add some more hydroquinone, since it is likely a bit low. Does this sound at all feasilbe?

    Are there any other chemicals, such as the thiocyanates and iodides that are likely to screw the b&w print up in the long term?
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There are thiocyanates and iodides. Read the formula posted elsewhere. It does not use HQ. It uses an analog.

    It is a very energetic and foggy developer intended for reversal processing only. But try it, who knows.

    PE
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    >It is a very energetic and foggy developer intended for reversal processing only. But try it, who knows.

    I'll let you know when I find the time to try this out. Right now I am busy putting a lot of fresh at the market fruits up for winter. Blueberries are de-stemmed and in the freezer, concord grapes seeded, cooked with skins, and canned to make jam later, plums seeded, diced and frozen for more sauce making later. Tonight there are peaches to skin, pit,and can, and pears to cook down an food mill to a pear sauce. A lot of work, but I love this time of year. Plus, when it is all done, most of my share of winters dinners are already cooked and canned or frozen. On my dinner preparation nights, this means the meal is warmed, eaten and dishes put away promptly, meaning more darkroom time after work.
     
  14. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Mike,

    Take this as an opportunity to do some color printing. Search the forum using the keywords RA-4 and Tray.

    Neal Wydra
     
  15. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    RA - beyond the tray system

    sorry , I couldn't resist the play on words.

    I did RA, and actually before that, EP/2 for many years. This past year I made the leap to a tabletop roller transport. I have onlt ran it once so far on RA, but I have also ran it to process B&W a few times. It is the cats meow. I let the requests for 'another print of this, another few more of that' pile up, then when there are a backlog of films needing contact sheets, a few pictures that I am inspired to want to try something special with, and the more mundane reprints I fire the thing up, and am away to the races.

    My wife, once home from a full day at work, is also currently off rehearsing a play three nights a week after we finish dinner, so running the household with kids to bed, prep for the next day, stay on top of the laundry etc. in addition to putting fresh food up for winter has me little free time for the darkroom. After Christmas is when I usually spend most of my time there. I usually get in for a Sunday evening, and then 2-4 parts of nights during the wrking week.
     
  16. Discpad

    Discpad Member

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    The E-6 bleach will work just fine for C-41. However, you should extend the bleach time to 8-9 minutes.

    Why not buy inexpensive reversal bath, color dev & pre-bleach solutions and go all the way with E-6? It's a lot of fun!