RA4: Choosing Color Paper

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bvy, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    My Omega C760 arrived this week, and now I'm ready for chemicals and paper. I want to use the Kodak Ektacolor chemicals (though I'm having trouble finding the one gallon sizes). I intend to print at room temperature, and initially in trays.

    As far as paper, I see that Adorama brands their own color enlarging paper, and it's relatively inexpensive. I wonder if this wouldn't be a good paper to start with, since I see myself burning a lot of paper while I scale the learning curve. Does anyone have any experience with it?

    Another option is Kodak paper in sheets. My understanding is that Kodak only manufactures this paper in rolls now, but different sellers on eBay seem to still stock (or still have or cut their own) sheets of Kodak paper. If this seems viable, maybe someone can suggest a particular paper.

    In any case, my preference is a low or semi-gloss 8x10 paper.

    Bonus Question: I got a set of Kodak color print viewing filters with my enlarger. They look okay, but they're very old (mid 80s). Are they still usable?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Cheap is good to start with, you'll be tossing a bunch. Once you get your process learned and get a feel for color correction then you can worry about settling on a paper.

    I actually buy Ektacolor Edge rolls and cut my own, that does take a bit more planning, more cash up front, and a few more tools but it keeps the cost per sheet down.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    check freestyle's selection, they have their own paper as well.
     
  4. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Factory packaged kodak endura, sometimes outdated, is still available and perhaps the best choice. It is fine even a few years after expiration date.
     
  5. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    In my opinion, if you are just starting out, get fresh paper either from Kodak or Fuji. Don't get questionable stock which can be old, expired or badly kept. I'd say get some fresh Fuji CA from freestyle or a fresh(!) roll of Kodak paper. Once you get a hang of color filtration, then you can start experimenting with the old, cheap, e-bay or off-brand paper. In your first printing session you really don't want to spend time trying to figure out where this yellow tint is coming from - whether it's from bad filtration, old paper, bad chemicals, stray light or the old faded filter on your safelight.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The thing that matters with any color paper is image stability. Most all color papers have the same speed, slightly different tones but vary widely in image stability.

    Practice with what you wish, but use either Endura or CA papers for your good stuff!

    PE
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I think the Freestyle paper has been identified (can't vouch for the accuracy but there aren't that many things it could be) as rebranded CA.

    If it's fresh, how can you get anything EXCEPT Endura or Fuji CA? Aren't they the only ones made now?
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Mitsubisi and Lucky both list R4 paper, at least in rolls but they may cut to order.
     
  9. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    As many different opinions as responses (!).

    Is there any source for fresh cut Kodak paper? If not, what's the next best thing? I see cut Kodak paper available on eBay -- presumably old stock, but in most cases the item description states "no expiration date."
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I think some folks are cutting it down and re-selling. At least I saw some like that in plain white boxes last time I looked. Or just get Fuji in cut sheets.
     
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I Have done 4 rolls now from eBay. 2-Kodak, 2-Fuji; 1200 ft so far, 700 or so used. It has all worked well.

    A nice roller cutter helps.
     
  12. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Regarding the "white box" Kodak paper available on eBay, here's a listing:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400308254838

    This is Kodak Supra Endura N, 100 8x10 cut sheets for $30 (shipping included). The package reads "CUTANDPACKAGED [sic] IN USA BY G.U.C. SERVICES." Maybe I'll shoot a question off to the seller to see what this is all about. If it's professionally cut from current stock, I might be interested.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The question I would have for the seller of the pre-cut is if it is guaranteed not to be fogged by a safe light.
     
  14. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    How about the Colortone paper being sold in cut sheet boxes by B&H Photo? Does anyone know who makes that paper, and is it any good?
     
  15. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I asked the seller that question. Also, I asked if this was fresh paper that he cut and repackaged, and if not, who his source or supplier was. He replied, didn't explicitly answer my questions, but instead invited me try up to five sheets and if I wasn't satisfied, to return the remainder for a full refund. He did leave a phone number...

    I've heard good things about the Kodak paper and really liked the idea of Kodak paper + Kodak chemicals. But I think I'd like fresh paper to start out with, and I don't plan to handle rolls.

    Is there a consensus as to how well Fuji Crystal Archive performs at room temperature in Kodak RA4 chemicals?
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    If you view his other items he also lists 3 rolls of 35mm HIE, complete with photos of the film canister outside the plastic container and the end of the plastic container with the prominent "HANDLE AND PROCESS IN TOTAL DARKNESS."

    I've no idea how important this really may be with HIE but it's an ironic photo to post anyway.
     
  17. RPC

    RPC Member

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    I think most who have given results say it works about as well as Kodak paper. My own opinion is that there is very little difference. The only thing I could see is that the Fuji might have slightly higher contrast and slightly less shadow detail than Endura paper, but if I was in your position, I wouldn't hesitate to use it if it means getting factory cut, fresh paper over something questionable like ebay specials, or Mitsubishi or Lucky.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2012
  18. Photo Engineer

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    Just an FYI, HIE should be handled in a dark or dim area even when changing film in a camera! It is quite prone to fogging with the slightest provocation.

    It keeps poorly and should not be thawed once frozen. Keeping in a refrigerator is fair, keeping in a freezer is better. Keep cold until use and load the camera or change the film in a dark or dim room.

    PE
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Good to know if I ever luck into any of the semi-mythical substance at a price I can afford. In the meantime, check out this listing from the same guy with the cut sheet Kodak RA4 paper above:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-ROLLS-OF-...7619611?pt=US_Camera_Film&hash=item58950a909b

    Doesn't inspire confidence!
     
  20. Photo Engineer

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    Well, I would expand my post to include ANY IR film. They are fragile items, and so if you see them for sale (and all Kodak products are out of date by now I would guess), then these are quite iffy products. I wouldn't buy them.

    now I am forced to do IR with my digital camera.... Sniffff!

    PE
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well I have some Rollie in the freezer (frozen since I got it, in winter, from Freestyle) and will also try Efke but none are HIE!
     
  22. Photo Engineer

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    Someday it might be re-created! Who knows.

    PE
     
  23. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    My understanding is that the IR sensitizing dye for HIE is a Kodak trade secret. If that's the case, we're not likely to see it unless Kodak licenses the information. They seem to be so culturally obsessed with secrecy they'd rather drown than license secrets they aren't using...
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    Kodak trade secret to whom? :D :D Muahahahahahaha.

    Actually JK. But it got your interest, right?

    PE