Starting RA-4 printing advice needed

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Simonh82, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Simonh82

    Simonh82 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Tonight I pick up my LPL C7700 enlarger and can't wait to start colour printing. As others have mentioned before (i've done lots of searching on this and other forums), the range of Kodak RA-4 chemistry is somewhat bewildering to a noob. Ideally I would like to print at room temp in trays, at least until I find a slot processor at a decent price and will be using Fuji Crystal Archive paper as it is the only stuff still available in cut sheets.

    I think I am going to go for the following items:
    Kodak RA-4 Developer (4x5L) http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-ra4-developer-kit-4x5l-295-p.asp
    Kodak RA-4 Blix (4x5L) http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-ra4-blix-kit-4x5l-296-p.asp

    I will probably be mixing up 1L of working solution at a time, I would like to reuse the chemistry if possible. Does this mean replenishing, or can the chemistry be reused without replenishment assuming working solutions are stored in airtight bottles with all the air squeezed out. If necessary can I make replenisher strength solution from the above chemistry and if so do I need the Developer Starter? - http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/ra4-developer-starter-351-p.asp The blub on the website talks about using it for completely consistent results, but I don't mind doing a bit of tweaking to get things how I like. I've read Kodak tech pub J39 http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/j39/j39.pdf, which suggests that 1L working solution can be used for up to 16 10x8 prints and stored for up to 6 weeks, but not left in open trays for more than 4 hours. Have I interpreted this correctly?

    Is the Fuji paper suitable for room temperature processing? I've heard mixed reports, but i'm stuffed if not as I don't know what I would do with the huge rolls of paper that are the alternative.

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I know this is the right place to get the answer.

    Thanks, Simon
     
  2. jayvo86

    jayvo86 Member

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  3. Simonh82

    Simonh82 Member

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    Thanks Jayvo86. I spent hours searching the forums and didn't even notice your thread that was still in the recent treads list.

    If someone can confirm that the chemistry I mentioned above is the same as the RA-RT chemistry mentioned in Jayvo86's thread I'd be grateful.
     
  4. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Those work perfectly, I'm using them, bought in 2009.

    No! Mix complete 5 liters once. The opened concentrates go bad as quickly as in 6 months or less, whereas the mixed solutions work for years. I use developer mixed two years ago. Store in squeezed PET plastic bottles without air. It just doesn't go bad if stored mixed. Also, you avoid mixing errors and measuring altogether.

    Believe me, I made the mistake of mixing 1 liter at a time and trying to keep opened concentrates. The next mix was dead. This is a peculiar process where the EASIEST way of just mixing everything works best.

    Even the UNOPENED developer concentrates go bad more quickly than the mixed ones! (Yes, really.) As you are getting four "kits" at once, if you are not going to use them all during two year span, maybe you could try refrigerating those DEVELOPER PART B bottles you are going to store for more than 2 years so that you wouldn't have to see what I and another APUGer found out, unopened part B going bad in 3 years. Part A and C keep better, as do the blix parts.

    Yes, you just reuse them. No need to replenish. I have made up to nearly 100 8x10" prints with one liter of developer, no signs of any changes in color or contrast. Just do it.

    Strong magenta/red discoloration of developer is normal and is caused by dyes released from the paper, and it does not affect the results.

    Do not use a starter. Just mix the "replenisher" solution for 5 litres and use it as is.

    The site is wrong, it has nothing to do with consistency. You might want to use it for replenished machine process or higher temperature process.

    This is conservative marketing talk. It just does not go bad. The one I have used for two years, has repeatedly been exposed to air in open trays for days. Maybe I should leave it open as a test, because I have yet to see a way to make it go bad!

    There is ONE report that it is not suitable, and this report is being quoted all the time. It seems there are many more reports of it working perfectly, just like it does for me.

    That said, it seems there are many versions of Fuji Crystal Archive. Hence, I can't speak for others. The one I have just works. I use it alongside with Kodak Supra Endura and correct filtration between them by about -5 M -5 Y when coming from Kodak to Fuji. Then, the results are very close.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012
  5. jayvo86

    jayvo86 Member

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    So after reading this thread I thought of a new question. (I'm a little confused.)

    Purchasing Kodak RA chemistry will take about an hour round trip to pick up.

    RA-RT will take me about 3 hours round trip. (Different store.)

    Would just "RA" be ok for tray processing, or do I need RT?
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    jayvo86,
    Did you read the sticky post at the top of the forum page, it has the Kodak product code numbers. The 10 liter kits are probably what you want.
     
  7. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Now the question is whether all of the RA-4 products work perfectly at room temperature (reduced from the standard) and how well they keep for long time or in open trays. At least "RT/LU" (CAT 529 2396) works perfectly, this is different from RA-RT often suggested (which of course works perfectly too). It is well possible that everything works...

    RT means roller transport so no special meaning here. It is just meant for the typical machines, but works in a tray process too. It's the standard product. RT-LU means low usage and it might be possible that it keeps better. RT-LORR means low replenishment rate and is meant for high volume labs, as an opposite of LU.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2012
  8. jayvo86

    jayvo86 Member

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    Ok, I think I get it now.