What RA4 paper for home darkroom?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Rollei fan, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    I have been printing RA4 at home on an irregular basis for years. I liked Kodak Supra Endura but now it has been discontinued, so I got some Fuji Crystal Archive (sheets, lustre). I don't like it quite as much as I liked Supra Endura, however, the lustre surface isn't as pleasing and the colors seem a little less brilliant. :sad:

    So I am wondering if I should try some other paper. Kodak has Ultra Endura and Royal in rolls. Has anyone printed on Royal at home? How does it compare with Supra Endura and Fuji CA? Any comments?
     
  2. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Perhaps try Ektachrome Edge? It's thinner than Endura, but to my eye the colours are the same.
     
  3. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    Thanks for your answer. From Kodak's website I read that the emulsion is the same on Edge and Royal, but Royal has a thicker base. I develope in trays, so Royal seems to me the better alternative of those. Buying a 30,5cm x78 meters roll perhaps wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
  4. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Are you in the US? I've never seen Royal for sale here.

    Have you got a big darkroom? I found cutting down from rolls to be a huge pain in a tiny darkroom - very difficult to get square edges and lots of rhombus shaped paper!
     
  5. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    I have my darkroom in our garage, which is pretty crowded with stuff, but I can make more space there if I need it. I believe it is very difficult to cut paper from a roll to a perfect shape in total darkness, so a Kaiser Spectral darkroom light might be a worthwhile investment?
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I use one of these which hangs round my neck:
    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/safetorch.html

    If you're tray developing, perhaps oddly shaped paper is fine and you can just cut it afterwards to shape. I use a Nova Slot Processor and the shape is more critical as a clip holds the paper in the vertical position in a thin slot.
     
  7. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    There's still a fair bit of endura floating around, so I'd stock up and use that until you can't get it anymore. Even out of date paper by a few years still prints fine, even if not refrigerated, in my experience. I've stocked up on endura enough to last another year or more at least.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have worked my way though about 150' of a 5" wide roll of Royal. The curve is a bitch, due to the heavier than normal base. I find the contrast a bit too 'popped' for portraits, but it can work ok for most everything else. You certainly don't need to pair it up with any high contrast films.
     
  9. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I have been using edge cut from rolls. It is still thick enough for tray processing (I use rotary tanks). It is thicker than single weight b&w and at 8X10 is not subject to tearing when wet like single weight b&w.
    I cut it up, put it in leftover black bags from b&w paper, and store it in 8X10 boxes. The curl disappears in the easel, and is just noticable after drying. I haven't found the curl to be a problem.
     
  10. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    I usually print either 10x12 or 12x16, so I would prefer having a thicker base. I hadn't thought about the issue with curling. Perhaps precutting the roll and putting the sheets under pressure would take care of the curl even with thicker base (Royal)?
     
  11. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Royal is available in the UK!

    Matt
     
  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Nope, I have tried this. I fill 5x7 boxes, tape them shut, and stack other paper on them in the freezer for up to a year, and the things still come out of the boix curved, perhaps a bit less than they went in.

    This stuff drove me to put a vaccuum easel into service; that solves the problem, but the darkroom session is not so peacefull with the vaccuum motor running intermittently.
     
  13. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    would it be feasible to counter-roll it before cutting, to counter the inherent curve? e.g. re-roll the whole roll backwards and leave it that way for a bit?
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Have you ever fought with rolls of paper in total darkness? It is a challenge enough for me to pull it off the reel and into the paper cutter, and then get it off it's support spindle and then back into its storage bag. The though of reroll is beyond the capabilities of the total darkness space I have, particularly when the worst offender is the 12" x250' rolls near the middle to center.
     
  15. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Matt, where from? Do you mean wholesale?
     
  16. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    no I haven't

    I haven't had to deal with rolls yet. I have several boxes of endura stockpiled for the next year or more. But I hear you - it sounds like a pain in the ass to say the least! Indeed, re-rolling might be quite the chore. Would need some sort of jig to do it, probably. Maybe if/when I get to that point I'll fabricate something. Hopefully I can still find recently-out-of-date Endura in sheets for a while yet.

    Is the hassles of Royal/edge in rolls worth it vs. cut sheets of Crystal Archive or whatever the fuji paper is called?

    -Ed
     
  17. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    The question we'll all have to come to terms with next year, I think.

    Incidentally, how are you all storing your colour paper? I've got 6 boxes of Endura left, they all expire 01/11. Mine are being kept in a cool (~15C) cupboard, I hope I can squeeze life out of them until maybe March/April.
     
  18. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I have mine in a 60F or so basement, with humidity controlled to about 50%. I have thought of putting some in the freezer. It will last quite a long time. I printed some Supra II from 1994 the other day, it was a bit too yellow/green but otherwise almost usable. I used some Supra III last night and it printed wonderfully. It was before they put expiration dates on it but I am sure it's expired. I think it's good for at least a couple years beyond expiration date, and longer than that if frozen. P.E. could probably weigh in with more info on that.

    I have enough to last at least another year or more I think: 600 11x14 supra, 250-300 8x10/8.5x11 Portra endura, 250 10x12 supra, about 200-250 20x24/24x30/16x20 Portra/supra (which I can't even use until I refurbish my CP-51 processor). Plus more probably that I am forgetting...
     
  19. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Thanks Ed, I can calm down a little with printing maybe - I'd been going hard at it printing colour almost every night to use up my paper stocks, going back to old negs to make nice hand prints, etc.
     
  20. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I have Supra from around 2008 that is fine and I had one box with a few sheets from around 2005.
    These printed fine also. Filtration was about normal.

    The glossy Edge is okay but like others mention it is thin. I have a 610ft roll of 8in that I have been using to get color experience but it definitely doesn't look as good next to Lustre Supra or Portra Endura to my eyes.

    I try to keep any stock I won't be using fairly soon in the freezer but the Edge is too large and stored in my cool basement.
     
  21. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    We can obtain it from Kodak, but we havent bothered to list it yet.

    Regarding cutting rolls for traditional exposure: Palm Lab here in Birmingham do all their colour hand prints with paper cut from rolls, and they don't use a vacuum easel. It's generally accepted practice in labs becuase of the massive cost advantage of rolls, and the greater variety of paper.
     
  22. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I just ordered several hundred sheets of Supra Endura in 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 from an online place here in the US; it gets delivered today. Hopefully it won't be far out of date, if at all. So, it's still out there to be had, from some vendors at least.

    FWIW
    -Ed