Fuji CA really fast?
Recently I took the plunge and got into RA-4 printing. I bought the 2-liter Arista RA-4 chem kit and a 100 pack of 8x10 Fuji CA Type II. I mixed the chemicals and tray processed the paper at room temperature.
My only question is: how do I combat the speed of the paper? Most of my prints were like 6 seconds at f/22. This is from a 6x9 negative with a 105mm lens. The enlarger is a Beseler 23C, and I am using a pack of Unicolor printing filters. The film was Kodak Ektar, and the filter pack was 25M 20Y.
Would it be worth buying some neutral density filters for the enlarger? I could add some neutral density by adding 5C 5M 5Y, would that work?
PS I did get adequate color correct prints but I wish I could work around f/5.6 or f/8, and I like 20 second exposures instead of 6.
Maybe it is some of the paper that is designed for short digital exposures.
lower wattage bulb in the enlarger seems to be the easiest route. More sensible than adding neutral density.
ra-4 is fast. FWIW the LPL enlargers have a dimmer for exactly this reason. Could always just make bigger prints :) 6x9 ektar should go mural sized and still have a ton of detail.
Add more filters you already have. If you add all three colors, Y+M+C, you get neutral density. So use 50Y+50M+50C plus whatever your pack is. If that isn't enough add the 40 filters for 90 of each. Of course the filters are probably not perfect so the rest of your pack may have to be varied a little, but this approach will work.
This is sure a far cry from the first color prints I made which were from slides on Kodak type 1993. (Not the date - it was in the 80s.) Exposures of 90 seconds were not unheard of.
I too was surprised at how low the exposures were. I was getting about 3 secs with my Durst M605. I substituted my 100W bulb for a 75W. Even then the exposures were still very modest. Dialling in C does help if there is no other way.
Fortunately there is less need to dodge and burn with RA4 or at least I found this to be so. The exposures I had make D&B nearly impossible.
I'm not finding CA that fast; about the same speed as Endura, 20-40s at f/16 and my lens goes to f/32 if I need more dodge/burn time.
Yes RA4 papers are fast, I got around it a little by using the 4x5 mixer box all the time instead of the 6x6 or 35mm ones.
Too short an exposure, like 2 sec or so, messes up the filter pack with the lower colour temp turn on and off ramps of the bulb.