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Thread: Printing on FCA

  1. #1

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    Printing on FCA

    Guys,

    I'm having troubling pulling out all the answers to my questions by searching.

    However...first a little about my situation.

    I shoot Fuji Across 100 and Kodak Portra 400 the most.

    I have access to a darkroom with a 4x5 condensor enlarger, many color enlargers, and a couple sinks with water temp control.

    I have experience with BW processing film/paper.

    My dilemma:

    I want to start printing my color neg's in the darkroom instead of paying $1000-1500 for a good scanner and 2-3K for a inkjet printer.

    Here are my questions:

    For the Fuji CA II 8x10 paper I ordered...

    Can I process it Kodak RA-RT chemistry? At room temp?

    Can I tray develop with consistent results?

    Do I need to replenish chemistry after each print?

    Is it REALLY ok to use a Kodak Amber #13 safelight, or is just PB best?

    Is there standard enlarger color settings to start with or one specific to Kodak Portra 400?

    Is a stop bath needed? Is a water stop ok if so?

    Does the color balance shift considerably depending on exposure?

    Will dodging and burning give different color casts to different parts of the print?

    Anyway, thanks in advance!! There doesn't seem to be as much info on color printing as there is BW printing.

    --Josh

  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Go to this reference, Kodak form J-39, which details the process of using RA-RT in trays at a variety of temperatures.. It does not list room temperature, but you can use it that low anyway. Yes, you can use a safelight #13, but do a safelight test to see how long you may keep your materials out. My box of FCA doesn't have a starting color balance printed on it, but my Kodak Endura does and it is a good starting place for FCA, I don't recall the exact setting, but it is close to 55M, 45Y, 0C.

    Replenishing will make your tray of developer last longer, but it is not necessary. Use an acid stop followed by a water rinse as per thie instructions in J-39. Get your exposure time right, then worry about the color balance. Dodging and burning may give a different color cast, but don't worry about that until you start having problems, then you may want to learn bow to mask, ut don't over complicate things until you get a handle on the basics.
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  3. #3
    hrst's Avatar
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    For the Fuji CA II 8x10 paper I ordered...
    Can I process it Kodak RA-RT chemistry? At room temp?


    Not sure about Fuji CA II, but the variant of CA I'm using works absolutely perfectly with Kodak RA-RT, without starter, at room temp (23 deg C), 2 min 30 sec or so.


    Can I tray develop with consistent results?


    Yes.


    Do I need to replenish chemistry after each print?


    No. I have done around hundred or so 8x10" prints with one liter of developer. I think it works like B/W developer, you start losing contrast and maximum blacks and can counteract that for some time by adding dev time, but at some point you need to replace the developer. I'm saying "I think" because I don't remember ever seeing this, I just have tossed it at some point because I have decided that the blix has exceeded its useful life and I have equal amounts of developer and blix anyway...


    Is it REALLY ok to use a Kodak Amber #13 safelight, or is just PB best?


    At REALLY low light levels, yes. I use yellow leds (not greenish-yellow!, not orange), without filters. If I added #13 filtration, I would probably be able to crank up the light level a bit, but I haven't found any good deal on #13 safelight filter. Please note this is a different filter from B&W amber safelight.

    Anyway, the level of safelight allowed is such that you cannot see ANYTHING when you first turn off your lights, but after 10 minutes of your eyes adjusting, you can see surprisingly well. You can (barely) see the edges of the white paper against black objects, you can see where the developer tray sits...

    I'm using a much higher level of yellow safelight near the developer tray which I turn on when the developer time is over, to transfer the print to stop. At this point, much higher level of illumination is OK.

    Is there standard enlarger color settings to start with or one specific to Kodak Portra 400?

    Depends on the enlarger. You can try to start with the values printed on the paper box. It can be typically around 50M50Y or so. On the Fujimoto enlarger I'm using, it is more like 50M100Y. The scales can differ quite a bit between enlargers.

    After you have nailed it down once for images shot at a right color temperature for that film (that is, natural daylight), the filtration will be very close for further prints too, not only for Portra 400, but for other color negatives too!

    Is a stop bath needed? Is a water stop ok if so?

    It is highly recommended in tray processing, otherwise, you have a risk of some streaking. Use acetic acid at 2%. I use it at about 1% to reduce smell, but change it much more frequently, about after every 10 prints.

    I also add a very quick water dip after the acid stop. Probably not necessary, but helps maintain the pH of the blix. I just happen to have a good spot on the table for this bath.

    Does the color balance shift considerably depending on exposure?

    Practically not at all. The products are very linear.

    Will dodging and burning give different color casts to different parts of the print?

    No, see reason above.

    Anyway, thanks in advance!! There doesn't seem to be as much info on color printing as there is BW printing.

    I agree. But it's really simple and fun because the products are well engineered!
    Last edited by hrst; 06-17-2012 at 09:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for both of the responses! Very helpful! Fortunately, I can get the chemistry locally here in Japan.



 

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