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  1. #1

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    how hard is it really to do RA4 printing at home?

    I have done E6 developing at home. I do have a color head enlarger. I am just wondering how difficult it is to try my hands at RA4 wet printing. Do I need to get a can that holds the paper inside? Do I get to process one page at a time? Can you please help me with links to websites or books that specifically talk about RA4 printing at home. Is it worth trying?

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    It's certainly doable if you're competent at black and white work. Ideally you use a Jobo processor (or similar) that provides a tempered bath and provides processing tubes. You put the paper in the tube in the dark, and process it on the rotary processor in the light (like you would film in a tank). The steps are very fast at high temperatures (high 30s C usually, as I recall) but at room temperature, a single sheet will take tens of minutes to develop so the tempering bath is very useful.

    Whether it's worth trying is up to you, but if you can get an inexpensive Jobo unit, you should absolutely do it. Without one, it involves greater amounts of fuss and hassle, but if you're enduring E6 already, you might be fine anyway. It is awfully fun seeing a full colour print come out of the developing tube.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3

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    Processing RA-4 should not be difficult for you as you have done E6. Your difficult would be to get the right color balance but that isn't all that difficult.

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    It's worth a go and it's not so difficult as many imagine.

    Yes you process individual prints but with something like a Nova Slot processor it's very quick, rotary tanks take considerably longer to load, fill, empty wash clean etc.

    I used a Kodak book I acquired somewherev and it was straight forward but then I had done some colour printing in the late 1960's -Pavelle Process, that was not easy !!! Also Cibachromes in the mid 1970's- early 80's.

    Ian

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I forgot to mention that I do have bath to maintain temperature. But I don't have any room for a JOBO or a rotary processor in my bathroom turned darkroom.
    Does anybody supply Nova slot processor in the US?

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    You can process RA-4 in trays at room temperature if you use the right chemicals. Kodak RA/RT developer and Kodak RA-4 Bleach/Fix are the ones to use. They have tremendous capacity and last a long time. Two minutes in each bath. Sometimes I use an acetic acid stop bath as well.

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    kerne's Avatar
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    Search is your friend.

    APUG Article - http://www.apug.org/forums/forum221/...ing-200-a.html

    Kodak Ektacolor PDF - http://wwwcaen.kodak.com/global/en/p...bs/j39/j39.pdf

    Dev - http://www.adorama.com/KKRADRRT.html
    Bleach - http://www.adorama.com/KKRABFR10L.html

    The hardest part of doing RA4 is learning how to adjust the filters for proper color correction and by how much, but that comes with practice. A set of Kodak color printing filters is invaluable. http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-Color-Pr.../dp/0879857919

    Here's a soon to end 'bay auction - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kodak-Color-...c#ht_500wt_969

    My Beseler motor base and 8x10" drum take up slightly more counter space than a single 8x10" tray and it's nice to be able to turn the lights back on after loading the drum. Temperature is not a huge issue. I keep a small container of each chem in a heated bath and the drum only takes a few ounces. As you can see from Kodak's PDF, dev at 94F is only 1 minute. It can be adjusted 5 seconds per 1 degree F in either direction as shown by Kodak's chart on page 3 (45 secs at 97F or 1:15 min at 91F).

    Give it a go, even if you have to start with trays. You'll love it.

  8. #8
    E76
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    It's very easy! While a temperature controlled bath is the way to go, I've processed RA-4 in trays at room temperature using Kodak Supra Endura and Ektacolor RA-RT chemistry. It takes two minutes to develop a sheet at room temperature—not tens of minutes—and I had great results. (This method was recommended by PE in several threads.) I'm not sure if the same can be done with the Fuji Crystal Archive but it's worth a shot.

  9. #9
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I've done it and plan to again. It's actually pretty easy. I have a Jobo but won't use it. I've used rotary tanks and never will again for paper. Huge PITA. Much prefer trays. Slot processor is nice but expensive. Developer tray in a water bath with acquarium heater is what I plan. Heater is not really necessary - many people do fine at room temperature with extended development, but raising it a bit (need not go to the specified temperature, just use the appropriate time for your temperature) will make it quicker and more consistent.

    The bleach-fix just goes to completion so no temperature control needed.

    Never had a color head enlarger either. CP filters in the filter drawer also work fine. Take a little longer to change filtration but it's really a small amount of time. Not as convenient but perfectly workable.

    Don't believe the story that you can't use a safelight either. I have a Duka 50 I reserve for color since the tube is not replaceable now, and that works fine, but even the very dark color printing filters for conventional safelights will provide enough light to see outlines, and that's a huge help.

  10. #10
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmallick View Post
    I have done E6 developing at home. I do have a color head enlarger. I am just wondering how difficult it is to try my hands at RA4 wet printing.
    Super duper easy. Do a forum search; there have been many discussions recently.

    Do I need to get a can that holds the paper inside?
    NO! Never. Some masochists suggest that but it's up to yours if you want to do it hard and expensive or easy and cheap way. I'd suggest using trays. It's developer, stop and blix, just like you have developer, stop and fix in B&W process. The only difference is that RA-4 chemicals last much longer and can withstand much more oxidation in open trays than most B&W paper developers.

    Do I get to process one page at a time?
    Just as many as you like. I often sandwich two pages against each other, emulsions out to develop at the same time in trays. For more papers, you can use the shuffling procedure...

    Can you please help me with links to websites or books that specifically talk about RA4 printing at home. Is it worth trying?
    Just do a forum search. In short: Buy Kodak RA-RT or Kodak RA-LU Developer and Blix kits (without starter), mix, use in trays at room temperature, develop for 2:00 to 2:30, stop for 0:30, optional rinse, blix for 2:00, final wash for 2:00-5:00, enjoy. Start with filtration printed in paper pack, usually something like 0C 45M 50Y. Add magenta to remove magenta cast. Reduce magenta to remove green cast. Add yellow to remove yellow cast. Reduce yellow to remove blue cast. Add magenta+yellow to remove red cast. Reduce magenta+yellow to remove cyan cast. Enjoy.

    The right question is NOT "have you done C-41 or E6?" but "have you done B&W printing?" -- because printing color is so close to it in procedures.
    Last edited by hrst; 06-26-2012 at 01:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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