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  1. #1

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    Back in business with color developing and printing

    Hi All
    In the 80's I had a studio and a color lab that I printed mine and other studios work. I closed it down when digital started taking over film. I missed processing and printing so much that now that I am retired, I have set up a home darkroom. I have been printing B+W but I missed color. I started looking at color again and I think I have what I need to get back into it. Instead of Kreonite and durst printers, I am going to use trays and try that. I set up for testing temp. this week and came up with a body heating pad under each tray. It will stay at 85 Degree F. That will suffice with a time of 1minute and 30 sec. for development. Any advise and help on this setup will be appreciated.

    As for film, I have set up a deep tray with 4x5 tanks in it. I used 2 aquarium heaters to get the temp to 102 F. Once it reached that temp, I set the dials to keep it at that temp. I shoot 4x5 and med. format, so I can use this for both. I can stay in the dark without any problems during this developing time. Any advise on this setup would also be appreciated.

    This is my first post here and hope to continue and contribute when needed.

    Thanks

    Richard

  2. #2

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    Welcome home, Richard!
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  3. #3

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    Thanks ME Super for the welcome. This will keep the mind active for a while. Knock the cobwebs out and enjoy something I like doing instead of mowing and pulling weeds HAHA.

    Richard

  4. #4
    RPC
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    You don't need such temperature control for prints. You can develop at room temperature With Kodak RA Developer Replenisher RT, usually referred to here on APUG as RA-RT developer, for two minutes. Being a newbie here on APUG I suggest you go through the archives to find out more about tips on color processing from member's knowledge and experience, as well as posting questions. There is a wealth of information there!

  5. #5

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    Thanks RPC
    I have looked at the archives a little and I have seen where 2 minutes is used. My darkroom stays at 74 degrees pretty much the year round. Would this not be too cold. I know when I was doing it for a living that temp control was the thing back 25-30 years ago. But that was for consistancy. I guess if I am at 74 degrees constant that would be consistant?? I used Kodak paper and chemicals back then and tried a little Fuji paper once in a while. Fuji was a lot more contrasty. Also since Kodak has just about gone, I see Fuji is the way to go now. Does Fuji allow you to go that low on temp. and stay consistant?? I'll just have to finish ordering chemicals and doing it various ways and setups before I get back in the swing of things.
    I have file cabinets crammed full of negatives I shot back then that I want to print.
    I'll stay in here and report my setup as it is used.
    Thanks
    Richard

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
    My darkroom stays at 74 degrees pretty much the year round. Would this not be too cold.
    No, it will just work... If 2:00 is not enough, develop for 2:30. I have settled with 2:20 + draining time of 0:10 before stop bath, when working at 73-74 deg F. There is a VERY minor difference I can see in contrast and Dmax between 2:00 and 2:30, but with careful side-to-side examination, indeed you could argue that blacks are lacking a bit with 2:00 development time at 73 deg F, that's why I use a bit longer time.

    Of course, if you have the heating pads ready and they work, you can use them to save a little bit of time.

  7. #7
    RPC
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    No, it will just work... If 2:00 is not enough, develop for 2:30. I have settled with 2:20 + draining time of 0:10 before stop bath, when working at 73-74 deg F. There is a VERY minor difference I can see in contrast and Dmax between 2:00 and 2:30, but with careful side-to-side examination, indeed you could argue that blacks are lacking a bit with 2:00 development time at 73 deg F, that's why I use a bit longer time.
    Your situation is for some reason different than mine. At 68 degrees I never have any problem getting D-max at two minutes. But I have determined that I get more parallel curves if I lower the pH by adding a small amount of acetic acid to the developer. In this case increasing the development time to 2:30 gives blacker blacks. So the pH is quite important in fine tuning the results, and the pH of your developer must be slightly different from mine, perhaps due to the water, if you have to go 2:30 at 73-74 degrees. Have you determined how parallel your curves are?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPC View Post
    if you have to go 2:30 at 73-74 degrees. Have you determined how parallel your curves are?
    I have not plotted curves. I need to clarify; I don't think I have to go 2:30. It is just to be "on the safe side", based on one single side-to-side comparison with one single negative, with a long used developer, with a difference just barely noticeable but in favor of 2:30 with that particular negative and my particular taste at the time.

    Now, this was in context of answering the OP that yes, you can definitely do it at 73 deg F, and you can compensate by adjusting time if the result is too low in contrast or Dmax.

  9. #9
    RPC
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    Another tip, Richard, store your developers in high quality plastic or glass containers (I use canning jars, available in different sizes) filled to the top to retard oxidation and they will last many, many months, or even years.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies. RPC, I have plenty of sizes of canning jars. Good idea. I also have brown jugs ( a lot of them ) that I can use but most are gallon size. I think I'll change over to the jars but have to be careful not to mix it up with the moonshine..
    From looking at the products and paper that are avaliable now, it looks like a limited choice to choose from.
    What are most printers using now?
    B+H won't ship chemicals, Adorama doesn't seem to carry bleach except in huge containers, Freestlye is getting Tetenol but I haven't called yet to see if it is in stock yet.
    Paper is very limited in choice. I haven't tried Arista but since it is so cheap, I will try some.
    Back in the 80's, Kodak was geared to the large and mini labs and I couldn't order direct from them at all. I had to go through a camera store for all my paper and chemicals. I probably printed more than a mini lab did but they wouldn't work with me since I was a studio with a lab. I would shut the studio down 2 times a year for a week each and print nothing but furniture showroom 8x10's. Thousands and thousands of them. I lived practically day and night in the lab during this time. I guess you can say, " that was the good old days."
    Now it is totally digital. Times sure change fast.
    Didn't mean to get off track here.

    I'll check back later in the week.
    Thanks

    Richard

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