Thanks for the responses. To recap, it sounds like RA-4 is all there is in terms of a "commercially supported" process. I didn't mean to strike any nerves with Ilfo/Ciba. With some further reading, I discovered that Kodak had a positive print paper at one time (Type 1993 or RD-14). I couldn't find any information on a Unicolor (Type B or RB) process.
The three-color gum and carbon processes interest me. I also discovered that two- and three-color cyanotypes are possible although you're limited to tones achievable by bleaching and toning. Unfortunately (for me) most of the tutorials I'm finding are hybrid in that they rely on Photoshop to produce the registration negatives. So more research and exploring are in order...
There are almost an unlimited number of options if you are thinking of handcoated assembly color processes. You can even invent your own. All of them require some sort of separation negatives, which
can be done either hybrid or pure darkroom. But yeah, in terms of off-the-shelf color printing, RA4 is it.
Type R prints pretty much died when Ciba took over the direct from positive niche. To do slides or chromes onto RA4 papers, you either need to learn how to make internegatives or have to scan and print digitally via inkjet, laser, or Chromira. I will be printing some 8x10 internegs in about a month,
but mainly have switched over to color neg film now that direct from chrome options are thinning out.
After I retire in a couple years I might (or might not) have time to do some serious dye transfer printing. That's still the cat's meow in terms of color reproduction, but not in terms of sharpness or
permanence anymore. Color neg papers and films have come a long ways in recent years, so will
accommodate a greater range of potential colors and subjects than they once did.
I could not find any info with Google and the only info I have on it is in a book published in 1979, Photographic Materials and Processes by David Brooks which describes available films, papers, and processes of the day and referring to it says, "Unicolor R-2 Chemistry is intended for processing Unicolor Resin-Base Color Paper Type RB. It may also be used to process other type B papers." It goes on to say it could be used between 70 and 120 degrees F with develop times between 5 and 12 minutes and used a developer, stop, bleach-fix and stabilizer. Probably not much different than Ektaprint-2.
Originally Posted by bvy
I'm pretty sure the Unicolor was compatible with Kodak Type R chemistry and was just a different paper. The Unicolor chemistry also worked with the Kodak, or at least Unicolor made chemistry that did because I used it a lot. The Type 1993 that someone mentioned was an earlier version. I used quite a bit of the next version (I read about 1993 when I was doing only B&W but by the time I got around to trying it the next version was out) which I believe was 2203 or 2223. A quick check of Google doesn't turn up the exact number but I'm sure one could find it. I believe there was a later version called Radiance which may have been the last Type R paper Kodak made.
The R-2 process was in the book section for processes intended for printing from color negatives. The description did not say it was compatible with any Kodak papers as it did with other manufacturers' products, so I believe it to be a different process.
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Somehow, whenever I see the title of this thread I think of Peggy Lee
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I'm adding a little update after another round of weekend critical testing/calibration etc. The first bit of
infomation is that the current Arista-branded (Freestyle) RA kit performs exactly the same as the Kodak
RA/RT kit is claims to replace. I use it one-shot in drums, and it is a well-priced high-quality offering.
This is marketed for replenishable roller-transport processors, but is excellent in drums too. I dev 2 min
(incl drain) at 83F. The second tidbit regards the latest generation of Fujiflex polyester-based paper. It
is balanced admost identically to regular CAII paper, but as I suspected, has a tad more snap. It is
"digitally optimized" in the sense that they wanted a product with cleaner whites and blacks for titles
on commercial displays. Digital printing was often disappointing in this respect. For my kind of landscape subjects, this is an improvement over the previous Supergloss. But to dispel any notion that
this means the product is somehow disabled from ordinary enlargement capabability - nonsense! This
product is absolutely fantastic under an optical colorhead. But you do have to buy it in a big roll for
about a thousand bucks and cut it into sheets yourself.
advanced masking operations
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
When U say " advanced masking", what is meant? I've sorta thought all masking was 'advanced'. Are there types that are more advances that others?
Also I have a side question; a decade or 2 ago or more, I read an article about using a thermally developed film for masking. I thought that was a rather neet idea. Save a huge amount of time processing & drying the masking film. I think it was in 'Darkroom Techniques' or some such publication. In ~'93 I had the experience of using a thermally developed X-Ray film. I wasn't wild about it's radiographic quality, but for masking, I could see huge potential. (I've been involved w/ photography & radiography much of my life) [photography = spending $ - Radiography = making $] If I remember correctly, it was produced by 3M.
Have U ever heard of such?
Looking forward to hearing your responses, Jay Drew
The advantage of traditional masking using pan film is that you can expose it selectively to given parts
of the spectrum, just like using pan film in a camera with colored filters to alter the values in the scene,
and then can develop it according to the contrast level you wish etc. Something called Minute Mask came along which used photochromic glass like in transition sunglasses, which was exposed by a flash
unit to achieve a generic mask, but the dyes in this product fade over time, and "generic" was about
what to expect from it. And now someone has an industrial product probably to act like a resist
for photochemical etching, but I don't really know much more than that. Masking can either be as simple
or complex as you wish. Once density builds up much, some kind of secondary lith mask is often required prior to the primary pan mask, but this all depends upon the specifics. Beyond that I guess someone could write a book or two about it. Masking color neg film is inherently fussy because it already has an orange contrast mask in place, and every little tweak is like power steering. Plus you have to somehow veer past that orange bias in the first place if you don't want a flat tire. Fortunately,
many images print just fine without supplemental masking. It's those that don't that can test your skill.
I was wondering if there is are any texts about masking? I guess U answered that above. I've read some about it by Ctein,, & perhaps by some others I can't remember. Would U be kind enough mention some good books that have been written giving good usable material about it as part of a more wide sweeping subject?
I occasionally see Condit & (the fellow up in Vancouver) masking equipment for sale on Ebay.
Thank you, Jay Drew