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  1. #1

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    Color paper in black and white chemistry

    A few months ago I accidentally bought two large rolls of Kodak Portra color paper. The seller had described it as film and the return shipping was too expensive to make it worth my time. So I was wondering if I can develop color paper in black and white chemistry similar to how color film can be developed in D-76 and other similar chemicals. I know that all color work has to be done in complete darkness. Has anyone tried this? My Google search didn't yield any results.

  2. #2

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    You may want to sell it. Portra paper is much missed by some.
    Steve.

  3. #3
    AgX
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    It would work similar to that b&w processing of colour film.
    Keep in mind that the silver image is only intended as intermediary and might not give the result you expect from proper b&w materials.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Seems like a great time to consider learning how to print colour.
    Matt

    “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

  5. #5
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I am ordering bw negatives printed on color paper for a very long time. If you can manage to develop your color paper in color developer and print with bw negative , its a success story.

  6. #6
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    Since you clearly shoot C41 film, you should learn to print colour! It's very easy, assuming you have a colour head on your enlarger. And one of those is probably cheaper than the paper you just bought

    As for developing it as B&W, I suspect it will be disappointing with muddy blacks and low contrast. Colour paper depends on dyes to achieve its Dmax so I suspect there will be insufficient silver present to form very much dynamic range. And the contrast is not adjustable!

  7. #7

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    Thank you very much, everyone! This is a huge help. I will sell the unopened roll for sure. I may use the opened roll in some of my pinhole experiments and see if my local photo lab would be willing to develop the paper for me.

    I'd love to develop color, but am told it has to be done in total darkness. Also, one of my friends was telling me about a friend of one of her friends who died from inhaling color processing chemicals. My apartment lacks good enough ventilation for me to feel secure using the chemicals. And my girlfriend may not really approve, either. She tolerates the black and white work, mostly.

  8. #8
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Seriously, is there NO way to get an adeqate DMAX with B&W developer here? I have tried and get only weak results. Curious. - David Lyga

  9. #9
    bvy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Many Cameras View Post
    I'd love to develop color, but am told it has to be done in total darkness. Also, one of my friends was telling me about a friend of one of her friends who died from inhaling color processing chemicals.
    I think there must be more to that story. As far as processing, I find that drums work best for me: processing is done in room light, and you're only ever dealing with a small amount of chemicals at any given time -- for 8x10, it's exactly 60ml.

  10. #10
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    Snorting cibachrome would knock you off your perch, but RA4 isn't all that bad. The developer smells pretty bad (strong amine smell, as with most chromogenic devs) and will cause skin sensitisation so I would never use it in a tray, but it's completely fine in drums. I use a Jobo and in most sessions, won't even get a whiff of it.

    David: no. There's not enough silver in the paper, you need the dyes to get any meaningful density.

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