Starting points for RA4 with Focomat V35
I finally decided to give a try with color enlarging. I have color head on my Focomat V35, got myself Fuji crystal archive 18x24cm papers, Adox RA4 starter kit (Color Developer + Bleach Fix).
To minimize waste in material for testing - I have couple of questions:
Starting settings on enlarger head - shall I use 25Y, 25M, 0C? What about approximate exposing time for 18x24 cm paper @5.6 - using original Philips bulb (if someone has V35, and did it already)? I am planing to use fuji superia 200 negatives, developed in a pro lab, properly exposed and developed (no under or over exposed).
Also, can this Bleach Fix be used for fixing of B&W FB prints as well?
The bleach fix will ruin B/W prints, keep it far, far away!
There really is a lot of variability in bulb brightness, and great variation in filter packs. And with colour there are no real shortcuts, unless you have one of those proof printer easels where you can get 4 shots of the same thing on one sheet. There will be variations in film stock for colour balance, but not a lot. You might find more variation for exposure times. You really need to sacrifice some sheets early on just to nail a "standard" colour balance for your favourite film. I'd first suggest a density sweep like you would do with black and white to choose an exposure time then a sweep of the yellow channel. Find the least offensive setting, do a sweep of the magenta channel with that Y setting fixed, find the least offensive one, then start using progressively smaller steps. Ideally on both these initial sweeps, you want to span the ideal balance. i.e., use big steps. Then you can narrow it down. You will go through paper doing this. Even if you had a colour analyzer, you'd still have to do this initial process to get information to feed it. And don't forget to document everything.
As to your last question, no you can't use bleach fix for the B&W FB. Unless you want a white sheet of paper with a really faint orange stained image. I do however use bleach fix instead of Farmer's reducer for my black and white to enhance local contrast.
How are you doing your processing?
You are not going to be far out with Fuji paper with the filtration you are suggesting. With some negatives I need even less (Especially Kodak C41 Black and white.) Once you have achieved a really accurate colour print and have set up the filtration try making what used to be called a 'Ring-a-Round' It really is quite easy once you have the perfect print.
Say the required filtration for that print is 20M+15Y. Make a series of other prints from the same negative which are in progressive steps away from the known accurate filtration. The 1st print being +5Y then another at +10Y, then 2 more with -5Y and -10Y etc etc. Repeat these steps again, but printing +/- prints with all the other possibles of Magenta, cyan, blue, red and green. Then with end result pin them to a board with the good print in the centre and the progressively unbalanced prints radiating outward. That way in the subdued lighting of the darkroom or even from a daylight quality bulb you will be able to see what filtration will get you closer to the one you want.
This has saved me countless sheets of paper.
Another way (but slightly cheating) is to make a good inkjet print and try to match that in the darkroom. It work,s but is not as good as the Ring-a-Round system.
Incidentally I have found that LED lighting (I use a good torch (flashlight to out American friends)) gives me a closer approximation to daylight when assessing colour balance.
Last edited by BMbikerider; 02-09-2014 at 04:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thank you for answers .
> How are you doing your processing?
I am planing to develop papers in plastic trays that I use for B&W prints, in total darkness.
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So I have done it. It was not so hard, but of course I see that it takes practice to get nice results. What was different in comparing to B&W:
- short exposure time: 3-6 sec @f8 or f11. So no place to dodging and burning.
- every new frame must have test clips: on B&W frames from same film with same lighting are more less same exposure time. Here is not the case.
- to get nice color balance on portrait is very very hard - wasted 5 papers to get it ok, but not ok enough, so I give up for the first time.
- working in dark is not a big problem for small paper size.