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  1. #1

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    Ultrafine RA-4 Paper

    Hi everyone. I'm printing some color in my basement now, and I was settled on going with some of Kodak's Endura Paper because it is archival, cheap, and should print my mostly-Kodak-dominated film repertoire quite nicely. However, I have run across some very cheap paper, available from Ultrafine (www.ultrafineonline.com) that can't be beaten at $100/500 shts (or can it?). I'm just starting color printing and need something cheap because I have a hard enough time not ****ing up B&W paper, so color I'll make a minimum of three times as many mistakes. At the same time, I am printing some people's pictures (snapshots, homecoming photos etc.) and I don't want to give them a product on inferior paper that will fade and yellow much quicker than Kodak's. So does anyone know what the specs are from this paper? Also, what is the optimal chemistry for a given color paper: the one made by the same company, or is there a specific paper developer shown to be the most archival and high-quality? Thanks for your help everyone.

    ~Karl Borowski

  2. #2

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    They don't give much info do they? My guess is it's some sort of consumer paper.

    If you're just starting out it pays to have known good paper. Why chase your tail anymore then you have to? If you want cheap to get started on watch Ebay for somebody selling roll paper. Make sure it was well stored. Or even buy yourself a fresh roll of 8" or 10" wide paper. Assuming you're making 8x10s. By the time you've finished a roll you'll have learned the paper and the process. A 275 foot roll of 8" paper is about 330 8x10s less waste. A similar roll of 10" would be 400+ 8x10s.

    BTW you're just starting out by printing other peoples photos? You're a better person then me-) I grabbed about 15 of my negatives that had all been taken at the same time on the same roll of film and that caused me enough trouble when I started. I can't imagine how much hassle doing other peoples must be.

    RA-4 is supposed to be RA-4. Maybe others can comment I've only used a private label kit from Fotochem and Fuji chemicals. Mostly with Kodak paper.

  3. #3

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    Dear Karl,

    I have purchased cheap paper to practice on in the past. I find that when I print b&w for extended periods, my color skills fade and I'd rather practice on cheap paper. (500 sheets is a lot of practice though!) I have the same problem going back to b&w but for some reason I can't bring myself to buy cheap b&w paper.<g>

    Neal Wydra

  4. #4

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    Cheapest Chemistry (Room Temp Possibly?)

    I have decided to go with the Ultracolor paper just for starters to learn the craft since it's so cheap. However, the corresponding RA-4 kit is rather pricey. What are some of the cheapest RA-4 kits out there? I'll probably using developer one-shot unless there's another feasible option for replenishment that isn't too terribly complicated. I have one of those rotating drums for processing, but I want to go through prints as fast as possible for when I'm in a crunch and have a lot to print in a hurry. I've heard Tetenal chemicals can be used at room temp, but theirs are rather expensive 5 Liter kits. Can Kodak's larger 10 liter kit be used at room temperature one shot? Also, about how many sq. in. of paper can a ten liter kit handle one shot?

    Regards.
    ~Karl Borowski

  5. #5

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    Ron Mowrey, ex-Kodak, sez RA-RT replenisher works fine for room-temp. development. Time is around 2 mins. I use Patterson's Photocolor chemistry in trays. Works very well, except that the stated times are too short - extend by 50% for better print-to-print consistency. The diluted developer lasts a very long time without replenishment.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmIs4Ever
    What are some of the cheapest RA-4 kits out there? I'll probably using developer one-shot unless there's another feasible option for replenishment that isn't too terribly complicated. I have one of those rotating drums for processing, but I want to go through prints as fast as possible for when I'm in a crunch and have a lot to print in a hurry. ]

    The Fotochem stuff is fairly cheap.

    http://www.jdphotochem.com/

    You'll have to ask what shipping will set you back. No need for replenishment. I make up a small amount of developer. 250ml I guess and 500ml of stop and blix. The three chemicals go into small glass bottles. IIRC the alleged capacity of the stuff works out be 13 8x10 prints for every 250ml of developer. In my expierence that number is very low. If you do a pre-wash capacity is even higher. The thing is once you mix up the developer it's life is measured in weeks. The concentrate lasts alot longer. All I do is reprogram the analyzer every so often. I guess every 20 8x10s. The change in the analyzer setup is very small over the life of the chemicals.

    Best way to deal with high volume is to get a bigger drum. My biggest will handle 4 8x10s and I think about the bigger model every so often.

  7. #7

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    BTW I'm talking about buying a bigger kit and mixing up small volumes of the kit.

  8. #8

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    Do not know

    I have no idea how good or bad this paper is. I do know that when I started printing color..ep2..I went thru a 100 sheet box to get a properly filtered, exposed and processed pic.

    I have bought and been satisfied with buying unopened boxes of Crystal Fuji Archive from ebay which were inexpensively obtained.

    If you have your processing under control you might well be able to establish a correlation between the cheap paper and the endura so that you could take several or more sheet to find your exposure and filtration on the cheap stuff and know for example the Endura requires 20% less exposure, 15 more units of red and 4 more of magenta...actually probably stated as a percent.
    Then you could get a proper print on Endura by using only a few prints.

    In my opinion your success as a color printer is going to come from sticking to it. It requires plenty of chemicals, electronic light control...a stable light source, processing control, paper and more than any other ingredient sticking to it.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    I just recently started printing my own color work too- I bought these chemicals and have been satisfied (although I don't really have anything to compare them to). http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_pro...=1004&pid=4700
    -Grant

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmIs4Ever
    I have one of those rotating drums for processing, but I want to go through prints as fast as possible for when I'm in a crunch and have a lot to print in a hurry.
    I would recommend tray processing for speed.

    I note the Arista developer Grant uses takes 3 min 20 sec at 24 C! The Photocolor developer is twice as fast.

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