Fotospeed RA4 Developer kits v Paterson v Tetenal
Looking for anyone's experience with any two or three out of the three above kits.Since starting colour printing about a year ago I was recommended to use and have only ever used Tetenal from Nova Darkroom. I am now running out of Tetenal developer but have quite a lot of the blix left.
I have been satisfied with it but it is expensive compared to either Fotospeed or Paterson both of which are recommended by Firstcall in its website as better value for money.
Any views welcome. I have a horrible feeling that neither Paterson or Fotospeed is well known in the U.S. where the majority of APUGers reside but hopefully I am wrong and it isn't just the UK members who can pass an opinion.
As I have quite a lot left, I have assumed that Tetenal blix will be fully compatible with either Fotospeed or Paterson developer. Am I right?
Thanks for help
I have used Patersons kit at 35 degrees, Agfa minilab chemistry at 35 degrees, Tetenals room temp kit in ambient temperature. All of them seem to work nicely. I haven't done any extensive side to side testing but in normal use the results seem equal. You don't mention how you are processing? Blix is compatible except that chemicals intended for room temperature processing should not be used in higher temperatures.
Fotospeed RA-4 is an OEM product of Amaloco Photochemicals.
Both the Rapidocolor and their RA-4 room temperature kits are more than excelent.
But also their RA-4 roomtemp can be used in an e.g. ACP processor on 27 degrees C. and run in 2X30 seconds (dev. + blix).
The lifetime of this Amaloco RA-4 roomtemp. is far superior over the Tetenal kit. Even Color specialists in Germany (like Wallner/FEM-Kunze) can confirm this statement.
Just an FYI, the room temperature kits are grossly overpriced. The reason is that the Kodak RA kit can be used down to 68 deg F (20 deg C) with no problem whatsoever and no different kit or price for the whole temperature range up to 100F (38C).
In addition, some kits still use CD4 as developing agent. I will keep warning of this. That developer seriously degrades both the dye hues and dye stability (particularly dark stability) of the images. If a kit uses CD4, do not use it with any current color paper from any manufacturer, as they are designed for CD3.
I have a question too, regarding RA4 chemicals and availability.
Eventually, with the demise of AGFA I will have to switch my RA4 chemistry. I have for years now, been using the AGFA 5 litre kits designed for non replenishing systems, using them in my Durst Printo with much success.
Last week I purchased 5 x 5 litre AP94 kits, they were the last I could find in Melbourne. I will of course run out, and will have to look for an alternative.
I'm thinking Fuji or Kodak as the best options. It appears that I will have to look at the mini lab kits, which are usually 20 or 40 litre. Is there anyone out there with user knowledge, of how these kits are broken up. I remember that one of the Kodak kits for EP2 used to be a 20 litre one, but was broken down into 4 x 5 litre kits internally.
Looking at Tetenal kits they are way overpriced in this country compared to the more commercial alternatives.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
The Kodak RA-RT replenisher and the RA developer come in 5 and 10 liter kits. The 10 L kit can be split up easily. I do it all the time, and the second part of the concentrate, stored well, keeps for over 6 months.
The measurements of each of the parts is on the individual bottles making splitting very easy.
The blix is very easy to mix in small quantity and the remaining concentrate can keep for months in the original bottles.
PE, many thanks, you must be burning the midnight oil?
I have chosen Robert for my reply but this is really a thanks to all the replies. I had given up any hope of getting any replies. I had thought that if there were no replies in about 3/4 days then there wouldn't be any. I should have had more faith in APUG members.
Originally Posted by Fotohuis
I had to take the plunge as they say and order before these replies arrived. I went for Paterson and used it last night. It appears to be as good as Tetenal and of course much cheaper. I had spoken to Nova Darkroom about Paterson and Stewart Band, Nova's darkroom colour expert said that the feedback from Paterson users was good.
Incidentally for anyone thinking of using Paterson, finding instructions on using the correct amount of starter for the initial batch is difficult. There is only a confusing reference o the website to the amount required and the bottle itself has no instructions.Replenisher instructions on the Paterson website are however clear. It is 1:9 Printmaster to water for replenisher at 35 degrees C which is what I process at in a Jobo. It seems that use at a lower temperature (so called room temperature) is also possible at 1:4. So you use the Printmaster at almost twice the rate but at the lower temperature no starter is required.
For anyone thinking of using Paterson at 35 degrees C the initial batch is 2% starter added to a 1:9 Printmaster to water. Nova's recommendation is 880ml water, 100ml printmaster and 20ml starter for 1 litre. Provided the initial batch is replenished often enough then no more starter is required and the ratio is 1:9 Printmaster developer to water. Presumably after a certain time of non use a fresh batch including starter would be needed. That is once the initial batch is made up it has a limited shelf life unless it is used. There is no indication of how often it needs replenishing to keep it in usable condition
The strange thing is that despite the low percentage of starter required, it come in 500ml bottles which is the same as the Printmaster developer. In fact the biggest amount of RA4 Printmaster developer you can buy is 1000ml. However Nova says that the starter does not deteriorate like developer so having to buy a 500ml bottle is not wasteful.
I intend writing to Paterson to ask that they include more information on their website including the developer's "use life" and replenishment rates and recommend that they include an instruction leaflet with each bottle of starter.
It appears Paterson has a good product which is badly marketed. This is a pity because no less an expert than Geoffrey Crawley who still tests for Amateur Photographer magazine in the U.K. was long associated with Paterson. Paterson has some really enthusiastic supporters in the photographic community.
In fact one person who calls himself Michael Scarpitti, I think, is almost evangelical about Paterson FX39, a B&W developer. He seems to be a regular contributor to Cafe Ilfopro which from my browsing is a site for users of Ilford products.
Interesting to hear that Fotospeed has longer life than Tetenal. In the U.K. Fotospeed is not quite as cheap as Paterson but of course a better "use life" and better replenishment rates than Paterson could make it a better buy.
If I get anything useful from Paterson then I'll pass it on.
Well, not quite. The sun was just setting when I posted that last note. OTOH, you are up rather early, right?
Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
The instructions for mixing Patersons starter with developer are in the backside of developer bottles label. Just tear off corner of the label. There are also simple instructions for replenishing.
The ratios printed there are the same you quote.
I use a Nova processor too, and I think that tetenals has the longest life when stored in nova processor with tubular lids. This means the shelf life, not capacity as I tend to spend chemistry more by storing it too long.
When developer gets old (weeks in the nova processor), I get brown whites despite of replenishing. This is cured with a fresh batch of developer.
In nova I have always "replenished" by changing part of the developer solution with "initial tank solution" mixed with starter when I start a printing session.