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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I'm a new colour photographer now

    A few weeks ago I decided it was time to give a rest to my old Vivitar condenser enlarger (converted to a cold light source), and by the same token get away with alignments problems, light leaks, necessity to change light sources between 120 and 35mm.

    So I found on the local classifieds a nice Vivitar (again?) VI with Dioptic Light Source. With it came a Unicolor drum, a roller base, and all sorts of other darkroom goodies. Including a Linhof copy stand that's sturdy enough for a 4x5. Oh, and that 50mm Minolta CE lens people rave about, too. But I digress.

    The main pull for the enlarger setup was the price (100$ !), the fact that it was new, and the fact that it would be sturdy enough not to suffer from any severe alignment and/or focus shifts problems. The dichro head was just going to be an extra sweet: cold, diffuse light, and no filter swapping.

    But then I realized I could do colour: all the stuff was there, I only needed paper and chemistery. After a few adventures at the photo store, I eventually laid my hands on a Kodak RA-4 kit, and got me some Supra paper. It was the first time I opened a yellow box in my darkroom. Sigh. Got me a Print Viewing Filters kit as well on ebay. Apparently it's a discontinued product now?

    Well, a few hours later, many tests, and not too many mistakes, I have printed TWO (yes, one finger two times!) 8x10 with a nearly correct colour balance, and proper exposure. I kept temperatures constant in a water bath, and processing was a snap with the rolling base.

    I also witnessed metamerism firsthand: curse these newfangled economy fluorescent tubes! I decided in the end to use my quartz-halogen lamp as a reference.

    I was glad to be successful with B&W printing so far, but now I'm also free from drugstore prints with colour. I've always been unsure about printing colour. I thought it would be too much trouble, too finicky, etc. But if you can print B&W, you can print colour too. Doesn't mean you're good immediately, but it means you can learn properly.

    Man, I love that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails colour.jpg  
    Last edited by Michel Hardy-Vallée; 09-02-2007 at 10:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #2
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Congratulations, you have opened Pandorra's Box!

    It really is a pleasure to get colour prints exactly cropped and printed to your satisfaction.

    Mick.

  3. #3
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Yay! Now you just need to learn that c-41 isn't any harder to do than B&W film processing
    I'm very lazy. There's a photography shop about 20minutes away (via public transport) that sell a room temp RA-4 and I just haven't gone to buy it. I have a box of 8x10 colour paper I bought when I was doing colour at uni so I'm more than halfway there.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Congrats on becoming a new colour photographer!

    Personally, I only photograph old colours...if they were good enough for me dad, they are good enough for me.

    Have fun!

    Vaughn

  5. #5
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience recently - I bought a Tetenal RA-4 kit, mixed it, poured it into my Durst printo (which I originally bought to process large batches of mono). Within a shot time I was making colour prints!

    It was one of the best things I have done in the darkroom - with the long shelf life of the chemicals it is ecomonical too - probably a lot more economical than inkjet.

    One of the things that struck me - just how easy it is.

    Matt

  6. #6

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    I've always contended RA-4 is easier then B&W. RA-4 from a good negative is either right or wrong.

  7. #7
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Congrats on becoming a new colour photographer!

    Personally, I only photograph old colours...if they were good enough for me dad, they are good enough for me.

    Have fun!

    Vaughn
    Do you think I could still be a traditional colour photographer if I take analogue pictures of new colours? I hesitate between being a new traditional or a traditional new.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  8. #8
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    I've always contended RA-4 is easier then B&W. RA-4 from a good negative is either right or wrong.
    That's my experience so far as well. In fact, even the material setup is a bit less involved than B&W for the simple reason that there is less stuff to wash, and all I have to do is fill/start the motor/drain. If it wasn't for temperature control, I'd have nothing to do.

    Of course, I'm lazy enough that I won't bother (for now...) going down the road of masking &c for bad negs (besides, who want to print a bad photo anyway?), but then I never make bad negs
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  9. #9

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    Temperture can be pretty easy. My fish heater has it's own controller. So I turn it on and go have breakfast -)

  10. #10
    jd callow's Avatar
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    welcome to the 20th century! I think you'll find that colour is substantially better than b&w.
    cheers,

    jdc

    *

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