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  1. #1
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Resources for I guess colour printing for dummies

    I have been printing black and white for a while now and I am contemplating getting a second enlarger with a colour head and print C-41. I know the chemical tempretures have to be spot on tempreture wise. Aside from the enlarger with colour head, a second set of trays, what else should I look into getting and are there online resources I can read about traditional colour printing?

    My current enlarger is for 4x5 and has a condenser head with lenses for 35mm and 4x5, so if I get a second enlarger it will be for 120 format too but that's another story.
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  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Kodak still publishes a Kodak Color Dataguide which has charts for reference and lots of photos in order to help you make good color prints. In fact, they just released a new, updated version within the last 5 years or so IIRC. It was at least since 2000. It lists cancelled products and replacements (if any) among other things.

    PE

  3. #3

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    Due to the high temps, and the fact that they need to be a consistent as possible, color printing is done in processors, not trays. I am sure people have done it in trays, but it is not the standard way, and is difficult. I would look for a used Ilford or Fujimoto. Kreonites sell for next to nothing, but are expensive to run. You have to print a lot and print large to make it worth using them. You also have to run them a little bit every day, full of water if you won't be printing. Most people (myself inculded) use rotary tubes. Mine is a Dev Tec that was given to me by an instructor. A Jobo would be the easiest option, probably, as they handle the temp automatically. I had arranged to purchase an Ilford 16x20 processor and drying unit for $200, was ready to send the money, then seller disappeared. But this shows they are out there if you look hard and are patient.
    2F/2F

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  4. #4
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    Using film since before it was hip.


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  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Endura paper can be processed at 68F (20C). See the many posts about doing this in trays.

    PE

  6. #6

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    I also process my color prints in trays at room temperature. The "room temperature" part necessitates either using longer development times or modifying the developer to work more quickly (the mix-it-yourself formula I use specifies adding potassium hydroxide for room temperature use, for instance). In fact, I don't think I've ever done it at anything but room temperature, and my results are (to my eye) as good as anything I've gotten from commercial photofinishers -- or at least, my results can be that good, if I put the effort into getting the right filter settings.

    FWIW, I use trays because I find that using drums slows me down. They require thorough drying between prints; a drop of water that falls on the print prematurely causes a greenish streak on the print, and drying thoroughly enough to prevent that just takes too long. With trays, the moment a print is in the print washer I can begin the process of doing another print. I can also develop oddball print sizes in trays, whereas drums are much less flexible than that.

    Getting back to temperature control, that's more critical for C-41 film development than for RA-4 print development. I use water baths and manual tanks for this task and get acceptable results. Of course, a dedicated processing machine would be better -- and I'm sure this would be true for prints, too -- but those things are pricey!

  7. #7
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Tetenal make room-temperature RA4 kits (Colortec RA-4) that are excellent for tray processing as they have almost no odour.

    You can not use a normal safelight intended for b&w printing so I use an amber LED heavily shielded - just enough to see the dishes in the sink.

    Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 06-28-2008 at 09:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    jd callow's Avatar
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    I'd get a roller base and a tubes that can handle 8x10, 11x14, etc... As PE states temp is tied to time and room temp processing is very possible.

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  9. #9
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F. View Post
    Tetenal make room-temperature RA4 kits (Colortec RA-4) that are excellent for tray processing as they have almost no odour.

    You can not use a normal safelight intended for b&w printing so I use an amber LED heavily shielded - just enough to see the dishes in the sink.

    Bob.
    Bob;

    Why pay extra for that Tetenal kit when the RA-RT developer replensiher from Kodak or the Fuji-Hunt kit does as well down to 68 deg F? And, at 68F the Kodak product is just about odor free as well.

    PE

  10. #10
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Bob;

    Why pay extra for that Tetenal kit when the RA-RT developer replensiher from Kodak or the Fuji-Hunt kit does as well down to 68 deg F? And, at 68F the Kodak product is just about odor free as well.

    PE
    Well, it was more convenient as I've not done a lot of colour printing and wasn't 100% sure about what I was doing so a kit seemed safer!

    I have since read your posts about using Kodak chems at room temp and when I finish the Tetenal kit I am using at the moment I will certainly give them a try. I prefer the Kodak paper to Fuji too so that should make an ideal partnership (plus the Endura paper I bought was made about 10 miles down the road from where I live!).

    One slight thing that I need to check is its keeping qualities as I do not do colour very often (the Tetenal chems keep very well with argon replacing the air in the bottles). Good to hear it is low in odour too as that was another worry. Anyway, I'll try it and see...

    Cheers, Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 06-28-2008 at 11:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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