I have some color negatives, and I know it's easy to take color work to a lab and have it 'lightjet' printed, but I would rather try it myself. Also, lightjets are 70 bucks a pop here which seems a bit much. The only time I printed color was in college and it was tough. I remember going through a LOT of paper trying to get the color balance right. Is there a more fool proof method? A used camera shop in town has several color enlargers going cheap, they are small 35mm enlargers which would be fine since I'm not planning to go larger than 8x10. If I wanted to setup a color printing process that gave me minimal fuss what would you recommend I start with? Thanks!
Also, any paper recommendations? From what I can see I should b able to print on Fuji Crystal Archive? Around 50 bucks for a box of 11x14 50count.
A set of Kodak color viewing filters will help get your color balance right quickly. I haven't done color in ages, but I usually found the viewing filters and a proof more reliable than using a color analyzer.
I just spent 15 minutes typing a long reply and it simply disappeared. I tried to go back and fix a few grammer errors and I got a blank screen.
Quick Summary ... not that hard... color cast and exposure time are main controls...no contrast control to worry about.
Kodak viewing filters in normal room light make things easier. Use the kit up over a few days to maximize use. (frugal suggestion). Need to keep color paper cold in fridge until day before printing.
Good Luck and let us know how you make out.
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Thanks guys. Hey Grey, what chain of events caused you to loose that message? Did you hit preview post, then click backwards? Just want to find out what happened so I can possibly fix that.
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everyone else covered the basics. if you buy room temperature RA-4, you can develop in open trays with surgical gloves.
viewing filters are a necessity. judge the print dry. first get the exposure right, then adjust the filtration. I don't think that Kodak makes the viewing filters, anymore, but Lee makes the indentical product. use a voltage stabilizer on your enlarger.
Kodak endura is a good paper also. good luck, black and white darkroom work is a lot more fun!
I believe that I did exactly what you stated. After a bit more experience with the forums I believe I did what came natural instead of following the proper procedures.
I guess I AM a creature of habit. :mrgreen:
I've done a lot of color printing. My current favorites are Ilfocolor paper - for its color balance. longevity, price (cheapest I've found ... but that is not a major consideration for me)... and lot-to-lot uniformity (extraondinary).
Originally Posted by Sean
Tetenal (JOBO) chemicals have proved to be the "best" for me... again, shelf life and lot-to-lot uniformity.
Color prints *can* be processed in trays ... supposedly temperature control is critical, but I find it less critical than most believe - I've screwed up a couple of degrees centigrade either way without a really noticable effect ... *BUT* ... processing should/ must be done in total darkness. JOBO produces a safelight powered by LCDs called the MaxiLux (?? I hope I've got that right) with a setting for color processing - but that is very dim (I haven't tried using it). In consideration of this, a processor that would permit working in ambient light is *very* desirable.
In good conscience, I cannot do anything but recommend the use of a color densitometer/ analyzer. I have tried to make my way using viewing filters, color wheels, eyeballs, prayer wheels, incantatons from the Tibetian Book of the Dead .... ancient Finnish spells from the Kalevala ....
I use the JOBO ColorStar 3000.* With it I have control of the process - I can measure the lot-to-lot variablity of materials and the effects of other variables (temperature is one). I would be -- well not quite --- lost without this thing, but close. They are expensive (all "expensive is relative) but the savings in materials alone - to say nothing of time and frustration - will quickly justify their use.
My reasons for processing my own color are not just financial. I am firmly convinced that I can do a "better" job than the best of commercial labs (and I've compared my work to theirs a number of times).
I don't mean to be arrogant here .. it is just that I know what *I* want, and there is not the burden of trying to communicate that information to someone else. Additionally, I will - and have - made numerous prints to get some small nuance "the way it works for me"... something that would cost a LOT to do in a commercal lab - in time and money, and would undoubtedly stretch my "tenacity limits" to the extremes.
The same principles hold true in black and white processing.
* I 'm not sure, but I don't think JOBO "handles" ColorStars any more. They are still available new from somewhere - but I'm not sure who is their importer/ disrtibutor - or what analyzers JOBO deals in their place.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Reading all of this, I am now more mad than ever that the university canceled the color class for next semester!
Of course they also have a big old dry process machine which makes life easier....
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