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  1. #1
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quick RA-4 room temperature chemicals

    Hello everyone,

    I'm tray processing RA-4 prints at room temperature.

    I used Tetenal RA-4 chemicals until I found out that the blix is very problematic because it is sold as a "mono-concentrate" that has too short shelf life. As said here at APUG many times before, you shouldn't use these "mono-concentrate" RA-4 kits, and sadly I've seen this by myself. I was in contact with Tetenal; first they denied the problem but later they admitted it and sent me one kit free of charge saying they would work on with the problem.

    But I'm not interested in waiting if Tetenal could solve their "problems" or not. I could use Kodak RA-RT developer and blix at room temperature as suggested here, but it would need something around 2 + 2 minutes. Well, that's not so long but one thing I loved in Tetenal RA-4 process was the very short processing time 1 min dev + 15 sec stop + 45 sec blix. It allows so rapid testing of filtering .

    But all the room temp kits seem to be these "easy" monoconcentrates, ie. defective, faulty products. So, any ideas, is there any decent quick room temp RA-4 kit out there?

    Or could KODAK RA-RT dev and blix be used in higher concentration to shorten the processing times?

    Or will it be my destiny to wait for 2-3 minutes longer to see the results ?

  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Well, that is not too long to wait considering that the alternative is a problem. It either works or it does not IMHO. If it works and takes 4 minutes vs 2 minutes and does not work, I see you having a problem that involves failure or time. I guess only you can decide.

    Also, if the quick kit uses CD-4, the image stability will suffer.

    PE

  3. #3
    fotch's Avatar
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    How about getting a drum and at least be able to daylight process?
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  4. #4
    hrst's Avatar
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    Thanks for answers!

    Well, one thing is sure: I'm not going back to any faulty product. So if there is no decent "room temp" product, then I'll give the paper the longer times. It's well manageable, compared to Ilfochrome.

    But another thing is that I've read here that Fuji CA might have problems with RT chemicals at room temperature. I use both Fuji and Kodak paper, which both worked with Tetenal room temp kit -- well, worked occasionally, when the blix happened to be good . Have you had problems with Fuji CA w/ KODAK RA-RT dev at room temp with lengthened times?

    About getting a drum -- I have a drum and Jobo processor, but tray processing is soooo much easier and faster and more fun that IMO using a drum is insane for RA-4 . I know that many people like drums but I'm not into them for many reasons.

    Tip of the day: many yellow leds have about the right wavelength so that they can be used as a color safelight. With a very large resistor, so that you can barely see after a while. This made RA4 much more fun for me. I've made my safelight so that it blinks at 0,5 Hz, with a duty cycle of about 30%. It decreases the total light output to 30% and you can easily count seconds when developing the paper.
    Last edited by hrst; 08-27-2009 at 02:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5

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    I've been doing my own colour printing for many years - as far back as EP2 chemistry, and all I can say is that I find all the room temp RA4 chems that I've tried to be not much better than useless. I agree with you about drum processors; far too tedious. Why not do what I did and get yourself a Nova slot processor. They are heated and so are very fast on the dev time. They can be picked up on ebay for not too much money these days, as a lot of people are trying to unload their darkroom gear.

  6. #6
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    You really have two choices: heat up your chemicals (a Jobo helps immensely in this regard), or live with the longer times.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    As said here at APUG many times before, you shouldn't use these "mono-concentrate" RA-4 kits, and sadly I've seen this by myself.
    What are the problems these kits have? I'm also using the Tetenal mono kit and it's only been a week or so, but no problems yet...

    Do I need to keep an eye out for something?

  8. #8
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    When blix gets old, a precipitate forms. Blix works, but the precipitate fouls the prints. I've tried filtering through coffee filter but that didn't help much - the finest particles are the worst making it useless.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domin View Post
    When blix gets old, a precipitate forms. Blix works, but the precipitate fouls the prints. I've tried filtering through coffee filter but that didn't help much - the finest particles are the worst making it useless.
    Thanks for the reply. Is this a problem for blix in concentrate form or made up in trays / slots?

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    All single part blixes (except a few in patents) will decompose on the shelf before dilution to working strength or will decompose after dilution.

    This is an inevitabe reaction between Sodium or Ammonium Ferric EDTA (an oxidant) and Hypo and Sulfite (reductants). This gradually reduces the activity of the blix to zero while forming a white to yellow "grunge" in the solution which messes up any photo product.

    PE

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