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  1. #1

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    Using Kodak LORR chems for RA4 at home

    I have been printing colour for about two years. I started by visiting the only (sort of) pro lab here in thunder Bay. The owner was willing to sell me some of the chems he was using for RA4 in his minilab machines, so I bought a bottle of LORR Developer/Replenisher and a bottle of LORR Blix. These are the chems that Kodak recommends for minilabs that have a good turnover, so I expected that the chems would oxidise quickly and have a resultant short shelf life. Nothing could be further from the truth. I bought a bunch of 250ml brown glass bottles from a guy on ebay. I think I got 84 of them for $20 plus shipping (another $30). I decant the concentrate into the smaller bottles so there is as little air space as possible to keep oxidization to a minimum. To make this long story somewhat shorter, the chems last really well in the small bottles. The original developer I bought two years ago is still the same light amber colour it was when I decanted it. When I open a fresh bottle, it gets pretty dark (about like rodinal!) by the time I have used up the small bottle, but it still works the same as the fresh stuff. In further web-based research, Kodak says that the efficacy of the developer does not seem to change as the colour darkens (up to a point I suppose). I decant the blix into the same bottles for shelf storage. The LORR blix is a single solution blix that is mixed with equal parts of water as a working solution. A 250 ml bottle mixed gives me 500ml of working solution. I get around 30 8X10 prints before the blix exhausts, so I throw the solution away after 25 prints. So the 5 litre bottle of blix will process 500 8X10 prints.

    I work at room temp (around 72F). I had to play around with the dilutions for the developer to work at room temp.

    My work flow is pretty standard for RA4 processing (rotary):
    30sec wash
    2min dev
    30 sec stop (I use indicator stop bath)
    30 sec wash
    2 min blix
    wash

    I found a carton of 4 bottles of LORR developer/replenisher(1.3 litres each) on ebay for 9.95, and that's what I won it for! The bottles don't have any expiry dates on them, and the chems in them are significantly darker than the new bottle I have (they are probably several years old). Anyway, the older chems work exactly the same as the new chems, so I decanted them into smaller bottles, and I'm using the old chems since I figure the new stuff will have a longer shelf life.

    Mixing is stupid easy. My drum uses 50ml of solution for developer, so I mix up 500 ml of developer to process 10 prints. I fill a one-litre graduated cylinder to 500 ml and use a syringe to measure 16ml of the concentrate. This gives me the correct dilution to make a processing time of 2 minutes.


    Rick.
    Last edited by ricksplace; 01-05-2010 at 03:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  2. #2
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I buy the 10 liter kit of fresh developer replenisher RT for $25 from adorama fresh. I see no reason to use old chemistry when it's nearly as expensive as the fresh stuff.

    The RT chemistry also works better at room temperature. When you use it alone without the starter you won't have to play with the dilutions.
    --Nicholas Andre

  3. #3

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    When you say that RT works better, in what way? Is the saturation better? I'd like to know. My friends who use RT tell me that the results I am getting are the same as what they get with RT. I guess I would really have to compare to prints done at the same time in the two different solutions. As for dilutions, I add a single solution to water, unlike the three different solutions with RT. I don't use starter either. At the dilution I use, a bottle of developer gives me 40 litres of working solution. At 50ml of solution per 8X10, that's a lot of prints.

    I don't mean to be argumentative. I'm a little isolated here, so I'm always trying different ideas to cope with ridiculous shipping rates. I'm not trying to convince anyone to "do it my way". Just thought I'd share my findings since I don't know anyone else who has tried these chems at home.

    Rick.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  4. #4
    fotch's Avatar
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    "I don't mean to be argumentative. I'm a little isolated here,"

    emmm, maybe the making of a movie with a darkroom theme
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com



 

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