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  1. #1
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Thinking about RA4.... Wondering whether I should bother...

    Talking with my wife today, she asked how hard would it be to do colour prints. This obviously got me thinking, followed by some research.

    After what I found and considering I don't want to fork out too much for equipment in the beginning, I am wondering whether it would be worth pursuing or not. With the discontinuing of Kodak Endura and the luke warm response to Fuji Crystal Archive, considering I would prefer to process at room temperature, I think it might be put in the too hard basket.

    Is there any other alternatives? I don't want to start down the Endura path only to find that cut paper is impossible to find in the not too distant future/

  2. #2

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    There is another Kodak paper, called Ektacolor Edge, it's a budget paper, thinner than Endura, but worked fine for me at room temp. I think you can only buy it in rolls, though, so you'll need space to cut it down and more funds up-front to buy it.
    Steve.

  3. #3
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    I truly enjoy RA-4 printing, truth be told considerably more than B&W.

    If you have a dichroic (color) enlarger and the stuff to do B&W, you already have virtually everything you need as far as hardware. The consumables aren't expensive in fact per sheet printing costs are cheaper than B&W, mostly because of the paper.

    If you can find a Subtractive Color Calculator, something like this it will make life easier.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #4

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    It's possible to do RA-4 processing at room temperature; you've just got to extend the development times. Also, if you don't have any print drums, it's also possible to do it in the same open trays you probably use for B&W; you've just got to work in total darkness (at least until the prints are in the blix). In fact, this is the way I do my RA-4 processing: At room temperature in total darkness in open trays. I prefer this method to using drums because I find that trays are faster and more flexible, and I'm not particularly bothered by working in total darkness. (Try doing a few runs with B&W with your eyes closed, then with the safelights off, if you want to see how it feels.) You'll obviously need a timer you can activate by feel and that sounds an alarm when the processing time is up.

    As to the "luke warm response to Fuji Crystal Archive," remember that an announcement such as the discontinuation of a product is far more likely to elicit negative responses to the discontinuation than positive responses about competing products. I've used both, and although I preferred Kodak's paper, Fuji's isn't so much worse that it will be a great hardship to switch. Unless I've missed something, you can also still obtain the Kodak paper, just in rolls, which adds to the hassle since you've got to cut it down to size. OTOH, this can give you extra flexibility. For instance, if you buy 8-inch rolls, you can cut it to the usual 8x10-inch size, or cut a 35mm full-frame size of 8x12-inch, or various other sizes (say, 5 4/12 x 8-inch for a full-frame of that unusual size).

  5. #5

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    If there is a problem with Fuji paper at room temp and srs5694's experience suggests that there isn't, then processing at 95F is possible if you get a Nova trimate or quad processor with thermostatic controls which will maintain the high temps. If you were only to do occasional RA4 then the Nova could be expensive as it is might cost a bit to buy but it has real benefits for B&W prints in terms of size( trays on end) volume of chemicals needed and longevity of chems. Simply drain the tanks of RA4 chems, rinse and refill with B&W chems, turn down the control to 20C and you're set for B&W once the water jacket has cooled.

    Even better if you can process both RA4 and B&W at 20C. The jury seems to be out on this one for Fuji paper. Would others care to comment on their experiences of processing Fuji RA4 at room temp. I must admit that I found it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions on Fuji paper and room temp processing on other threads.


    pentaxuser

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    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    If there is a problem with Fuji paper at room temp and srs5694's experience suggests that there isn't, then processing at 95F is possible if you get a Nova trimate or quad processor with thermostatic controls which will maintain the high temps. If you were only to do occasional RA4 then the Nova could be expensive as it is might cost a bit to buy but it has real benefits for B&W prints in terms of size( trays on end) volume of chemicals needed and longevity of chems. Simply drain the tanks of RA4 chems, rinse and refill with B&W chems, turn down the control to 20C and you're set for B&W once the water jacket has cooled.

    Even better if you can process both RA4 and B&W at 20C. The jury seems to be out on this one for Fuji paper. Would others care to comment on their experiences of processing Fuji RA4 at room temp. I must admit that I found it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions on Fuji paper and room temp processing on other threads.


    pentaxuser
    And thats the thing. Yes, It would be nice to get a temp controlled processor, but at this stage, I would rather give it a try at room temp and save my money.

  7. #7
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    I had absolutely no problems developing Fuji CA at room temp (23C) with Tetenal 1-minute room temp chemicals. Didn't try printing step wedge, though. I haven't tried it with Kodak chemicals yet.

  8. #8
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    The Tetenal room temp chemistry has a premium price which is not justified considering a normal RA4 Replenisher works just fine.

    But has anyone considered a bulk purchase of cut sheet Endura from Kodak? Call someone there. It might be feasible.

    PE

  9. #9
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The Tetenal room temp chemistry has a premium price which is not justified considering a normal RA4 Replenisher works just fine.

    But has anyone considered a bulk purchase of cut sheet Endura from Kodak? Call someone there. It might be feasible.

    PE
    I know that I am only a "Johnny Come Lately", but if everyone pooled their resources from APUG and other Film based communities, would Kodak consider doing that? Maybe with the help of someone such as Freestyle behind them?

  10. #10
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The Tetenal room temp chemistry has a premium price which is not justified considering a normal RA4 Replenisher works just fine.
    Yes and the other problem is that if you buy Tetenal, you still have to buy the Kodak blix, because the blix in Tetenal is crap.

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