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  1. #11

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    My screen is non-calibrated so I'm not sure I'm seeing the same colour as everyone else (I see a little red in the skin). But I was wondering how is the scene lit. The shadows seem to indicate a light source from directly above, a regular room light? Could this be part of the issue?
    Steve.

  2. #12
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    Steve;

    Good point! If it is fluorescent lighting, this might cause a cast in highlights.

    PE

  3. #13

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    Thanks to all, for the comments thus far. If I want to continue with my experiments I'll have to rule out each possibility one at a time - and at additional expense. That is of course, one method of learning, trial and error. I wish it were easier.

    The blix, if I remember right, came in two parts.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  4. #14
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    Try first with a neg that is properly exposed, or a bit overexposed (but not underexposed) outdoors in daylight. Then you have one problematic factor less (the lighting). When you get the process right and have learned to print negatives with standard color balance and contrast, you can try the more demanding indoor shots.

  5. #15
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Yes, RA4 can be used at many temperatures. But if you develop print A at 30C and print B at 45C you won't be using the same filter pack.

    The point is that you want to be consistent. Kodak gives +/- 0.3 Celsius as a margin for the developer, and a much larger margin of variation for the stop and blix. Developer is what I'm concerned about.

    RA4 developer that was stored in bottles has always given me troubles beyond one month: splotches, difference in colour balance, etc. They were kept in the dark, in brown glass, at constant temperature, full to the brim, hermetically sealed.

    The OP did not say whether or not he was working with trays. I suggest drums because they're easy to time.

    Did you really feel the need to be superlatively offended by my rather reasonable suggestions? This is poor forum behaviour.

    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    I'm sorry, but this is so full of misinformation that I'm surprised. Those tips will probably lead to a completely wrong direction, not helping with the actual problem at all.

    Firstoff, RA-4 is very tolerant to temperature and time variations, at least with Supra Endura. People have used it from 20C to 40C. I develop always 2 minutes at room temperature, which is from 23C to 25C. I've tried 1.5 and 3 minutes and that doesn't make a big difference at all. This all can be easily verified from many sources. Of course, it's best to be as consistent as possible, but this is not the source of the problems.

    Then, mixed RA-4 developer keeps very well. The official instruction is probably something like a month (definitely not days! Check this if you don't believe me), but I've used almost one year old developer without any problems, as have many. (Mono-concentrated blixes, however, may be dead if the product has been on the shelf for a year or so.)

    And finally, I think many if not most find drums tedious compared to simple trays. This is a matter of taste, but the fact is that using a drum will NOT solve the problems in question; in fact, drum can be even more difficult if there is a problem with excessive chemical carryover. So, if OP likes to work with trays, as many of us like, there's absolutely no need to adopt any new workflow.

    Does the Arista kit have a single concentrate for blix? If so, it's probably the same kind of crap as Tetenal. I had yellowish/brownish staining problem with the Tetenal blix. It just has a shelf life of 6 months or so, as an UNOPENED concentrate! Buy the Kodak.

    The example picture seems to have a bit of cyanish fog -- are you sure all the lights are completely blocked? Any red light might cause cyanish fog. Then, check the date of your paper. And, finally, that browniness might partially be caused by a faulty blix.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  6. #16
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    Michel;

    Over the range of 20C to 38.8C, I have found about a 10R variation max. It may differ for others, but that is using Supra Endura and RA-RT developer replenisher. I have found that I can run more prints per hour in a tray than a drum considering drying time for the drum between runs. The only way to beat my tray output with a drum is to have about 6 drums or so to save on drying time.

    I hope that my disagreement with you based on practical experience is of some use to help change your mind a bit.

    pe

  7. #17

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    I'll add this suggestion: Do a color ringaround. That is, print part of the image multiple times on a single sheet of paper, varying the cyan, magenta, and yellow filtration up and down for each print. If your color is way off, make each of the adjustments huge (say, 20 units). If the color is close, make each adjustment smaller (say, 5 units). This will help you zero in on the correct color settings. There are special easels made just for this purpose, but you can use any easel you like in conjunction with some appropriate masking materials -- sheets of thick paper with sections cut out or what have you.

  8. #18

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    srs5694 suggestion is spot on. Also, get a gray card and take one shot of it on each film type you are using. If you are taking both indoor and outdoor pictures, take one gray card shot outdoors and one indoors. When you are just beginning, balancing color of a gray card shot is enormously easier than of some random photo. After you get filtration for the gray card, you can just keep it for the rest of the roll if the light was similar.

    I used both Arista and Kodak's chemistry. Both produced good results for me, at least initially. I have no experience of how long the prints will last. All my bets are on the Kodak though ;-)

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Michel;

    Over the range of 20C to 38.8C, I have found about a 10R variation max. It may differ for others, but that is using Supra Endura and RA-RT developer replenisher. I have found that I can run more prints per hour in a tray than a drum considering drying time for the drum between runs. The only way to beat my tray output with a drum is to have about 6 drums or so to save on drying time.

    I hope that my disagreement with you based on practical experience is of some use to help change your mind a bit.

    pe
    Well, I've used drums because the space I had was not well setup enough to use trays in total darkness. As for filter pack/temp variations, all I'm suggesting is trying to stick to a constant temperature to minimize variations. Sometimes a variation of 2CC can make a visible difference.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  10. #20

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    I looked at both your example print and your negative scan of the same image and neither of them looked right to me; in fact, I'd almost go as far to say that I preferred the look of your print over the negative scan, but both of them looked wrong to me in terms of color balance. This, of course, could be my monitor...

    I think that you should start with an easier negative to print. Interior lighting is more difficult to print than exterior lighting and takes more experience. Also, it is imperative that you have a decent viewing area to judge color balance. I print color in a rental darkroom and even though all of the viewing areas there are good, each one has a slightly different color balance. It takes some practice to become accomplished at color printing and don't be discouraged by your first results.

    Tim

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