Thanks. I'll think I'll just run the Nova with normal mixtures, and then have the experimental dev in a tray so I can play with both.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I have two of these: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15004 . Free world-wide shipping. Seems to give consistent results at +/- 0.02 g or even better. Starts operating at 0.06 g. Buy also a calibration weight; http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15761 . I calibrated mine a year ago, then bought that calibration weight and re-checked, it showed 100.00 g. Only things I can complain about are too quick power-save mode and blue LCD backlight.
Originally Posted by cbphoto
I ordered something similar off Amazon, and purchased a calibration weight as well. It was well-reviewed, so I should be ok.
Originally Posted by hrst
I want to lower the contrast by adding sulfite to the RA-4 developer. I use a roller transport ICP-42 that holds 2 liters and I replenish the developer as I work. Does adding the sulfite have any effect on the life of the developer? Can I add it to the replenisher and then follow the same replenishment schedule to keep things consistent? When mixing up the first tankful would it be better to add, for example, 1g to the 2l final solution (dev-replenisher, water and starter), or would it be better to add .5g to each liter of replenisher and then mix as normal? I'm looking to keep the contrast from drifting as I replenish.
I would like to reduce the contrast for all prints since the current papers are too contrasty, so a simple addition to the developer seems most appropriate (if it works).
I don't ever fool with the chemistry, and I hate the effect of flashing. So I just resort to registered unsharp masks to either decrease or
increase contrast. I've used such technique for many years of chrome printing. But it would be interesting to see how RA4 developer tweaks work out. Glad this thread has been revived.
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Theoretically, the sulfite would extend the life of the developer but offhand I'm not sure of the best way to use it.
You might also try lowering the pH of the developer slightly, but watch for crossover.
I have mixed my own home-brew RA-4 developer and lowered the level of carbonate (and thus the pH) from a published formula and got lower contrast from the slightly contrasty (to my eye) Fuji CAII paper without any crossover.
I've been using contrast masks as well, but it's a lot of work just to see if a print has potential. I skip a lot of prints just because I don't want to make a mask and they have too high of contrast. I've never tried flashing color paper. I imagine it's hard to get the color balance just right.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
I've gotten stop bath in the developer. It definitely lowered the contrast, but it made an ugly mess of the image as well. I guess doing it in a controlled way might allow you to control it.
Originally Posted by RPC
Maybe mixing my own developer would be the way to go. Can you point me to the recipe you used?
You can always add cc filters to the flashing light, but the effect is muddy nonetheless. Kills the crispness of the tones.
distilled water 750 ml
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt
triethanolamine 6 ml
sodium sulfite .2 grams (published formula was 1 gram)
CD-3 5 grams
Potassium carbonate 30 grams (published formula was 40 grams)
sodium chloride .5 grams
add distilled water to make 1 liter
This developer has no odor like the Kodak RA-4 developer since it lacks the smelly preservative. The sulfite is the only preservative but if it is increased the contrast will lower, and you may want to experiment with that. The developer is VERY sensitive to changes in it. Hydroxylamine sulfate may work in place of the other preservative but I have not yet experimented with it. The upshot is that this developer has a short shelf life, probably less than a week in full, glass bottles. Therefore it may not be suitabe for your purposes. I mix it as I need it or keep it for a few days. You may want to try simply lowering the pH of regular developer with acid, adding very carefully in small increments.
I have experimented a little with simply adding sulfite to regular developer but the image quality just seemed better by lowering the pH and best with the above developer.
I use it at 68-75 degrees for 2-2 1/2 minutes. You should test for other times and temperatures.