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  1. #21
    hrst's Avatar
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    Also, consider tray processing. It's a matter of taste but I find "traditional" tray processing much easier and less tedious. There really is no reason why you would need different measures compared to BW printing. Color works just like BW in trays. Use very dim yellow safelight so that you light it up when the time is up in developer. This way you can move the paper to stop bath easily

  2. #22
    mikecnichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneIII View Post
    Even though I haven't done RA-4 processing for some years (I was a professional printer at one time), I used to process RA-4 at home in drums and have a suggestion that may be helpful to some here. Don't dry your drums! There is no need to. It is not only a complete waste of time but it actually introduces problems. The reason many dry their drums is to avoid streaks in paper if a drop of water gets on the dry paper and it can be very difficult to avoid having a drop of water from the drum or cap remaing after drying. The solution is easier, much faster, and more dependable. It completely eliminates the drying step that will greatly slow you down and cause problems. Rince your drums and use them wet! Put your paper in the wet drum and then give the paper a quick water pre-soak In other words, don't even try to keep your paper dry until the developer step. Instead of going to lengths to avoid a drop of water getting on the paper, soak the paper! Streaking will be totally avoided.

    When I first started processing RA-4 prints in drums, I dried the drums with a hair dryer but it also caused problems and really slowed the process down. The drum has to cool thorougly or it will raise chemistry temperatures and, if the plastic of the drum is thicker in places , it will cool more slowly there and cause streaking in the prints.

    So just rinse the drums throughly and use them wet with a pre-soak. This same principle is often used with film as well. When I first tried this, I smacked myself in the forehead for not thinking of it sooner and wasting so much time previously. Once I started just using the drums wet with a quick water rinse before the developer step, I eliminated all the problems caused by drying drums and printing was MUCH faster. I am actually suprised that people here have recommended drying the drums because using wet drums has long been known for processing film.

    If you have been drying your drums, try using them wet. You will never look back and you will kick yourself for ever having gone to all the trouble of drying them.
    I had pretty much gone your way, in theory. I never tried to completely dry the drum, but enough to slow me down. Last night, I added in the pre-soak for the paper because I hadn't had enough time for the paper to raise to room temperature. I figured it didn't matter for the print to get wet before developer, especially the backside, since there was the option of a pre-soak. I definitely will follow your method from now on. I'm getting a second 8x10 drum this week, which will help, but now I feel is almost not needed now.

    Since we're on this topic though, may I ask how long a print can sit in a drum before it is processed? I'm wondering if I can go ahead and expose to prints and then process them back to back, or if there is a window of time that developer has to hit the paper.

  3. #23
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecnichols View Post
    Since we're on this topic though, may I ask how long a print can sit in a drum before it is processed? I'm wondering if I can go ahead and expose to prints and then process them back to back, or if there is a window of time that developer has to hit the paper.
    Not sure about the stability of a color latent image, but there was a discussion about latent image fade in B&W paper sometime last year.

    I can't regurgitate the technical details, but the take away was that the image noticeably fades in short order, like just a few hours.

    That's not to say it fades away and isn't usable, but that the blacks are measurably less black with a densitometer. I suppose that would result in less saturation in C41. I don't really know.

    I suspect if you expose one, shove it in the drum, expose the second, shove it in a drum, then process the first, then process the second, you would be OK. But if you let the first one sit unprocessed for "too long" (being very nonspecific) then there would be noticeable degradation.

    MB
    Last edited by michaelbsc; 03-15-2011 at 07:55 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    Michael Batchelor
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  4. #24

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    Kodak recommend a 30 sec presoak to eliminate streaking, see their J-39 document.

  5. #25
    mikecnichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelbsc View Post
    Not sure about the stability of a color latent image, but there was a discussion about latent image fade in B&W paper sometime last year.

    I can't regurgitate the technical details, but the take away was that the image noticeably fades in short order, like just a few hours.

    That's not to say it fades away and isn't usable, but that the blacks are measurably less black with a densitometer. I suppose that would result in less saturation in C41. I don't really know.

    I suspect if you expose one, shove it in the drum, expose the second, shove it in a drum, then process the first, then process the second, you would be OK. But if you let the first one sit unprocessed for "too long" (being very nonspecific) then there would be noticeable degradation.

    MB
    Thanks for the response. I guess I'll just try it next time I'm down in the lab. I'm still on my practice chems anyway....I'm surprised at how long and how many uses I am getting from them.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    Also, consider tray processing. It's a matter of taste but I find "traditional" tray processing much easier and less tedious. There really is no reason why you would need different measures compared to BW printing. Color works just like BW in trays. Use very dim yellow safelight so that you light it up when the time is up in developer. This way you can move the paper to stop bath easily
    Temperature control?

    I used to do RA4AT (ambient temp Tetnal kit) in trays then switched to a Nova print pod before I choked to death on the fumes. Can't get the AT kit anymore that I'm aware of. I have a Jobo but find print drums too much hassle and too slow with all the drying. If I could maintain temperature in trays I might do color again.

  7. #27

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    I process in a Nova and the fumes are very, very minimal (I have no extraction), they have to be as my darkroom is a cupboard under the stairs and any exotic fumes drifting into the sitting room would cause my wife to complain. She's never smelt a thing and all I smell with the Kodak RA4 kit is a sort of pleasant detergent scent. Although I process my prints warm, it is possible to print at room temperature and there's quite a few threads on this on APUG.
    Last edited by perkeleellinen; 03-16-2011 at 02:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Steve.

  8. #28
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Um yes that's exactly what I said. Fumes from open trays were choking me so I went to a Nova in my case an unheated Print Pod. Note that fumes seemed to be much worse from the room temperature stuff too.

  9. #29
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Temperature control?
    I have no problems using Kodak RA-4 chemicals (not marketed as "Room temp" chemicals) at room temperature at 22 deg C with either Kodak or Fuji paper. Many people here report the same as well at least with Kodak paper. One person reports problems with Fuji paper in room temperature, but I don't have any problems with Fuji, either.

    I also have no significant fumes from open trays. Developer has some "fresh", "sweet" kind of interesting smell but not even close to anything disturbing. Maybe you have some interesting chemicals. Tetena "room temperature" chemicals really had ZERO fumes and smell.

    The acetic acid stop bath is really the only bath in color processing that smells and may irritate. But that is common to BW as well for many people. You can also probably cut the concentration a bit and change it more often.
    Last edited by hrst; 03-16-2011 at 03:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Um yes that's exactly what I said.
    Sorry! Misread your post.
    Steve.

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