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Thread: RA4 problems

  1. #1

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    RA4 problems







    I tried RA4 for the first time with Kodak chemicals using a Jobo CPA-2 I picked up on Friday. I printed one contact sheet which looked like the top-most image and thought I did something wrong. I retried, filling the little jobo graduates with fresh chemicals from my accordion squeeze bottles. I got the exact same results, producing the image at the top.

    Then I read that the above might have been caused by exposure to "white light" so I thought maybe the light was reflecting around in the glass for the contact sheet. Kinda strange but I thought "what the hell, I'll see what it does with a negative in a carrier" and printed the second image above.

    The two topmost images were done with 30 seconds pre-wash, 45 seconds developer (started dumping at 40 seconds and poured the stop bath in within 8 seconds). 30 seconds of stop. 30 seconds of rinse. 1 minute of blix (recommended by jobo). 30 seconds of rinse 3 times. Everything was done at 35 celcius +- 0.2 degrees (digital thermometer with readings down to 0.1 degrees)

    Then, according to some documentation from Fuji, I learned the brownish colour could be caused by being in the blix too long. I shortened the blix to 45 seconds and it got pretty much the exact same result.

    I'm at a loss as to what's causing this. My starting filter was 40 magenta and 40 yellow after reading that as the general advice for fuji CA paper on the net. I have a dichroic head. Any advice?

    forgot to mention: after the contact prints I realized the non-expert jobo drums with the cogs aren't daylight tanks. so I kept the lights out until the tank was installed for the second contact print (shown above) and it got practically the same results. You can see the light leak streaking across the page in the contact print but the two enlarged prints didn't have any contact with white light.

  2. #2

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    I can't really tell, but do the prints have white borders?

    Does your enlarger have a 'white light' lever which moves the filters out of the light source to aid focusing? Could it be engaged by accident?
    Steve.

  3. #3
    polyglot's Avatar
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    The borders of the negs aren't black on the print therefore you don't have enough enlarger-exposure time. The medium-greyness certainly looks like fogged paper.

    The 2xxx drums are light tight if you have the cup installed under the cog lid. Without the cup, they're not light tight at all.

    Where did the white borders on the second two images come from, i.e. why is it white outside the image areas? Can you do a print with some of the paper area covered by the easel so that you have a definite white section?

  4. #4

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    Process a piece of unexposed paper and see if it comes out white.
    Bob

  5. #5
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    Looks a lot to me like the chemicals are spoiled. Do your process tewst with a sheet half exposed to room light { put half the sheet under a box or other solid object and turn on the room lights for a minute) and process. Fogging will give you grey white, bad chems will give you that grungy color black.
    Gary Beasley

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    At this stage the only thing I think we can be sure of is that your process, temp and times are OK. These were certainly the times, temp and process I used without problems. So at least you can look elsewhere for the cause(s).

    I have just started colour again, this time using Kodak paper but from what I remember from my Fuji paper days my Y and M filtration was closer to the low 80s. Note that this was a Durst enlarger with max 130 units. Enlargers in another family might have quite different filtration for the same colour effect.

    I hope you find the cause.

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
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    You have underexposure, you need about 10 - 20 more red filtration, and the development is uneven.

    PE

  8. #8
    RPC
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    Color balance and exposure are the likely culprits. Please give us more exposure info. Time, f-stop, size, etc.

  9. #9

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    Hi thanks for the replies took a while to get back into the darkroom. I mixed another batch of developer and tried again duplicating my steps exactly EXCEPT for my measuring process and the issue was solved.

    For those curious it wasn't underexposure because with the freshly mixed chemicals the prints came out WAY over exposed. I was doing 10 second exposures with my enlarger on the "high" setting (no light baffle) at F5.6, 8, 11, 16 for those 4 box test prints. I had to stop it down to almost F32 to print on the "high" setting and about F8 on the "low" setting. There are some cross-curves in the negative I was enlarging which were mostly remedied by the fresh chemicals but I think that was exacerbating the issue. A color meter & some correcting filters are next on the list of stuff to get.

    I've ruled the problem out to mostly be me not being accurate enough with measuring the quantities of ABC developer solutions (using a 600mL graduate to measure 40mL quantities wasn't very accurate). So I picked up a syringe from the local drug store and was able to measure with confidence.

    On another note I finally finished re-gearing a CAP-40 for RA4 and it was immensely easier to use than finicking with a jobo lift. I haven't been able to get RA4 developer & bleach starter solutions here in Canada yet because Mondrian is still in the process of switching from Kodak to CPAC and they're out of stock of lots of stuff. Is it ok to run with the replenisher chemicals I have and just replenish according to the kodak guides?

    I guess the question is what kind of difference would I see between 2L of freshly mixed developer replenisher or 2L of fresh developer replenisher with starter in it? This is in a roller transport unit like my regeared CAP-40. Should I try to get my hands on some starter ASAP? I AM quite excited about being able to get some ok prints out of all this. Like I had predicted they're MUCH sharper than what I can get scanning the negs with my V700 and printing them from my R3000.
    Last edited by SeanEsopenko; 07-14-2011 at 08:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
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    PE has told us the starter in not that critical for the developer. I think thats for one shot work, don't know how it will do for a CAP-40, color may drift as it seasons.
    Gary Beasley

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