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  1. #1

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    RA4 Processing question

    This is my first post after I was directed here from another sauce. I have a problem relating to RA4 colour printing which I have not managed to resolve and think it is time to ask elsewhere. I have been involved with RA4 printing for at least 20 years and have dealt with most problems but this one has me guessing!

    I developed a roll of Fuji Superia and the negatives looked perfectly fine. When I went to print them most that I did were fine, with little filtration alteration needed. In fact keeping a standard material makes life very easy - usually! However, one negative flatly refuses to print as it should with blue sky although the remainder of the print looks fine.

    Admittedly the sky on the day I took the image was clear, with a hint of mist overhanging which made the blue look quite pale. No matter how I altered the filtration the blue refused to show through. What should have been blue came out as a pale muddy cream!

    I then tried scanning the negative and making a digital print and there was the blue sky as I remembered it, so it isn't the negative.

    The RA4 Developer is Kodak Ektacolour made up and used in a Nova 4 slot processor so things such as temperiture variation can be discounted. (38C) The paper was Fuji Crystal Archive glossy and quite new stock which is always kept in a spare fridge.

    I suspected stale developer although this has never been a problem before, so I made up a completely new batch and the result was exactly the same - no hint of blue in the sky.

    Any ideas would be very acceptable. Thank you in anticipation. (Apologies if this is in the wrong section)
    Last edited by BMbikerider; 07-24-2012 at 06:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Did you try burning the sky in at all?

  3. #3
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I suspect it is a contrast issue, not a color balance one. You said you have been printing for several years, do you know how to make a contrast reduction mask from b+w film? It sounds like this particular negative would benefit from it. You can try burning in the sky while printing, but the color balance may change for that section of the image.
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  4. #4

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    Thanks for that. I didn't burn in the sky at all, there was adequate tone in the area which equated to the density that I remembered but simply the wrong colour.

    No I have never needed a reduction mask but I would be interested how to. I don't think that it would have made any difference in this case as there was very little in the way of contrast variations. The shadows that were there did come out bluish as I would have expected but not the sky - very odd. The image is not really an important one so will leave it until I have more time to experiment. Thanks anyway.

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I keep saying this....

    Use a UV filter for color. Very often, the UV overexposes some parts of the image or one part of the emulsion layers such that you see either overexposure or a color cast.

    PE

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    I keep saying this....

    Use a UV filter for color. Very often, the UV overexposes some parts of the image or one part of the emulsion layers such that you see either overexposure or a color cast.

    PE
    Is this advice just for outdoors or does it also apply to indoor flash/studio work?
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  7. #7
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    It is for outdoor work, however some electronic flash units emit a fair bit of UV. I would test it.

    I leave a permanent UV filter on all of my lenses. It does not hurt and it protects the lens!.

    PE

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    It is for outdoor work, however some electronic flash units emit a fair bit of UV. I would test it.

    I leave a permanent UV filter on all of my lenses. It does not hurt and it protects the lens!.

    PE
    Thanks PE.
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  9. #9

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    UPDATE I have finally found what the problem was. When developing colour prints I use a Sodium Safelight with an opaque filter over the bulb (Kaiser Duka) The light from this is 'safe' up to a point with RA4 paper. The light output is variable with an internal baffle set at 50% and this baffle had come loose and I was getting the 'safe light' at full blast which was enough to give unusual colour casts.

    I Repaired the baffle and last night and made 5 x 10x8 prints straight off with no problems at all.

  10. #10
    bvy
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    Well? Let's see it.

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