Blue RA4 prints
Tried asking this question on a Flickr forum earlier and was pointed in this direction, so hope someone on here can be of help...
This weekend I processed my first roll of colour pictures using a Tetenal kit, those looked excellent when coming out (the stabilizer was quite foamy though, not sure if that's normal), I actually preferred this process to the B&W process... However, when moving on to the printing things went wrong it seems.
All three prints I made came out the same, nothing on them but a (quite gorgeous) intense dark blue. The booklet that came with the Tetenal RA-4 kit suggested my chemicals were contaminated with fixer, so I did a fresh mix, with cleaned beakers, utensils, you name it, but again no luck, Blue all the way.
My box with photo paper (Kodak Supra Endura F) was still sealed, slit the seals open with the lights on but didn't open the plastic bag until I switched the lights off, my safelight wasn't operating either whilst printing.
The one thing I might've done wrong is using Ilfostop as a stopper, as the kit didn't come with stop chemicals and I couldn't find I shouldn't use it on the web right away so gave that a go. Is this my error?
If anyone's got a clue, I'd be really grateful!
Does the paper come out solid blue (no detail), or does it look like a black & white photo, except blue (a black & blue photo).
It's been a while since I processed RA-4, but did you have some basic filtration dialed in? Like 40M 40Y, or whatever is printed on the label of the paper. If you just did a whilte-light exposure with C-41 film, the orange base would be rendered blue-ish on the paper.
Just a thought...Good Luck.
Foamy stabilizer is normal if you agitate -- don't agitate stabilizer. Blue blacks generally mean blix got in the developer, although an underexposed print might have cool blacks. RA4 uses dev and blix no fix, I've also never heard of using a stop bath with RA4. all blue prints is something I can't address -- unless it is what greg says.
Thanks for the quick replies Greg and jd!
Won't be agitating next time, I'm quite sure that's just what I did. So that's that problem tackled...
The prints though, I dialled in the basic filtration as described on the box (though I'm a Durst m305 - might have to adjust as Kodak would print Kodak values?). The paper came out a solid blue where exposed, no detail at all, so not quite sure what happened there. As for the stopper, if I'm not mistaken (the booklet is upstairs) the manual stated a stop bath but only came with two bottles. Perhaps I should give it a try without a stopper after all...
Fairly new to this as I only started B&W a couple of weeks ago but felt I needed to do colour as I'm much more of a colour man :-)
Ilfostop is fine, I use Ilfostop with RA4 so I doubt it's that.
Considering you tried this twice and everything is new, I'd look for a problem with your home processed negs or your filtration. Can you scan the negs to make sure they're good?
You never mentioned trying to dial the blue out, have you added (EDIT: don't add subtract!) about 20 yellow to see if that lessens the problem?
The only other thing I can think is Blue can be a safelight problem, are you doing all the printing in total darkness? Even if you have a colour safe light try using it without.
Last edited by rossawilson1; 03-31-2009 at 04:16 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Correction regarding yellow filter. For future searches.
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If the print came out solid blue could you be way over exposing and not filtering properly, have you tried reducing exposure a lot until you get at least a faint image?
I scanned the negs (at tiny resolution just to see which were print-worthy) and they looked just as nice as I would've got them from my usual lab (the film is quite expired so I couldn't do too much harm there )
I'll try to do less filtering this weekend, that should help. My exposure ranged from 40 to 10 secs in four strips (+/- I couldn't see the timer in the dark). I believe the filter pattern on the box had no yellow and magenta + blue only (M55 and B65 IIRC?), I'll give it a try with no blue and Y20 instead...
My safelight is amber - but as mentioned earlier - switched off, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Kodak paper requires M+Y filtration normally. If the paper is too blue, you remove yellow or ADD blue. Your situation sounds abnormal. It also sounds as if you overexposed by quite a bit. You don't mention the lens opening.
Usually for an 8x10 from a 35mm negative, I use 12" f11 and about 60M and 60Y. I would have to look it up to be exact, but yours sounds way outside of that!
I have used the Tetnal RA-4 kit with Kodak paper (it's been a couple of years), and it works fine. Contamination is definitely suspect. I found that I absolutely needed a stop bath. I used 2 percent acetic acid. If somehow fixer got into the developer you could have this sort of problem. Try mixing new developer and doing it all again.
Weird, M55 and B65! Ive only ever seen a CMY or just MY value.. but then I'm only familiar with the Fuji film and paper and an LPL enlarger.
Sounds like you gave it a reasonable time in between exposures, if there was no change in density at all then I guess you could be way way out! Hope that's it because then your problem is easy. If the filter change gets rid of the blue then I guess you know it's not the filter which should mean it's exposure. I had the same problem once, kept making sheets of pure colour until I realised I had the lever on the aperture set to aperture bypass, I was turning the aperture but it wasn't doing anything while I had this switch down.. doh!
Anyway, let us know how you get on, and good luck because it's such a rewarding process when you get going!