Nope. As others said, you may WANT a processor, but you don't NEED one. I used to print color in the late 90s and even though I had a Jobo I used trays. I hate the time consumption of drying and changing drums. It really slows things down.
Originally Posted by RedSun
Color enlargers may be cheap - the bigger obstacle is finding one since no one wants to ship enlargers. But you don't need one even more so than you don't need a processor. I made a lot of color prints in the 80s and again when I took it back up in the 90s. I never owned a color enlarger. Filters work fine. As far as hardware outlay the only thing you really need that you won't already have for black and white is a set of color printing filters.
Originally Posted by Bob-D659
It is NOT a pain. Changing filtration with a colorhead takes a couple of seconds, with filters maybe 15-30 seconds. Far from a pain. Color heads are nice but more for the diffusion (I'll scarf up the first one ready to go I find locally for my D2 to use for black and white for that reason) than the filter changes.
Originally Posted by RedSun
This is, I think, a fiction promoted in the photo press of the 70s when color printing started to take off. It's just not true.
Same for the processor as I said.
And this I think hits closer to the truth. You have some variables - you can dodge and burn as in black and white but the dynamic range of C41 makes this less needed. You can even burn with a different filter pack (and in that case the colorhead will become a lot handier than swapping filters, though I've done it with filters - but then I have an RA4 safe safelight which helps that a lot) but doing that is often tricky to get right and easy to overdo. In my experience it's more of an emergency measure to rescue very mixed lighting than a routine process.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
You used to have some contrast control, perhaps equal to about a half grade of B&W paper numbers, with different papers with Kodak's Portra/Supra/Ultra triad, but that's long gone. You an reportedly manipulate contrast a bit with developer additives (search site for details, I've not tried it) but at the reported expense of developer life and again, it's said to be not much range.
It is, when it comes down to it, just not as much fun for many of us, nor do the results vary so much from a hybrid product squirted out of an ink jet as a beautiful silver print varies from that in black and white. I shoot color but I currently project it, scan it, or get commercial prints made. I may venture back into color in the darkroom, but considering my lack of time I'd rather devote what little darkroom time I have to black and white which I find more fun.
Last edited by Roger Cole; 11-07-2012 at 12:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.