Quote Originally Posted by Poco
The subject line sums up the question.

I mixed up a gallon Kodak Ektacolor RA kit about a week ago and when I used the last bit of it yesterday, the developer was quite a bit darker out of the bottle and the white borders of the prints were definitely "dingy." I assume this is an oxidation effect? If so, is it primarily oxidation of the developer or the bleach that's causing it?

Other than the above problem, I have to say my first RA-4 printing experience has been pretty painless. It took a couple sessions to get a handle on filtration, but once I realized the one wheel was the "Christmas Wheel" (green/red) and the other the "Easter Wheel" (blue/yellow) I was in business. By yesterday's session I could pretty much settle on the right filter pack with 3 test strips.
Thinking aloud: If developer is the problem then surely you'd expect more than the white borders to be dingy. The borders are normally white because presumably the RA4 coating which is a turquoise colour dissolves and becausethe borders are not exposed it turns out white.The print itself should be poor if the developer is the problem. What happens if you make a borderless print? Does the colour on the borderless print at the edges show deterioration compared to the rest.

I don't know a lot about RA4 and have never had this problem but could it be that the paper is slighty fogged either overall or at the edges. How old is the paper? Certainly old B/W paper can go slightly cream/brown and lack contrast but if low contrast is correct for the print then my experience was that the print appeared to be OK except for the white edges. It was only when I changed to fresh paper that I noticed the difference in sheer "punch." Mind you when I first started RA4 printing I used paper from the guy from whom I purchased the Jobo processor. The paper was several years old but was showing no signs of deterioration. I know this to be the case because I have since had to buy new paper and there was no improvement in quality.

For what it is worth, I found that Tetenal Protectan which sprays a heavier-than-air gas(akin to lighter fuel) this expelling any air, was worth using after the printing session. Very little is needed so its quite economical.

The great thing about RA4 printing is that once you have the colour analyser set up you are virtually guaranteed good prints every time. So instant success. I find B/W printing to be much more of a challenge.