First try at colour printing.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by ricksplace, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Thunder Bay,
    Multi Format
    I posted here a while ago regarding trying colour printing and soliciting some advice from the gurus on this site. Well, I tried it last night, with great success thanks to you folks.

    First try I got the paper in the drum backwards, so that didn't work. Tried again with the paper the right way, and that was better, but waaay too dark. Finally wound up with a 6X7 neg exposed through an 80/5.6 Componon with 55y and 45m at 3.5 sec at f16. The paper package stated 45 and 45, but some of you folks suggested to give 10 yellow to compensate for old paper. (I was using 10 year old Kodak Supra). I'm surprised that the colour paper is that fast. Tried a dark green safelight filter, no good, it fogged the paper. So I'm back in the dark.

    I had another apugger (D. Lyga) email me a sheet of dilutions he used for colour development that were much more dilute than the regular mixing on the bottle of developer, so I tried it, and it worked perfectly. Normally, the dilution makes 10 litres. He suggested to dilute to the equivalent of 80 litres. The developer I used I obtained from the local pro lab, and is a single bottle of concentrate (different than the "three bottle" RT mix from Kodak). It worked perfectly, and without any starter. I measure a litre of water, and add the correct amount of developer concentrate to make a litre of working solution. I use 100ml per sheet, so I get 10 prints out of a litre. At 16.3 ml of developer concentrate per litre of working solution, the developer should last me quite a while (1.3L bottle). I plan on decanting the dev and blix into smaller bottles filled to the top with no air. Apparently, the single bottles of dev and blix don't have as long a shelf life as the three bottle RT mixes.

    30 sec pre-wash, 4.30 Dev, wash, 2.0 blix, wash. all at room temp of 70F. I use the developer one shot, and I mix up about 500ml of blix, and pour the used blix back into the 500ml beaker and re-use it for the session.

    I'm hooked. I'll post an image or two when I can get my APS (antique piece of sh#@) scanner to work.

    Many thanks to all of you who offered advice. This place rocks.

  2. stefan4u

    stefan4u Member

    Aug 27, 2006
    Dear Rick !!

    Yes, Color paper became very sensitive over the jears, exposure time and processing speed have been improved for our fast moving live ...

    Try to extend your exposure time till something about 10 -15 sec. in order to allow some dodging / burning or other manipulations. What kind of enlargerer do you use ? Of course the required exposure times is dependent of the desired print size, but it seems to be advisable to use a weaker bulb, 100 or even 75 Watt or using a ND Filter.

    I'm absolutly not sure about your diluted developer, 8 times diluted seems to be too much !! In EP2 times the German Tetenal offered a Prof.Pack wich could be diluted for 2 times in order to get oneway solutions, but only if using the additional buffer solution for the dev. and no perfect result was desired!

    RA4 developer is much more potent, but more stable too and these "saving dilutions" past away. If diluting your developer this way, without adjusting pH, restrainers/moderators and then use it at room temperatur sound like flirting with desaster... Very unsure (surpressed "nogo") whether you will ever reach acceptable densitys and contrasts without color crossovers...

    Try (at least for one time) a "normal" dilution and temperature to see what you get, recycle the developer with 50% fresh solution and do a approch to your induvidial filter pack. You should use fresh paper too, anything older than 2-3 jears and not stored chilled / frozen will lead to increased yellow stain till "strange" color rendering.
    You propably will toss a lot of time and chemistry for getting unpredictable results. On the other side, doing this as a hobby, this will lead at least to some practise ...

    I really do't want to discourage you, but in the thicket of color shifts you will be happy about some stable preconditions.

    Just my thoughts, propably you will have more answers soon.

    Regards from Germany,
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    May 9, 2005
    Daventry, No
    Well done Rick. As far as a safelight is concerned, do a search on APUG but I have a DUKA sodium light which is quite bright and doesn't fog. I wouldn't be without mine. To be truthful if I couldn't use a safelight, I'd probably give up on colour. The DUKA isn't the only kind of light either so there is a choice. These days a colour analyser isn't that expensive if you stick with a Phillips or Paterson. However it sounds as if you did OK just by the filtration on the pack. When I started colour printing I had a pack of Supra III which was quite old then and it seemed OK. The old Supra was very stable and superbly consistent. My filtration on prints used to vary only a little over a whole film. Without an analyser, I'd stick with Kodak paper. My experience with Fuji is that it is fine but seems more sensitive and less forgiving to small changes in required filtration. An analyser will nail most of the changes first time except where one colour is predominant then simple intergration analysers can be fooled. They do speed things up and at today's prices probably pay for themselves in paper savings after a few packets

    You've cracked the one real problem that a number of us in the U.K. have experienced which is finding smallish quantities of chems to ensure freshness. Using the friendly neighbourhood mini-lab's chems is a great solution to this problem.

    PE and others will hopefully chime in. Their experience is immense.

    Keep going. There isn't enough trad colour users as I'd like on APUG. Another is very welcome