Beginner RA-4 printing questions

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by 1kgcoffee, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    That is fine if you have a ready supply of water to wash out the drum. Many darkrooms don't and the necessity of having multiple drums just increases the cost. There is ALWAYS a risk of cross contamination with drums - don't try to convince me otherwise. I have been there, seen it happen and done it myself. The drum method also means between washing and drying and printing there is a possibility of a temperature difference between the drum and the chemicals and may make a difference between a good print or a waste of paper.

    I'm assuming the drum is on a rotary processor as well, which takes up a lot of bench space. A 12 x16 NOVA 3 bath which I use takes up a footprint space no greater than 13" x 7" and there is no need to rinse out and dry the drum between prints. Into the developer 45 seconds, Into the stop bath 30 seconds and into the blix another 45 seconds and it is done. The processor is already ready for the next print with no rinsing out and absolutely no risk of differing temperatures and no risk of cross contamination! Don't knock it until you have tried it.

    The initial fill of chemicals (about 2 litres of each} are replenished with a set amount that has never failed me or many others. The developer which is the main chemical that can go off, has lasted on occasion up to 18 months with adequate replenishment. Even then it was only changed to enable me to clean out the 3 chemical slots. In my mind a drum process is a no brainer when it comes to home processing colour prints. Even after finishing a session using a deep tank processor there is no big clearing up needed. A quick wipe down, replenish all three slots or if needed a top them up as well. That is all there is to it. It is ready for the next session in a day, a week, or even a months time. Just switch on and go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  2. FujiLove

    FujiLove Member

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    +1
    My experience exactly. I’d replace my enlargers, Jobo etc with whatever was handy and cheap, but if my Nova broke I’d go right out and buy another, even if it meant selling a camera or two. Completely indispensable, particularly if, like me, you have very limited space.
     
  3. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    I'm in this camp. If I didn't have an analyzer I would never print color...it's insanity chasing correct colors test-print-after-test-print.

    As it is...I shoot an expodisc frame for every lighting situation on a roll and use that to "zero" the analyzer so each print is color perfect. One shot, no test strips for color.
    Now, I do make test strips for exposure, I can't figure a way around that.
    As for the one-shot vs reuse thing? I find that I can get four 8x10's out of 100mls in a drum before I start getting weird stuff happening...sometimes six 8x10's. Once I make a print and it shows funny streaks or spots...I dump the chems and get fresh, in any case, I dump after every session regardless of how few prints I've done.
     
  4. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    A couple of things.
    1.) Just a quick wipe with a paper towel is all that's necessary in my experience.
    2.) I do my RA-4 processing at room temp so no tempering necessary, no heating of chems or anything. All room temp. Never had an issue.

    Not at all. A unicolor roller base is about 8" x 8" of a foot print. I have mine mounted to a plastic cutting board...the small ones and it takes up half of the small cutting board.

    I'd love to but it's too expensive for me. The jobo-drum-on-roller base is a cheap and fast way to accomplish the same thing. My last roller base I got for $15.00 and it was mint.

    That's pretty freaking cool and if I had the money, I'd love to experience that. As it is, I don't.
    For longevity of chems for drum, I get about four to six 8x10's out of 100ml of chems. I can get about eight 5x7's and countless 4x5 or 3.5 x 5's out of the same 100ml. It's pretty economical.
     
  5. RPC

    RPC Member

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    When I used drums I would always rinse the drum and dry thoroughly before using it again, just good practice. But I said goodbye to that effort and time waster by switching to trays at room temperature. Quicker, easier and less expensive than anything else and high quality. No dealing with expensive processors, or drums and pouring of solutions every step of every print, no heating of solutions.
     
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