C-Printing... Do I have this right?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by nickstreme, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. nickstreme

    nickstreme Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    Medium Format
    I just finished building a darkroom in my house with my dad, and I have been teaching myself B&W printing and I pretty much have it down now.

    I would like to get into C-printing, but I am unsure about how to do it and specifics and things like that.

    Here is what I understand the procedure to be -

    1) Make a starting filter pack based on what paper you are using

    2) Expose accordingly to meter or test strip

    3) Develop in drum

    4) Anaylze print and if there is for example too much yellow, add more yellow and vice versa then reprint.

    Right? Are Room temp. RA4 chemicals worse then regular ones?
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Multi Format
    You need to the exposure right before worrying about the colour. Print should be checked dry. So get a hair dryer.

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Van Buren, A
    Large Format
    If you use the Kodak (brand) RA-4 chemicals suggested by PE, the chemicals are the same identical chemicals, you just extend the processing times and get identical results.
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Dec 3, 2004
    Chicago, West Suburbs
    Multi Format
    Dear nickstreme,

    Search the forum using the kewords RA-4 and Trays. Once I learned to work in complete darkness I found color printing much easier to do in trays than in tubes. I use gloves and an audible timer.

    Neal Wydra
  5. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Tufts Univer
    IIRC there is a slight color shift in the prints which you compensate for when printing. I have never done the higher temps with the kodak stuff so I can't say.

    I wouldn't start with Cibachrome/slide printing (have you looked at the price lists???) but yes that is the method. Your exposure changes whenever you change the filter pack because more or less light is let through so you have to be aware of that. Most of the time it is insignificant. RA-4 paper (IDK bout Ilfochrome) has a blue cast when wet which can be eliminated either by drying or by submerging in fixer concentrate or some dilution which I can't remember after processing and submerging in water to wash the blix off. Also the color balance looks different depending on the light which it is viewed in, so be sure to view in intended display light (or get a daylight balanced light and use that.)

    Negative printing is similar except you use opposite color corrections and the filter pack is different for each film depending on the orange film base. To make things easiest just pick one film and paper (or a series of compatible films) and print that way. To find the starting filter pack choose a medium value like 25y 25m and adjust from there using confirming strips.

    I personally use trays @ room temp w/ kodak chemicals. I have had no problems whatsoever except when I accidentally used C41 developer. That didn't work.

    I wrote (there was a url link here which no longer exists) because all literature I found on this described color processes came with dire warnings like "cancer" and "if you cannot hold your c41 process within .25 degrees shoot digital" for one reason or another. There's another one on C41 processing if you want to do that yourself. I prefer that because E6 takes a long long time.
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