RA-4 kits not available

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tkauyong

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I am a amateur using the Tetanal Colortec RA-4 for processing in the Jobo CPP-2. I am living in Hong Kong and used to get it from B&H Photo of the USA. However, the kit is no longer available in B&H photo. I tried to get it from somewhere else but found out that it cannot be sent overseas now, even available. The B&H photo guy advised me to get the Tetanl RA-4 Color Developer Starter. I am confused. Is the starter to be used with the developer replenisher instead of using alone. Please advice.

The place I am living is lack of chemicals for home processing. Is there any alternative. It seems that the airflight rule for chemicals has tightened as I still could get them shipped a few years ago. I do not want give up my own darkroom. It's sad.
 

AgX

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Starter is an add-on to the replenisher to make original developer.
A starter is not intended to be used alone to act as developer.

I'm surprised that you did not try to buy locally instead of having it sent from the USA.
Fuji has an Office in Hong Kong. You may inquire there for their RA-4 chemicals.
You might also try to buy chemicals from a minilab.
 
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EdSawyer

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Also, check the sticky thread here about color chemistry and where to get it. There should be somewhere more local, as mentioned.
 

DREW WILEY

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Fuji-Hunt chem would probably be better quality anyway, and should be available worldwide.
 

AJH

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And then why does B&H import Tetenal from Germany. While the dollar rate is not favourable at all.
In Hong Kong one better tries to get it from Germany directly. Or buy locally.
 

DREW WILEY

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Because Tetenal wants to do business in the US. It's that simple. But we have multiple suppliers for RA4 chemistry.
 
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tkauyong

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I think the major problem is the air flight regulation has tightened. Some ingredient in the developer is now considered hazardous. I could still get it 3 years ago, but now the Freestylephoto, Adorama and Firstcall in UK told me that they could not sent it outside country.
Where can I find the place selling Champion or other chemistry in Hong Kong?
 

Dr Croubie

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I think the major problem is the air flight regulation has tightened. Some ingredient in the developer is now considered hazardous.

Completely tangentially, I tried to get Kami scanning fluid from the USA to Aus. They wouldn't ship it, air or sea, because, well, it's practically petrol (gasoline) and rather explosive. They suggested I try get it from the factory in Germany. They'd sell it to me, but no sea shipping, all they would be able to do is to ship it *by air*, but not by courier, it'd count as unaccompanied baggage and I'd have to pick it up directly from the airport. I do hope that doesn't mean it would come in on a passenger plane, sounded rather counterintuitive. But I said no anyway because the fluid was $50, and they wanted €400 to ship it. Sigh. (long story short I found non-flammable Lumina fluid from Canadia.)</tangent>

In general, the problem with getting almost any chemicals this way is like Drew said, Tetenal want to do business in the US, so they've done the hard yards getting all the import approvals and whatnot, because the US is a big market. Doesn't mean they can easily re-ship it out without getting the same approvals.
Even if you can't get the original chems from Germany, have you tried across the water in GuangZhou? There's a big market for everything there, somebody must have something (if not at least a ripoff), I'm sure you could take it back to HK on a train...
 

AgX

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They suggested I try get it from the factory in Germany. They'd sell it to me, but no sea shipping, all they would be able to do is to ship it *by air*, but not by courier, it'd count as unaccompanied baggage and I'd have to pick it up directly from the airport.

Even german postal Service, which is DHL now, no longer offer surface transport for transcontinental mail.
 
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tkauyong

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I am looking for somewhere in GuangZhou (Canton in Cantonese) or Shenzhen to buy it. Have sent an e-mail to Champion hoping that they will send by sea if not be plane, but no reply yet. How long is the shelve life of RA-4 replenisher cos do not want to go to Mainland China often.
 
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tkauyong

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If I have to use the chemicals for large scel processors such as the Kodak RA4 RT, I probably have to mix small batch every since I cannot finish all a time. The problem is how long the concentrates can be stored if the bottles are opened. I think the developer is susceptible to oxidation. Also, should a starter be used if I do in a Jobo CPP-2?
 

wogster

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Because Tetenal wants to do business in the US. It's that simple. But we have multiple suppliers for RA4 chemistry.

The issue, is that several chemicals in the process are considered corrosive enough to be classed as dangerous goods. B&H can get Tetenal, because Tetenal is willing to do the extensive paperwork, and underwrite the cost of international DG shipping, for a large customer like B&H.
 
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tkauyong

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Thanks, my understanding from other threads is that starter is not necessary if I pour away the chemicals if used once only.

Any idea of the estimated shelve life if say kept in 50F or room temp?
 

RPC

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The purpose of starter is to add to replenisher to make working solution, whether you are using the working solution one-shot or many times. Many users on APUG have reported that they get acceptable results without adding starter to RA-4 replenisher. You can just add the starter as instructions say, or try it without and see if the results are acceptable to you.

If you store developer or replenisher in completely filled glass bottles, you can get many months, even years of life from it. High quality plastic may work as well.
 
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