RA4 Issues-Monochromatic Prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by nuckabean, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    I've recently dived into color printing and the RA-4 process. I'm using a Philips PCS-150 additive color enlarger. I'm enlarging onto Kodak Supra Endura and processing using Kodak chemistry at room temperature in cibachrome drums. I did my first test strip yeterday which was a disaster because I found out that its very difficult to identify which side of the paper is the emulsion side in the pitch black. I processed it upside down and got a very splotchy print. I made my second atttempt today with much better results. I figured out a way to diferentiate between the two sides of the paper and I've got my paper to come out nicely developed and bleached with one big problem; they're monochromatic. This is really a troubling thing to me as I can't see why it's happening. I set the dials on my enlarger to the reccomended filter pack (0c 55m 65y) and my first print came out purple. I checked my enlarger head and found a loose connection but my next print came out orange. I'm not sure what's going on here but I was hoping someone might be able to offer some advice. Is my color balance really that off? It doesn't seem possible to me but I guess it could be. I'll try checking it with a color meter we have sitting around.

    The only other thing I could think of would be the way I mixed my chemicals, I didn't use starter for the developer because everyone on here said not to. Would my measurements not being perfect cause these kinds of problems? I only mixed 1 liter from the 10 liter kit.

    I hope I can figure this out, as I'd really like to make my own color prints.

    Here is my latest attempt. I apologize for the spots, those are from dust and splotches on the scanner.

    Attached Files:

  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Apr 19, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Multi Format
    Overexposed, way out of balance. It is so far off, I can't even guess how far. It is at least several stops over.

  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Tufts Univer
    What he said.

    Lick your fingers. The sticky side is up.

    Also I've found the starting filter pack to be absolute garbage. I use something like 25Y 15M (or vice versa, can't remember off the top of my head.) I got that look when I forgot to stop the enlarger down after dusting and refocusing the negative.

    This is the method I use: (there was a url link here which no longer exists)
  4. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose Member

    May 27, 2006
    South Dakota
    Medium Format
    How to fix this?

    Just as a starting point. Close lens 3 stops and/or reduce time. An 8x10 average exposure is F5.6-8 for 10 seconds. The image appears too red. You have an ADDITIVE (RGB) enlarger so you will add the color you have too much of, so add 50 red and try again.

    Easy chart:


    For printing from negatives, ADD the color you have too much of. More light = darker print.

    For printing slides, SUBTRACT the color you have too much of. More light = lighter print.

    Hope this helps.

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