Stains problem with RA-4

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by halfaman, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. halfaman

    halfaman Member
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    I am triying to increase the contrast of my RA-4 prints with "double developing", taking bits of information from here and there in APUG. It has worked rather well but I am obtaining the stains you can see in the next picture:

    [​IMG]

    The yellow one on the far right was formed in front of my eyes when driying.

    Prints are develop in a Jobo CPP3 at 35º C and the process is like that:

    * Prewash 30 seconds
    * Develop - 45 seconds
    * Stop (3% acetic acid) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 30 seconds

    * Fixing (regular B/W) - 2 minutes
    * Clearing (15 gr/liter sodium sulfite) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (Water) - 2x30 seconds
    * Bleach (15 gr/liter potassium ferricyanide) - 45 seconds
    * Clearing (15 gr/liter sodium sulfite) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 2x30 seconds

    * Develop - 45 seconds
    * Stop (3% acetic acid) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 30 seconds
    * Blix - 45 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 3x30 seconds

    Any idea of what it is causing the stains and how to avoid it? Any improvement in the above process is also welcome... :smile:

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

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    I am not sure that one can increase contrast in color slides or prints. Ansel Adams took some great color photographs but he said that he preferred black & white because he could play with it more than color. He said that there was only so much that one could do with color and then it fell apart.
     
  3. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber
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    You don't really increase contrast, although it may look like that. What you are actually doing is increasing colour by developing undeveloped colour that missed out being developed the first time around. The resultant print will be one that has more colour saturation, translating mostly to a more satisfying print.

    I did a fair few prints squillions of years ago using a similar method to the originator of this thread; it was the earlier EP2 process, but the procedure is similar.
    https://www.photrio.com/forum/media/b-w-colour-one-sheet.9084/

    To answer your question and I'm purely guessing here, it sort of looks like somewhere along your process, you may be inadvertantly getting a splotch of chemical where it shouldn't be. The resultant stain is strongest right at the bottom of the leg, then as it runs down the asphalt it loses strength and slowly one starts to see the road surface appearing.

    Mick.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Squillions of years ago? You lucky devil, Mick . You probably met Raquel Welch in that prehistoric fur bikini as well :D All I get is short changed with episodes of Dr Blake Mysteries :D

    pentaxuser
     
  5. OP
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    halfaman

    halfaman Member
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    I add that the stains have appeared several times, this is not the only print with this problem. I have another three, all done in a row.

    I also made standard RA-4 along with this trials with no problem whatsoever, so it has to be something in the double developing process.
     
  6. OP
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    halfaman

    halfaman Member
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    Just for the record, this issue is solved.

    Two things were done.
    1. Adding to the stop bath sodium sufite (20 gr/l) in order to stop more effcientely developing of silver and dyes, and sodium acetate (20 gr/l) as buffer for better stability.
    2. Bleach and clearing is done outside the Jobo tank in trays to avoid any contamination going into the re-developing stage. Rinse after clearing also in a tray.
    So final process is like this.

    IN JOBO CPP3 at 35º C
    * Prewash - 30 seconds
    * Develop - 45 seconds
    * Stop (3% acetic acid + 20 gr/liter sodium sulfite + 20 gr/liter sodium acetate) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 30 seconds
    * Fixing (regular B/W 1+4) - 2 minutes
    * Rinse (Water) - 3x30 seconds

    IN TRAYS at room temperature
    * Bleach (15 gr/liter potassium ferricyanide + 6-7 gr/liter potassium bromide) - 45 seconds
    * Rinse - 30 senconds of running water
    * Clearing (20 gr/liter sodium sulfite) - 60 seconds
    * Rinse - 60 seconds of running water

    IN JOBO CPP3 at 35º C
    * Prewash - 30 seconds
    * Develop - 45 seconds
    * Stop (3% acetic acid + 20 gr/liter sodium sulfite + 20 gr/liter sodium acetate) - 30 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 30 seconds
    * Blix - 45 seconds
    * Rinse (water) - 3x30 seconds
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I had this happen to me several times when using a Jobo print drum but not when using a Nova slot processor which is like individual trays on their sides. As Mick Fagan has mentioned I am pretty sure it is "runs" of residual chemicals in the drums which haven't been fully dried so I think that point 2 of your solution may have cured it rather than it having anything to do with point 1.

    Just as an experiment try point 2 by itself and see what happens unless someone here with good chemical knowledge of RA4 can say why point 1 makes a definite contribution to your streak problem

    entaxuser
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    Well, I must disagree with some of those above who say that the contrast is not increasing. It is actually increasing guys. I've done this many times and measured the density.

    As for the streaks, note that they are lower in density. This indicates that development did not take place. This was either carryover of stop or clear into the developer, or water on the print at the start of the process, or insufficient wash between steps. I've seen it before from any one or all of these steps.

    PE
     
  9. bvy

    bvy Subscriber
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    Adding hydrogen peroxide to the developer is another strategy for increasing contrast.
     
  10. OP
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    halfaman

    halfaman Member
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    Then I suppose it was clearing carryover as it was the most nearer step to the second development. Now I am trying to tame the ferricyanide a bit with the dilution as the constrat increase can be brutal depending on the negative.

    I tried it following this thread but it never worked for me at any concentration using standard 3% solution of drugstores.
     
  11. FujiLove

    FujiLove Member
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    I’m interested in giving this method a go. I use a Nova slot processor for my standard RA4 development, so am I right in thinking that everything after the first B&W fix could be carried out with the lights on? If not, which steps need to be in the dark?
     
  12. OP
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    halfaman

    halfaman Member
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    No problem to do bleaching and clearing with light.
     
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