Trebla RA-4 developer - what if no starter?

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newcan1

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I bought some Trebla RA-4 chemistry from Armadillo (nice folks), but they were out of starter. I will be using the developer for one shot drum processing. What is likely to happen if I don't use developer starter in the mix?

I can try to find a compatible starter elsewhere, but wonder what is the worst case if I don't use it at all.
 

BMbikerider

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You may get an image but not a very good one that lacks colour. The started forms only a little of the chemical base for the developer and isn't included in the replenisher bath. I do believe the paper has a chemical in the emulsion that replaces the starter until the paper can take over.
 

Neal

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If you're using it as a one-shot you should be fine. Of course you will have a slightly different color pack but that will only add to your enjoyment. Deep down we all know that the entire point of printing color by hand is to agonize over that last 1CC. :wink:

Neal Wydra
 

markbarendt

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I do it all the time. Works fine without starter.

The starter is used one time for start up on replenished systems, it seasons a brand new fresh developer batch to make it work like the stuff in the normal production line system of a mini-lab that's been running for a week/month.
 

David Lyga

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Correct me if I am wrong, but 'starter' is simply restrainer that helps to make the new developer a bit less potent. Without such, you merely get a bit more contrast with the new developer. Other than that, I believe that starter serves no other purpose. Comments? - David Lyga
 

markbarendt

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Right idea David.

Replenishment is balancing act. Paper leaves behind certain things as it gets developed, replenishing washes some of that out. A fresh tank of developer without the starter is out of balance when compared to a running replenished line.

When we use small batches of RA in trays or a JOBO at home the only thing we are balancing against is our normal process, the starter is irrelevant as long as we do it the same way each time.
 
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newcan1

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Well to be accurate, when I said I would use one shot...it's more like I may use say 100cc in the drum but will re-use 50cc of that and add a fresh 50cc for the second print, and so on. Is the answer still that I should be OK without starter?

I have ordered some Kodak starter, so I should be OK either way.
 

anikin

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I never used ra4 starter and never missed it. I use kodak's chemistry, but trebla should be similar. Don't worry about it. Never noticed an issue with either trays, drum, or roller processor.
 

David Lyga

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Since I process RA4 dev at high dilution (5X) and put in a little carbonate to bring it back up to speed, I shudder at the thought of slowing things down. I need all the firepower I can get with RA4 developer. - David Lyga
 

markbarendt

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Well to be accurate, when I said I would use one shot...it's more like I may use say 100cc in the drum but will re-use 50cc of that and add a fresh 50cc for the second print, and so on. Is the answer still that I should be OK without starter?

I have ordered some Kodak starter, so I should be OK either way.

Yes, you should be fine.

Personally I use a pre-rinse, then develop, then stop, then rinse, then blix, then three final rinses. The extra rinses seem to help extend the usefulness of the chemicals.

For RA I normally use about 160ml of fluid (tank says 120 minimum) and can get about 6-8 8x10s reliably before starting over with fresh, I have gone as far as a dozen. This has been every bit as reliable for me as trying to replenish as I go. Don't know why, just what happens for me.

I do extend the time as more sheets get through. Develop time for the last run is about 2x first run time. RA is meant to develop to completion so this doesn't change the look, it just allows things to finish.
 
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