print on ra-4 paper by using dektol?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by norayr, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. hello, i have got a b&w kodak portra paper, but it is for ra-4 process, i. e. it has dyes instead of silver.

    however, i don't have ra-4 chemistry, i have dektol. i know, c-41 film is possible to process with d-76, so i guess, may be that ra-4 paper is possible to develop with dektol?

    so, i actually don't even understand, which side of the paper i need to expose.

    with usual b/w paper i understand.

    so this paper has two sides - one dark and one later becomes the back of the image with "kodak" text on it.

    so when i printed on dark side - nothing happened, but when i printed on the white side, i guess, for some time i saw the picture when the paper was in dektol. and later it disappeared.

    i was unable to use this paper, but first, i'd like to know

    - if it's actually possible to use this paper with dektol and regular fixer.
    - which side i need to print to.

    thank you.
    Henricvs likes this.
  2. Photo paper almost always has a curl. Almost always, the emulsion side is the inside surface of a concave curve. If you dampen the tip of a finger and touch the emulsion side, the paper will feel sticky (gelatin overcoat). You can test a small piece in the light by observing the action when you plop it in the developer. One side blackens, this is the emulsion side.

    This paper uses salts of silver as a catalyst. The exposed paper is plopped in the RA-4 developer. It contains an ordinary B&W developer and a color developer. The B&W developer seeks exposed silver salts and reduces them to a tuft of silver and a halogen (iodine, chlorine, bromine). The halogen is dissolved in the waters of the developer. The tuft of silver is opaque metallic silver. The waters of the developer contain dissolved oxygen. As the tuft materializes, oxygen combines. This is the catalyst that triggers the color developer to react with incomplete dyes in the paper emulsion. These form a B&W dye image.

    The tufts of silver will veil the dyes, They are revived by a silver bleach (EDTA) which is a chelator. It grabs the silver tuft and changes it back to a silver salt. An ordinary fix bath will dissolve silver salts. The silver bleach and the fix solution are combined in a single solution called a bleach-fix.

    You can develop this paper in Dektol, After development is complete, rinse in water and then fix in a black & white fixer.

    Seem an expensive way to make inferior black & white prints. Why not buy some black & white paper?

    Also, double check what safelight to use with this paper, it's likely panchromatic, If true the safelight is likely a very dim orange used to help you not trip in the darkroom.
  3. I don't know where the OP got his paper, but I have 50 sheets of Fuji Crystal Archive in 24x36 inch size.

    I am sure that I will never use it all in RA-4 chemistry, though haven't actually thought about trying it
    in Dektol. First I have to get a paper cutter big enough.

    The #13 safelight is the usual one with color paper (and Panalure). The word "light" should not be
    used when discussing it, though the #10 is even darker. (I have one of those, too, but haven't
    tried it yet.)

    There are some Fuji papers that require two #13 filters together. I suspect that you don't see
    anything when you do that.

    I have at least once exposed the wrong side of RC paper. Curl is pretty reliable for
    fiber based paper, but quite as good for RC paper.

    I don't think you can read the back of paper with a #13 safelight. I once dropped some
    on the floor with a #13, and didn't find it until I turned on the lights.

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