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Thread: Colour Processing

  1. #1
    alexellinghausen
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    Default Colour Processing

    Hi, does anyone here do their own processing for their colour prints? i've been reading up on doing my own prints for colour and i've been hearing people telling me that its really tough, hazardous and tedious. plus the whole temperatue thing is very troublesome as well.

    does anyone know whats the process for colour prints and what chemicals/temperatues needed as well?

    eg. for b/w prints on FB paper would be 120s in developer, 30s in stopbath and 300s in fixer, followed by photo-flo and wash.

    what would the process for colour prints be? i'm quite interested to try but have no idea how to start

  2. #2
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    This is what I know, tho I have not done it myself. Too troublesome.

    1. Colour printing must be done in total darkness, without a safelight like B&W.

    2. Colour correction is a pain.

    3. The prints are developed in light tight drums. i.e. once you have exposed the paper and loaded it into the drum, you can turn on the lights. Much like B&W film processing.

    4. Temperature is very critical.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #3
    alexellinghausen
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    alright, thanks for the tip

  4. #4
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    Brief Overview (non chemistry specific)

    1) Analyze neg (this means read the negative to determine base levels of filtration)

    3) In the dark without safelight remove paper from packet or safe and load easel.

    4) Expose paper

    5) In the dark without safelight load paper in to print processing tank.

    6) Feed chemistry in and out of the processing tank. This bit varies depending on the chemistry being used.

    Times and process listed below is based on a mono RA-4 chemistry like Tetanol)
    60 seconds developer
    20 seconds water/acetic acid stop bath
    60 seconds bleach fix
    2-5 minutes final rinse

    7) Dry print either with dryer, hairdryer or hang up to dry.

    8) Make sensitometery corrections as required (the y usually are required unless you have a damn good colour analyzer and the knowledge to use it!).

    Repeat steps until you get a good print.


    Now for the bad news:

    Colour chemistry has a short shelf life. Unless you're doing a lot of printing it's just not worth it.

    As with any developing or print making process the more accurately temperatures are controlled the more consistant and repeatable the results are.

    Colour prints are normally processed in a drum on a rolling base (the cheap way) or in a temperature controlled water bath, eg: Jobo processor. Processors cost serious $$ new. (Typically a couple of thousand bucks for a base model).

    A colour analyzer is going to cost anywhere from $600 to 50,000 bucks or more depending on its sophistication.

    The other alternative is to use a Stabiization processor which does away with the final rinse and uses a special paper with part of the chemicals imbedded on the paper. This is more economical, but the machines run around 4,000 SGD for a basic unit.

    I still do the odd colour printing job in my darkroom but in all honesty a good prolab is cheaper, more consistant and a hell of a big timesaver.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  5. #5
    alexellinghausen
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    thanks ian for the in-depth info, very helpful

    maybe in the near future, might try to do my own colour prints if I can afford to buy the equipment, already have the colour head for the enlarger...

    just one question, where do you dump your chemicals when you're done? do u just flush it down the toilet or do u know anywhere that it can be properly disposed off? eg. schools with darkrooms, community centres, etc

  6. #6

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    Hi,

    If you are really interested to try your hand in processing your own color prints. There are courses out there that will lead you to it (eg Safra Photo Club).

    It's true that color processing is a bit more tedious than B/W processing as the print must be exposed in complete darkness unlike in B/W where you can utilise a safelight.

    There's generally a three bath process and the print have to be "fixed" before the lights are turned on. The developer and fixer chemicals can be pretty nasty stuff and gloves are highly recommended. Looking back, we use to do it with our bare hands to feel the texture of the print in the fixing process - definitely not too wise a move.

    Temperature must be kept constant for the development process too. Chemicals are more expensive than B/W and have a much shorter shelf life.

  7. #7
    alexellinghausen
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    safra photo club? would i have to be a member? I remember before i even setup my darkroom, i was looking for a place to do my prints, i called up SAFRA, i think its the one at Bt Merah, they said to use their darkroom, i would have to be a SAFRA member, and I asked the lady how, she told me I had to be doing my NS or had already served NS.

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by alexellinghausen
    safra photo club? would i have to be a member? I remember before i even setup my darkroom, i was looking for a place to do my prints, i called up SAFRA, i think its the one at Bt Merah, they said to use their darkroom, i would have to be a SAFRA member, and I asked the lady how, she told me I had to be doing my NS or had already served NS.
    if u are darkroom certify and is a non member, u have to pay $8 for a whole day usage...

    if u are a Photo club member, u use it for FREE...

    the colour print course it not "HOT"... if there is enough students, they can start the course... if not wrong, they will be using Fuji Chemical for the the lesson....

    u can call up 63773681/2 for signing up the course... the cost is $156 for non member, $126.30 for P.C member if enough students, they will start on the 26th Apr'03

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by alexellinghausen
    thanks ian for the in-depth info, very helpful

    Just one question, where do you dump your chemicals when you're done? do u just flush it down the toilet or do u know anywhere that it can be properly disposed off? eg. schools with darkrooms, community centres, etc
    Your welcome Alex.

    Chemicals need to be properly disposed of. Consult your local Waste Disposal Authority or Council.

    Singapore has similar laws to Australia which prohibit flushing the nasties down the toilet.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    Photographic Society of Singapore (PSS) also conduct Colour Print Processing course. Limited to 7 in a group. $200 for member, $280 for non-member (I think). Course fee includes chemical and paper for 6-8 8R prints (I think). As usual, the course is not in demand, so u got to call/email to find out the course details.


    http://www.pss1950.org/programs.php

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