Help with RA4

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Ken Hart, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Ken Hart

    Ken Hart Guest

    So I'm printing some pictures last night on a roll of Fuji Crystal Archive.
    Everything's going good for about twenty pictures, when I notice that white
    areas have a cyan tint. With each succeeding print, the cyan gets stronger;
    only in white areas-- dark (darker than the cyan tint) areas are correct. I
    thought at first a chemical problem, so I cut off a piece of unexposed Kodak
    Endura and ran that thru the processor; it came out white.
    The tint didn't seem to be fogging; it wasn't dark enough, it was too even,
    and any partial fogging in the past has been a reddish-brown color.
    I thought that there might be some sort of contaminant on a roller in the
    printer, so I unloaded the roll, cut off a piece, and fed it directly into
    the processor-- still cyan.
    It doesn't seem like a manufacturing flaw-- the cyan lightens a bit at the
    edges, both the lengthwise factory edges, and the width edges that the
    printer has cut.

    Any ideas, anyone?
    (Sorry, but "get rid of RA-4 and print digitally" is not a viable option!)

    Ken Hart, Oct 27, 2005
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  2. Sounds like a light strike from some where.

    Have you considered using a different negative & examine the two
    prints to see if the "stains match" That is are the the same shape and

    If they do its probably something
    internal to the enlarger. Like bad heat glass or other.

    Usually true chemical stains are variable in location.
    Gregory Blank, Oct 27, 2005
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  3. Ken Hart

    Bernie Guest

    Ken although I would suspect bleach-fix contamination iin your developer
    could be a cause, the cyan stain should be even throughout the print, and
    your blacks would also start looking blueish.

    Don't let the white Dmin area on the Kodak Endura paper convince you it is
    not contaminated developer, as both manufacturers papers have different
    process sensitivities for the amount of bleach-fix contamination. You should
    cut off an unexposed piece of the Fuji Crystal Archive and process that to
    see if unexposed paper is truly white. If each successive print becomes
    worse, you will eventually verify this.

    You are correct about light fog being a reddish brown or orange color, but
    light fog from red LEDs on enlarger timers or other darkroom equipment will
    cause a cyan fog.

    With extreme age or heat exposure, you usually see a yellow or greenish fog,
    not cyan. Good luk in tracking this down.
    Bernie, Oct 28, 2005
  4. Hi Ken,

    I vote for chemical staining, but it should be uniform across the paper (though
    I disagree with Bernie about the blacks becoming bluish - that indicates
    exhausted developer). Look more closely and see. Dr. Chapman (Photo Techniques
    magazine) called it the "Blue Meanies". He stated that cyanic staining can
    indicate developer (CD3 or CD4) that is not fully dissolved in the working
    solution (or, I suppose, which may be coming out of solution). He recommended
    the use of small quantities of diethylene glycol and ethanol to increase
    solubility of the CD3.

    Unfortunately, even when I have done that, I still can get the blue meanies. As
    you experienced, I generally find that it is only after I have been producing
    prints for a while that it becomes a problem. Initial prints are almost always

    Another possibility that I considered was failure to fully rinse developer off
    of the print before immersing in blix. I have increased the rinse cycle but
    have not found that to help.

    Francis A. Miniter
    Francis A. Miniter, Oct 28, 2005
  5. Ken Hart

    A.Lee Guest

    Developer either going off, too cold, or print not in it for long
    We get this quite regularly on our automatic printers.The usual cause is
    a poor batch of (pre-mixed) developer, which shows immediatley after a
    tank clean-out.The 2nd main cause is exhausted developer, which is the
    same as No.1, but it takes a week or 2 for it to start dying. Then there
    is contamination from the bleach/fix, which is quite rare, unless the
    roller processor has been dismantled and bleach has dripped into the dev
    I have got to a machine before with this tinge, run 20 photos through
    it, then it clears, only for it to start re-appearing 30 mins. later.The
    only cure is a change of dev, and cleaning of any parts that have
    contact with the dev.
    A.Lee, Oct 28, 2005
  6. Ken Hart

    Bernie Guest

    Francis, you are correct, exhausted developer is the most common cause of
    bluish blacks. But with bleach-fix contaminated developer, severe enough to
    cause staining, there is also a loss of upper scale blue, (blue blacks) due
    to oxidation of the CD-3 by the bleach and fix. Take a look at a sample plot
    for this in Kodaks Z-130.

    Not rinsing developer off before bleach-fixing usually causes a pink stain
    and mottle, not cyan.
    Bernie, Oct 28, 2005
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