Process color paper as B&W??

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by gr, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. gr

    gr Guest

    I may have to do a project which uses RA4 type color paper, but want to
    end up with a B&W silver image. Can I process the silver in this and get
    rid of the incorporated dye somehow?
    gr, Oct 10, 2007
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  2. gr

    sreenath Guest

    Well, RA4 paper also has silver halides for photo sensitivity. By
    using a normal b/w developer(Dektol, etc), it should be possible to
    get a silver image. The dyes will not form in this case.

    But how much silver the paper has, in order to get proper density, I
    am not sure. Just expose one RA4 paper and develop in Dektol and see.

    On the other hand if you want b/w image(silver image) from a color
    negative, then you could just use paper similar to Panalure.

    sreenath, Oct 10, 2007
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  3. gr

    Ken Hart Guest

    Standard RA4 color paper processed in B&W chems will give a low contrast
    image. The chems should be in the area of 80 to 100 degrees F. The paper
    will have to be handled in total darkness. You should probably use a bleach
    step after stop bath and before fixer, or you could use bleach-fix. All
    told, this is probably not a good way to go.

    If you really need a B&W image, you should use B&W paper and chems. You can
    print a color neg on standard B&W paper. Exposure times will be long,
    perhaps 3-4 times normal. You will need to use a high contrast filter or
    paper, perhaps two or three steps higher. Portraits may be a bit 'flat'
    because of the way the B&W paper reacts to the colors of the light of flesh,
    cheek, and lip tones.

    If you need to work in the RA4 world, you can get B&W RA4 paper. Never used
    it, but it's designed to give B&W prints in an RA4 processor.
    Ken Hart, Oct 10, 2007
  4. gr

    Rod Smith Guest

    I've done it occasionally, usually as part of a reversal process (to print
    slides on RA-4 paper, which is another topic entirely....). The result is
    a rather faint and low-contrast image; the blackest "black" is more like a
    middle grey. I don't know if some particular developer would create a
    blacker black. (I've used E-72 and DS-14.)

    I have to ask the OP why he's got those particular constraints. If you
    want a silver-halide final image, why not use a conventional B&W paper? If
    you want a B&W (but not necessarily silver-halide) image on RA-4 paper,
    why not process it in RA-4 chemistry and find a filter pack to get a
    neutral image?
    Unfortunately, Kodak's Panalure has been discontinued for a while. You
    might still be able to find some in a store somewhere, but I have no
    specific pointers, aside from the fact that there are two Panalure
    auctions on eBay at the moment. I think I heard that Ilford's got another
    panchromatic B&W paper, but they're marketing it for operators of lightjet
    printers, not for conventional darkrooms. I don't know how it would
    respond to color negatives in an enlarger. Unfortunately, I don't recall
    what this paper is called.

    Fortunately, color negatives can be printed on conventional B&W paper,
    although the fact that most B&W papers are insensitive to red light will
    result in some oddities compared to a photo that was shot on conventional
    B&W film. This might or might not be important for any given photo.
    Rod Smith, Oct 11, 2007
  5. gr

    Ken Hart Guest

    I don't have knowledge of the Ilford paper you mention, but Kodak's Endura
    line of color RA-4 papers were several years ago re-balanced for lightjet
    use. At that time, all I had to do was run a balance-- IIRC the magenta
    channel changed. There shouldn't be a problem using a lightjet-designed
    paper with a lens projection (enlarger or older printer) system, except
    _maybe_ reciprocity issues with a longer exposure. My printer exposures
    usually are 2 seconds or less, and when I use the same paper under the
    enlarger my exposures are 10-20 seconds. I find no difference in the color
    balance of the resulting prints.
    (My printer (a 20 year old Hope minilab) will print up to 8" wide prints,
    but process up to 16" wide. For prints larger than 8x10, I print them under
    the enlarger and run them thru the processor)
    Ken Hart, Oct 11, 2007
  6. gr

    gr Guest

    I need a specific combination of surface finish and substrate that is no
    longer manufactured with a B&W emulsion. Curse the manufacturers for
    dropping all the black and white products!
    gr, Oct 12, 2007
  7. gr

    Rod Smith Guest

    Then I suggest your best bet is probably to process the paper normally (in
    RA-4 chemistry) and use color filters to get a neutral tone. (I've heard
    that using a blank strip of color film sandwiched in with a B&W negative
    can help in this respect, although I've never tried this, myself.)
    Processing RA-4 paper in B&W chemistry will result in a faint image, at
    least in my experience. OTOH, maybe you could find a B&W developer that'd
    do the trick, or maybe some special processing after the normal B&W
    processing (intensification or toning, say) could darken the rather faint
    Rod Smith, Oct 15, 2007
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