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Who to buy RA-4 Chemicals from?

Noel Meneses , Dec 15, 2006; 12:39 a.m.

I am having a bit of a hard time getting all the chemicals for ra-4 color processing from color negatives. I tried adorama but they dont have the developer starter, I tried bh but they only sell some of the parts in bulk order, amazon almost had them all except for the developer starter. As far as I know we will need

RA Developer 5 liter RA Blix 5 liter RA Stabalizer 5 liter Developer Starter 5 liter

or so the kodak customer service guy says. I am a low grade hobbiest and don't have any use for more than 1 gallon -5 liter quanities.

Where do you all get your stuff? Should I develop with other than kodak? If so who has readily available chemicals for ra-4. Thanks for the input.

Responses

Peter Lyons , Dec 15, 2006; 02:21 a.m.

Check with Photographers Formulary in Montana. 1 (800) 922-5255 or 1 (406) 754-2891

Oliver Tan , Dec 15, 2006; 02:26 a.m.

www.FreestylePhoto.biz

Gene E. McCluney , Dec 15, 2006; 08:02 a.m.

The developer starter will last forever. It will start quite a few litres of developer. You can have ANY Kodak dealer order it for you. I just use my local camera store. I need to assure you that it is not a chemical that "goes bad", ever. Don't worry about getting a larger quantity than you immediately need.

I have often used the Agfa (brand) of RA-4 equivalent developer, as this seemed to have less tar buildup in my tabletop processor. I got the 20 litre developer kits, and since it is all liquid, easy to sub-divide into smaller quantities. Of course with Agfa chemistry, you had to use Agfa starter, which came in a gallon bottle. Agfa chemistry, I see is available again.

For those who don't know about "starters". Most color developers (RA-4, E-6, C-41) come as "developer replenishers" and to make a working developer, you have to not only dilute the liquid concentrates with the appropriate amount of water, but add a "starter" to make a complete "working" developer. Over the years, when amateur interest was higher in these processes, various companies made small kits that contained complete developers, not requiring starters, just requiring diluting with water. But, now with the only viable market is professional and semi-professional, these simple kits are almost not available.

McCluney Photo

Gene E. McCluney , Dec 15, 2006; 08:10 a.m.

Having just re-read your original post, I want to clarify a few more points over and above my reply above. RA-4 is the process for color prints. Color prints made from color negatives. You do not normally need "stabilizer" with this process. Stabilizer is used in large processing machines that do not wash the paper after the blix. If you are going to wash your prints for a couple of minutes before drying, you do not need stabilizer at all.

It is unclear in your post whether you are going to process prints or negatives. If you want to process color negatives yourself, you need the chemicals for process C-41.

Your bottle of developer starter will probably "start" many more litres than 5, but as stated above it does not "go bad". One bottle of starter will last you years, possibly.

McCluney Photo

Rowland Mowrey , Dec 16, 2006; 03:45 p.m.

Use Kodak RA-RT developer replenisher in 10 liter (Part #841-5580) or in 5 liter kits. They may be divided down.

You do not need a starter or stabilzer for paper. You will need a blix.

Ron Mowrey

Gene E. McCluney , Dec 17, 2006; 10:27 p.m.

Please elaborate on "not needing starter".

But...with my Kodak RA developer replenisher, as well as my Agfa (RA equivalent) developer replenisher, the mixing instructions absolutely state to make "working solution" you must add starter to the properly diluted replenisher solutions. And, Kodak and Agfa and probably Fuji/Hunt make "starters" for this.

Back when I was doing EP-2, I tried once to just use EP-2 replenisher mixed as a tank soluton, and it didn't work correctly at all, colors were all wrong. When I mixed up the "tank" solution adding the "starter" everything went fine. Has Kodak changed the formulation of the RA-4 replenishers in the last three years to not require starter to make developer?

I know you don't need a "starter" for blix.

McCluney Photo

Rowland Mowrey , Dec 18, 2006; 08:18 p.m.

I have been using the developer replenisher since the Supra line came out. The new papers are quite different than the EP2 and EP3 papers.

Forget the starter and balance your entire process around the RART replenisher. I use 100F for 1' (or 45") and I use 2' at 68 degrees. That is one nice thing about the Kodak chemistry. It can be used at room temp.

Ron Mowrey

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