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Where can I buy Kodak RA-4 kits ?

Harry Joseph , Jun 27, 2007; 03:20 a.m.

It seems that nobody sells Kodak RA4 kits(Developer,Bleach,Fixer) anymore? My local camera-shop certainly doesn't. Adorama and B&H sell these items separetly and usually in different volumnes. It's so frustrating when you need a 'PHD' to make a simple litter of Developer, because the concentrate comes in 25 gallon size, or 10 litter sizes. Alson the Developer might come in a 10 gallon size but the bleach comes in 10 litter size.

That means a good portion of the remaining chemicals stay in the bottle until who knows when. The 1 litter kits allowed you to develop a few rolls of film and be done with it. With a little replenisher you could develop a little more if needed.


Dan Schwartz , Jun 27, 2007; 12:23 p.m.

If you replenish, then you don't need a PhD.

Also, any minilab supplier has RA-4 chemistry.

Just keep your bleach and fixer separate, i.e. don't use the "blix," since you're low volume.

Gene E. McCluney , Jun 27, 2007; 04:55 p.m.

If you are referring to the RA-4 color print developing chemistry...then there is only BLIX. Only the C-41 process (for color negatives) has both the inferior BLIX process and the separate BLEACH, FIX processes. The BLIX for RA-4 works fine. Paper has different requirements than film.

The RA (rapid access) 4 chemistry is comprised of developer and blix. That is it, unless you add an additional stabilizer step. The developer concentrates are shipped in several components that you mix together to make working developer. The BLIX is also.

Harry Joseph , Jun 27, 2007; 06:35 p.m.

"Uh, if you are referring to the RA-4 color print developing chemistry...then there is only BLIX"

Ooops, yep I forgot. A couple of years ago I was using an old table-top(Durst RCP20) Processor that required 3 steps. Developer, Stop bath, and 'BliX'. Now I use a Durst Printo that doesn't require any Stop-Bath. Since I got into Digital I haven't touched the Durst printo with a ten foot pole, but now I want to start using it again.

Back then I use to buy the 2.5 litter Ektacolor Kit which came with about 6 little bottles that you could consider one-shot. My processor worked on 2 litters max. I could develop about 35+ 8X10s and about 15+ more by adding the .5 that was left as replenisher.

Since I rarely used the processor, maybe once every 2 months, I didn't have to worry about chemicals going bad inside the bottles.

Dan Schwartz , Jun 27, 2007; 06:49 p.m.

Gene McCluney wrote:

If you are referring to the RA-4 color print developing chemistry...then there is only BLIX. Only the C-41 process (for color negatives) has both the inferior BLIX process and the separate BLEACH, FIX processes. The BLIX for RA-4 works fine.

Harry, this is why you should be leery of unverified info on the Internet.

Yes, in the process RA-4 color negative processing scheme, one can combine the bleach and fixer, since these components -- especially the bleach -- are weaker than their respective (color negative) film counterparts.

That being said... Just because one can, doesn't mean one should. Yes, high volume commercial RA-4 processing machines combine the bleach and fix baths into a "blix" bath... But the operative phrase is High Volume..

For a home user, replenishing a blix solution is (all-but) impossible, because once combined, the bleach and fixer solutions rapidly deteriorate.

Of course, if the home user chooses to waste money (as well as flush a whole lot of chemistry into the sewer) by using their RA-4 bleach and fixer single-shot .AND. mix them right before using, then the above is moot.

Harry Joseph , Jun 27, 2007; 07:35 p.m.

"Just keep your bleach and fixer separate, i.e. don't use the "blix," since you're low volume"

Dan, if I was to separate the bleach and fixer then I would need an extra step, or an extra tank to my processor. The Processor I'm using requires only two tanks.

Gene E. McCluney , Jun 28, 2007; 12:34 p.m.

I think Kodak has discontinued the "hobby" size packaging of most, if not all of its color chemistry. However, I have never had any problem mixing up smaller quantities from the larger 10 litre, 20 litre, or 5 gallon size packaging. In most cases Kodak will not give directions on the packaging for mixing smaller quantites, but you can use common sense and it will work just fine. I used to use Agfa RA-4 equivalent developer in my NuTek processor, which called for 10 litres of solution. Agfa came in packaging to make 20 litres. I just divided by 1/2 all solution concentrates. The concentrates seem to last quite a long time, even in partially filled bottles. It is much cheaper (per ounce) to purchase chemicals in larger quantity bottles. I still shoot and process a lot of 4x5 Ektachrome, and I have a sink-line type processing set-up for this that requires 3.5 gallons of working solution for each chemical. Kodak (for example) sells E-6 in concentrates to make 5 gallons of working solution. I have no issues making 3.5 gallons of each chemical from a 5 gallon sized concentrate, and I have some left over, which keeps fairly well and I use it up when I mix up again (about every month-I don't replenish except for bleach), just using up the remainder of concentrate along with more from fresh bottles. Get about three mixes from 2 set of chemicals.

To summarize...I don't think you can buy Kodak RA-4 "KITS" any more, but you can certainly purchase Kodak branded RA-4 chemistry in various sizes. While separating the bleach and fix steps may have some value from a storage and small use viewpoint, the fact is that Kodak never marketed RA-4 process as a separate bleach, fix process. Even the EP-2 print process (the process before RA-4}, had blix, not bleach-fix.

Harry Joseph , Jun 28, 2007; 04:27 p.m.

Thanks Gene, actually I was going through the B&H web site and noticed that they sell the 5 litter developer sizes and the 5 litter bleach fix sizes. This is allot closer to what I was looking for. Not only don't I have large enough storage bottles for the 10 litter or 25 gallon sizes, it would be too messy for me trying to mix them.


Rowland Mowrey , Jul 01, 2007; 11:04 a.m.

Kodak supplies the RA Developer in 5 and 10 gallon sizes. It can be broken up into 1 gallon size simply by dividing the concentrates of the 3 bottles. The opened concentrate will keep nearly 1 year and the mixed developer will keep up to 4 months in a sealed container.

The blix comes in 1 gallon kits of 2 parts. The mixed blix will keep for about 4 months in sealed containers.

I toss my developer after every use, but reuse the blix with replenishment. I use a 2% acetic acid stop after the developer to make sure development is stopped and also to preserve the blix.

Ron Mowrey

Dan Schwartz , Jul 01, 2007; 12:06 p.m.


Is (are) the RA-4 blix components simply the bleach in one bottle, and fix in the other?

[BTW, since I scan and send out my color print work to print on a Lambda, I don't make color prints.]

Also, can C-41 bleach be used for RA-4 (with a separate fixer step, of course)?

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