Still more adventures in RA-4!

Hug Beach

A few days ago we dragged out the RA-4 chems to see if they were still good. I’m working my way up to making an epic Freestyle order, and wasn’t sure if I needed to order more color print chems. Turns out, the unmixed RA-4 chems stay good for forever, but I also mixed up the last bit of what I had, so I need to order some more anyway.

I’ve been using this Fuji paper to make color prints since, unlike almost everything else I have, it’s fresh and in-date. It’s supposed to be kept under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but I’ve just kept the box at room temp since I’ve gotten it. I don’t have room in my fridge for more photo stuff. It’s bad enough already. Anyway, the paper doesn’t seem to have gone weird, and we were able to get some pretty good prints from it.

Cacti Print

This, however, isn’t one of the better ones. It’s a print from some cross processed 35mm Kodak Color Infrared film, respooled onto 120 backing paper, and shot in the Yashica-Mat. It’s not that great of a picture anyway (it’s interesting… but that’s about it), but I was curious to see how the color infrared worked as a negative. This particular picture was shot with a red filter, but I shot others with yellow, orange, and green filters, so I may have to try making a print of some of those to compare.

A better print is this one, which came from a C41 Kodak Ektar 4×5 negative.

Nile II

I was very happy with this print. The colors actually look like reality, which is what I was going for! Yay! Also, 4×5 just kicks ass. I’ve completely gone off 35mm. The more I work with actually printing photos, the less use 35mm holds. The difference in the grain is stunning. For a comparison, here’s a section of the boat picture at 100%:

Nile II detail

And here’s a similar section of the cactus print at 100%:

Cacti detail

That may not be a completely fair comparison, since the cactus picture is cross processed, which tends to make things more contrasty, but still, it doesn’t make me want to shoot a ton of 35mm.

Not that there’s not still uses for 35mm, though. I made this print from cross-processed Kodak E100G 35mm, respooled onto a 620 spool and shot through the Savoy. It’s not exactly sharp, or has realistic colors, but it’s still fun.


Travis also shot a ton of 35mm film on vacation using a little Olympus Pen-EE camera. It’s a half-frame 35mm camera, which means instead of getting 36 pictures of a long roll of 35mm film, you get 72 half-sized pictures. So, yeah, the image quality is not great, but it’s a fun little camera to use.


We made a few prints using some of the Pen-EE negatives yesterday. One of them came out especially neat (cross processed Kodak Electronic Output film), but Travis doesn’t have them up in his Flickr yet. So, the Pen-EE is a cute little camera, and it’s fun to make pairs or trios of smaller prints on one sheet of color paper.

It was my intent to do more color printing today – I might as well keep going until the chems are all used up – but I found myself making stupid mistakes and it got to the point where it wasn’t fun. And if it’s not fun, then I probably need to take a break from it. I’ve got some weird stuff I want to try with the remaining chems, though, so I’ll probably be back at it tomorrow.

Oh, one thing that is potentially interesting is that Freestyle is now carrying their own brand of color paper. I’m excited! It looks like they’re getting it in stock in a few days, and I’m definitely going to get some and try it out. It’s slightly cheaper than the Fuji paper (which I like, and have had good results from), but the main benefit I immediately see is that you can buy the paper in boxes of 50 for the smaller sizes, as opposed to Fuji, where you have to commit to a box of 100 sheets for anything smaller than 16×20. That being said, I’m kicking around possibly ordering a box of gigantor paper (16×20 or larger) to try making UBER PRINTS. It’s not like I have any wall space to hang prints that size up on. I just want to make a gigantic print. It seems fun. (I think I used the word “fun” about 80 times in this post. Yay?)