Tetenal Colortec kits have been one of their most successful product lines over the last 40 years.
The Tetenal Colortec RA4 kit makes up to 5L of working solution. Whilst some other RA4 chemistry is cheaper, litre for litre, the advantage of the Tetenal Colortec is the simplicity, and also, for personal darkroom use, 5L is more than enough for most people. The kit contains Colour Developer and Bleach-Fix (blix), but no starter additive is required, just mix and go. It is also possible to mix smaller amounts than the full 5L, retaining some of the concentrate for future mixes (the concentrate has a better shelf life than working solution, especially if it is decanted into smaller bottles so they are full with minimal air). Even when mixed, resistance to oxidisation is low and it may be retained for further use for up to 3 or 4 weeks if decanted back into full containers.
Development either at 30°C or 35°C. Odourless Colortec RA-4 chemicals based on the “Advanced Odourless Technology” ensure a pleasant, user-friendly experience. 2-part formulas for color developers and blix bath – each with equal amounts of concentrate – are simple to mix.
Capacity: 10m² / kit for 5 litres
Hints and tips for successful RA4 processing
If you have any doubt about the activity of your RA4 developer, fully expose a small piece of paper to light and process it. Once dry it should be JET BLACK, with no hint of blue WHATSOEVER (it MUST be dry before you pass judgement as it will always display a hint of blue when wet). Any hint of blue indicates the developer is becoming exhausted (or is too cold or development time too short). It is useful to retain a black test patch you know is good for future comparisons. In a professional lab a control strip would be processed and analysed on a densitometer, but this rough and ready alternative is better than nothing.
A hair dryer is a very useful darkroom accessory for quickly drying colour prints as it is impossible to judge the print when wet. (unlike black and white where a reasonable degree of judgement is possible)
If you are able to find them, a set of Kodak Print Viewing Filters are incredibly useful for assessing colour casts. These are used to momentarily view the print by waving them between your eyes and the print when viewing from, say, a couple of feet.
The Tetenal kit (and other RA4 chemistry) may be used in any of the following equipment:
- Dish processing
- JOBO / Rotary processing
- 12″ table top processors like Durst Printo, Thermophot, Durst RCP
In our opinion, it is very much worthwhile finding a small table top processor if you plan to process more than a few prints now and then. We are fans of the Durst Printo because of its clever design and that each bath is 2.5L. So this kit allows for a half for the working solution and half for replenisher. The issues to watch out for with the Printo are: burnt out heater elements and degraded exit rollers which can stick together or disintegrate. However we do know of a company in Birmingham who will re-rubber these rollers, please contact us for details. As a minimum, you only need 2 Printo modules for RA4 (both need to be heated) as you can rinse the print yourself after it exits the blix. This also means you have a print in your hand in 90 seconds, which is very useful for test prints.
Small 12″ table top processors are capable of processing anything from very small volumes up to small studio levels – for example a photographer who prints their own weddings or studio shoots.
Note: Unless you can obtain a special safelight or safelight filter, there is NO safelight when handling colour paper, it must be handled in complete darkness, which is another reason why the table top processors are so useful, you feed the print, shut the lid and then you can turn on white lights. But even if you do obtain a colour safelight, they are very dim and still prone to fogging the paper. So it’s just easier not to bother, in our opinion, and just learn a new way of working.