A few weeks ago I decided to just say “why not?” and give RA4 printing a shot. I had been previously waiting to get a large space (something that is in the pipeline but not quite ready yet) but when I figured out I could use my DIY rotary with a JOBO 1500 tank (plus an extension tube) to rotary process prints, that removed a pretty big barrier.

So I ordered a kit of RA4 chemicals, some Fuji paper, a filter set (as my currently setup enlarger doesn’t have a color head), the JOBO extension tube, and got to work! And here are the results!

It’s not perfect. I didn’t quite get the color filtering quite right but ran out of time. I noticed that it does take a longer amount of time to process the prints. In some ways it is easier since it’s a rotary but it does take longer. I think with a few more iterations I could get there though. The second, and perhaps bigger issue, is keeping the chemicals warm was a lot more difficult than I thought. I was using small amounts of chemicals and decided to just put some beakers in a tray that I filled with hot water. The hot water would cool down almost immediately so I had to constantly replace it. I could use my large chemical bottles, but then it makes pouring chemicals a lot more difficult. I’ll need a solution for this for sure and I’m not quite sure what that is.

That said though, it’s a start! And it is fun! I will still predominantly print in black and white I suspect, but it’s great to have access to color and I will definitely be printing more of it. Though given the reason, it’s Holiday Lights time so I haven’t been spending much time in my darkroom (or working on my new one, for that matter). That’ll have to wait a while yet!