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What is different between RA4 digital and Standard


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I'm willing to setup my first minilab.

The first thing that I looking for is the minilab machine.

I found that most of the minilab machine able to use with RA4 standard paper.

Some able to use both RA4 Digital and RA4 standard.

What are the differences between RA4 digital and RA4 standard paper in term of:

  • Medial cost
  • Quality of photo
  • Chemical cost
  • Device running cost

Best regards,


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As no one else has answered, the best I can say is that the only thing that may be different is a higher cost on the Digital paper.

What you need to do is to start talking to local sellers of equipment and the distributors and manufcaturers in your country, as wel as find the next trade show and get along to that if you have time.

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Well from my experience.......

If you use a minilab that uses a LCD to expose the paper (eg KIS DKS machines) then you must use standard RA4 as you are in effect printing with an electronic film negative. If you try to use Digital paper you will get really bad results as that is made to be used with a laser exposure system (without the anti halation mask applied to LCD exposure heads)

When I got my DKS I tried a roll of 'digital' paper and the results were awful and no amount of correction would fix it. Back to standard and whoopee!

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From my understanding, standard papers were created for negative exposures, where the exposure time was ajusted for under over exposed negs. The reaction to the different colours of light created a complicated set of curves or slopes that needed managing for optimum results.

Digital paper is faster. In laser exposures the paper moves at a constant speed, so exposure time is also constant regardless of weather the print is black, White or whatever.

This fast digital paper would make setup bear impossible if analogue printing from film.

On our old Noritsu 3001 the paper type setup was about the first thing done, and it was an engineer job to switch types. Standard paper was cheaper so we choose that, but I think digital may have produced more punchy results.

I think the expectation was that paper prices would equalise as volumes grew, but it us no surprise to see that has not happened!

I would go for standard paper as there is more choice and it us easier to switch brands if needed.

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