Cibachrome replacement?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by justin parker, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. justin parker

    justin parker Member

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    I am so sad that I am young enough (31) that I missed the party on getting to make Cibachrome prints! My favorite photographic art prints I have ever bought from artists have all be cibachrome. It really saddens me that this art has now been completely lost!?!?!

    Was there always only one paper manufacture? I assume that the loss of the manufacture of the paper why Cibachrome has died? Or is the chemistry also impossibly hard for enthusiasts to revive?

    What alternatives exist for the analog optical printing of transparencies? (I have read about "reversal" RA-4, but that seems to be a seriously deficient process.) It makes me so sad I will never get to attempt to make a Cibachrome print.

    -Justin
     
  2. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I used to work in a custom photo lab where we made Cibachrome prints. The results could be fantastic, but the downside was unlike RA-4 and black and white, dust spots came out as black. It could be a maddening process to deal with.
     
  3. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    They were fun and the results could be great. I'm glad I had the experience.

    Sadly, there is no replacement. Type R paper went away first. Both the print material (the glossy was all plastic so I hesitate to call it "paper") were made by Ilford. After the company split into "two Ilfords" it was made by the Swiss one, no longer with any connection to the very much alive Ilford we know in black and white.

    Besides reversal processing RA4 the only conventional darkroom method of printing transparencies that I'm aware of now is to make internegatives. People (but not me, I haven't tried) report good luck using Portra 160 now that interneg film is long gone.

    The most practical is to just scan and print digitally, either ink jet at home or via lightjet of various sorts at a lab.
     
  4. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Just wondering: I've cross-processed colour film both ways (c41 in e6 and e6 in c41). I know it has its quirks (like with regards to ei-rating) but it gives nice results sometimes (after lots of experimentation).
    Is there any way to cross-process paper? Or is all the positive-paper chemistry gone too? (or does colour paper just not work this way? I too have unfortunately never had the pleasure of using Cibachrome)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    For wet-printing chromes, there is no direct replacement. You really either need an internegative or a scanner. If you were slightly insane, you could enlarge your chromes onto 8x10 chrome film and pull the first developer to get the contrast under control. That's going to be a very very expensive approach though given the $10-20/sheet cost.

    For making display transparencies however, there are RA4 options like Fujiflex. They require a C41 negative as source, but they produce enlarged transparencies for backlighting.
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There had been several manufacturers of silver-dye-bleach materials, including print materials (even foe the mass market), but Ilford had been the last to manufacture such.
     
  7. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

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    I suspect (but not sure) the OP is referring to Cibachromes unique look and asking if there is an alternative that will give the same effect. Cibachromes can look like they are backlit due to the glow or reflection in the highlights and I do agree they are a great loss. I've never seen a photographic paper with the same look however there is an inkjet paper (or process) that has virtually the same effect as Cibachorome, but I've no idea what it's called (I've never used it, only seen prints).
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Try the Ilford Ilfoflex (RA-4 reflective material with high gloss base and surface).
     
  9. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    There is a place in Germany that is still printing them. You'd have to mail them your slides, and they'll make the print and mail it back to you with your slide. Photo studio 13 is their name, I don't have their website right now, but they're on Google.

    I don't know if that's what you want, but it can't hurt. I plan on getting some soon. I've had them enlarge some 4x5 film onto baryta paper and they do amazingly well. They'll also work with you over the phone or e-mail to get things right. Very proffesional folks with a lot of experience.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  10. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Good luck finding it -- in the States, anyway.
     
  11. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I've read a lot about this, but I don't think I've ever seen a good example of a final enlargement made using this process. Searching here and elsewhere doesn't return much. Anyone?
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Well, I said I care for that company. Not though for their mere erratic interest in marketing their halide products.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    There is no replacement for Cibachrome, it was unique.
     
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  15. justin parker

    justin parker Member

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    Let me phrase this another way.... If want to make color prints _myself_ optically from transparencies, what would be my best bet? What is a young person who wants to engage in this artistic craft to do!?!?
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Internegatives.

    But your best bet, if making optical prints yourself is the plan, is just to shoot negative film to begin with.
     
  17. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I learned my lesson on here about saying nice things about Cibachrome. There's a couple of guys who thought it was the devil's invention. One thing is for sure--it WAS shiny. Never saw a gloss on anything like that since. I've seen Corvettes and Camaros with 50,000 dollar paint jobs that didn't shine like that.
     
  18. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    print them on ilford direct positive paper which is b+W, that's the only way to use trannies in an enlarger in 2013. Otherwise, buy a drum scanner like I did.
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well if you want to print them to black and white with more control than the red-insensitive one (rather high) contrast of the direct positive paper that should be easier than printing color.

    1. If you can get some Panalure (I have some frozen and no, not for sale) print to that making a paper negative. Then contact print the paper negative through the back to regular B&W paper.

    2. "Print" on to slow panchromatic black and white film making a B&W internegative then print that on regular paper.

    Just throwing out ideas I've thought of but not tried. I think making black and white internegatives would be much easier than good color ones.

    Still, the objective is usually to make a color print and these days, for practical purposes, that really means scanning.
     
  20. KennyMark

    KennyMark Member

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    I'm glad that I printed on Cibachrome Pro Glossy when I had the chance to.
    I'm sad that I printed on the same because one cannot obtain anything close to that today.
    One can say the same about love. Better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all, or something like that.
    Shakespeare, Keats, or Shelley probably wrote something that would apply to my sentiment about having had the taste and being aware of what can no longer be had.
    To quote Pepe le Pew, "Le sigh!"
     
  21. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    It makes a big difference whether you do something as a hobby of whether you do it professionally in a competitive market. I couldn't care less if delivery of raw material took a week or two longer than it should have, and if a batch of paper would have been bad, nobody would have missed my prints. I can fully understand why some folks here throw hissy fits at the mere mentioning of the name Cibachrome/Ilfochrome or Ilford Switzerland, although I certainly do not share their sentiment (except about Ilford Switzerland).
     
  22. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    I just wish Ilford would at least make the chemistry formulas public. I have a ton of Ilfochrome paper that is taking up way to much space in my freezer. Sizes from 8X10 through 20X24. What a waste of good material. Don
     
  23. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Even if Ilford should do this the bleach requires a catalyst in order to work. People have found it impossible to obtain this chemical. So the chance of you being able to make your own solutions is rather poor. In addition some of the chemicals are very dangerous.
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    The developer and fix are basically black and white developer and fix.

    The bleach is a strong acid, sulfuric in the case of the pro bleach, but no more dangerous than any other strong acid and not that hard to handle safely.

    I think Ron posted something at one time about working out a formula for a bleach that would work. I'd think it could be done but don't know the effort involved or if anyone capable of it would care to with the paper supply gone.
     
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  25. KennyMark

    KennyMark Member

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    You can store it in my freezer. I'm sure I could find some of it to give back to you should anyone work out the bleach formula. :whistling:
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Is Kodak R2000 still around?