color print

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by blindpig, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. blindpig

    blindpig Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Location:
    Nixa,Mo.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is there any possibility that someone is or will be producing anything like Cibachrome or Ilfachrome paper for direct positive color printing?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,909
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No.
     
  3. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'd agree, it's extremely unlikely (IMHO).

    A very specialist product both in manufacture and markets, and which, at best, could only be produced by the remaining few film/paper manufacturers. As we know, Kodak and Fuji have already reduced their ranges, Ilford are concentrating on B&W, while the smaller players are also concentrating their efforts on other more specialist products. Ferrania hold promise of re-starting manufacture this year, but I'd guess that, to start with at least, they will keep to a smaller range based on their own former products.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When it comes to colour prints digital output has many advantages over conventional neg/pos and particularly direct positive prints. Unlike B&W there's far fewer controls in colour printing to adjust contrast and gain total control over the process.

    I'm a strong believer in what the late Edwin Land foresaw that photography would have a analog - digital hybrid future with many ways of capture, process and output. That doesn't mean heavy digital manipulation, just some basic controls. I will go down that route if needed but not for my personal work which has always been B&W & 100% analog (except for one University project which was 100% digital a decade ago).

    Ian
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No. Time is moving on, and quickly. Only the inferior RA-4 or hybridised (analogue-to-digital) method, which latterly this has been giving Ilfochrome a good kick in the backside.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I went to an exhibition a year or so ago of superb quality RA-4 prints, it's not an inferior process.

    I've not been printing Colour quite as long as B&W but RA-4 using Fuji materials gives superb quality (I never use Kodak for colour so can't comment about their materials).

    My preference for colour was always Fuji 50D & 100D and I had great prints from Fuji R-3 paper, my lab can give me even better via digital output though.

    Ian
     
  7. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,850
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Stephen Frizza made a comment a while back -- in response to being pressed about Kodachrome processing -- that he'd rather spend his time in the lab investigating (among other things?) a positive print process to replace Ilfochrome. I wonder if that's still on his agenda.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,909
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But Stephen would make such for commercial use within his own lab. I understood the OP's question whether someone would bring anything like Ilfochrome to the market.

    This could rather be as special order product for those labs who lately used this material. And actually this was done in a way when Ilford Imaging informed those labs in advance of the planned cancellation of this material. Basically this could be revived for another run. But the company recently decided to cancel all halide activities and released all the related employees. (And meanwhile the rest of the company is gone too.)
    This would mean manufacture by another company. None of them showed any interest on this field.
    Thus remains a custom production ordered by a meanwhile most probably smaller clientel at much higher prices.

    No.
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    That's the point. In many cases the digital process is streets ahead (no, not inkjet prints!), but I still miss the traditional darkroom production process which all labs turfed out years ago. Ilfochrome was superior to RA-4, but now digital processing and printing is superior to Ilfochrome and RA-4 and again, the media it is printed on is also spectacular (e.g. Kodak Endura Professional metallic).

    RA-4 printing was a big-number item 20 years ago; it was sort of neck and neck with Ilfochrome (for those who could afford it) before Ilfochrome overtook it entirely. This was more than 22 years ago before I was commencing Ilfochrome work. I still have those early RA-4 prints in an achival folder (unmarked, unblemished); they make interesting comparisons alongside the later Ilfochrome Classic prints (bespoke, not auto-machine prints) that jump and dance.

    Given the litany of quality, finishing, freighting and supply problems that bedevilled manufacturing in the last few years, I really don't see Ilfochrome being resurrected at all​, no less so than Kodachrome will remain not just dead, but most sincerely dead. That there are a scant few labs on the planet still producing prints on this media only means they are using a diminishing inventory: once it's gone, it's gone for good and photographers do need to move on and look at whatever alternative methods are available and skill up and use them. Trust me, Ilfochrome is just not worth the stress and trouble now.
     
  10. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,458
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you have transparencies which you want printed using an analogue process (not an unreasonable wish) then consider using an inter-negative and RA4, as widely done even when Ilfochrome/Cibachrome was a current process. The dedicated inter-neg materials are gone of course, but Portra should be capable. I haven't got round to trying this myself unfortunately, it is a project for 'next Winter' which of course never arrives...
     
  11. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey .
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What paper and process would be the best to order for MF Velvia 50 chromes drum scanned for digital prints using today's technology giving rich blacks and excellent colors?
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I saw the handwriting on the wall and started transitioning to color neg film and RA4 printing about a decade ago, and fortunately, these products have evolved quite a bit recently, and I am now beginning to make prints at least as good as my old Cibas, and I could actually print Ciba as good as anyone alive. I don't view digital printing of any form to be a substitute, though it is a different path for those who prefer that kind of methodology. Alas, getting something really nice out of old slides is going to be tricky otherwise. My own experiments printing from modern internegs is going slowly. But the "look" of Ciba can be replicated using Fuji Supergloss directly from negs (sometimes masked up or down for contrast), or by printing either slides or color negs onto this medium with a laser printer like Lightjet or Lambda, after scanning.
     
  13. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    One answer, among many (e.g. many different papers) Kodak Endura Professional metallo version will trump the blacks and colours bits (for images containing water this media is truly outstanding, giving Ilfochrome a thumping), but other media also works a treat too for exhibition and display, depending on your (or clients') tastes.
    Ilford has a range of excellent coated and fibre papers (I use both Kodak and Ilford); ask your lab to print samples for you from an image you have, giving them the transparency and specifying any work that is required (a pro lab will assess Velvia transparencies because so many photographers just do not know how to expose this film properly). Proof prints are generally essential, progressive or one-step. Enrichment of colour, this way as much as in the darkroom, is very subjective: leave it or beef it: you choose in the processing (I would advise however not to beef Velvia trannies especially if they have been polarised).

    UK readers may be able to jog my memory about a place in Essex (?) that offers Ilfochrome printing... Boyd Photography (?). At some stage he had a swag of Australian and New Zealand clients.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,052
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dear All,

    Whilst all the statements I have read are basically accurate in one area they are incorrect...

    Cibachrome / Ilfochrome was the most stable colour print process and no photo print medium will ever last as long as an SDB ( Silver / Dye / Bleach ) print that Cibachrome was, hence why it was the de facto and go to product for selling art colour images.

    Regarding it re-appearing... I cannot ever see it, 3 companies are probably technically capable of coating it ( 19 distinct layers coated in two passes ) but the development / cost / volume equation I doubt could ever be reached again, it was hard enough in its heyday.

    Shame....but true.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  16. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    San Clemente, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Without quibbling over the phrase "most stable," I'll concede this might be correct, but only for dark storage. On display, RA-4 can be much more stable. Light is the enemy. Fortunately for those seeking long print life, there's Galerie. :D Black and white looks better too. :whistling:
     
  17. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,052
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dear Sal,

    You are spot on as usual, light is indeed the enemy, whilst I appreciate RA-4 colour paper technology
    has come on significantly no real life tests I have ever seen, and I have seen lots, could support RA-4 of any type being more stable ( but its 10 years since I have had access to real data ) in dark storage or on display. One other thing, due to the mineral dyes used in Cibachrome / Ilfochrome when light fading started to happen they faded and very broadly the same rate so you copuld not experience the 'magenta death' that you can see happening on some colour prints ( and indeed on some inkjet inks ).

    Just a discussion, and somewhat academic as ILFOCHROME is no more, and I have no axe to grind as they say.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  18. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,664
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As long as we are discussing long gone color process: I had always thought of dye transfer as being the “most archival” of the color printing systems. It also seems to me that bringing back dye transfer is more doable than brining ibrachome back to life.
     
  19. blindpig

    blindpig Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Location:
    Nixa,Mo.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow! appreciate all the thoughts and am sorry for the demise of Ilfochrome.
    My partner and I had a small specialty lab that specialized in photo-composites for many color labs and camera ready art for color separators back in the 1980's . Our film supplier represented Ilford and decided we would be a good candidate for a Beta site to try their new process utilizing a new version of the Ilfochrome line. It seems they wanted to compete with companies in the color copier business(back when most of that work was done by professional copy companies not in-house equipment).The product was on a super white base and more contrasty than the regular photo product also had a high gloss.They installed a processor that would run the new product and also by moving a lever process litho film in our lab. Needless to say most folks thought the photo print paper was very contrasty but this stuff was much more so. Using an Omega condenser enlarger with a registering negative carrier and three stage litho film masks. We could separate the highlights,mid-tones and shadow areas,allowing color and density control not achieved by normal printing techniques.
    A local popular commercial photographer allow us to print 16"X20"s of some of his 120 sized transparencies and though he didn't hold out much hope for our results(as they were fairly dramatic and contrasty), was blown away with the prints and claimed"they looked more like transparencies than color prints". As local interest was building for us Ilford abandoned the project,stopped making the product and reclaimed their processor. All the same now after some years in retirement I'd still like to make some more of those prints"Gone but not forgotten" LOL!
     
  20. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    San Clemente, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Even as long ago as it's publication date in 1992, Wilhelm's opus predicted a display life of 54.4 years for the then-current Fujicolor papers (with tungsten illumination when displayed behind glass) and 29 years for Cibachrome/Ilfochrome prints under the same conditions. See Tables 3.1a on page 131 and 3.2 on page 135 here


    for details. I'm unaware that Ilfochrome changed after that time in any way that would improve its light-fading stability, while subsequent versions of the Fuji RA-4 paper showed even longer life expectancies in Wilhelm's display tests.

    Nor do I. I've always felt that black and white is the highest form of photographic expression, so it's ongoing availability of HARMAN's products that's of greatest interest. :D
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What!? 29 years for Ilfochrome?? Bullshit. Come off the glue.
    Ilfochrome prints (which are not RC papers!) have a mean storage life of several hundred (e.g. 300-plus) years. It does not fade easily (in fact it is very difficult to accelerate fading), as ChromaColour here in Australia (now gone) carried out extensive durability and fade-resistance tests for a group of galleries in the early 1990s that collaborated on a project to determine the mean art-worth value of these prints produced by the likes of Ken Duncan, Peter Lik and others. When Ilfochrome Classic prints are framed the life is dramatically extended. I have heard 500+ years like that. Now of course we're not going to be around to have that proven, but hey, there's no harm in leaving a lasting image. All 440 of my Ilfochrome Classic prints were museum grade conservation framed.

    RA-4 is estimated to last around 30 years. I have around 120 RA-4 test and proof prints in storage. They would now be around 22 years old. They look fine (stored in a no-fuss A3 envelope) but nowhere near as eye-popping as Ilfochrome prints of the same scenes that later followed.
     
  22. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    San Clemente, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Gary, please don't be so personally offensive when you don't like presented data.

    I don't sniff glue, take illicit drugs or even use the legal drug (alcohol). Never have. The data aren't mine; they come from a respected authority on the subject. Do note that they refer to light fading, not dark storage; Ilfochrome was indeed quite good in the dark. All illumination conditions are specified -- please consider them when evaluating the data.

    This entire subject is academic for me, since I've always vastly preferred black and white to color and, even when looking at color prints, found the high gloss / very saturated colors of Cibachrome/Ilfochrome displeasing. If you like it, enjoy, but don't disparage objective data.
     
  23. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You would do well to research the meaning of the phrase I used rather than lambast individuals for being "offensive".
     
  24. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    San Clemente, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Any suggestions on where one might find the "meaning of the phrase"? Google, whether using quotes around it or not, adding Australia or not, leads to nothing but matches discussing removal of glue from objects.

    Gary, this little diversion does nothing to distract from your offensively referring to what I posted as BS. Whether your intent was to impugn me, the independent expert Henry Wilhelm or both, it seems your approach seeks to diminish objective data's validity. Whether your (and the other Cibachrome/Ilfochrome print makers/sellers') motivation is instilling potentially unwarranted confidence in buyers cannot be determined with absolute certainly. It sure does appear that way.

    So, other than hurling epithets and mentioning you heard a lab with vested interest in the results reported to galleries selling prints and paying it indicated that "framed Cibachrome/Ilfochrome has a 500+ year display life," what can you say about the objective data from an independent expert I linked to? Can you point out flaws in Wilhelm's methodology? Can you describe the methodology used by now-defunct ChromaColor and explain why it's superior?

    What on earth does "mean art-worth" signify? I'm no more familiar with Ken Duncan's photography than the phrase "get off the glue." However, Peter Lik's print marketing success has crossed my radar screen. Terming anything, photograph or other medium, "art" has always been a completely subjective use of language; in Lik's case I can't imagine applying the word under any circumstances. However, in the finest spirit of Barnum, he seems quite adept at parting fools from their money. :smile:

    I have never, don't now and do not ever expect to sell photographs. This is simply a hobby for me, so no hidden agenda motivates my posts. I simply try to ensure that technically correct information is found in APUG's archive when readers search it in the future.
     
  25. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Well Simon, as much as I appreciate all you've done for us, Cibachrome is far from being the most stable color process there was. It keeps very
    well in the dark, but otherwise, the degree of UV exposure becomes the primary factor. And I've printed and displayed a darn lot of Cibas.
    True pigment prints (not inkjets, which are complicated blends of pigments and dyes and what-if papers) could potentially hold the record,
    but also come with a whole other set of what-if variables, and are not a mass-reproducible process. I give credit to Wilhelm for really pushing
    the topic of archival properties forward, but there are all kinds of presumptions and flaws inherent to his methodology, which others have
    attempted to refine. But the bottom line is, there is simply no substitute for time and seeing how actual prints perform under real-world circumstances. Torturing prints in accelerated aging environments and then attempting to extrapolate the results can be misleading. Wilhelm
    did some of both, of course, that is, he evaluated existing older print media as well as tried to develop testing methods for new ones. I've
    seen comparable things done with industrial pigments over the years, with equally mixed results. But I don't know how Peter Lik could get
    involved in this subject. The faster his fluorescent Fauxtoshop vomit fades, the better.
     
  26. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,052
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dear Drew,

    As you correctly state.....no substitute for time !

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :