Ilfochrome Classic: startup costs?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by MMfoto, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    I'm interested in printing with Ilfochrome Classic. I see the chemistry ($$) on B&H, but I have no way to know what capacity they offer.

    Also, what additional equiptment do you recommend for an already well equipted B&W darkroom?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I've done Ilfochrome in print drums on a roller base, which is a fairly economical way to use the chemistry and avoids issues of fog due to light leaks in the darkroom (if that's a potential issue for you).

    You need a set of color printing filters for your enlarger, if you don't have a color head.

    I recommend a set of color print viewing filters, which will allow you to judge filtration from dry prints. I find these more useful than a color analyzer.

    If you want to get sophisticated with Ilfochrome, or if you like to shoot high contrast, saturated films, you'll want a pin registered masking setup for contrast control.
     
  3. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    A Jobo processor. Makes life easier with Ilfochrome, and can also be used to process films in C-41 and E-6 properly.
     
  4. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    Ahhh. Yikes. That takes things to a whole new level doesn't it. I hadn't considered that. I shoot mostly moderate to high contrast films.

    A pin regristration system often requires fabrication, right?

    I print on a Focomat Ic for B&W, and would likely use a V35 for color. I have absolutely no idea of what would be required to use pin regristration on either of these. But it doesn't sound cheap!
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you could get started, see how it goes with ordinary dodging and burning, and take it from there. When I was doing a lot of Cibachrome, my favorite film was Agfachrome 100, because it had a low contrast pastel kind of palette that didn't require masking. If you're shooting Velvia and Provia, though, it gets trickier.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Just watch out for the bleach. It is very acidic and harmful to skin and some drains.

    Use the neutralization kit before dumping any used bleach.

    PE
     
  7. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    The bleach neutralizes fine with ordinary baking soda (as per Ilford instructions). Dumping used bleach into used developer will also partially neutralize it. It foams a lot during neutralization - I use a 2 gallon paint bucket ($2 at Home Depot) to do this process so there is room for expansion. Keep the exhaust fan running and you will have no problems.

    You can also stretch the chemistry by mixing half used and half new for each run for several runs. Good temperature control is important - as long as you are consistent, you should have no problems with color shift.

    Printing this stuff is not as hard as it might sound - once you establish an idea of your enlarger factor - that is how much filtration shift seems to be common form the starting point given on the paper box - you can usually get close to the final on the first pass. As with any color print process - nail exposure first, then balance color. Ilfochrome material is quite slow, has a wide exposure latitude but sufffers reciprocity on exposures longer than 1 minute as well as requiring increasing yellow filtration as exposures get longer. Since my enlarger has a 2-stop attenuator, I set it on low and establish the parameters for an 8 x 10, then changing f-stops and/or attenuator setting, use the same exposure time for any larger prints and get it right the first time.

    What is hard about the process is learning to shoot transparencies that will make good prints. You will find that those that look great projected on a wall will make lousy prints. You need a bit more exposure at the camera (as much as you can without blowing out the highlights) to get good prints. Contrasty films like Velvia will give you good prints from soft light, when you shoot in harsh lighting you need less saturated films.

    Good luck.

    Bob
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    You can make your own pin registered negative carrier. I made one when I fooled briefly with contrast masking Ilfochromes. I cant find the instructions on the web now but I'm sure they are there somewhere. But first I would just try the process and see if you like it before worrying about that.


    Wayne
     
  9. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    B&H will not ship the chemistry.
    Adorama, Calumet, Rainer Photographic will.
    Start with 1 P3.5 liter kit, and some 8x10 in the CLM1K.
    Always start with their recommended filter pack.
    To decrease exposure times, process at 96 F, for 2 mins in each step.
    The polyester based paper will dry flat on any screen.
    PM anytime for further advice.
    Good luck.
    DT
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Dave,

    How many sheets of 8x10 will the kit process?

    Tom.
     
  11. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Tom,
    Per the mixing instructions: 1 litre will do 13 8x10's.
    The P3.5 kit is a 5 litre kit.
    Your milage will vary depending on how you process.
    DT
     
  12. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Dave,

    How are you processing your paper?

    Tom.
     
  13. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Hi Tom,
    For all sizes up to 16 inches wide, I use the Ilford processor ICP42, without the drying unit.
    For everything bigger, I use the Jobo CPP2 and print drums.
    Ready to take the leap?
    DT
     
  14. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Dave,

    I don't have a darkroom at the moment, but am interested in trying Ilfochromes when I get a new darkroom set up next year, were I should have more space. I've done some printing on Fuji Crystal Archive with good results in a Nova slot tank. However, as (going on UK prices) an 8x10 Ilfochrome costs about six times as much as a RA-4 print to produce, it would be nice if I could get some idea of the learning curve involved.

    It sounds like you're doing large prints. What films would you recommend for Ilfochrome printing?

    Tom.
     
  15. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Tom,
    I guess the actual amount of time you take to produce acceptable results depends upon your expectations.
    Starting with 8x10's will keep your learning costs lower.
    I started learning without any water temp bath.
    I heated my chems in glass measuring cups and used that Beseler drum rotator. I was getting nice results after a few tries, but they were'nt very consistent.
    For that you need one of the processors.
    What film you use isn't as important as what the overall tonal range is of the image.
    Try some softly lit close-ups without any harsh shadows.
    But realize one thing: the more intense the color in the original, the more Ciba will punch it!
    Maybe start with Provia, or Kodak G100.
    Get that bad boy set up!
    DT