Ilfochrome Color Saturation

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by davetravis, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    I'm still having this problem since they started making the P3.5 kit that replaced the P30 kit.
    With all the paper types that I was using before the switch, with the correct exposure/development times, the color is about 30-40 percent weaker, and the contrast is 20-30 percent softer.
    Does anyone know how dev and bleach dilution strength affects the color saturation/contrast?
    DT
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dave;

    IDK about the developer, but the bleach is a process that goes to completion. If it does not work properly, the dmin values go up and become gray. Therefore, if the whites are white, silver is gone, bleaching worked as desired and something else is probably wrong. Of course, the catalyst in the bleach has some effect on dye contrast and intensity, but if it is at the wrong level, then all of the silver is not properly bleached.

    It is probably either the paper or developer based on what I know of the chemistry of the process.

    The developer must get good silver contrast and must produce some degree of interlayer effects to enhance color. The paper must have enough contrast in the emulsions and enough iodide in them to enforce this effect. If either one of these fail, then the process fails.

    Too much silver, or overdevelopment for example will lower contrast, dmax and color saturation. A developer with low activity would do the same, but would leave a somewhat elevated dmin behind. So it looks like a low silver coating, or an overactive developer.

    Of course, they may be using new dyes with lower purity. This would decrease the cost. They also might have reduced the level of the old dyes to reduce cost. Both moves would give a more muted color, but the latter method would also reduce the depth of blacks.

    Just a bunch of guesses. I'm about to do some dye bleach experiments on my first steps to making a multilayer color print material as a test. So, I've been studying the chemistry again.

    PE
     
  3. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Thanks PE!
    The current chems, P3.5, work perfect with only one of the original paper types. It's called CPS1K, the most expensive of course...
    But with the other types, there's my problem.
    With tests on those types all of the grey tonal scale is 10-20 % weaker, but the color sat is reduced 30-40 %.
    So as an experiment, I will dilute the dev strength with h2o by the 30 % and see what happens.
    The paper is still fresh and was working fine with the original P30 formula.
    If it's the acid in the dev, what can I do about it?
    Thanks again,
    DT
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Diluting the developer is a good start. If it works, but highlights are muddy, then increase development times in increments until they clear up. That will suggest that it is the developer. But, in a real sense, it is that all of the papers are not a good match for the new process due to some change and variation among the papers.

    It might be that you need an entirely different developer though for the misbehaving papers, and dilution might not work. It could even make the problem worse. You might need a high contrast developer like D-19 or something akin to that to increase silver contrast.

    Good luck.

    PE
     
  5. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Hi Dave,
    Can you tell me where you get your Ilfochrome chemistry?

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  6. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Thanks again PE!, I'll keep trying and post what happens.
    Dan, the last order was from Rainer Photographic, but they went OOB.
    Soon I will start searching for a new supplier.
    I'll post who they are.
    DT
     
  7. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Thanks Dave,
    I have some 4x5 Velvia that I'm dying to print, but the only Ilfochrome chemistry I can find is at B&H and they won't ship it. I've heard that Freestyle photo will be carrying it soon, but I'm still waiting.

    Dan
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    As I mentioned, I am working on making my first color coating. Along with that I will be recreating the dye bleach bath that I used to use.

    I'm willing to post the formula here, and you can try it to see if (how) it works. I cannot guarantee anything but if I can come up with a hand mix, then all you need is a fix and developer. For all I know, D19 can work. I've heard that people use it.

    PE
     
  9. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PE is THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Back to the original problem: Same new chemistry formula behaving differently on different paper types, that used to all behave the same with the original formula.
    I did a controlled experiment, using a perfect print made with new formula as the standard.
    Used the same sized print, same filtration, same processor time/temp.
    Diluted the Dev by 30%, the Blx by 40%.
    Left the fixer the same.
    Adjusted the paper exposure accordingly.
    Eureka! Normal contrast and ultra rich color!
    I can now use up the over $1k of other paper in inventory.
    YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (ok, I'm easily excitable) :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007
  10. Photo Engineer

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    I am so glad it worked. Sometimes things pan out just the way you predict.

    I would guess that in the long run you won't have to dilute the bleach as it goes to completion. It was probably the developer. But, I cannot guarantee that is the case.

    PE
     
  11. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Hi PE,
    Here's some more.
    I started with only diluting the Dev by 30%, contrast improved, but not to the standard. Color sat was still way down. Then I diluted the Blx 40%, and the rich color came back, and the contrast became normal.
    I really can't explain it, but maybe there's something unique in the Ilfochrome Blx that is unlike other bleaches.
    Thanks again.
    DT
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Easily forgiven by a Scotsman like me. We have a reputation of demanding value for money. I'd be pretty excitable if I had been faced with the prospect of over a $1000 of paper not producing the right results. Glad it has worked out

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    There is a critical step in the bleach that goes to completion Dave. So, they appear to have changed all 3 items, the developer, the bleach and the paper. This is why you had to make 2 changes with things under your control, and it worked just fine fortunately.

    I would not like to play guess work with what went on, but your original results suggested the developer change, and as a reach a bleach change. Good thing they worked.

    Being 1/4 scotch myself, I believe in this type of economy. :D I think I'll drink some tonight to celebrate.

    PE
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    PE Remember that the correct drink is whisky without an "e". Oh and its not made from rye either!

    pentaxuser
     
  16. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Being 1/4 scotch myself, I believe in this type of economy. I think I'll drink some tonight to celebrate.
    Way ahead of you, with the wifes approval, I'm enjoying a Fat Tire as I write! :D :D :D
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    I'm just starting a Speyburn.

    PE
     
  18. Photo Engineer

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    Kodak Dye Bleach

    Guys;

    I found a card with a group of 35mm slides and a photomicrograph of my own dye bleach coating done at Kodak. They were in an envelope in an old box.

    It was intended for heat processing where you exposed, heated to develop and then laminated to a cover sheet while heating. This coating was one in the series that did not chill set properly and I had to help the coaters clean the machine with a putty knife late at night. We used to do the hare brained things on B and C trick in research sometimes.

    Anyhow, the first sets were done by hand coating this multilayer and then they were machine coated. This is the machine coating. It is one of the very very few things I've found from my years at Kodak.

    I thought you might be interested.

    BTW, Kodak had a dye bleach material ready to introduce as a product. I've mentioned this before. It was called Azochrome, and the introduction date was Dec. 8, 1941. The introduction was cancelled, and for some reason Kodak never went back to it.

    PE
     

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  19. Roscoe

    Roscoe Member

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    Dan,
    Freestyle may not have it in stock, but they did special order it for me. They're having it drop shipped from Ilford Oji USA, in MA.
     
  20. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    It's a shame that they're unlikely to return to it in this day and age! I don't know why, but I have a real premonition of doom surrounding Ilfochrome :sad:
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Cheer up. Dye bleach color print materials are likely the only color print materials we can hand coat. The dyes are commercial products and the emulsions are straightforward.

    The hardest part is making the coating.

    PE
     
  22. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Oh, well in that case you have cheered me up :smile: . I'm afraid DIY emulsion making and coating are all in the realm of magic to me so I've no idea what is and is not feasible - my A-Level Chemistry was a long time ago...

    ...which isn't to say I wouldn't love to try. Will your book have a section on dye bleach materials? :D
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    I hope to include dye bleach, yes....

    PE
     
  24. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Thanks for the info - about how long ago was that? I actually called them about Ilfochrome 2-3 weeks ago and was told they were definitely getting it in and to keep checking back. The customer service rep didn't mention anything about a special order. Is this something I'd have to pro-actively request? Did they have a minimum order?

    Dan
     
  25. Roscoe

    Roscoe Member

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    There didn't seem to be a minimum, but IDK. I requested that they stock it and they asked what I was interested in, perhaps they could order.
     
  26. zenfoto

    zenfoto Subscriber

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    The new P30 kits seem to have the magic back

    I've been printing Ilfochrome now for about 18 months. Have been using the P3.5 kits all along and was frustrated by what I thought was lesser saturation and contrast balance than what I was familiar with (Christopher Burkett, Michael Fatali etc...).

    I buy through Keeble & Shuchat here in the San Francisco Bay area. I had two kits of chemistry go bad (part B on both Developer and Bleach) significantly before their expiration dates. I went in and talked to the Rep at Keeble about 3 months ago and he looked into it. Ilford was reformulating and coming out with these new 2L and 20L kits. If you haven't seen them the 2L kits now come in 3 heavy duty plastic canisters with developer and bleach pre-mixed so you only have to add water. The 20L kits contains all parts in seperately purchasable bottles so you can mix and match to your needs avoiding waste. I've yet to get the 20L kit but was able to pick up a couple of the 2L kits just a couple weeks ago.

    My first prints were wildly out of whack (too light). After much testing I found a reduction of about 2 stops seemed to be a close equivalent. BUT, the prints are now much more saturated and contrast balanced. They hold light so much better on display which was a huge frustration of mine.

    I'm still experimenting but, based on this thread, it seems the old Ilfochrome characteristics are back. And, I can't be happier since I've been sweating a $3500 purchase of paper I made in the Spring.

    Hope to hear correlative evidence from some of you out there.

    Cheers,
    Douglas