Is CIBACHROME/ILFOCHROME Dead

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by lkbrown, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. lkbrown

    lkbrown Member

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    A few years back when my local lab announced it would no longer print ilfochromes and the materials for this process would no longer be produced I went into a sever depression. In reading here it sounds like I could still possible get those beautiful, syrupy prints I love from my 4x5 trans.

    Could anyone provide a list of labs that would print from 4x5 to Ilfochrome.
    or
    Can you still get chemistry and print material, is it still being produced?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Silver Dye Bleach paper and films of the llfochrome type and the apt chemicals are still produced (or at least offered; one has to be careful these days...) by Ilford Imaging in Marly.
     
  3. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    The best place I know of Is In Burbank The Lab Ciba only does cibas .
    The owner Frank is a great guy and does awsome work !
    Some of His Clients Include ,Robert Flick , lois Lawler Paul MacCarthy and Jef Koons .

    Address:
    4200 W Burbank Blvd
    Burbank, CA
    91505

    Phone: (818) 953-2202
    his site is http://lab-ciba.com/
     
  4. lkbrown

    lkbrown Member

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    Ahhhhh... it is alive!!!! Thank you for the replies, you have brought a smile to my face... until I research prices that is.
     
  5. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Hi lK,
    You can get most of the polyester material from B&H, be prepared for sticker shock!
    They'll ship everything but the bleach, so what's up with that?
    Rainer Photographic will ship the new P3.5 5 liter kit, it's around $150.
    The new chem/paper relationships take some patience during test prints, they can be a little "moody," but will work in the end.
    PM me if you ever need help.
    DT
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  6. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Ilfochrome Alive and well in Australia

    Surprisingly when you go looking for an Ilfochrome Lab in Australia there are quite a few labs which do it, If anyone in Australia is interested in having this process done and needs assistance let me know.

    Regards
    Steve Frizza
    The Lighthouse
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Stephen,

    Why do you think Ilfochrome appears to be so relatively popular in Australia? Ilfochrome doesn't seem to get talked about much on APUG.

    Tom.
     
  8. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    ILfochrome so high compaired to population

    Hi Tom

    Ilfochrome is an odd material here in australia, its spoken of amongst professional photographers who lament on how they wish they could still get Ilfochrome prints and it amazes me that they say this here because there are in actuality so many labs doing it per number of labs and also for the size of our population.

    I too held this concept that Ilfochromes were dying and when i opened my lab I bought an ilfochrome processor, the chemistry and stock. Ive done the service for 2 clients but im not sure yet as to weather I will launch it as a service due to the difficulty in attracting new clients to this service simply because of the service cost. and also because of my past 2 experiences producing ilfochromes for clients I was unable to make anything from it.

    In researching the service and the public intrest in it I also looked to
    who else was doing this printing process in Australia and I can guarantee that there is defiantly at least one lab per state who is still producing ilfochromes via traditional hand crafting.

    There are 3 facilities off hand I know of in new south whales, 3 in victoria, one in Tasmania, 2 in Western Australia, 3 in Queensland , one in Northern Territory (although not a public lab) and one in south Australia,

    Ilfochrome is the Grand Lady of positive to positive printing Ide love to know how healthy global sales of it are.

    ~Steve
     
  9. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Steve, I can only respond to what is happening here in US. To some degree, it is a case of a product doing itself in. Two years ago, when the old Ilford went into receivership, it took a long time to find a buyer for the Swiss company that makes it. During the transition, the plant shut down cutting off the flow of supplies. During this period, many of the remaining labs in the US that were running it on light-jet style tecnology (Lambda or Chromira) changed their machines to Fuji Crystal Archive. There are very few left that print either optically or by digi exposure. Early last year, the Ilford North American distributor went bankrupt. While our friends in UK found a distributor very quickly and kept the B&W supply lines flowing, the Swiss company took nearly a year to sign a distributor and once again the supply lines dried up. Now most of the remaining dealers no longer stock the product but sell on special order only.

    Every time the sales volume lowers, they have to raise prices to cover the plant overhead. Every time the price goes up, the volume goes down. Sounds like a vicious spiral. I don't mean to sound all gloom and doom here, but just facing reality. I like the results and will continue to use it as long as available.

    From a business perspective, as a custom lab, you have to be able to get enough volume to justify offering it. Optically printing can be done with the small 5 litre kits, but chemistry costs more this way than replenished lines. Digi exposure requires enough volume to justify setting up the machine. Only you can decide if you can make any money doing it, but I would advise against any significant capital expenditure for it unless the equipment can be effectively used in other processes.

    Bob
     
  10. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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  11. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    The Spiral

    Hi Bob

    I totally know what your saying about the vicious cycle and yea my machine is a little 5L so chemistry is more expensive, I was going to try and do it so that
    i would batch Ilfochrome jobs together and only do special runs of it every few weeks, but for me the demand isnt there. I think it is going to be a process for my own pleasure when I eventually get round to being able to do it.

    ~Steve
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  12. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I think Bob at Elevator does Ilfochromes. Not sure. Give him a shout at http://www.elevatordigital.ca/
    Yes. B&H Photo has the chemistry in stock when I was there last week.

    Although I hear it's (Ilfochrome) been bought by a Japanese firm from Ilford?

    Regards, Art.
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Ilford as well as Tellko as Lumiére had several owners:

    In 1958 ICI buys a minority of Ilford Ltd. After some years of cooperation with Ciba (who have bought Lumiére in 1962) Ilford Ltd. finally is owned solely by Ciba in 1969.
    I guess in that period Tellko was acquired too (probably as Ciba Photochemie).
    Ciba merges with Geigy.
    In 1978 all photographic enterprises are placed under Ilford.
    In 1989 Ilford is sold to International Papers.
    In 1997 Ilford is sold to Doherty Hanson, a private equity company.
    The following year the name changes to Ilford Imaging.
    In 2004, the year of its 125th annyversary (Britannia Works), the company collapses with the Swiss branch being still the profitable one.
    In 2005 the UK branch (with half of its employees made redundant) is bought by its management, getting a new name: Harman Technology and trade under Ilford Photo.
    A few months later the Swiss Branch is bought by the old Japanese paper manufacturer Oji.
     
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  15. Logan Group

    Logan Group Member

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    Last December I went to my favorite lab in Washington D.C., Chrome Imaging. They said they were discontinuing Ilfochrome. I had been using them for the little color work I do since the early 90's when all this was still called Cibachrome. I was doing a reproduction of an 1800’s painting from 4x5. They showed me their new Chromira prints that can be made from a digital file or film scan. Basically they use an LED printer instead of an enlarger to make the exposure on a conventional photographic paper that still has to be processed. The reproduction results were stunning.

    I think for cost and performance reasons most large labs will be going to a system like Chromira, it’s kind of a hybrid between conventional printing and digital printing. And if you believe the Chromira people its better quality at a lower cost.

    Chrome is here: http://www.chromeimaging.com/

    More on the Chomira Printer is here: http://www.zbe.com/index.html
     
  16. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Report from the Field

    Long live Ciba!!!
    I just got home from one of my best shows of the year!
    I heard it all.
    "You're old school," "This wet paper/chemistry stuff is history," "You don't punch the colors with PS???"
    Folks,I encourage everyone of you who can afford some paper and chems, and have some color trannies, to try Ciba.
    It still kicks ass. :D
    DT
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    You are talking about a new kind of printer.
    However this thread is about a certain type of photographic paper. I assume with little modification that Chromira-printer could print silver-dye-bleach paper too...
     
  18. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    On the trip to Ilford the question about the healthiness of Ilfochrome was asked and the response was that, whilst it is manufacturered by the now separate Swiss Ilford so they could not comment directly, as far as they were aware it was doing pretty well as, whilst it is a small market, they have it to themselves.
     
  19. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    Once I had a Chromira print made by a lab that stopped doing Ilfochromes and while it looked good I sent the chrome out to another printer and had an Ilfochrome print made. It it still my choice for color prints, but due to the cost I can't have as many prints made as I would like.
     
  20. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I talked to a guy there about this last week. He said they had given up because of difficulties in getting supplies of the paper and chemistry. He showed me one of the Chromira prints and suggested that the quality was pretty close but not quite as deep as Ilfochrome.
     
  21. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Hi Steve,

    I've done a bit of searching too but I could only find one place in South Australia that does it called Chromacolour. Who do you know that does it professionally in Sydney??

    regards,
    Arthur
     
  22. lkbrown

    lkbrown Member

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    long live ciba's

    Well done Dave!!!
    Were you the only one at the show with Ciba’s?
    and yes... LONG LIVE CIBA’S!!
     
  23. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Dave, one of the main reasons I joined the APUG is to learn about the Cibachrome/Ilfochrome process. At this point, I'm just happy to know there are people like you out there still doing Cibas. I've been a slide shooter for years and it's high time I print my own stuff. I have absolutely no interest in printing digitally. I have some of the equipment needed and I have been reading material from this site's forum and from an old Cibachrome Color Print Manual from the '70's I found at a used book store. In addition I picked up Krause & Shull's "Complete Guide To Cibachrome Printing", hardcover, for $3 through Amazon. Henry Horenstein's book, "Color Photography - A Working Manual" has some info, too. My goal is to start practicing on some prints by this winter. Hopefully, once I get proficient at this, I'll be able to do this for many years to come.

    Anyway, congratulations on a great show this past weekend!

    Marc
     
  24. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Thanks LK! :smile:
    In 4 years of doing the shows, I've never seen a single other Ciba person. All the other photogs are selling either ink jets, or JCA. All of them commercially made.
    Only an occasional real wet paper B&W printer will be in a show, it's fun to talk to them.
    DT
     
  25. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Thanks Marc!:smile:
    B&H, and Adorama both have the paper...start with some 8x10...pricey! Rainer Photographic was shipping the chems, but they are closing up in 2 weeks...bummer!!!
    Great, now we've got to find a new distributor. :mad:
    I'll post when I find some chems.
    You can use the Jobo drums/processor, or the Cap/ICP machines. Both are on ebay.
    Ventilate your DR well!!!
    PM anytime for help. :smile:
    DT
     
  26. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Dave, that is a bummer. About 6 months ago I placed a call to Calumet inquiring since they took the chems off the website - at that time they said they were still selling it, but shipping by truck only. That would mean you would need to buy at least 4 or 5 kits to get up to the minimum pricing weight.

    Also, I note that on the Ilford Imaging Switzerland website, they no longer show the 5 litre kit - only 20 litre for P3. Let us know if you find anything else.

    Bob