Old Cibachrome "Trial" kit?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Josh Harmon, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Josh Harmon

    Josh Harmon Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hello!

    Today while perusing my school's darkroom I stumbled upon a Cibachrome trial kit with "Everything you need to make 4x5" color prints". Alongside this were two unopened P-30 1 litre chemical kits and a pack of 11x14" paper as well.

    I am judging by the packing that they are at least ten years old.

    My big question is, are they stil good?

    I have a some slides and E6 film I wouldn't mind printing. I also want to learn how to print in color as well.

    Another question would be, how hard is it to do Cibachrome? I develop my own C41 and I can setup a water bath system to keep consistent temperature. I would just need to learn to filter for color and get used to complete darkness right?

    Anyway, thanks in Advance!

    -Josh

    PS I also found some Kodak developer and other single ingredients (Metol, hydroquinone, sodium carbonate) that dated back to the late fifties in their original containers! Also I found a old UNUSED or mixed Kodak Direct Positive kit with recommendations for Panatomic X!
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's worth a shot. Be careful of the bleach, though. It is pretty harsh stuff from what I have seen. When I had some old Ciba chemistry once, the powdered bleach liquefied over time and started to burn through the foil packaging. The maker had the good idea to coat the foil bag with plastic, which held the contents in.

    As far as printing, I think that making a straight print is actually easier than RA printing, once you get past the hurdle of reversing your thoughts about what exposure, burning, and dodging do. The color balancing is easy as pie; it's intuitive. If the print needs more magenta, you just add magenta and you are done with it. The problem is that due to the contrast of E-6 materials, being able to make a straight print is rare, and your contrast controls are done with black and white film masks. It is an exacting process.

    So, I'd say that it is easier than b/w to make a print, but harder than most printing processes to get a superb print.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,207
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You bet it's an exacting process (of masking)! :smile:
    Even the acknowledged Ilfochrome Master printers make mistakes. My big collection of Ilfochromes each have between 1 and 4 interneg masks each 'chrome, with a crazy number of box, filter, enlarger, plate, height, width and contrast notes scrawled on the front. The prints themselves speak reams and reams of the skill over 35 years. I agree with 2F/2F: "easier than b/w to make a print, but harder than most printing processes to get a superb print." Experience is what makes the difference.

    Maybe seek professional advice on how to dispose of waste chemicals. Most labs (and there now precious view on the planet) invest quite a bit of time and expertise in this area.
     
  4. Josh Harmon

    Josh Harmon Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the responses!

    I plan on sealing off the darkroom after school for a couple hours one day and go from there.

    Another question though, I want to minimize paper waste so, are exposures similar to B/W VC paper?

    Also, I dont have the material to make contrast masks, so I will have to live with the results.

    -Josh
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,936
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would start with a test exposing quadrants of the 4x5 at f/8 for 5, 10, 20, and 40 seconds. That presumes you are projecting 35mm format slides. Start with the recomended filtration on the pack. I recall it asked for a 2B uv filter at a minumum. If you are used to colur corrections for ra-4, then printing positives you correct twice as much per colour adjustment increment.

    I have fiddled to reversal processing slides onto ra-4 to yield positive prints to teach me what I have said so far. In termes of filtration, don't be surprised that the cyan is used in the filter pack. In c-41 to ra-4 it is never used.

    If you have more time I have notes and manuals circa 78-81 from somone who printed Ciba that might be a more precise starting point. Pm me if interested. I may be a day or so getting you stuff. I came home last night to find the 3/8" water pipe feeding the faucet on half bath above my darkroom spraying a pinhole size spray of water. There has been a fair amount of stuff disrupted to dry out what dripped though the floor into my darkroom. Nothing substantial ruined, just a pain in the ass.
     
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,936
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    contrast masks are possible with 35mm, although tricky to align. I unmount the slide, and cut the film between perforation and fold the tabs in to align with perf holes of the film I want to make the mask of.

    I use an old roll of 35mm Kodalith ortho, so I can develop it under red safelight to visually judge the level of density. You want a light low contrast neg for the mask.

    It is possible to use pan film for more accurate masking of all colours, but need to work in absolute darkness, and then develop by experiment for the right time and temperature.

    Use the enlarger as a controllable light source to expose. If Kodalith, its speed is not too far off of enlarging paper speed to get the right time/aperture to start for exposure. Otherwise ise paper as ISO6, and stop the lens down or add neutral denity if you are using pan iso 100 speed film.

    Place mask film emulsion down, positive in need of mask emulsion up. This allow you to get an unsharp mask, so alignment is not so critical for 35mm. Glass on top to squash together. Diffuse with a Kleenex, etc.

    Develop in low contrast developer. Very dilute paper developer, or low contrast film developer. Ideally, take the metol you found, and add a small pinch -less than a gram per litere, then some sodium sulfite - say 80g/l , and then try that for developing mask films. It lets you go to about 3-4 minutes for a low contrast neg.

    Then to project the slide with mask, re-mesh the cut tabs to the perfs.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,774
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The trial kit with Cibachrome labeling dates back more than 10 years, probably more than 20. Some came with small drums in the kit.

    PE
     
  8. akaa

    akaa Subscriber

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Josh -

    If you feel like making the trip over to Sacramento I have a 16" Cibachrome roller processor set up in my garage you are welcome to use. The model escapes me right now, but it's similar to the CAP-40 with adjustable temp.

    Aris
     
  9. Josh Harmon

    Josh Harmon Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks once again for the responses.

    I managed to look closer to find a date of 1977. It is actually a Cibachrome "discovery" kit and includes P-12 chemicals with 20 sheets of 4x5 paper, a filter pack, and a small plastic developing drum.

    I plan on learning to print color for my senior project (Topic is Analogue Photography) and this appears to be a good way. I also plan on dipping my feet into RA-4 printing, which appears to be quite a bit cheaper.

    @Mike Wilde
    Thanks for the explanation, I think I may just go for it and live without masks. I won't have too much time to have my school's darkroom to myself.

    @Akaa
    Thank you for the kind offer. I live out in Concord and Sacramento is a bit far for me to drive for a day trip. Do you know of any public darkrooms in the Bay Area that still offer Ilfochrome printing?

    .......

    Shifting topic slightly, what type of safelight is compatible with RA-4 printing (if any)? I have a much greater chance of being able to continuously print color with RA-4 than Ilfochrome. ($37 for 100 8x10 Fuji CA vs $90 for 25 8x10 Ilfochrome).

    Another question too, Is it possible to make a paper developing tank out of PVC tubing or possibly modifying a Patterson film developing tank?

    Thanks!

    -Josh
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,774
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Josh;

    Use a WR-13 safelight filter with RA-4 papers. It is dark brown to the human eye. Use no more than a 15 W bulb and point it away from the paper.

    PE
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,936
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tubes can be made from 4" ABS plumbing drain pipe, with glued on plumbing end caps. Some use this material for tanks for reels, or to develop sheet film.

    I would scour an established photo store that sells used darkroom gear. They likely have more daylight tubes used than they know what to do with.

    Processing RA-4 at room temerature, in trays (with tongs or gloves) is quite viable for most, but could be a challenge in a shared darkroom. It needs total of very dim near total darkness.

    For RA-4 I find the safelight is only useful for orienting me in the room. It is almost 20 minutes before I can 'see' anything of use with it, and then only just barely. I find luminescent glow tape placed on the corners of cabinets, work benches, etc and total darkness otherwise is more useful. That, and a very tidy darkroom as well.
     
  12. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

    Messages:
    891
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Capital of O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I personally use Jobo Maxilux led safelight. The damn thing is very bright once your eyes get adjusted. I see no fogging with it even after 4 minutes. Highly recommend it.
     
  13. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When were P30P Ilfochrome kits with powder discontinued? Is there a way to find out the manufacture date of such a kit?