Thinking about doing some Ilfochrome printing....

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Matt5791, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    England, Bir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I want to try some Ilfochrome printing of some of my slides.

    Anything I should know before I start - I have a Jobo drum for processing.

    What I am wondering about is colour balance - presumably there is not much to do here?

    Any hints and tips greatly appreciated

    I see the chemicals kit is quite expensive - anyone know the best prices in the UK?

    Thanks for any help,
    Matt
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's a few years since I used this process, but I remember that the colour balance is taken care of by the filtration factors supplied with the paper. Slight adjustment being required to suit your enlarger. Check out Paterson's chemicals for this process.
     
  3. Dug

    Dug Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle WA U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey Matt,

    I have been actively printing Ilfochorome - I have successfully used the new P3.5 kit and found it to be pretty much the same as the P30 kits. I suggest:

    -Get onto the Cafe Ilfopro site and look through the Ilfochrome postings. Be sure to download the UPDATED mixing instructions for the P3.5 kit - the one that comes with the kit may be wrong!

    -The new instructions don't mention doing a 30sec pre-wash with correct temperature (30deg celsius) water. I do it and it certainly doesn't hurt.

    -Get your hands on a couple of different documents:
    1) The old P30 kit instructions tell you how to recycle chemicals (reuse with a 50-50 mixure of fresh and used chemicals for each step). This also works well with the p3.5 kit even though it is not mentioned. Using this technique I get 20-24 8X10 prints per liter rather than the usual 13.
    2) There is an out of print book called "The Complete Guide to Cibachrome Printing" ISBN 0-89586-176-3. It has some great information, even through it is named after the earlier (but pretty much the same) process called Cibachrome.
    3) Ilford's Masking Guide used to be free for the asking at the Ilford site. See if you can still request one.

    I have found it unfortunate that the new P3.5 kit instructions and the documentation I see around the Ilfochrome process is not as "Beginner Friendly" as in the past. I want to start pulling together some documents to post here (like the P 30 kit instructions) so we can get folks interested in the Ilfochrome process (and keep Ilford producing it!).

    Let me know if you have other questions!

    Doug
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,260
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Matt Saw this thread and had a look at my booklets. When I bought my darkroom kit secondhand I got two booklets entitled "Ilford Cibachrome-A. A Simple step by step guide to making high quality colour prints direct from slides" It is only a 7 page guide but as I have two, you are welcome to one, free of charge.

    I also have the complete 56 page guide which covers the Process P-30. Unfortunately I have only one copy of this. It may be possible to obtain another copy elsewhere and one which covers the new chemicals described above.

    If all else fails I could photocopy it at my local library. It charges 10p per page in B&W. Not sure about colour copies which would be better. However not cheap either way.

    Anyway let me know if you want either the small booklet or a copy of the 56 page one which looks very comprehensive. I say looks because to date I have only done colour neg processing and printing not chromes.

    Pentaxuser
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It has been a number of years since I did my own Cibachrome, but I never found this to be the case (I used a LPL 4500II with color head). I found the basic filter pack to be a good starting place, but I almost always had to make a couple of prints to get it right. Maybe the new emulsions are better, I don't know.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,005
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    About color balance, I highly recommend getting a set of color viewing filters. I found these much more effective than an analyzer, which I still have, when I was doing color regularly. I'm thinking I should probably spend next summer or some significant amount of time on Ilfochrome printing, just to be sure to get some of my more recent transparencies printed on Ilfochrome while it's still around.

    Just as an aside, I firmly believe that many of the contrast problems that people have with Ilfochrome come from using oversaturated films. When I was doing Cibas some 20 years ago, I generally shot Agfachrome 100, which had more of a pastel look, and it printed well without masking, and the prints have held up quite well.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,936
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ilfochrome is hyper sensitive to the different dyes in different reversal films. Therefore it takes different filter packs for each type of film.

    If you are printing Ilfochromes, you had best stick to one type of film for your work if you want to stick with one pack, otherwise it is trial and error time just as in any other color printing.

    Kodachrome is the biggest outlier. It will usually take more filter pack change than any other film due to the nature of the cyan dye used.

    Best results are obtained with both color and contrast masking. This is due to the unwanted absorption of the dyes in the film and the paper and the high contrast of the pos-pos printing chain. It was not designed for optimum printing. Each of these masks is intended to correct for one of these flaws. They are used routinely in reproduction of slides for magazines, etc...

    PE
     
  8. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    England, Bir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks very much for the repies - very helpful indeed.

    pentaxuser, thanks for the offer of the booklet, I woudl be interested if you let me know how you would like to play it.

    Interesting about the instructions for the older kit.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  9. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I know about contrast masking with Ilfochrome, but how do you do color masking? Is this a way to fix the color crossover problems I see with a lot of my prints?

    Do you know which films have the least color crossover problems with Ilfochrome?

    I may be using the term color crossover incorrectly. What I am reffering to is the effect where the shadoes seems to require a different filter pack than the highlights. It seems that if I balance the midtones the highlights go towards cyan and the shadows go slightly red.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,936
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't know which films have the least problem with Ilfochrome.

    You describe crossover perfectly, but there are two problems. Crossover is due to mismatches in the characteristic curves in each layer of the Ilfochrome, or a mismatch induced by their response to the dyes in the film. This can be corrected by masking. This is a form of contrast masking for a given layer only - the one that is crossing over.

    Color masking is another type of masking which corrects when a color is not represented correctly and is built into color negative films. That is the orange color of a negative. In making a color mask for Ilfochromes, you prepare silver masks that correct for the errors in dye hue in the film and in the Ilfochrome.

    So, these can be two separate requirements, or they can be combined depending on the nature and severity of your problem.

    When you build a film and a paper for printing in color, you must closely match the spectral sensitivities of the papers to the dyes in the film. It is much more difficult to do for reversal films which have no color mask and are made for viewing by the human eye. Color negative materials are built for printing and the manufacturers who make the print papers can match the entire system up more easily. Therefore, there is normally better color and less crossover in a neg-pos system than in a pos-pos system.

    Printing pos-pos compresses the scale and yields a 'dupey' picture and that is why it is not common to make pos-pos prints unless they are fixed up with a lot of masking added into the printing process. This includes contrast reduction and color correction masking.

    PE
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,550
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Larry

    I have found that Kodachromes are the least responsive to cibachrome, but with that said not a big problem

    I have done colour masking in the past on cibas and Ra4 prints for colour casts . ie brides white dress which prints blue on RA 4 can be easily fixed with a filter on your dodging and burning tool, basically changing the balance for that specific area.
    We are daily doing this with PS now for our Lambda colour prints.
    As well making a silver mask with separation filters on pan masking film can be effective in boosting areas of local colour relative to the overall balance. As PE suggests this is quite possible.
    I would think Donald Miller would be a good starting reference guy for masking as I believe he has good reference starting points. Ilford had old manuals of silver masking techniques in the heyday of Cibachrome printing, There was a guy out of California *Pace* who seemed to produce manuals on some of these techniques.
    As well there was a guy out of Kansas City , who did a lot of complicated colour masking on a Lisle Camera , preceeding PS.
    I worked in this field for years on a Lisle Camera and we were required to know how to do all levels of complex masking, Unfortunately , I did not keep my working books on these proceedures so I can't pass any pertinent info to you.
    I would think though you should be able to produce all kinds of complicated unsharp masks on your LVT unit using scan to PS to LVT recorder???
    I would start this way as trying to do this in an enlarger with seperation filters would be harder than using the tools that I understand you already have at your disposal.
    Bob
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,260
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Simply pm me with your address and I'll post it to you - no charge as I have two. Be aware that it is only a 7 page booklet so very basic step by step and covers the P-30 process. Its date is 1986.

    The 56 page manual covers things much more deeply in terms of faults and filtration but I only have the one. Photocopying even in B&W at 10p per page would be about £5.60 plus postage but you'd lose the colour photos which demonstrate effects. Not every page has a colour photo but about 18 pages do. It covers thing beside processing such as sandwich slides, photo montage etc. If you didn't want these, the photocopying could be cut down.

    I'd seriously look for a manual in the library before embarking on photocopied manual but it could be done.

    Pentaxuser
     
  13. ras351

    ras351 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Contrary to what others seem to find I've found Kodachrome to be quite a good match to Ilfochrome, especially when it comes to colour crossover, which coincidently seems to match with Ctein's view also. If you compare the characteristic curves of Ilfochrome and Kodachrome they appear to match more closely than Ilfochrome and the E6 films. Of course it's a moot point since Kodak in Australia dropped 35mm Kodachrome more than a year ago and the other formats long before. Contrast can be a problem for some slides but I've found a way around that for the most part by using my own developers and adjusting the exposure/bleach times. The E6 films I've used all print similarly on Ilfochrome after taking into account the dynamic range of the scene/film. Without resorting to masking or chemical/exposure adjustments you'll probably find the lower contrast films (eg RAP) easiest to print.

    Roger.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,936
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Roger, the problem that I referred to was the fact that the color balance shift between Kodachrome and other E6 films is bigger than the change needed between all E6 films. This is due to the nature of the Kodachrome cyan dye which is very narrow and sharp (pure).

    The characteristic curves of any film wrt Ilfochrome is not especially significant in the face of the dye hues of that film.

    PE
     
  16. ras351

    ras351 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I should have been more specific and said to compare the spectral dye density curves of the film with the spectral sensitivity curves of Ilfochrome. I think we're both saying the same thing. It's a pity Ilford don't offer an alternate version of the paper which is more tuned towards E6 films.

    For those curious it's often helpful to photograph a grayscale onto your film of choice and print the result on Ilfochrome. You'll then be able to see what sort of colour crossover you may have to deal with and it's also easier to tune the filter pack towards a neutral colour.

    Roger.
     
  17. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    Torino, Ital
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Glad to read that the 5.3 pack is available worldwide except countries listed in the following table:

    [table start]
    ITALY
    [end of table]
     
  18. davetravis

    davetravis Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey Matt5791,
    Do you know how you will be processing the exposed paper?
    Drums in water bath? Roller transport? Drums with "drift-by" temp control?
     
  19. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thanks, I think I now have an idea on how to do color masking. Much simpler than I had made it out to be in my head.

    I can use the lightjet to create corrected transparencies, but then they aren't entirely analog so I couldn't sell them in the APUG gallery. Plus I want to understand the traditional ways as well.
     
  20. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    657
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Yorkshire Da
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Matt -

    Abebooks is listing several books on Cibachrome (Ilfochrome's old name) at reasonable prices eg "The Complete Guide to Cibachrome Printing" and "Focal Guide to Cibachrome". Go to www.abebooks.co.uk and enter "cibachrome" as a keyword.

    I haven't done any for some time, but liked the results very much especially on the high-gloss polyester-based material.

    I used to find Kodachrome originals the easiest to print from as they seemed to exhibit much less colour cross-over than for example Velvia, but the newer Ilfochrome materials may be different.

    Good luck!

    Regards
    Richard
     
  21. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    England, Bir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks very much for the advice Richard. I have recently been reading the book "Way beyond Monochrome" which I believe is written by your business partner - a superb book.

    Getting quite interested in some of your exposure meters!

    Matt
     
  22. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,277
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    Well done Ilfochrome is a thing of beauty. Well done ones are rare. I have tons of so-so ones and only a few good ones. I print Fuji Crystal RA4 now with none of the Ilfochrome problems.

    I used to control contrast with uncoated lenses and overexposing/underdeveloping E6 in my Jobo. The transparencies look terrible, but print wonderfully. No masking required for a normal contrast print. The original Ektachrome 100 was the film, not the saturated junk they sell today.

    The other problem I solved was the curves cross for the the different layers. You will not be able to balance both highlights and shadows at the same time. Brown hair would always go red when flesh was right. A 2% flash through a 50cc cyan filter fixed it. This works just like any other paper flashing in that it changes the shadows and has little or no effecton the highlights. Remove the transparency to do the flash, but leave the filter pack in place.

    Good luck and report progress.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,936
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And I'll bet you don't have to do any of the above for Neg-Pos prints.

    Compare the colors of the Neg-Pos prints with the original and do the same for an Ilfochrome print and you will find that the Ilfochrome, as you say, is beautiful but you will also find it inaccurate and 'overdone'.

    You will also find that the color density separation is 'less natural' on the Pos-Pos prints.

    All of this is inherent in the Pos-Pos printing process unless masking is used. The direct positive systems such as E6 and Kodachrome were not designed for printing without this masking process, and even with it, it is limited to only close approximations to the original.

    The Neg-Pos system was designed for printing without all of the extra pains and was designed to reproduce colors and tones accurately with the least amount of color and toal error.

    PE
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    My experience as well PE and one of the reasons I no longer do Ilfochrome for printing my landscapes. I now print using Fuji Crystal Archive and a Chromira. I know the purists complain about using a digital printer, so much that those of use who use one are not welcome to participate in some APUG functions (like the gallery); what they fail to realize is that we really don't have much choice. I find my only choices are to print using Ilfochrome (you have pointed out the issues with this approach), print using Fuji Crystal Archive (on a digital printer) or just use an ink jet printer (which I refuse to do). Color workers really don't have the variety of choices the B&W worker has.

    FWIW, the only professional landscape photographer that I am aware of still using exclusively Ilfochrome is Christopher Burkett (there may be more); he says that he spends 10 months a year just printing and only 2 months actually photographing.
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,936
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Robert, I find that making an internegative on Portra VC or UC with a slight pull in development makes a good print on Endura.

    I use a daylight exposure on my enlarger (100C + 20M) and f22 at 0.5" to get a very nice negative. Prints are quite good. You do have to fuss a bit to get the best negative image centered in the scale of the film, but once achieved the results are very satisfying for a good transparency.

    You can also do some interesting effects, all without digital.

    PE
     
  26. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,550
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    An internegative is the last thing I would consider.
    I have clients that still print landscapes with me traditionally and digitally onto cibachrome paper and endura as well.
    If the input is digital I would continue the workflow via the Lambda to cibachrome.
    If the input is transparancy or slide , I would first inspect the original, if it is in good shape and not spent time in a projector , I would print traditional enlarger to cibachrome.
    If the transparancy or slide is in poor shape , I would then scan and print through the digital printer to cibachrome.
    The best internegs I have seen are done by contact and not projected, (the steps to have an extremely clean interneg and then to a magnification of 16x20 from 35mm is quite difficult on any paper.)
    Dust is a cibachrome printers nightmare and with internegs as well as any dust prints black and is almost impossible to remove at the print stage.