To late to start printing Ilfochrome?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Swift Raven, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Swift Raven

    Swift Raven Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I am considering starting to print Ilfochrome. Am I nuts for even thinking about it? I have been a B&W printer for 30 years and have also accumulated a lot of transperancies (4 x 5). I have all the necessary equipment to print & process Ilfochrome plus I commonly make masks for printing B&W. Still it seems late in the game to start such a project considering the questionable availability of materials. Also in reading posts on this and other websites there seems to be a lot of confusion about what chemistry is available and where to get paper. Is there a website dedicated to Ilfochrome printing? So help me out here and tell me if it is worth it. Thanks!
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think it well worth trying. The results will amaze you. A contrast control mask may help with some originals.
     
  3. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

    Messages:
    757
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Of course it is worth it. It is still readily available, you just have to know where to look. I think we have cut through most of the confusion here, but it stil exists in the retail world. The answer for the time being seems to be to avoid the "normal" retailers, unfortunately, because they just dont seem to know what is going on and may even tell you the products are unavailable.

    Talk to these places, they can get you the chems and maybe paper too. I have talked to both of them. I havent tried to find print material because I still have some frozen, but I think that should be easier to find.

    Hidden Light, LLC
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    (928) 527-1847
    prints@hiddenlightllc.com
    http://www.hiddenlightllc.com
    http://www.ilfochrome.com
    http://www.cibachrome.com


    The Lab-Ciba
    Burbank, CA
    (818) 953-2202
    cibachrome@sbcglobal.net
    http://www.lab-ciba.com
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey, if you want to do it and you can still get the materials, why not? As for retailers, I can only urge you not to trust second or third hand information. I recently went to Adorama, arguably one of the better photo supply houses in NYC, for a bulk roll of Tri-X. The clerk adamantly stated that Kodak was no longer selling Tri-X in bulk rolls and that it would be impossible to find any at any price. Right. Went across town to B&H where they happily would sell me as much of the stuff as I wanted. Just for grins, I wrote to Kodak asking for the straight scoop. Tri-X in bulk rolls continues to be available.

    The moral of the story is to go to the source for your best shot at getting a straight answer.
     
  6. davetravis

    davetravis Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi SR and welcome to Apug!
    I believe IC is in a class all by itself, and yes should be tried by all traditional color photographers. Start small with some 8x10's and see if you like it. There's plenty of help here if you run into problems. If more folks get into IC, then maybe it'll stick around a while.
     
  7. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Since Ilfochrome can be exposed with a Lightjet or similar type of laser-exposure printer, I am surprised it hasn't been more promoted as the most archival way to produce color prints from any type of file (digital or film).
     
  8. jsouther

    jsouther Subscriber

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Neverland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is a really good point. It surprises me as well. The materials still come out of Switzerland, right? Seems to me they should get on here at APUG just like Simon does with us already.

    I called Freestyle last month and they said they could get the chemistry, but nothing yet about the paper.

    I'd love to use the stuff too. I started printing a bit about 10 years ago and couldn't afford to keep buying it. I want to shoot slide more now since I was given many cases of E6 recently. Knowing Ilfochrome would be readily and consistantly available from Freestyle or other established retailers combined with more affordable cost would really get me interested in printing Ilfochrome.
     
  9. Swift Raven

    Swift Raven Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks to all for the information and encouragement. I live in Wisconsin and the issue seems to be to find a supplier that will ship the chemistry (by the way, what is the designation for the chemistry that would be used in a Jobo or similar processor). The last time I was on B&H website I saw that they had a selection of paper. A couple other questions: Didn't Ilford publish a book on printing Ilfochrome? Does anyone know the title? Also either Kodak or Ilford had viewing filters to judge color balance. Are those avaiable anymore?
     
  10. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,258
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, you're not nuts. Or, let me rephrase that: maybe you and I are both nuts. I'm also considering giving Ilfochrome a try.

    No problem as far as I've seen. My "regular" online shop has a good choice of Ilfochrome paper and sells the chemistry as well. Mind you, it's not cheap, but who cares? It's a hobby, it's supposed to cost money :tongue:. Only thing I need to get my hands on is a drum. I suppose these can be found secondhand for a decent price...
     
  11. Rombo

    Rombo Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi!
    I also print Ilfochrome, and it is very nice process. Chemistry in Europe is available by post.
    I have here:

    ILFORD Cibachrome-A 58 page manual
    (no date when printed in Switzerland)
    This manual I found very interesting for starting point. There is not a big diference in work since Ilford named this process ILFOCHROME.

    There is also
    The complete guide to cibachrome printing book
    from Peter Krause and Henry A. Shull from 1980, ISBN 0-87165-057-6, which is one of most detailed about this technique.
     
  12. haris

    haris Guest

    Fotoimpex from Berlin, Germany still sells new Jobo CPP2 processor.
     
  13. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    England, Bir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm going to start printing it soon - I dont think it is too late, but then I have a local outlet with the paper and chemistry on the shelf!

    It is the only way to optically print from transparencies - so, even though the market is obviously small now, they do have a monopoly, and the world is a big place.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,258
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Indeed. But that's a bit too much of an investment for me :surprised:. I suppose it shouldn't be too big of a problem to develop in drums by hand...
     
  16. roy

    roy Member

    Messages:
    1,308
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Not too late if the look appeals to you. I would suggest buying decent quantities of paper if you do start. I tried it and although I did manage some nice prints, I had problems with the colour corrections for each batch of paper but, in all fairness, I rarely bought more than 10 sheets at a time and when I needed more, the filtration was different.
     
  17. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You could try getting hold of a Paterson Orbital on eBay. I use one of these for Ilfochromes up to 8x10, and it works a treat. Economical on the chemistry, and easy to wash & dry between prints (it dries very quickly, and any remaining moisture is easy to wipe out, neither of which is true of my Jobo drums...) I still use a Jobo for anything larger than 8x10 (although not Ilfochrome yet - I can't afford to :wink:.)
     
  18. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ilfochrome is a beautiful material to print on. It is expensive but nothing else compares to it. Calumet ships UPS groundthe chemistry from their Il warehouse.
     
  19. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

    Messages:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If its here Use it! its never too late and we need more people like you!!!!!!!!!! Bravo if you get going with it!!!!!!!!

    ~Steve
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  20. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Well, thats not "exactly" true. Both Kodak and Fuji have made or still do, color internegative film, intended for making very high quality internegatives of color transparencies, which you can then print on standard RA-4 paper and chemistry. I used to do this all the time. I would expose the 4x5 sheets (also available in 35mm long rolls) in an easel with my enlarger, just like making a color print (but shorter exposure times), develop in standard C-41 chemistry. For 35mm internegatives, I would just use an SLR with a macro lens in a "slide copy" arrangement.
     
  21. jpeets

    jpeets Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Ummm, FWIW, Wilhelm rates Ilfochrome permanence at 29 years, Fuji Crystal archive at 40 years, and pigment prints on art paper at over 100 ......

    The merits of Ilfochrome should perhaps be defined more in terms of aesthetics.
     
  22. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    England, Bir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is contrary to popular belief and the tests carried out?

    Also I believe www.novadarkroom.com have had some Cibachromes on the wall in their office, they catch full sunlight, for well over 20 years, with no noticable deterioration.......

    There is obviously a lot of different opinions here because I have also heard a school of throught which says cibas will out last FB monochrome materials.....

    Who knows what to believe.
     
  23. davetravis

    davetravis Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm with Matt here.
    I'll enjoy the aesthetics for now, and if my great great grandchildren get a mostly BW version, then it will be really cool and actually worth something!
     
  24. jpeets

    jpeets Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I agree. I think it is widely accepted that Ilfochromes are stable. Any testing data out there is controversial, as it can only be accelerated testing, and therefore a "best guess" that is dependent on the assumptions made and technologies used. I only posted the comment to question whether it is the most stable color medium out there.

    The only materials proven to be long lived are those that have been around for a long time (>50 years?), for example, fiber-based silver gelatin.

    Ultimately, choosing a material to work with should primarily be based on aesthetics unless the material is known to be ephemeral, IMHO.

    Also there is the fun factor!!!:D
     
  25. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Internegative films were discontinued years ago. 99.44% of printing of slides is done digitally, I'd say.
     
  26. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    NorCal
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dang! You guys are making me feel guilty, I've got a CAP-40 processor gathering dust and I just threw out an expired, unused 5-liter kit. I'm in the process of converting to B/W.

    If I ever wondered if it was worth it, I would check out Christopher Burkett. I saw a couple of his shows, truely amazing stuff, ciba reds and yellows seem to
    glow.

    I have also heard that the azo dyes are extremely stable. Per Krause and Shull; "The expected life of unprotected Cibachrome prints under fluorescent or tungsten illumination is from 25 to 50 years, assuming that the lamps are operated for 12 hours a day. The permissible change in dye density ranges from 10% to 15%."**

    They also claim that under museum quality dark storage,"...they'll have archival permanence. It is estimated that they will not change for up to 1000 years!"**

    Terry

    **Peter Krause & Henry Shull, Complete Guide to Cibachrome Printing, page 155, HPBooks 1982
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008