I am so sad that I am young enough (31) that I missed the party on getting to make Cibachrome prints! My favorite photographic art prints I have ever bought from artists have all be cibachrome. It really saddens me that this art has now been completely lost!?!?!
Was there always only one paper manufacture? I assume that the loss of the manufacture of the paper why Cibachrome has died? Or is the chemistry also impossibly hard for enthusiasts to revive?
What alternatives exist for the analog optical printing of transparencies? (I have read about "reversal" RA-4, but that seems to be a seriously deficient process.) It makes me so sad I will never get to attempt to make a Cibachrome print.
I used to work in a custom photo lab where we made Cibachrome prints. The results could be fantastic, but the downside was unlike RA-4 and black and white, dust spots came out as black. It could be a maddening process to deal with.
They were fun and the results could be great. I'm glad I had the experience.
Sadly, there is no replacement. Type R paper went away first. Both the print material (the glossy was all plastic so I hesitate to call it "paper") were made by Ilford. After the company split into "two Ilfords" it was made by the Swiss one, no longer with any connection to the very much alive Ilford we know in black and white.
Besides reversal processing RA4 the only conventional darkroom method of printing transparencies that I'm aware of now is to make internegatives. People (but not me, I haven't tried) report good luck using Portra 160 now that interneg film is long gone.
The most practical is to just scan and print digitally, either ink jet at home or via lightjet of various sorts at a lab.
Just wondering: I've cross-processed colour film both ways (c41 in e6 and e6 in c41). I know it has its quirks (like with regards to ei-rating) but it gives nice results sometimes (after lots of experimentation).
Is there any way to cross-process paper? Or is all the positive-paper chemistry gone too? (or does colour paper just not work this way? I too have unfortunately never had the pleasure of using Cibachrome)
For wet-printing chromes, there is no direct replacement. You really either need an internegative or a scanner. If you were slightly insane, you could enlarge your chromes onto 8x10 chrome film and pull the first developer to get the contrast under control. That's going to be a very very expensive approach though given the $10-20/sheet cost.
For making display transparencies however, there are RA4 options like Fujiflex. They require a C41 negative as source, but they produce enlarged transparencies for backlighting.
There had been several manufacturers of silver-dye-bleach materials, including print materials (even foe the mass market), but Ilford had been the last to manufacture such.
Originally Posted by justin parker
I suspect (but not sure) the OP is referring to Cibachromes unique look and asking if there is an alternative that will give the same effect. Cibachromes can look like they are backlit due to the glow or reflection in the highlights and I do agree they are a great loss. I've never seen a photographic paper with the same look however there is an inkjet paper (or process) that has virtually the same effect as Cibachorome, but I've no idea what it's called (I've never used it, only seen prints).
Try the Ilford Ilfoflex (RA-4 reflective material with high gloss base and surface).
There is a place in Germany that is still printing them. You'd have to mail them your slides, and they'll make the print and mail it back to you with your slide. Photo studio 13 is their name, I don't have their website right now, but they're on Google.
I don't know if that's what you want, but it can't hurt. I plan on getting some soon. I've had them enlarge some 4x5 film onto baryta paper and they do amazingly well. They'll also work with you over the phone or e-mail to get things right. Very proffesional folks with a lot of experience.
Good luck finding it -- in the States, anyway.
Originally Posted by AgX