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Thread: color print

  1. #11
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    What paper and process would be the best to order for MF Velvia 50 chromes drum scanned for digital prints using today's technology giving rich blacks and excellent colors?

  2. #12

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    I saw the handwriting on the wall and started transitioning to color neg film and RA4 printing about a decade ago, and fortunately, these products have evolved quite a bit recently, and I am now beginning to make prints at least as good as my old Cibas, and I could actually print Ciba as good as anyone alive. I don't view digital printing of any form to be a substitute, though it is a different path for those who prefer that kind of methodology. Alas, getting something really nice out of old slides is going to be tricky otherwise. My own experiments printing from modern internegs is going slowly. But the "look" of Ciba can be replicated using Fuji Supergloss directly from negs (sometimes masked up or down for contrast), or by printing either slides or color negs onto this medium with a laser printer like Lightjet or Lambda, after scanning.

  3. #13
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    What paper and process would be the best to order for MF Velvia 50 chromes drum scanned for digital prints using today's technology giving rich blacks and excellent colors?

    One answer, among many (e.g. many different papers) Kodak Endura Professional metallo version will trump the blacks and colours bits (for images containing water this media is truly outstanding, giving Ilfochrome a thumping), but other media also works a treat too for exhibition and display, depending on your (or clients') tastes.
    Ilford has a range of excellent coated and fibre papers (I use both Kodak and Ilford); ask your lab to print samples for you from an image you have, giving them the transparency and specifying any work that is required (a pro lab will assess Velvia transparencies because so many photographers just do not know how to expose this film properly). Proof prints are generally essential, progressive or one-step. Enrichment of colour, this way as much as in the darkroom, is very subjective: leave it or beef it: you choose in the processing (I would advise however not to beef Velvia trannies especially if they have been polarised).

    UK readers may be able to jog my memory about a place in Essex (?) that offers Ilfochrome printing... Boyd Photography (?). At some stage he had a swag of Australian and New Zealand clients.


  4. #14

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    Dear All,

    Whilst all the statements I have read are basically accurate in one area they are incorrect...

    Cibachrome / Ilfochrome was the most stable colour print process and no photo print medium will ever last as long as an SDB ( Silver / Dye / Bleach ) print that Cibachrome was, hence why it was the de facto and go to product for selling art colour images.

    Regarding it re-appearing... I cannot ever see it, 3 companies are probably technically capable of coating it ( 19 distinct layers coated in two passes ) but the development / cost / volume equation I doubt could ever be reached again, it was hard enough in its heyday.

    Shame....but true.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    ...Cibachrome / Ilfochrome was the most stable colour print process and no photo print medium will ever last as long as an SDB ( Silver / Dye / Bleach ) print that Cibachrome was...
    Without quibbling over the phrase "most stable," I'll concede this might be correct, but only for dark storage. On display, RA-4 can be much more stable. Light is the enemy. Fortunately for those seeking long print life, there's Galerie. Black and white looks better too.

  6. #16

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    Dear Sal,

    You are spot on as usual, light is indeed the enemy, whilst I appreciate RA-4 colour paper technology
    has come on significantly no real life tests I have ever seen, and I have seen lots, could support RA-4 of any type being more stable ( but its 10 years since I have had access to real data ) in dark storage or on display. One other thing, due to the mineral dyes used in Cibachrome / Ilfochrome when light fading started to happen they faded and very broadly the same rate so you copuld not experience the 'magenta death' that you can see happening on some colour prints ( and indeed on some inkjet inks ).

    Just a discussion, and somewhat academic as ILFOCHROME is no more, and I have no axe to grind as they say.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited

  7. #17
    PDH
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    As long as we are discussing long gone color process: I had always thought of dye transfer as being the “most archival” of the color printing systems. It also seems to me that bringing back dye transfer is more doable than brining ibrachome back to life.

  8. #18

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    Wow! appreciate all the thoughts and am sorry for the demise of Ilfochrome.
    My partner and I had a small specialty lab that specialized in photo-composites for many color labs and camera ready art for color separators back in the 1980's . Our film supplier represented Ilford and decided we would be a good candidate for a Beta site to try their new process utilizing a new version of the Ilfochrome line. It seems they wanted to compete with companies in the color copier business(back when most of that work was done by professional copy companies not in-house equipment).The product was on a super white base and more contrasty than the regular photo product also had a high gloss.They installed a processor that would run the new product and also by moving a lever process litho film in our lab. Needless to say most folks thought the photo print paper was very contrasty but this stuff was much more so. Using an Omega condenser enlarger with a registering negative carrier and three stage litho film masks. We could separate the highlights,mid-tones and shadow areas,allowing color and density control not achieved by normal printing techniques.
    A local popular commercial photographer allow us to print 16"X20"s of some of his 120 sized transparencies and though he didn't hold out much hope for our results(as they were fairly dramatic and contrasty), was blown away with the prints and claimed"they looked more like transparencies than color prints". As local interest was building for us Ilford abandoned the project,stopped making the product and reclaimed their processor. All the same now after some years in retirement I'd still like to make some more of those prints"Gone but not forgotten" LOL!

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    ...no real life tests I have ever seen, and I have seen lots, could support RA-4 of any type being more stable...on display...
    Even as long ago as it's publication date in 1992, Wilhelm's opus predicted a display life of 54.4 years for the then-current Fujicolor papers (with tungsten illumination when displayed behind glass) and 29 years for Cibachrome/Ilfochrome prints under the same conditions. See Tables 3.1a on page 131 and 3.2 on page 135 here


    for details. I'm unaware that Ilfochrome changed after that time in any way that would improve its light-fading stability, while subsequent versions of the Fuji RA-4 paper showed even longer life expectancies in Wilhelm's display tests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    ...ILFOCHROME is no more, and I have no axe to grind as they say...
    Nor do I. I've always felt that black and white is the highest form of photographic expression, so it's ongoing availability of HARMAN's products that's of greatest interest.

  10. #20
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    What!? 29 years for Ilfochrome?? Bullshit. Come off the glue.
    Ilfochrome prints (which are not RC papers!) have a mean storage life of several hundred (e.g. 300-plus) years. It does not fade easily (in fact it is very difficult to accelerate fading), as ChromaColour here in Australia (now gone) carried out extensive durability and fade-resistance tests for a group of galleries in the early 1990s that collaborated on a project to determine the mean art-worth value of these prints produced by the likes of Ken Duncan, Peter Lik and others. When Ilfochrome Classic prints are framed the life is dramatically extended. I have heard 500+ years like that. Now of course we're not going to be around to have that proven, but hey, there's no harm in leaving a lasting image. All 440 of my Ilfochrome Classic prints were museum grade conservation framed.

    RA-4 is estimated to last around 30 years. I have around 120 RA-4 test and proof prints in storage. They would now be around 22 years old. They look fine (stored in a no-fuss A3 envelope) but nowhere near as eye-popping as Ilfochrome prints of the same scenes that later followed.


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