Ilford Micrographic Color Film
My recent experiments with litho, copy and microfilms have gotten me interested in using microfilms for ordinary color, and the Ilfochrome microfilm is starting to look quite interesting. I do realize that it's about ISO 1, but it still seems like it could be interesting.
Does anyone know where / if it can be purchases in small 35mm quantities?
Looks like an ideal material for still life and landscape applications (as well as slide dupe work). It could even be (conceivably) used handheld, in bright sunlight, at a 1/30th at f/2.8. Granted, this would not be optimal in terms of the material's incredible resolution, but, it'd be doable; and for tripod work, in that kind of light, 1/8th @ f/8 (the ideal setting for many modern lenses) really wouldn't prove any hardship at all -- even for "people pictures (1/8th is well above the "head-brace" range).
Sure would be nice if someone were to sell it in cassettes, and sell the chemistry in "consumer size" quantities (I'm guessing that the chemistry for this stuff is different enough from the "regular" cibachrome/ilfochrome to make it necessary to use it, and, being an "industrial" product, probably only available in large quantities.)
I think there's a market there, for Ilford or some enterprising third party to meet.
I did check out Micrographics; they have the film, but, according to the email, there's a "very large minimum order".
I'd REALLY hope that this is available somewhere else, because it would be awesome to try this out; even if its only ISO .5 to 1.0 in daylight.
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Sounds like they don't want to bother with the likes of you and me. (Well, in all honesty, I can't speak for you, but with equal honesty I can say that it sure seems like they don't want to deal with the likes of me! )
Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
So I guess that means we're looking at one of three possible scenarios.
- A third party (such as one of the existing outfits specializing in film/chemistry that the big boys aren't interested in) buys it in the "VLMO" quantities and then breaks it down for resale to "the likes of me."
- A bunch of folks, "the likes of me", pool their resources and make a group purchase, and divide up the materials when they arrive.
- We all sigh about how nice it would have been to experiment with this stuff, and then go on with our lives never really knowing whether it would have been any good for our purposes, since no avenuie for small sized purchases arose.
In either of the "can-do" scenarios, the big question (so far as I can figure) would be the viability of dividing the chemistry. Is it liquid or powder? If it's liquid, it should be easy to divide the chemicals. If it's powder, it would mean first mixing it up, and then shipping the liquid, since it's really not possible to get repeatable results when dividing powder formulas. Yes, I know that plenty of people do mix up partial amounts of prepared chemistry, and claim success. IMO different people have different criteria for "success", with the absolute bottom rung being "it worked" (e.g., "I got an image") equatiing to "success". But for something like this, I really wouldn't be interested in engaging in that kind of gamble. (Remember, we're trying to ascertain the usability of this material for pictorial work. How are we going to do that if Fred gets the part of the soup containing the developing agent, an Charlie gets the part containing the stuff that prevents tapwater minerals from precipitating -- but no (or darn little) actual developer in his package?)
On the other hand, if it is supplied as a liquid -- or, if it is shipped as a powder, which we mix before dividing -- then there are questions as to "keeping" characteristics. I'd like at least rough approximations to have some idea as to how long the stuff will last after I receive it.
Perhaps "The Ilford Guy" who frequents this place can weigh in (even if unofficially)? I'd think that anything that results in more sales of "product" is in the final analysis good for the company, presuming it doesn't steal sales away from more profitiable lines (which I really can't see being the case with this stuff), or, the product(s) in question are something the company wants to unload because they are not real good money-makers (which for all I know is the case -- but I hope not!)
Anyone else have any further ruminations to toss into this verbal mulligan stew?
PS: If anyhing ever comes of this, I'd be willing to share (in reasonable quantities) a developer I worked up some years back, which did remarkable things for the original ("original Ilford") Cibachrome. (This was the plastic medium that was intensely glossy and intensely slow. I never tried it on their second generation stuff, but I presume it'd work.)
This developer (it was the developer only; the process still required the Ilford bleach and fix) approximately doubled the speed of the "paper" (in other words, a print that required three minutes under the enlarger would only need a minute and a half when processed in this stuff), and, it did things to the image that are difficult to describe, but very impressive when viewed. Best explanation I can give it is that when viewed side-by-side, the "real" Cibachrome looked somewhat "veiled", and "my" print looked almost like a projected slide.
I've no idea how this developer would translate to a film "Cibachrome", but, presuming it turns out to be beneficial, I'd be glad to share some of it.
The bad news (don't hit me! don't hit me! ) is that I won't share the formula. At one time, I was very close (I think) to selling it. My Unicolor rep said that the company would be willing to sign an NDA to check it out, and I think there was a real good market for it. But, my life was in a bit of flux at tht point, and as a result I wasn't able to follow up with them. (The reason for this is way off-topic, having to do with a very nasty custody case; when a guy's kids are being physically injured -- seriously injured, on an ongoing basis -- he tends to toss everything else to the back burner.)
Anyway, I still think there's market potential for this stuff (even if "only" for B&W work; it does perhaps even more remarkable things in a tray with conventional B&W materials), and if nothing else, I'll leave it to my wife and son. In all likelyhood, if anything does happen with it, it'll be them handling it. My age and health mitigate against any dreams I might personally have of doing anything with it, short of mixing up the odd batch or two and sharing with some folks. (There are some things I'll share, and some I won't. The formula for this developer falls into the latter category. I hope this does not offend anyone.)
This is much longer than I'd intended to write, so I'll close with a simple "What, me wordy?"
Well, I HOPE that we can purchase small quanities of this from somewhere, or maybe even a group purchase; that'd be awesome. I've definetely heard about this being used in the past for pictoral work; there's something on SubClub (a submini photography page) about this, mentioning that it can be used.