Roger, I made a simple mask that allowed me to make black or white borders for my prints.
As for having slide and internegs here, I have some but they are in the 1 meg+ size and need resizing before uploading to this thread. Sorry.
I printed it (and more type R because it was cheaper) "at an elementary level" meaning I did no masking. I either printed relatively flat slides or just printed the detail in the important stuff and let highlights blow out, shadows go black, or both. For many images this worked fine for my purposes. Not, of course, for all - if the areas out of range were not too far out and were a size and shape that could be dealt with via dodging and burning of course I'd do that, which also helped. (For those who never did it and haven't thought about it - "dodging" and "burning" have the opposite effect from that in negative printing. Dodging makes the dodged area darger, while burning makes the burned area lighter.)
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
Three steps, 75F +/-2 degrees (but in practice wider than that if you adjusted the printing for the developer, the bleach and fix went to completion) meant it really was very easy from a process standpoint, at least compared to the higher temperatures and more steps required for R2000 or whatever the chems were called. I used Unicolor for that which used lower temperatures, longer times and a warm pre-soak. That also worked fine.
Roger - masking was necessary to Ciba not only to control contrast but to correct the inherent color reproduction idiosyncrasies, unless of course, you happened to like the less than realistic results. Sometimes it is smarter to let your gal lead the dance than to trip over one another's feet. The exception was blue verus yellow saturation, which had to be controlled by the degree of bleach acitivity, which I simply
lowered the RPM to achieve more saturation, or higher RPM for less. There were all kinds of weird tricks I learned over time. Printing color negsis a much more subtle process, but supplementary masking is still a valuable tool - probably not necessary for basic commercial or portrait applications - but for really fine-tuning results, invaluable. It is particularly helpful now that the choice of paper RA4 contrasts is a little more limited. But I will say that the Fuji Supergloss product is marketed with a little more contrast in both the highlights and shadows,
and up to a certain scale of magnification will wonderfully render "normal" Ektar negs vividly. Too bad they only offer it in big rolls now.
Well, I've no doubt you were and are in an entirely different leaque from my hack level Ciba. I got results I liked for my purposes, most of the time, if I started with a good slide. I'm sure they could have been a lot better.
I still have an untouched set of Ilfochrome chemicals and a pack of 25 8x10 sheets that I bought from fotoimpex quite some time ago (I should check). There's no expiry date on the chemicals; how long do they stay well? Should I transfer the solutions in brown glass bottles?
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Drew, did you ever manage to get detail in reds? That is one of the most difficult tasks in any pos-pos print. They usually vanish.
Detail in reds, well yes ... but subtle hue differentiation within anything categorized as a true red (vs orange) is another story. By the time of
Ciba II ("self-masked") and later Fujichromes (and alas, ownership of a true additive colorhead), I had pretty well tamed it. But by then I had
also learned a lot of specialized masking techniques. But I've only done about four Cibachromes in my life where red was the dominant color in
the composition, and each time it was a fairly faithful representation of the chrome. ... Masking with color negs is soooo different... more like
gentle power steering rather than slinging an iron ball at a brick building! The most common Ciba mask for a scene containing both saturated
green and red was made on pan film with a deep magenta 33 Wratten. Then you could vary this a bit one direction or another by resorting
to a 34 violet or 29 red the other direction, etc. This pegged the G vs R saturation (an oversimplified explanation)... then you pegged the
Y vs B via bleach activity, which altered the behavior of the "self-masking" feature. The procedure with older Ektachrome 64 or Kodachrome
was slightly different. ... sounds kinda complicated, but it was actually a lot of fun. With current Kodak color neg films the masking game is
mainly just up or down contrast control, though one still has to establish a neutral first base position or there will be a hue bias. The big trick
there was to develop an extremely low contrast straight line mask - and I do that with very dilute HC110 and TMX sheet film, with a pinch
of benzotriazole toe cutter. The result is quite a bit better than the old Pan Masking film.
Perhaps with some extra advertising around and with the support of Hybrid printing it could get enough volume for it. As of masking, it could be taken care of in the Hybrid step and taming the material.
Ilfoflex is mentioned in the thread, but I only seen it listed once on a lab that also offered Ilfochrome. Fujiflex is around, less common than the more standard RA4 papers however.
Marketing is a curious thing. Sure Neg-Pos processes are better in a technical way but if a big bunch of people believed in the qualities of the material and some effort was put for a smoother hybrid stage, bang, you get the market.
Hybrid wouldn't help resurrect Ciba. That was already an option, well before its commercial demise. The print material was inherently quite expensive. Then the nature of the dye bleach process was very corrosive and led to significant maintenance and health issues at the big labs which handled it in volume. Ciba was very well known, so marketing per se wasn't ever the issue. The paper didn't keep all that well. Within six months you'd start getting serious crossover issues, so you needed to use it up promptly once it thawed. And here at least, the death blow was delivered at the national distribution level once sloppy handling took over. There's nothing quite like a thousand dollar box or roll of photosensitive polyester delivered to your lab with a big gash or dent in it, and then being told it will be another six months for the replacement to arrive! Anyway, it was impossible to fully tame Ciba. If you wanted to achieve outstanding results, you had to realistically
learn what it was specifically good for, and what it wasn't. ... and in the meantime to have enough common sense to avoid the bleach fumes!
just once in my life, i want to have a shot made into a cibachrome print.