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  1. #1
    Craig's Avatar
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    Ilfochrome printing

    I spent 3 days last weekend in the darkroom making Ilfochrome prints. Some came out well, others not so well. I was printing a mix of transparencies in 6x9 and 4x5 formats, mainly velvia, but a few Ektachromes aswell. In accordance with other posts here, I made contrast masks on FP4 and then sandwitched the mask to the tranny for printing. I was using the gloss RC medium contrast paper run through a Cap 40 processor.

    The main problem was that the colours were muted, and the whites were grey and muddy on some of the prints. I'm presuming that this is from the masking film having a grey base, and when I printed an unmasked tranny I was able to get a clean white. I was able to produce a beautiful contact print from an 8x10 Velvia, unmasked.

    I was really surprised at how slow the paper is, most trannys were in the 6-10 min exposure ranges at F8. I'm using an Omega D5 and was printing to 16x20. I assume that this is from the layers of the original tranny plus the maskign film adding a bunch of density?

    Any tips to get a nice clean white and control contrast at the same time?

  2. #2
    Lopaka's Avatar
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    I think it's mostly getting used to the backwardness compared to printing from negatives. Since the material is contrasty by nature, the main purpose of the masking is to reduce contrast. I rarely use masks, but do a lot of burning and dodging. A transparency overexposed by half stop will print better than one underexposed by half stop, though the latter will project on a wall beautifully. I use an LPL4550XLG and find that the base exposure is usually 1 minute or less for 16 x 20's (no mask).

    Here is an example taken from the 8x10 reference print. My printing notes say the base exposure for 16x20 was 40 seconds at f8.

    Bob

    Hmmm..image didn't upload - Ill try putting it in the gallery
    Last edited by Lopaka; 07-04-2007 at 09:10 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: image didn't upload
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  3. #3
    Lopaka's Avatar
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    OK, see 'Autumn Tahquamenon in the standard gallery. Even though the sunlight was substantially filtered by high cloudiness reducing the scene contrast, there are still some shadow areas that have no detail. I think that can be a feature of this type of color photography, particularly when attacking a scene like a waterfall with extreme contrast by nature. I don't think a mask would improve the result here. Anyway, keep experimenting, after a while you will be able to judge pretty quickly which transparencies will print well.

    Bob
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  4. #4

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    Yes, Ilfochrome paper is slow, but not as slow as it used to be :-)

    printing with the medium contrast rc paper(CPM.1M paper is discontinued) I would generally not use a contrast mask, or I would make very low contrast "mask". I would use fp4+ and develop it in HC110 1:20 for like 3 min- 4 min depending upon contrast of original.

    If you are getting grey whites and reduced contrast I would reduce exposure and or development time of mask. Generally I look at the original transparency and decide how far into the density of the original film I want to control(reduce) contrast (this is how I decide exposure of mask), then I decide how much I want to alter the contrast by development of the contrast mask...(more development more contrast reduction).

    How have you been exposing and developing your masks??

    Corey

  5. #5
    Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyooso View Post
    How have you been exposing and developing your masks??
    I was contact printing them, 5 seconds at F11 under the enlarger, then developing 5 min at 20C in Xtol

    For the 4x5 chromes, I was using J&C 100 in 8x10 and exposing 4 sec, same development.

  6. #6
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Low contrast and gray whites can also be caused by bad or insufficient bleach or fix. BTDT. You can rebleach and fix to try to correct that type of problem.

    PE

  7. #7
    Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Low contrast and gray whites can also be caused by bad or insufficient bleach or fix.
    I don't think it was the bleach, as I was able to get a nice white from unmasked chromes. It looked more like I overexposed the mask and the grey from the B&W film base was showing on the paper.

  8. #8
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    Right, sorry, I missed that at first reading.

    PE

  9. #9
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    Craig,
    On the surface it sounds like the density of the grey tones contained within the mask is being recorded by the paper. And that may in the end be the problem.
    Just curious, you're using the CPM1M paper, and what version of chems? P3.5 5L, P3, P3X, P30 2L?
    DT

  10. #10
    Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davetravis View Post
    Craig,
    what version of chems? P3.5 5L, P3, P3X, P30 2L?
    P30 2 litre kit in a Cap 40 processor at 30C

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