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  1. #1
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Dye bleach chemistry

    I read how it is getting more and more difficult to buy Ilfochrome chemistry or more and more difficult to have it shipped.

    It is interesting to note that the chemistry contains nothing that cannot be shipped. That puzzles me.

    In any event, the developer is an ordinary B&W developer like Dektol or D-19. I know that is a broad range, but it is due to the contrast needs of the paper and I have not played with any for years, so I have to give you a range.

    The dye bleach solution is just sulfamic or sulfuric acid + a catalyst such as phenazine at about 10 - 100 mg/liter. There are dozens of catalysts in the literature that I can list if interested and dozens of formulas for this.

    The fix is a sodium hypo fix.

    Thats about it.

    I have been getting back up to speed on this and will post some dye bleach formulas for people. In the mean-time, someone like Dave Travis might be able to suggest alternate developers.

    Eventually, enthusiasts could be in a position to mix their own from common items. The sulfuric acid for example, can be gotten at an automobile store. Battery acid is 35% and certainly strong enough for dye bleach.

    PE

  2. #2

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    I'm all ears. I already make (or made) my own developer and fix when I was doing Ilfochromes before, and will hopefully be starting again this year.

    How hard is the paper to make though? When chemicals become impossible to find that will mean the paper is dead. On the other hand if people could make their own bleach maybe it would increase demand for the paper. I somehow doubt it would make a difference but I can dream.


    Wayne

  3. #3
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    Wayne;

    Dye bleach chemistry is doable. I have some chemicals on order right now that I will test and if it works, I will post the results.

    Dye bleach paper is coatable, provided you have the dyes and support. I have almost everything I need right now to make a 2 layer demonstration.

    So, when the time is ripe, when I have everything together, I will do it. It does not need to die.

    PE

  4. #4
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    I purchase all my chemicals for Cibachrome from Wynit , who is the distributer for Ilford.
    Part of the problem is Cibachrome product line was hit tremendously with the advant of inkjet,
    Also the companies that were involved with managing this product over the last few years have gone through some very strange times.
    It seems to be easier now for me to get my product into Canada, basically it takes about a two month planning of what amounts will be reguired, placing the order with Wynit, the product is then shipped and if all goes well all the product lands at my door.

    Some things to consider.

    Wynit does not warehouse significant amounts of Cibachrome due to a small demand.* I do not blame them*
    Your local camera store may/maynot be in a good fiscal situation with Wynit. Or may not want to tie inventory in a slow product.
    Ilford Switzerland for some unknow reason does not want to market this excellent product.
    As all here well know the product is very expensive.
    Custom making chemicals for this product is ok, but I do not do this, for example there is an agent in the developer and fix that is there for a purpose. *this is a sticky point with any techrep/factory and when I tried to do this 10 years ago I was basically told that they would not support my quality/stability claims if I did so.. now this could of been a slick one pulled over my head, I did purchase the Brooklyn Bridge a few years back.
    Just be aware that there are these issues to look into.

    Some solutions.

    Someone decides to round up all the ciba users that are purchasing in small bulk packages and sets up a good arrangement with Wynit and drop ship orders to each client at the middlemans request.
    I would do this but right now my fingers are into so many pies that it would not make a lot of sense unless there were enought people willing to jump on board.
    One main purchaser, would be of interest to Wynit and I could make the introductions for anyone interested.
    I am sure that this person will be obligated to purchase the kits complete, and I know that if I was that person I would do so.
    One year down the line it would be painful to find all the spare Dev, Fix kits lying at Wynit not being ordered with nobody to purchase them.

  5. #5

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    Wynit will not sell directly to end users in the US. They probably only do it for you because you are in Canada. In the US they recommend lab-ciba.com as the source for end users, it will then get drop-shipped from Wynit. I've spoken with them several times about this, most recently yesterday. However it may be cheaper to order from Calumet unless you are interested in very large quantities.

    You are absolutely right that Ilford is not marketing the product, and that does not bode well for its future. In fact Wynit doesnt even list it in their catalog or website so stores that they distribute to dont even know it exists. There definitely is a system firmly in place to prevent or deter its widespread use, whether by design or accident.

    Wayne

  6. #6

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    I can't remember in the past 12 years that ilford or any of its parent companies ever have promoted ilfochrome, it IS still around and a unique product in its industry. Obviously OJI in Japan and Ilford in Switzerland still think it is profitable and/or believe in it. So why the negative thoughts (don't produce a self fulfilling prophesy). FWIW, my lab has had little troubles getting our hands on materials since Ilford Imaging USA is out of the picture. Thanks for their demise!!!

    I can 'drop ship' P3 or P3X chemistry from 'wynit' if you like...

    Corey

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    So if the developer is an ordinary B&W developer, someone must have tried other developers to control the contrast over all these years, but it must not have worked for some reason, or everyone would be doing it rather than contrast masking, which is much more labor intensive. Any ideas why not? I'd assume it's a color balance issue, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any real information on this topic.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    So if the developer is an ordinary B&W developer, someone must have tried other developers to control the contrast over all these years, but it must not have worked for some reason, or everyone would be doing it rather than contrast masking, which is much more labor intensive. Any ideas why not? I'd assume it's a color balance issue, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any real information on this topic.
    It used to work. There is somebody here who claims it still does, but I tried it extensively 6-7 years ago, and it just doesnt work in my experience. That was also the experience of others who used to do it previously, came back to it, and found it doesnt work anymore. Conclusion: There was an emulsion change sometime in the 90s, and afterwards it just didnt work like it used to, if at all. I never used the old emulsion, but I found the difference in contrast with assorted low contrast developers (including divided development) minimal to non-existent. I used the same formulas that previously worked for others in my inital tests, then tried a bunch of others. I also found that hydroquinone was needed or weird and undesirable things happened, so low contrast developers devoid of HQ were out of the question. My testing was not terribly scientific (science is my day job, my photography is by the gut), but it was fairly extensive. And I did write a lot of it down, somewhere...


    Wayne

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Thanks. When I did a lot of Cibachrome printing in the 1980s and early 1990s, I used to shoot a lot of Agfachrome 100, which was a relatively low contrast film, so it worked perfectly with Cibachrome without much need for masking. A little dodging and burning was sufficient.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by boyooso View Post
    I can't remember in the past 12 years that ilford or any of its parent companies ever have promoted ilfochrome, it IS still around and a unique product in its industry. Obviously OJI in Japan and Ilford in Switzerland still think it is profitable and/or believe in it. So why the negative thoughts (don't produce a self fulfilling prophesy). FWIW, my lab has had little troubles getting our hands on materials since Ilford Imaging USA is out of the picture. Thanks for their demise!!!

    I can 'drop ship' P3 or P3X chemistry from 'wynit' if you like...

    Corey
    So how much do you charge for drop-shipped P3 bleach starter? PM me if you want. I have never used the P3 (only the old P30) and would like to because it can be bought separately, but I am wary because of its ill-defined need for replenishment. Do you have any current literature on P3? I have old literature on it but all I can find currently is the mixing instructions. Pretty useless if you dont know what you can do with it after mixing it.

    My understanding is that the P3 replenisher is the same as the starter, only a different dilution, but its far more expensive. But again, no literature.

    Wayne

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