Ilfochrome printing with a Jobo ATL processor and the 3x1 litre kit
Having recently purchased a used Jobo 2850 drum with the intention of trying Ilfochrome printing at some point, I’d like to figure out how to make best use of the chemistry; although I’ve searched around on APUG, the kit seems to have changed within the last couple of years in terms of format and capacity. At present the kit appears to make 1000ml developer, 1000ml bleach, and 1000ml fixer. As a starting point, the capacity of the Jobo 2830 drum (for processing 8x10” paper) is 100ml. If the solutions are used one shot, the kit would last 10 prints, and at 45 GBP approx. per kit, this is rather too expensive, especially when considering initial experimentation. Can the developer, bleach, and fix solutions be replenished reliably? The following replenishment regime would give 13 prints per kit:
1st print: 100ml dev, 100ml bleach, 100ml fix, (900ml left)
2nd print: remove 50ml add 50ml fresh D, remove 50ml add 50ml fresh B, remove 50ml add 50ml fresh F (850ml left)
3rd print: 100ml fresh dev, 100ml fresh bleach, 100ml fresh fix, (750ml left)
4th print: remove 50ml add 50ml fresh D, remove 50ml add 50ml fresh B, remove 50ml add 50ml fresh F (700ml left)
Therefore 4 prints per 300ml, 3 x 300 = 900ml (12 prints) + 100ml (1 print) = 1000ml or 13 prints. This assumes all solutions are exhausted or age at the same rate which seems unlikely.
Assuming 16x20” prints in the Jobo 2850 drum:
1st print: 200ml dev, 200ml bleach, 200ml fix (800ml left)
2nd print: remove 100ml add 100ml fresh D, remove 100ml add 100ml fresh B, remove 100ml add 100ml fresh F (700ml left)
In this instance the kit lasts 2 prints per 300ml (300 x 3 = 900ml) = 6 prints + 100ml (half print) so 6.5 16x20” prints or 5 16x20” prints and 1 8x10” print per kit.
Are there any more complex or substitution replenishment schemes that can extend the capacity of the kit without compromising image quality and consistency? If my understanding is correct, the Ilfochrome bleach is the unique solution, the fixer being standard, and the developer slightly modified over a regular black & white print developer. I’d would like to emphasise I would intend starting with 8x10” paper.
Update: According to the UK importer of Ilfochrome materials the current kit is 'ILFOCHROME P30.2' to make 2 litres of developer, bleach, fix working strength solution.
If you use a Jobo 1526 Combo drum the chemical needed to process an 8x10" is 50mL. I regularly process using 40mL in this drum and I have had fine results with RA-4. I don't know the minimum volume needed for the Ilfochrome process which may dictate a higher solution volume than the 40/50mL.
The 1526 Combo drum is a 1520 drum plus a 1530 extension module with a cup instead of a funnel and core.
Darkroom Equipment : 2X Beseler 23C Color Enlargers, Jobo ATL-1, Jobo CPE-2 Plus and Kreonite ProMate 16" Roller Transport Processor
Originally Posted by Greg Davis
The suggestion I found which was rather ingenious was to use the solution one shot but save it. In this manner you would use the solution, however much you needed to fill your drum each time, and go through the entire chemistry once. This guarantees consistency. Once you finished that, you would begin the second round of chemistry use, knowing that your values would change slightly. I don't know what the exact capacity of the solutions is/whether or not you could get a third run out of the chemistry in this manner.
When I did this 20 years ago, I discovered that the only way to go is with process P-3. According to Ilford's Web site, it's still available. It comes in big thick plastic bottles that make 20 liters of each solution, but you can make it up a liter at a time. Warning! The bleach is highly acidic. I always kept a box of baking soda, and put a tablespoon in the dump bucket after bleaching the print. It was a lot cheaper to learn then, since they made a paper in Pearl finish that cost about half as much as Deluxe Glossy.
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