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  1. #1
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    ilfochrome in small dark room

    I would love to give ilfochrome a try, and from what I read the process itself is not too complicated. What worries me a little is what I read about the extremely small latitude of the ilfochrome paper which supposedly requires contrast reducing measures like masking slides and whatnot.

    So the basic question is: if I create ilfochromes from regular slide film (Fuji Astia, Kodak E100VS), using this paper and their standard developer, can I expect results worth looking at or will I produce garbage until I play tricks with the contrast?

  2. #2

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    It all depends on the original image.

    If you have a high contrast image, it will probably require masking to control the highlights which easily blow out.

    If you have a low-medium contrast image it will be much easier to print onto Ilfochrome - avoiding the masking.

    I just got some Ilfochrome prints back last week [made by Stephen Frizza, another subscriber] and while a relatively high contrast image, printed perfectly on Ilfochrome CLM1K (High Contrast material) without masking. He has a proper lab with top tier equipment - 50" Colenta processor, Durst 2501 enlargers, vacuum walls etc.

    If you can control the temperature using the drift-through method (google) and ensure that your process is repeatable, you can probably achieve spectacular results with minimum hardware outlay.

    I have found a desktop Ilford ICP-42 processor and just going through the motions of purchasing it. This is an expensive option though.

    The results from Ilfochrome are far superior than anything else i have ever seen and well worth the effort.

    Good luck.

    AK

  3. #3
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Rudeofus I say buy some Ilfochrome and chemicals and experiment! Ilfochrome is an amazing material and more people should print on it. Sure its now only sold as a high contrast material and the red can on occasions be a hard colour to control but I'm sure when you print with ilfochrome you will get addicted to it.
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

  4. #4
    kraker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewkirkby View Post
    I have found a desktop Ilford ICP-42 processor and just going through the motions of purchasing it. This is an expensive option though.
    After my first attempts with a Jobo tank (no temp. control, manual agitation) I'm pondering about the same. It would make the process a lot easier to control.

    However, after seeing the post of Steve on the corrosion caused by Ilfochrome chemicals, I have my doubts about the state of any Ilfochrome processor that's to be found on the 2nd hand market.

    Or is this not an issue in the Ilford processors? (different material, maybe, different scale than Steve's processor, for sure.)


    Having said that... to the OP: go for it, give it a try. I tried it for the first time about a year ago, when it was too hot in my darkroom for B&W work . Now it is again too hot for B&W, and I'm tempted to order another set of Ilfochrome paper and chemicals.

    shuttr.net
    -- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --

  5. #5
    hoffy's Avatar
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    I knowingly (I.E., I am sure I have seen them in the past, just not been told about it!) looked at my first Cibichromes over the weekend. Needless to say, I can see why you would be really enthusiastic about it Steve! I was floored by the look and the rendition.

    Hmmm, I have been slowely gearing up to do RA4......I wonder, I wonder....

  6. #6
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    i bough an ilfochrome ICP 42 processor 5 years ago and it was second hand. it arrived in mint condition. the previous owner looked after it very well and there were no problems. the reason for this in my opinion is because the tanks took such small amounts of chemistry and the owner was using it for home use chemicals would not have been sitting in it day after day year after year. the machine would have been tanked up for a batch of prints then the chemistry dumped and machine washed with water and left idle until the next lot of prints to be made. my current ilfohchrome processor is designed to process 50inch widths of ilfochrome material. It needs at least 5 meters of ilfochrome material to go through it a day to keep the chemistry stable and there for the chemistry in the machine is constantly around 30-40 degrees Celsius. I encourage everyone to take up ilfochrome printing at home, it really isn't as complex as some may have made it sound. im sure home users will be able to achieve results they are very happy with.
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

  7. #7

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    Color Reversal Printing

    Whether you need masking depends upon the contrast of the transparency. Transparencies shot in high-contrast direct sunlight cause the most problems. Those are the situations where masking was needed. I simply chose not to make reversal prints of such high-contrast scenes. In the Complete Guide to Cibachrome Printing by Peter Krause & Henry Shull a nice example is given of a red parrot with white markings on its head. The slide was shot in bright sunlight and printed poorly without a mask. The making of the mask is shown and the resulting print is nicely balanced with no blown-out highlights.

    Open shade, overcast, or any even lighting of moderate contrast usually results in transparencies that print well. The natural tendency of reversal materials to increase contrast works best with scenes of low-to-medium contrast. Actually, many such scenes benefit from the contrast increase. The sunrise and sunset scenes I did looked good without any masking.

    Reversal printing materials donít do as well at rendering subtle detail, especially in shadow areas or overly-bright highlights. But, used with discretion for transparencies shot in the appropriate lighting, the results can be outstanding. Iíve printed some excellent fall color scenes under soft, hazy skylight. The increase in contrast and saturated color was quite pleasing for this type of subject.

    In the Jobo drums and processor, Beseler or Cibachrome drums, the solutions are never in contact with any metal parts so corrosion ought not to be a problem.

  8. #8
    kraker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Frizza View Post
    ilfochrome ICP 42 processor
    (...) chemicals would not have been sitting in it day after day year after year.
    Thanks for pointing that out, Steve, I hadn't thought of that. Even if the machine is several years old, it is likely that the chemicals have only been in there occasionally.

    Too bad I only have limited space (even when the processor is not in use and emptied, it needs to be stored somewhere). I need to think about this, but it is tempting to get one. I'm sure it would be a lot less tedious --and probably lead to more reproducable results-- than with a Jobo drum.

    shuttr.net
    -- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --

  9. #9
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraker View Post
    Thanks for pointing that out, Steve, I hadn't thought of that. Even if the machine is several years old, it is likely that the chemicals have only been in there occasionally.

    Too bad I only have limited space (even when the processor is not in use and emptied, it needs to be stored somewhere). I need to think about this, but it is tempting to get one. I'm sure it would be a lot less tedious --and probably lead to more reproducable results-- than with a Jobo drum.
    their a great machine and yes i think they do result in a better finish that jobo processing. I had a jobo but i never put ilfochrome through it. I have heard jobo and the ilford drum processors have been known to leave streaky results if not very careful.
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

  10. #10
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    Just a side comment. There is always specualtion about how long Ilfochrome will be around - I've looked into this extensively recently because we want to start promoting it. I've had meetings with Ilford Switzerland and also the Uk distributors - demand is very strong worldwide and becoming stronger because more and more people are realising:

    1. Inkjet is very expensive and just doesnt cut it for top end results and longevity.
    2. Ilfochrome addes a monumental amount of value to the end product.
    3. For what you get - it's not actually that expensive.

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