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  1. #1
    Josh Harmon's Avatar
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    Old Cibachrome "Trial" kit?

    Hello!

    Today while perusing my school's darkroom I stumbled upon a Cibachrome trial kit with "Everything you need to make 4x5" color prints". Alongside this were two unopened P-30 1 litre chemical kits and a pack of 11x14" paper as well.

    I am judging by the packing that they are at least ten years old.

    My big question is, are they stil good?

    I have a some slides and E6 film I wouldn't mind printing. I also want to learn how to print in color as well.

    Another question would be, how hard is it to do Cibachrome? I develop my own C41 and I can setup a water bath system to keep consistent temperature. I would just need to learn to filter for color and get used to complete darkness right?

    Anyway, thanks in Advance!

    -Josh

    PS I also found some Kodak developer and other single ingredients (Metol, hydroquinone, sodium carbonate) that dated back to the late fifties in their original containers! Also I found a old UNUSED or mixed Kodak Direct Positive kit with recommendations for Panatomic X!
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  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    It's worth a shot. Be careful of the bleach, though. It is pretty harsh stuff from what I have seen. When I had some old Ciba chemistry once, the powdered bleach liquefied over time and started to burn through the foil packaging. The maker had the good idea to coat the foil bag with plastic, which held the contents in.

    As far as printing, I think that making a straight print is actually easier than RA printing, once you get past the hurdle of reversing your thoughts about what exposure, burning, and dodging do. The color balancing is easy as pie; it's intuitive. If the print needs more magenta, you just add magenta and you are done with it. The problem is that due to the contrast of E-6 materials, being able to make a straight print is rare, and your contrast controls are done with black and white film masks. It is an exacting process.

    So, I'd say that it is easier than b/w to make a print, but harder than most printing processes to get a superb print.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-08-2010 at 01:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  3. #3
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    You bet it's an exacting process (of masking)!
    Even the acknowledged Ilfochrome Master printers make mistakes. My big collection of Ilfochromes each have between 1 and 4 interneg masks each 'chrome, with a crazy number of box, filter, enlarger, plate, height, width and contrast notes scrawled on the front. The prints themselves speak reams and reams of the skill over 35 years. I agree with 2F/2F: "easier than b/w to make a print, but harder than most printing processes to get a superb print." Experience is what makes the difference.

    Maybe seek professional advice on how to dispose of waste chemicals. Most labs (and there now precious view on the planet) invest quite a bit of time and expertise in this area.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  4. #4
    Josh Harmon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses!

    I plan on sealing off the darkroom after school for a couple hours one day and go from there.

    Another question though, I want to minimize paper waste so, are exposures similar to B/W VC paper?

    Also, I dont have the material to make contrast masks, so I will have to live with the results.

    -Josh
    Last edited by Josh Harmon; 12-08-2010 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Grammar
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  5. #5
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I would start with a test exposing quadrants of the 4x5 at f/8 for 5, 10, 20, and 40 seconds. That presumes you are projecting 35mm format slides. Start with the recomended filtration on the pack. I recall it asked for a 2B uv filter at a minumum. If you are used to colur corrections for ra-4, then printing positives you correct twice as much per colour adjustment increment.

    I have fiddled to reversal processing slides onto ra-4 to yield positive prints to teach me what I have said so far. In termes of filtration, don't be surprised that the cyan is used in the filter pack. In c-41 to ra-4 it is never used.

    If you have more time I have notes and manuals circa 78-81 from somone who printed Ciba that might be a more precise starting point. Pm me if interested. I may be a day or so getting you stuff. I came home last night to find the 3/8" water pipe feeding the faucet on half bath above my darkroom spraying a pinhole size spray of water. There has been a fair amount of stuff disrupted to dry out what dripped though the floor into my darkroom. Nothing substantial ruined, just a pain in the ass.
    my real name, imagine that.

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    contrast masks are possible with 35mm, although tricky to align. I unmount the slide, and cut the film between perforation and fold the tabs in to align with perf holes of the film I want to make the mask of.

    I use an old roll of 35mm Kodalith ortho, so I can develop it under red safelight to visually judge the level of density. You want a light low contrast neg for the mask.

    It is possible to use pan film for more accurate masking of all colours, but need to work in absolute darkness, and then develop by experiment for the right time and temperature.

    Use the enlarger as a controllable light source to expose. If Kodalith, its speed is not too far off of enlarging paper speed to get the right time/aperture to start for exposure. Otherwise ise paper as ISO6, and stop the lens down or add neutral denity if you are using pan iso 100 speed film.

    Place mask film emulsion down, positive in need of mask emulsion up. This allow you to get an unsharp mask, so alignment is not so critical for 35mm. Glass on top to squash together. Diffuse with a Kleenex, etc.

    Develop in low contrast developer. Very dilute paper developer, or low contrast film developer. Ideally, take the metol you found, and add a small pinch -less than a gram per litere, then some sodium sulfite - say 80g/l , and then try that for developing mask films. It lets you go to about 3-4 minutes for a low contrast neg.

    Then to project the slide with mask, re-mesh the cut tabs to the perfs.
    my real name, imagine that.

  7. #7
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    The trial kit with Cibachrome labeling dates back more than 10 years, probably more than 20. Some came with small drums in the kit.

    PE

  8. #8

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    Hi Josh -

    If you feel like making the trip over to Sacramento I have a 16" Cibachrome roller processor set up in my garage you are welcome to use. The model escapes me right now, but it's similar to the CAP-40 with adjustable temp.

    Aris

  9. #9
    Josh Harmon's Avatar
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    Thanks once again for the responses.

    I managed to look closer to find a date of 1977. It is actually a Cibachrome "discovery" kit and includes P-12 chemicals with 20 sheets of 4x5 paper, a filter pack, and a small plastic developing drum.

    I plan on learning to print color for my senior project (Topic is Analogue Photography) and this appears to be a good way. I also plan on dipping my feet into RA-4 printing, which appears to be quite a bit cheaper.

    @Mike Wilde
    Thanks for the explanation, I think I may just go for it and live without masks. I won't have too much time to have my school's darkroom to myself.

    @Akaa
    Thank you for the kind offer. I live out in Concord and Sacramento is a bit far for me to drive for a day trip. Do you know of any public darkrooms in the Bay Area that still offer Ilfochrome printing?

    .......

    Shifting topic slightly, what type of safelight is compatible with RA-4 printing (if any)? I have a much greater chance of being able to continuously print color with RA-4 than Ilfochrome. ($37 for 100 8x10 Fuji CA vs $90 for 25 8x10 Ilfochrome).

    Another question too, Is it possible to make a paper developing tank out of PVC tubing or possibly modifying a Patterson film developing tank?

    Thanks!

    -Josh
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    Canon EOS Elan II/E, Elan 7, and 630. -- Bronica ETRS -- Pentax 6x7
    My Website

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Josh;

    Use a WR-13 safelight filter with RA-4 papers. It is dark brown to the human eye. Use no more than a 15 W bulb and point it away from the paper.

    PE

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