Ilfochrome newbie: In need of some help
After seeing some well-done Ilfochromes recently(I know theses were done via "straight" analog-only methods, no digital(even LVT film) manipulations, just prints(although I believe they'd need masking)), and much reading up on the process, I've decided to give it a whirl! I've become unhappy with results from color neg films(in 4x5 and 8x10, the latter being contact printed only, due to lack of access to an 8x10 enlarger). My primary reason for being "unhappy" is the simple, lower contrast "look" of color negatives. I used to like it(especially 160VC, my favorite!), but my vision has changed.
So, I'd love to start with some printing!
After talking with Mr. Christopher Burkett recently, he recommended using ONLY the P3 chemicals for printing, as, according to him, the P30(if they're available anymore) gave flatter tones, and less "brilliance" in the final print vs P3 chemistry. I'll take his word on it .
So, after looking over the net for recent topics about this issue of sourcing chemistry(preferably in smaller sizes, say, 5L sizes), I need some help. I know there are a few(maybe one serious person) people on APUG doing Ilfochrome on a regular basis, so if you're able to lend some advice, it would be much appreciated! I'm located in the greater LA area, and I know that some of these chemicals classify as "hazardous", so shipping can/will be expen$ive. If anyone knows of a local supplier in the so-cal area for it, please let me/us know.
I'll be using a Jobo once I can find one for the right price, a CPA2/CPP2 preferably, due to the circulating water system for greater temperature control. I'll be using 8x10 paper to start, printing from 4x5 and 6x6 transparencies, possibly some 35mm as well(some of my treasured kodachromes!). Contrast masking will come eventually if I decide to stick with the process, however, for now, I just want to get used to the process, not go "full bore" quite yet.
To those who might ask "why not use Fuji Supergloss? and use RA-4? I'll still shoot some 35mm color neg, but after seeing Ilfochromes, I really want to try this out, I just love the look of those super-glossy(almost wet looking) prints! And no "texture" like on RA-4 papers(even glossy).
For supplies, call freestylephoto. They should be able to get them for you. Get your wallet ready ;-)
I've said it before and I don't mind repeating myself: Ilfochrome prints are stunning!
I get my chemistry (P3) and paper through Freestyle - no hassles. I process in a Cibachrome CAP40 processor when I need 16x20's and Durst Printo for prints smaller than 16x20.
I would suggest you buy the largest batch of paper you can afford - cuts down on the testing when the emulsion is the same batch.
Enjoy this wonderful process while it is still available.
thanks. I'll talk with them Monday morning . Being a "student", we'll see if it can warrant any pricebreaks, fingers crossed!
Renato: You mention using a Durst Printo, are those still available parts-wise, like NOS, or still being made new? I've never seen one in the flesh, but I've heard good things about them.
I was recommended to use single-shot processing for consistency(especially if doing multiple prints, say for a series of portfolios, or print orders where matching was critical), but for getting started, and getting the "hang of things", I was going to use it 2x before dumping, especially the bleach, which is the most expensive part.
P-3 and P-30 give exactly the same tones, and if they don't it's because the chemistry is either outdated or has been mixed up too long. P-30 is in amateur kit form, with the bleach based on sulfamic acid in powder form. With P-3 you puchase the liquid chemicals individually in larger volume. There are
a couple of big advantages to this. For one thing, it comes out a lot cheaper in the long run. For another thing, you can mix up just the chemistry per a single work session or even a single print, so the odds are high that the chemistry will have optimum performance every time.
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Oh - another point. Dump everything one-shot. You'll be very disappointed if you try to recycle any of the chemistry. Leave that to expensive replenishment roller-transport systems. Rinse thoroughly with
water between every step. Have plenty of ventilation. The bleach acid is nasty stuff (with P3 it's largely
strong sulfuric acid - nothing you want in your lungs!). Drain the bleach into a plastic bucket containing
a little baking soda to neutralize it before dumping down the drain. Don't use it in trays or other open
systems. A drum is ideal, although the Jobo RPM is a bit high for the bleach step. This might affect the
saturation of blues.
Daniel - the Durst Printo has not been in production for a while but units and parts can be found, with a little patience, on eBay.
Originally Posted by Renato Tonelli
Buying as much as you can afford is a gamble before you know you are going to stick with the process. Otherwise buy as much as you can afford AND use before it goes bad. I've got a couple hundred sheets of bad.
Check the latest instructions, but you probably can only partially reuse it, ie you have to mix used with fresh. I never got satisfactory consistency with reuse, but others have.
Ciba paper keeps very poorly once it is thawed out. Six months at the most before serious crossover
develops in the highlights. If you buy it in quantity, keep the unopened packages of paper frozen.