Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
I'm reminded about something. It was only the in the last three years of the pro lab's existence that Ilfochrome prints were offered from digital files, and the results were never good. They actively discouraged the use of fill flash in outdoor scenes (chiefly because of how unnatural an appearance it imparted on the image when printed) and eventually dropped off the file-to-chrome print option because of the too-common added expense of working up substandard files in preparation for printing: that is to say those who used flatbed scanners and "had their own way" actually had no idea what they were doing and incurred up to $800 in on-costs before the 'chrome darkroom even had the enlarger turned on!
I didn't suggest flatbed scanning your slides and handing those scans to a commercial printer. What I tried to suggest was that if you can reasonably scan a slide with a flat bed scanner, chances are you can optically print it without a mask. Reasoning behind this is that flat bed scanners can't handle the huge contrast possible with slide film, and neither can Ilfochrome.

Now if you are the super duper artist whos prints sell like hotcakes, you have the choice between drumscan&lightjet or masking&optical print, of which both will handle Velvia in all its glory. An amateur level home printer won't do this, and fortunately doesn't have to if he understands the process and its limitations.

There are two different worlds: professional printers who have to deal with any slide people bring them, and pure amateurs like me who have hundreds of slides of which I may print a few dozen in the next couple of years, if that. Among these hundreds of slides there are more than a few dozen good ones which will print without much hassle. The rest, if I want prints at all, will go hybrid&lab.

Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
Ilfochrome was never impossible to do; just two contrast variations and the sheer expense in time and money and skill made it quite the challenge; true, many home users with their own darkroom dabbled in the early Ciba kits, producing prints for Club exhibitions I was one of them from 1988 to around 1992. I was never, ever a fan of machine-Ilfochrome prints. That is they lazy way to go.
As long as my lazy way produces better results than any hybrid or digital route I will continue to pursue this path. Maybe I'll raise my standards once my kids are grown up.

Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
And Velvia? Let's not be too harsh with this dear Goldilocks. Velvia remains the gold standard for printing to any process; earlier RA-4 testing from Velvia (and E100VS) was nowhere near as impressive beside Ilfochromes. We tried and tried and tried and twisted every trick there was to up the ante with cheaper processes, but it would not be.
I accept that Velvia gives impressive results but the fact that Ilfochrome has difficulties with Velvia doesn't make Ilfochrome bad or impossible to use for the rest of us. If you are willing to put in the effort to make Ilfochrome&Velvia work, more power to you. If you don't, Ilfochrome&Astia as well as Ilfochrome&E100VS are still great.