Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
I went to an exhibition a year or so ago of superb quality RA-4 prints, it's not an inferior process.

I've not been printing Colour quite as long as B&W but RA-4 using Fuji materials gives superb quality (I never use Kodak for colour so can't comment about their materials).

My preference for colour was always Fuji 50D & 100D and I had great prints from Fuji R-3 paper, my lab can give me even better via digital output though.


That's the point. In many cases the digital process is streets ahead (no, not inkjet prints!), but I still miss the traditional darkroom production process which all labs turfed out years ago. Ilfochrome was superior to RA-4, but now digital processing and printing is superior to Ilfochrome and RA-4 and again, the media it is printed on is also spectacular (e.g. Kodak Endura Professional metallic).

RA-4 printing was a big-number item 20 years ago; it was sort of neck and neck with Ilfochrome (for those who could afford it) before Ilfochrome overtook it entirely. This was more than 22 years ago before I was commencing Ilfochrome work. I still have those early RA-4 prints in an achival folder (unmarked, unblemished); they make interesting comparisons alongside the later Ilfochrome Classic prints (bespoke, not auto-machine prints) that jump and dance.

Given the litany of quality, finishing, freighting and supply problems that bedevilled manufacturing in the last few years, I really don't see Ilfochrome being resurrected at all​, no less so than Kodachrome will remain not just dead, but most sincerely dead. That there are a scant few labs on the planet still producing prints on this media only means they are using a diminishing inventory: once it's gone, it's gone for good and photographers do need to move on and look at whatever alternative methods are available and skill up and use them. Trust me, Ilfochrome is just not worth the stress and trouble now.