View Full Version : Problems with Ilfochrome Prints Processed with Jobo

Andre Noble
11-May-2004, 17:44
I recently printed a batch of Ilfochrome prints in their P30 chemistry using a Jobo CPP2 with an 8x10 print drum. I followed the Jobo and Ilford instructions and used fresh chemistry and paper.

However the backs of the prints just look awful: Serious staining, brown, yellowing, and sometimes even green stains are evident. The level of stains looks really pathetic. The entire backs of the prints are yellow stained!

Anyone else have this experience? Is this typical of Cibachrome prints in general? Will this staining affect print longevity? Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this due to the fact that the backs of prints in the jobo drums (due to the ridges) do not get adequate exposure to freely flowing chemistry?

I was thinking of eventually getting a Fujimoto type roller-transport processor for color work, but I wonder if any one with experience with roller-transport type processors can tell me if they observed Cibachrome print stains on the back of those prints too?

Thank you in advance for any input.

David A. Goldfarb
11-May-2004, 18:24
The original Cibachrome drums were smooth, so the backs of the prints had no particular contact with the chemistry at all, so I would rule that out as a cause.

Are you rinsing the drum between prints?

11-May-2004, 19:01
I don't know about Cibachrome but with RA-4 if I don't wipe the drum dry then the prints can have wierd spots. This happens even with the first step of RA-4 being a wash for me.

11-May-2004, 19:19
I had this problem once or twice with my CPE and 11x14 drum (but 8x10 prints). You must fully wash the drum between prints, disassemble it if you can, rinse all surfaces with fast flowing hot water, then you must fully dry it (and I mean TOTALLY). I use a paper towel and hairdryer.

That should do the trick.

Andre Noble
11-May-2004, 19:48
O.K., thanks guys. This makes some sense as my very first batch when drums new had only comparably mild discoloration on back of prints.

I will clean drum with hot water between uses next time and see if that makes things better.

11-May-2004, 20:28
Are you washing in the tank? I just wash in the tank and then wipe the tank dry. It's not any chemical residue that's the problem but just plain water. I don't understand it. Wiping the tank dry is enough to get good prints. Water drops cause problems.

Andre Noble
12-May-2004, 03:10
Yes, I have been washing in the tank using distilled water, and drying carefully after that.

Stan. Laurenson-Batten
12-May-2004, 07:40
I use the identical set up to your Jobo CPP2 with lift and print drums up to max. 24 X 20 inches. You most likely have cross contamination which can be at any stage, even in the mixing of the chemicals in their containers.

I am very pernikety in that I will not use any recepticle other than that for a particular chemical. I have not had your problem using the Jobo processor. Check your chemistry and cleanliness again and again, I am sure you can sort this problem out.

You do not say wether you have had good results in the past from your Jobo processor, or is this your first attempt? Let us know when you get perfect results, as I am confident you will.:)

Paul Metcalf
12-May-2004, 12:24
You should have no stains on the back of the prints of any kind if things are going properly. Until you've reach that point, I would be suspect of everthing in your process (age of paper, age of chemistry, cleanliness of processor and graduates, washing, water source, etc.). This should be a fairly simple procedure, the only real drawback being the cost of the materials.

Are you using the partial chemical reuse method (to conserve chemicals) between runs? If so, you need to rinse between each step to reduce chemical contamination going forward. Also, which Ilfochrome material are you using (poly or RC based)? You mention that your first prints had only "mild discoloration." What color? If yellow, I'm stumped. If greenish/bluish, wash the prints longer, as I find that there is a blue dye that needs to be washed out thoroughly (even just soaking in water with occasional replacement removes this dye).

Good luck, and keep us posted. Paul

Andre Noble
12-May-2004, 19:20
Thanks Guys. Lots of good ideas. The good point being that it sounds like Ilfochrome is doable on the CPP2

FYI, I was using the Deluxe polyester materials, with partial chemistry reuse, CPP2 with lift. Dedicated containers.

My very first Ilfochromes came out perfect in this respect, except for mild green stain marks on small area on back of prints.

Most recently (when I got the obnoxius yellow stains which I didn't notice 'til days later), incomplete cleaning of drum between runs and/or stale/contaminated chemistry could be cause.

Paper was fresh though - I used it once previously, and re-froze it. Completely thawed when I used it again.

Thanks again all for your help. I will get back to the Ilfochrome processing as soon as I have free time again, and implement the changes suggested here.

Doug Herta
12-May-2004, 20:57
According to the JOBO CCP-2 Guide under Ilfochrome Processing:

Brown or yellow spots on back side of print...

Decrease rinse time and/or water volume after developer.

They are pretty particular that the post-developer rinse be the same volume as the other chemistry as well as sticking to 30 sec at 30 degrees.

Andre Noble
12-May-2004, 23:38
Doug, thanks very much for that late tip! I honestly think that's the cause because staining so pervasive throughout print backs. I think I over-did the first rinse volume due to slopiness - I'd pour a nice volume of clean distilled water- usually appx twice the chem volumes - straight from a tempered 1000ml bottle.

In photo school, we used an Jobo-like Omni processor that automatically dispensed the liquid volumes, and no yellow or brown stains on print backs then. I don't think we cleaned the drum particularly carefully after using them, and backs of prints came out o.k., save for the occaisional green blotch on back. (but that's another issue)

On my next run: 1)Clean drums w/ hot water 2)Fresh chems 3)Minmal rinse volume after developer

Larry Gebhardt
5-Aug-2004, 10:00
Andre, did the smaller rinse fix your problem? I have just started printing Ilfochromes and have been having this problem as well. I also use a rinse before the developer to warm the drum (as mentioned at http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/ilfochro.shtml) though I am using a Jobo set at 30C and my rinse is also at 30C.

Andre Noble
5-Aug-2004, 17:33
Hello Larry, thanks for bringing attention to this post again. I will be printing Cibachromes again in another month, haven't had the chance yet to print Cibachromes since this last post in order to make adjustments above, ie "1)Clean drums w/ hot water 2)Fresh chems 3)Minimal rinse volume after developer."

I think if we are sure to do all three, there won't be a problem.(knock on wood)

PS, this time I hope to be doing some contrast masking with Alistair Ingliss's kit too, we'll see.

brian davis
7-Aug-2004, 10:49
can anyone tell me why my prints are coming out the jobo looking blue have i done something wrong in the timing or temperature thanks for the help ?? brian

Paul Metcalf
7-Aug-2004, 11:34
Brian- Lot's of blue and all over the print, or light areas of blue? Extending the final washing will help with light areas of blue - you can essentially soak the print. What film are you printing? Some films cross over in color, and blue seems to happen the most (former Lumiere film was notorius for color cross over to blue in my experience).

brian davis
7-Aug-2004, 15:13
Thanks for the reply - actually i am using a pinhole camera which i have loaded with ilfochrome so i am not using a darkroom projector therefore i cannot filter colors - its kinda blue all over although i am getting clean white and black and some other colors but mainly blue - i will try and extending the final wash - any other thoughts

8-Aug-2004, 05:26
The paper is intended for enlarger light sources [2800k or 3400k I think the second one is right] You're out in daylight at 5500k [for the sake of discusion. The actual colour temp of daylight will vary] So you need to warm up the sun with a filter. Something like this.


Andre Noble
8-Aug-2004, 06:25
That's right. The above is an 85C, perhaps you could use even an 85B???

But this is the right line of thinking. Only need to get a cheap polyester filter 3"x3" version for his pinhole camera also.

8-Aug-2004, 06:53
Might be able to pick up a used glass one for less then a new gel. I don't know the design of the pinhole camera but I wonder if you could just glue a step ring on the front then use that for screw filters. Glass filters last if not abused. OTOH you could just tape the gel filter onto the inside of the camera.

Don't expect perfect colour. At least I wouldn't.

Andre Noble
1-Jan-2005, 10:36
PROBLEM SOLVED! All Ilfochromes came out very clean, no more yellow, green or brown staining on back of prints. Per information from the Ilford forum I changed two things:

1) Changed from using distilled water on all chemistries and rinses to a normal hardness (bottled drinking water) to mix all chemistries and for the rinses. This is probably what did it.

2) Used only ONE rinse after the developer step and for the exact volume and time (30 seconds) . ( I previously used a larger volume on 1st rinse than the normal chemistry volumes. But apparently on this 1st rinse step, it's important not to over-rinse time or volume wise)

I just wanted to post this info in case others come across the same back-of-print staining problem with Ilfochromes I had previously encountered.

PS: I also used contrast reduction making for the first time, and see a 100% improvement in the quality of the Ilfochromes.