View Full Version : Ilfochrome! Difficult?

9-Feb-2005, 10:51
For all my years of sloshing around in the darkroom I have never tried Ilford P30.
I have always sub-contracted the pleasure to mail order processors because of the bad things I hear about it, here are a few.
The chemicals are noxious and not at all pleasant to work with:
Very high contrast is a problem:
Extremely tight temperature controls required:
Poor working solution life:

Do all these things add up to a process to be avoided?

Ted Harris
9-Feb-2005, 11:43
Unless something changes they add up to a process that will be unavailable once current stocks are depleted.

Neal Wydra
9-Feb-2005, 11:56
Dear Tony,

I used it years ago when it was called Cibachrome. Noxious chemicals: I used a drum. High contrast: Not dramatically. Tight temperature controls: The old kit worked at room temperature. Poor working life: Make it a weekend project.

I haven't used it in many years, but you may find that a box each of paper and chemistry make for a few enjoyable printing sessions, as mentioned above, before it's gone.

Neal Wydra

Louie Powell
9-Feb-2005, 12:59
Tony -

I used it (as Cibachrome) many years ago. Frankly, it was a fairly simple process.

The one thing is that you have to calibrate your system for the enlarger, lens, and film that you will be printing from. That calibration consists of finding the exact filter set that results in a neutral color balance. If you routinely work with different slide films, you will need to develop a different filter pack for each.

Then my wife decided that we needed to purchase a water softener for our home. As usual, she was right - - - but after it was installed, I found that the standard filtration that I had calibrated for Cibachrome prints had changed (not a surprise), and that I could not find a new calibration.

ronald moravec
9-Feb-2005, 14:30
High contrast is the worst problem. Shoot E100 at 50 at pull process 1 stop to lower contrast and get more shadow detail. Non coated lenses work better. The trannys will look awful, I mean really really awful. But they will print perfectly on Ciba. Stay away from high saturation films like Velvia. Astia would be wonderful

The curves cross meaning you have different color balance for shadows and highlights. Balance for the highlights and the shadows will go redish. Remove the neg and give a 2 per cent flash thru a 50 cc cyan filter to rebalance the shadows.

I did my own E 6 in a Jobo, non replenishment, and never had a screw up. You can buy the chems individually as the developer goes bad first. For rotational development, you cut the concentration of the reversal bath. Keep the bleach oxygenated with an aquarium pump.

Jim Rice
9-Feb-2005, 16:35
Is this process really going away?

CP Goerz
9-Feb-2005, 18:06
Cibachrome, but for the bleach step, is really a B+W process. I use the old variable contrast classic called 'beers' developer you have probably heard of it. The only difference is that I let it develop it 1 minute longer. I used the standard dilution of 1 part A and 1 part B mixed with four parts of water(experiment a little here but thats what I found best). Add 1.2 grammes of thiosulphate per liter of stock solution to dissolve the masking layer. With this method you can vary the contrast and have FAR less trouble with the filter pack swings using the standard P30 powder/liquid solutions.

The bleach is one bath that you can't duplicate so you have to keep buying that one. The fix can be substituted with a standard rapid fix in slightly weaker dilution. Again let it run a little longer for cleaner whites.

Cibachrome or whatever they are calling it now is a truly dazzling print and worth the hassle...even the rejects look good!

CP Goerz

CP Goerz
9-Feb-2005, 18:09
PS:The standard solution will give you the same highlight and shadow more or less of the original chrome, none of the fried highlights etc. Because you can vary the dilution of the A and B bath you can also vary the final print contrast and as I mentioned you'll have far less colour swing from the slight filtration changes that do seem to be a problem.

CP Goerz.

neil poulsen
9-Feb-2005, 19:32
I was told by an expert of experts on the Ilfochrome process that, as a paper, it's lower in contrast than other color papers. It's the high contrast of transparencies that give Ilfochrome it's perception of high contrast.

9-Feb-2005, 22:53
Thanks Guys:
I am off down to my local retailler right now before they sell out.

Long live Ilfochrome: