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Always wondered what happened to Cibachrome.


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#1 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:21 AM

In my night-school days we use to print from slides directly onto Cibachrome. This paper using a positive to positive process produced the best colour prints I ever saw, far better than using colour negatives on to ordinary colour printing paper. Not having printed out slides for years I now see it was taken over some time ago by Ilford, the monochrome specialists and renamed Ilfochrome. Probably a good thing as I note that BASF has now taken over Ciba and is closing down a lot of it's plants. No doubt Cibachrome would have also gone due to reduced film sales not interesting a multinational like BASF if Ilford had not already acquired it. Pity for not very much longer will there will be any of the best slide film in the world Kodachrome to print onto it! However I see it is also supposed to be the best medium for printing out digital images too?

http://uk.biz.yahoo..../214/inide.html

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Ilfochrome

http://www.ilford.co...hrome/index.asp

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#2 photojazz

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:06 PM

Good post Dave. I have a question and if you want please put the response in another thread if you like. What was the purpose and advantages of positive flim/slide? I have never used it. Thanks.

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#3 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

I always used to take slides for projection Jazz, usually Kodachrome and these are of course positives with the colours the correct way around, unlike negatives having the complimentary colours. If you printed from a slide, or positive, onto normal negative colour paper the colours in the print would also be reversed. Therefore if taking colour negatives you print on colour negative paper, which of course reverses the colours back again. For colour positives you therefore have to print on a colour positive paper that does not reverse the slide colours but prints them the right way around. Cibachrome/Ilforchrome is also on a plastic base, which is much whiter than paper and stronger.

The advantages of Cibachrome/Ilfochrome colour printing paper are as my previous Wikipedia link says:-

"Unlike Type R processes by Kodak, Fuji, and others, Ilfochrome does not have dyes in the chemistry but rather in the emulsion. Azo dyes, which provide stable vivid colors, are embedded in the Ilfochrome emulsion are bleached out in processing. Since the dyes are in the emulsion rather than in the chemistry, the image is also much sharper and clearer because the dyes create an anti-light scattering layer which keeps the reflected image from being diffused when viewed. Although not completely environmentally safe, it is far more friendly than other processes because the toxic dyes begin in the emulsion and are removed rather than contained in disposable chemistry. As the colors formed from the azo dye are far more stable, the prints made from the process are archival and insisted on by galleries and art collectors as they will not fade in normal light."

Cibachrome prints are sharper due to the dyes being already in the emulsion rather than being diffused in afterwards. How it is used for printing digital images though I do not know. It certainly would not be in an ink-jet printer since we used to print using an enlarger and develop in a drum. You would obviously have to have something replacing the enlarger projecting the digital image onto the paper? Perhaps somebody knows how digital images are printed on it?

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#4 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:10 PM

Had a look on the Internet Jazz, and whilst there are loads of professional firms offering a digital image to Ilfochrome/Cibachrome printing service there does not seem to be any amateur equipment like laser printers available for doing so. The film slides to prints could be home processed of course.

http://www.owenboyd....talPrinting.htm

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#5 Rebel

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:02 PM

I remember Cibachrome too. It was always very expensive and not widely available internationally so I would generally use Kodak's paper, which was/is also expensive. I always found that converting slides to print was generally not hugely satisfactory. Print paper always had a hard time capturing the full tonal range and retaining the sharpness of the original slide. It did work well on soft focus shots with muted colours though. However slides were better than prints for transferring to the offset print medium for publication.
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#6 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:28 PM

I always found Cibachrome produced sharper images and truer colours than any other positive colour paper and also preferred it to prints from colour negatives. The thing with slides was people often varied their exposure from the makers recommended norm, although they more often tended to stick with this for negatives. I always found that slides that were underexposed to supposedly saturate colours, as some judges recommended, did not improve their printing or projection qualities. A mixture of different slide exposures on a projection screen always looks bad. I sometimes wondered if a neutral grey card had been included in some of the oversaturated underexposed slides I have seen in club competitions, just what it's actual colour would have been! The makers spend a great deal of time finding the best exposure and processing for their product to produce true colours which only needs varying for a few difficult images unless you camera exposure meter is consistently over or under exposing. One of the reasons I now prefer digital slide shows is the image is usually so much brighter on screen and the underexpose to saturate colours syndrome generally does not yet seem to have transferred over from slide film. Dave Whiteley
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#7 james23p

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:03 PM

Good post Dave.

I have a question and if you want please put the response in another thread if you like. What was the purpose and advantages of positive flim/slide? I have never used it.

Thanks.


Jazz slide film is a positive so when you look at it you see the image without having to interpret a negative. Plus I find even scanned slides make better prints than negatives because you can tell the tech this is what it should look like. This is why most magazines used slide vs print film it produced a better image when printed. With a negative the machine has to interpret the image. Plus I find slide film sharper and cleaner with better color. One more thing nothing beats looking thru a back light slide it is a 3D world of color and sharpness.

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#8 photojazz

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:19 AM

Thanks to both of my film heroes. I must look in my refrig and see if any slide or positive film is there.

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#9 Art

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:53 PM

I used to use Cibachrome and found it to be an incredible paper! The colours were outstanding and it was easy to use and you didn't need any special fancy equipment. My Black and White enlarger, easle and GraLab timer were all you needed. You had a PVC tank, poured in 3 chemicals and you were done. Brilliant paper. The down side was it was expensive! And, you have to waste a sheet and chemicals to do exposure tests (this always burned me! :) ). The results, however, were always spectacular. So, I post here because I dug up some old Cibachrome prints I made and I was wondering if they have this paper still available? I see Ilford has something called "Ilfochrome". Has anyone tried Ilfochrome? What would you need to make a print from digital? I still have my old dark room equipment, I am curious what I would have to do to spark this up again. If anyone has tried Ilfochrome, please post your experience and some samples, I am very curious. Thanks

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#10 Nikon Carl

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 05:08 PM

I used to use Cibachrome and found it to be an incredible paper! The colours were outstanding and it was easy to use and you didn't need any special fancy equipment. My Black and White enlarger, easle and GraLab timer were all you needed. You had a PVC tank, poured in 3 chemicals and you were done. Brilliant paper.

The down side was it was expensive! And, you have to waste a sheet and chemicals to do exposure tests (this always burned me! :) ). The results, however, were always spectacular.

So, I post here because I dug up some old Cibachrome prints I made and I was wondering if they have this paper still available? I see Ilford has something called "Ilfochrome".

Has anyone tried Ilfochrome?

What would you need to make a print from digital? I still have my old dark room equipment, I am curious what I would have to do to spark this up again. If anyone has tried Ilfochrome, please post your experience and some samples, I am very curious.

Thanks



Art,

There is some information here on the Ilfochrome Classic, in case you haven't seen it. I've deleted the link as it doesn't seem to work, but if you click on the link below and scroll down to 1992, you can go directly to the test report on the above.

http://www.photomemo...Chronology.html

Edited by Nikon Carl, 19 March 2011 - 05:12 PM.


#11 Art

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:39 PM

Thanks Carl, much appreciated. I will also call Ilford on Monday and will report back on my findings.

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#12 Art

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:56 PM

I got a hold of Ilford today (Amplis in Canada) and spoke to a nice lady who got me up to date on Cibachrome (so to speak). Cibachrome is now Ifochrome and it is basically the same thing. It is still a glossy paper based on a slide and chemical process. So, you have to find slide film somewhere, you have to have a 35mm camera and a darkroom with enlarger and the tube processing kit. Nothing has changed and there is no digital solution. To make things worse, it is not readily available. Either it comes from the USA or Switzerland! Yiiiike$$. Disappointing for me. I am not sure I want to get the GraLab and Enlarger out of the closet again, much less my Pentax MX and gear. This looks like a bust. I asked about Ilford B&W paper. In the old days, my favourite paper to work with was Ilford Pearl. They still make this and it works with ink jets and is available at most camera stores that cater to a more advanced hobbyist.

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#13 Nikon Carl

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for the information Art. The last batch of DD-X developer and Rapid Fixer I bought recently were made at a plant in Germany. The Mobberley site here in the UK still manufacture the films and conventional papers such as the multigrade range, but I'm not sure about the ink-jet papers. It's possible these may come from Switzerland too like the Ilfochrome.


I am not sure I want to get the GraLab and Enlarger out of the closet again, much less my Pentax MX and gear.


Pentax MX - that brings back memories as it was my very first SLR. A great camera, it would be a shame not to bring it out of the closet again. :D

Edited by Nikon Carl, 23 March 2011 - 08:33 AM.


#14 justshootit

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:20 PM

The question is how much better is Ilfochrome than a slide well scanned and printed digitally? Anyone??? Slide film was the standard for publications, and for most images it just gives you more punch than color print film. My personal favorite was Kodachrome 200 which, sadly is no longer available. My second fave is Velvia, and when I need to push, I used Kodak Ektachrome E200 (now also going out of production) pushed to EI-400. Last time I used Provia 400 (about 100 years ago), it was pretty grainy, but I'd bet it's improved since. Kodak used to make Ektachrome EPH at ISO-3200 and it was great for shots where you purposely wanted a lot of grain. Slide film doesn't have the latitude of print film, so for very contrasty shots where you want to retain the shadows and highlights, print film is the way to go. Wedding film such as Fujicolor 160NS is made to capture detail in the whites of a wedding gown and the blacks of a tux in the same shot. Honestly, with the latest technology, print film scans quite well. Don
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#15 Keith M

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

I love the look of Cibachrome prints.

the Lab I worked in way back when used to make 4x5 transparencies from negative film and then print to Ciba.

I've never seen any other color negative prints that compared to those.

a lot of the local Magazine shots taken with 35 were also re-shot on 4x5 inter-negatives for better detail in the printing process.


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#16 photojazz

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:05 AM

Thanks for the info Keith M.


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Nikon D605, D200, F4E, F5, FE2 (Black & Silver), EM
Mamiya C330 Professional, M645 1000s, RB67
Bronica ETRSI

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