Information re: using Cibachrome as film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Looking to experiment with Cibachrome paper as film. Any resources on technique, pitfalls, filters, etc.?

-- E Rothman (, October 31, 2001


almost impossible to achieve proper color balance; very difficult to determine proper exposure; the paper isn't nearly as sharp as film so the result will not be as good as using film and making ciba contact prints (which you can dodge and burn and control the color of); any subsequent prints require an interneg or scan which defeats the purpose of not using film; whatever artistic aim you have can be acheived by using film and making ciba prints.

~chris jordan (seattle)

-- chris jordan (, October 31, 2001.

A friend of mine did this many years ago and published his results and technique in the February, 1980 Petersen's Photographic. One major drawback was the speed which he determined to be .2 (that's point two) and the fact that the resulting image is a mirror image.The images certainly did have a "different" look to them.

-- (, October 31, 2001.

Not to pick a fight, but what if Mr. (or Mrs.) Rothman's "artistic aim" IS to get the unusual, bluish, reversed, unique image that one can get from using Ciba in-camera? Or what if he's using a 12x20 camera and wants to make color images? (Or for that matter, what does an 8x10 sheet of Velvia go for these days, plus processing? And how much is a sheet of Ilfochrome? See where I'm going? Assuming someone is set up to process Ilfochrome, this might be an inexpensive way to have some fun, and maybe get some unique images in the process.)

I've seen some direct-to-Ciba images that were very nice, and if E wants to pursue it he should contact Ilford, who will send him literature on how to go about this process. (They say to rate it at an EI of around 2.5, IIRC. Not screaming, but better than .2)

Have fun!

-- Mark Parsons (, October 31, 2001.

"..the paper isn't nearly as sharp as film so the result will not be as good as using film and making ciba contact prints.."
I don't know where this myth comes from that paper isn't capable of a sharp image. The very fact that fast film grain can be clearly reproduced in a good contact print would seem to disprove that.
I also don't follow the logic that a contact print can be sharper than an image projected directly onto the paper. Ilfochrome paper is black before processing, so there isn't even the question of halation to worry about.

-- Pete Andrews (, November 01, 2001.

There have been discussions about this topic, including filter suggestions, on the pinhole discussion list. A number of people use Cibachrome paper in pinhole cameras. You can find the archives here:


-- Katharine Thayer (, November 01, 2001.

Peter, if you look at the grain and sharpness information for ciba paper, and for velvia, you'll see that they're not even in the same ballpark. but in this case it doesn't really matter because an in-camera ciba image will not be enlargeable anyway. and, you're right, maybe E does want wacked-out images that he can't print. that kind of stuff just seems like a gimmick to me, but lots of artists make tons of money with gimmicks so who am i to suggest against it.

-- chris jordan (, November 01, 2001.

Chris. In what way is the 63 lppm that Ilford quote for Ilfochrome classic not in the same ballpark as the (more realistic) 80 lppm that Fuji quote for Velvia? (160 lppm? Dream on, Fuji.)
Most other colour films have quoted resolution figures in the region of 50 to 70 lppm, so putting forward Velvia as your typical film is really reaching.

-- Pete Andrews (, November 02, 2001.

I believe the 160 lpmm spec for RVP is for resolving black and white targets while 80 lpmm is what you get in the field shooting real material.

-- James Chow (, November 02, 2001.

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