Difference between ilfochrome RC and Deluxe papers

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I have just returned from a trip to Ecuador with my Linhof (what a load to lug around, but hopefully worth it) and have a lot of slides (6X7) that I would like to process. I'll be using Ilfochrome to do the darkroom work and would like to know if there's any discernable difference up to 11X14 between the RC papers and the deluxe papers. I know the deluxe comes in 3 contrasts and the RC only medium, but it is twice as expensive. I have also not worked with contrast masks, which from what I read seems difficult, and was thinking of using the RC for medium contrast and deluxe for low. Any comments appreciated.

-- Artie Kapell (AKapell@HSC.VCU.Edu), December 12, 2001


The Deluxe is not 'paper' at all, it is an extremely smooth-as-glass plastic. This is the paper that achieves archival quality. It is also more brilliant as the base reflects more light than a traditional RC paper. If you've never worked with Ilfochrome you may want to start with the RC to save some $ while you get it dialed in. Keep in mind also the price of the chemistry in comparing what it costs to do RC vs Deluxe. The paper grades are more like High, Higher, and Highest. You need a faily flat transparency to get full tone without using a contrast mask.

-- Gary Frost (gary.frost@onemain.com), December 12, 2001.

Tangentially: there is an old thread by an artist working cibas 3 years back who suggests for those printing cibas to re-evaluate transparency film use to accomodate inherant contrast in ciba's. Im will paste his remarks. Something to think about:

"Cibachrome (also Ilfochrome) is an increadible sharp material it favours specially LF. The larger the film, the more naturality, tonality and detailed Ciba. The most beautiful Cibas comes from 8x10 and bigger slides. The problems of control in color photograpy lies most in the mastering of contrast. Develop your E-6 film with a 1 stop pull processing, that is 5 minutes in the E-6 first dev. Every good custom lab. will do this. This will give more than 1stop in exposure latitude. A slight color shift against minus-magenta will occure; if this bother you, filter it away. Find a lab that prints Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) Low Contrast material CF1k in process P-3 or P-3X. This will give exellent results,even the more popular P-4 is not bad either. Once you get the LF-Ciba combination you will never leave it. -- Jan Eerala ( jan.eerala@itameri.net), May 29, 1999.

There4s no need for bracketing and no outwashed highligts if you don't develop your trannies full 6 minutes in E-6. I think this 6 minute concept is more a scheme of the filmindustry to obtain higher nominal speed for their films than regards for good qualities. I consider 5-5min 15seconds to be more of a "normal" first developer time for E-6. The film speed will be half of the nominal, but you will have really more exp.latitude, specially on the highlight side. Generally, it4s not a good practice to say negative is better than trannies, or vice versa. They shall be considered more like a different method of expression. Despite this view, I have never seen any in color that outstands a good polyesterbased ciba made from a LF original. ( Ellis, why do you use Velvia? It's the most contrasty E-6 film I know.) -- Jan Eerala ( Jan.eerala@itameri.net), May 30, 1999.

PS, to ad to this note, today saw some prints made off digital printer in gallery, and am more convinced to cotinue my intro into cibasa as time and money allow. Sorry if this was too long. Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@worldnet.att.net), December 13, 2001.

Hey, as far as I know...the Deluxe is like the cibachrome classic ...it's on a polyester base...very stable. The rapids are coated on a type of base, polyethylene??, more like a regular RC paper. FWIW, most of the labs in our area are scaling back on cibas...some quit doing them altogether...digital output is becoming more the norm now....

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), December 13, 2001.

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