Old Cibachrome paper and chemistry - usability

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jeff_anton, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. I kinda forgot that I had Cibachrome (really Ilfochrome) paper in refrigeration for 20 years and I have a two liter processing kit.
    So I'm planning to use it. Has anyone else done this in the last few years?

    Looking at the chemistry, the developer looks almost like a standard B&W PQ paper developer and the fix looks like a standard B&W rapid paper fixer. The bleach seems to be where the magic is and I remember it smells horrible and lots of ventilation is needed.

    Just wondering if anyhow has suggestions before I start this.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Haven't had or used any in many years. Wonderful product, I still have the motorized base and all of the other accessories they made. Two things I recall. You will need decent ventilation, and you pretty much MUST use the neutralizer when you have completed processing. Excellent nearly archival prints. Lucky you!
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
  3. I usually trust factory sealed bottles, more than previously opened ones.

    On the other hand, if the developer looks brown ...

    Well, there is one way to find out, so you might as well try it.

    Some years ago, more than 20, I had the Cibachrome starter kit, but it seems
    that I never started.

    Even more years ago, I had the Unicolor PFS kit, Ektachrome 1993 paper,
    and an 8x10 Unidrum. I still have the Unidrum, along with a Beseler motor base.
    That one I actually did make some prints with.
  4. At the risk of starting the obvious of course you have to be in complete darkness until the print material is closed in the processing tube. Everything was backwards and as much of a pain as it could be I loved the stuff and wish it could come back. I still have some prints from Ektachrome slides of the 4th shuttle liftoff. They are in great shape after thirty plus years.

    Rick H.
  5. With negative paper, you can use the #13 safelight, where "light" isn't quite the right word.
    (I do remember once dropping the paper on the floor, and couldn't find it.)

    For Ektachrome 1993 and, as well as I know, Cibachrome, no safelight.

    Using a paper cutter in total darkness is interesting.
  6. I guess I should have said that I had printed Cibachrome before and do color work. All the chemistry is still sealed up. I'll just try it.
    I'm thinking that if I don't get good results, I'll try using a standard PQ paper developer instead of the first developer. I think that chemical is the most likely to have not survived time. Similarly the fixer might be replaceable with standard rapid fixer.

    Probably a good idea to cut up a sheet into several test strips. I have a paper cutter which is a rotary thing that can't cut one's fingers so that's good. I've used it in the dark and I put down masking tape on it as a guide for me to position the paper by feel in total darkness.
  7. What have you got to lose except some time?

    I'd try it as Dr. Strangelove says "with a bold spirit of adventure"
  8. I have done electrical tape as a guide on a regular (non-rotary) paper cutter.
    It isn't so hard to cut the right way.
  9. The chemistry may have survived better than the paper, but it should still be a fun experiment. I tried a Cibrachrome starter kit back in the late 1970's and the prints still look great after all these years. Contrast was a bit high as I recall.
  10. The paper is no good if it was in a frig. It probably wouldn't even survive 20 years in a freezer, but if it was only in a refrigerator you can forget it. Any B&W developer should work, although it used to require a pinch of hypo to remove the mask I've heard some people get away without it. However that may have been with newer paper. I always used hypo so I don't know. And Ilford Rapid fix will work fine.
  11. I had a shot printed on Cibachrome fifty years ago. It hasn't faded, although the original slide certainly has.

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