Ilfochrome color slide film and processing

If you are bemoaning the lack of slide film for subminiature cameras, stop complaining. If you would like to upstage your 35mm Kodachrome friends with some submini slides, here's your chance. Ilford makes Ilfochrome (formerly known as Cibachrome) Micrographic film. It is basically a color microfilm, but can easily be used for great submini color slides. It has been available for quite a while in 35mm and larger sizes and it is now available in 16mm formats. Best of all, it can be processed at home with Ilford's P-5 processing. All you need are slide mounts for your particular format, and you're ready to show!

Ilfochrome Micrographic film is a high-resolution, direct-positive color film based on silver-dye bleach technology, similar to Ilfochrome paper. It is balanced for tungsten light (3200K), and designed for copying maps, drawings, catalogs, prints, etc. With an 80A filter, it works for natural light photography. It is available in two types. Type M is a higher contrast version, while Type P is the lower-contrast version, suitable for normal photographic purposes. Both films offer extremely high archival stability and excellent resistance to light fading, unlike most slide films.

The ISO of the film is about 1. That's right, 1. With an 80A filter, it's even less. Needless to say, this is not a hand-holdable type of film. But with a tripod, the results are amazing. The film can resolve over 300 lines per millimeter and is guaranteed to last over 300 years!

The film is processed in Ilford's P-5 chemicals which are similar to the standard Ilfochome paper chemicals. At 86 degrees the developer is 2 minutes, the bleach is 2 minutes, and the fix is 2 minutes. What could be easier? And at 75 degrees processing is also straight-forward. If you want more details about the film or its processing, check out the July/August 1985 (that's right, 85) issue of Darkroom Techniques. Patrick Dignan wrote an article called Ciba Microfilm (that's what it was called back then). In the Dignan style, he even discussed alternative processing, such as standard Cibachrome chemicals and home brews, which worked fine. If you can't get a copy of the article, check out the Copy Machine in the LIBRARY section of the SubClub.

The film and small quantities of the chemicals can be purchased through MICRO COLOR in New Jersey. For example, you can get 100 feet of unperforated 16mm film for about $40 and a 5 liter developing kit for about $90. for more information you can contact Micro Color at (800) 666-4054. The film is available in perforated and unperforated stock and various formats. They even offer processing, if you want to skip that step. Just ask them to send you their ILFOCHROME MICROFILM KIT.

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