cibachrome illfochrome print pampas grass
Backlit Pampas grass. A Cibachrome print made directly from the original colour slide.

Cibachrome was a system for making prints from colour slides (positives) without the need for an “interneg”, marketed by Illford . An “interneg” (more correctly, “internegative”) was produced when a colour slide was photographed onto normal colour negative film. The negative produced could then be enlarged and printed using standard colour printing chemicals and papers. Until Cibachrome this was the only way to get a colour print from a colour slide. Of course, this method meant meant the loss of a generation with the accompanying image degradation, while normal colour print films and papers couldn’t really cope with the contrast range and colour fidelity of transparencies, so getting prints from slides usually meant accepting fairly mediocre results. All that changed with the introduction of Cibachrome . Although originally developed in the 1940s, I’m only aware of Cibachrome becoming commercially available in the late 1970s. Cibachrome (a.k.a. Illfochrome) was characterised by vivid colours and a high contrast range allowing it to accurately render the colour and contrast of the original transparency. Now that there’s no longer any way to produce Cibachrome prints, these two pictures, while not particularly good, are quite special to me. I’ve posted them here as they came out the scanner, with no post post-processing embellishments.

cibachrome print from transparency
The Border Skydiving Club, King Williamstown, South Africa, circa 1976. Cibachrome print directly from transparency, no “interneg.”

©2014. All images copyright Grahame Hall and may not be used without written permission of the copyright owner.
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  1. I don’t remember Cibachrome, having never shot much film other than Kodak Gold ASA 400 print film. However, I often wondered how slides were turned into prints. Now I know. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

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