View Full Version : has anybody done any serious BW digital printing?
after my recent experiences having my LF CTs scanned and printed digitally on cr ystal archive, i am astounded at how much sharper they are than conventional pri nts directly from the CTs. has anybody done any serious BW digital printing at fairly high enlargement sizes and compared them to conventional enlargements for tonal balance and sharpness? are there any papers available for digital printi ng that rival the aesthetic, tooth, and feel of a good fiber-base paper?
Pardon my naivete (I've been shooting LF for years so I'm embarassed to ask), but what's a CT
CT - color transparency
Hi J Norman
I have always printed B&W traditionally until fairly recently when I started to print some 13"x19" black & white prints using the Epson 1290. In comparing the digital prints with the traditional B&W prints there are no differences at this size and at normal viewing distances. If anything the digital prints may have a nicer smoothness between tones.
I have also seen B&W digital prints done on the Epson 1160 4 colour printer using the MIS multi-tone inks and the duotone/quadtone prints are exceptional.
I did an experiment recently asking people (non-photographers) if they could notice any difference between the digital and traditional prints and if they could, which did they prefer? From this small sampling (33 people) no one could notice any discernable difference between the prints and no preference was given for one or the other. As these are the people who are buying the prints, that is good enough for me.
I'm sure you'll get plenty of posts from the traditionalists telling you that th e old chemical prints are still better, but in my experience with prints up to 120 x 170 cm, there is no discernable difference at normal viewing distances. I'm sure if you use a 20x loupe you will notice the differences, but who views prints like this, except photographers?
There are a huge selection of papers for the digital printers and even traditional watercolour and general art papers can be printed on. In fact there are a number of companies now producing papers especially for their beautiful qualities when printing B&W.
Your experience with colour transparencies will be repeated, if you print a good scanned LF black & white negative or positive and print using the latest digital printers. Even if you convert one of your colour LF transparencies to B&W through Photoshop and do the adjustments for tone and contrast, the end results will astound you - well worth a try.
"If you place the imperfect next to the perfect, people will see the difference between the one and the other. But if you offer the imperfect alone, people are only too apt to be satisfied by it."
- Alfred Stieglitz - photographer
For the last year or three, I have been exposing only 4x5 transparency film even if I plan from the outset to make b&w final image. I scan my own film and send the final file to Calypso Color in San Jose to print on their Lightjet. So far, I have many ways to enhance certain images that I could not have done in my darkroom; conversely, I know no darkroom trick of the trade that I cannot do in Photoshop. Many images could go either way, the only difference in the final print being the texture of the paper. Of course, a gelatin silver print is more permanent than a Fuji Crystal Archive print. If I live another 200 years I may regret that.
If you know what you're doing, the basic difference is that Photoshop allows and encourages straight line incremental experimentation. After a print in framed on the wall, you can go back to the original file and burn a particular spot a little more or less, picking up right where you left off. Or you can delete (or only hide) your burn and dodge layer and start over. If on the other hand, you completely satisfied with a given print, you can reprint it exactly. In a darkroom of course you have to start over each time no matter how careful your notes are and whether or not you are satisfied with your current version.
As far as size goes, I am able to print about as large from a given film as I could conventionally. That is often as big as 20x24. If I had a better scanner (mine is a Microteck Sacnmaker 5 @ 1000 samples per inch,) I could probably print larger.
You mean the best that can be said of digital is that it looks just as good as traditional? I've been getting into digital more and more, so it isn't something I dislike, but considering the cost of digital vs. the cost of traditional, I think anyone seriously into digital has a right to be very disappointed if the digital didn't look a whole lot better than the traditional. Just getting my toes wet with digital, I've spent more money than my fairly state of the art darkroom cost and the learning/frustration curve with digital has been out of sight. The darkroom has lasted for seven years just fine and I expect it to last the remainder of my life with no further equiment costs. If I stay with digital, I'll spend ten times what I've already spent on it and that's quite a lot. So I expect digital to look a whole lot better, not just as good. I'll be very disappointed if I show a traditional print and a digital print side by side and no one can tell the difference between the two.
Your question "You mean the best that can be said of digital is that it looks just as good as traditional?"
My answer "I have many ways to enhance certain images that I could not have done in my darkroom" and "Photoshop allows and encourages straight line incremental experimentation."
I don't see a major cost issue either. I bought a scanner and Photoshop only. I already had a computer. Scanners are better now but that is not important for my present needs. An Epson medium sized printer (e.g., a 1280) is not too expensive compared to LF gear. You really don't need a printer anyhow. My important prints come from a Lightjet which is far less expensive than, say, an Ilfochrome print or doing Ilfochrome myself.
I am certainly keeping my darkroom because I believe there is a future in making film negatives on an Epson and then contact printing to silver paper. Then you get the best of both.
I have been using a digital platform to print from 4x5 black and white negatives for about nine months now.
Most of the negatives are TMax 100 / Delta 100 / Fuji emulsions developed in either Rodinal or Pyro, or occasionally DiXactol.
The main digital expenses were Photoshop (#550), an Agfa Duoscan HiD (ebay, #500), and an Epson 1160 (#200).
I tried piezography, and found it a poor quality, poor value, waste of time - its claims appear to suffer from over-inflated marketing hype and a lack of technical support. Don't go down this road.
The Agfa scanner produces a 290mb file from a 4x5 negative, and to my eye this is sufficient for very high quality output, although I would like to see some comparisons with a much higher quality scanner.
I particularly like the Lyson quadblack cool inkset, and also their soft fine art paper, which is a heavy matte white textured paper. Other papers from Hahnemuhle and Somerset are also really excellent, and there is no direct comparison with conventional photographic print paper. I'm sitting in my office surrounded by about 12 large prints, which is absolutely great! I can now think seriously about producing a monograph in book form, on paper of my choice. I haven't been able to make comparisons with conventional fibre prints - and I would like to - but I am more than happy with what I am able to produce at present. There is a learning curve which can be quite frustrating at times, but I think that this also applies to a wet darkroom.
Brian, as you were obviously referring to my post, here is my response;
[snip]> You mean the best that can be said of digital is that it looks just as good as traditional?> [snip]
Well, actually I think digital prints are better than traditional prints but tha t is purely a subjective thing. Just like some people say there's no difference between German or Japanese glass. Does that mean we don't buy German lenses anymore, just because they are the same as the Japanese lenses but cost three times as much?
There is much more to digital printing than just getting it as good or better than a tradtional print. I disagree with your comment that digital printing is more expensive than traditional printing. Have you done a side by side costing, comparing apples with apples. I have, and the digital print cost is by far the cheaper way, not to mention that it can be done entirely in daylight (no darkroom costs) it is more environmentally friendly (no special disposal needed) and it is far quicker.
Being faster means a lot to the working professional where time is money. Being able to tweak an image easily and duplicate it perfectly over and over is a godsend in professional work. I'm sure, even as a weekend printer, the advantages of easy dupilication of prints and quicker printing would be an advantage, not to mention less waste and cheaper print costs.
Photoshop is not that difficult to learn in my experience, but everyone is different, some people find riding a bike difficult.
I'd suggest that you stick with your traditional darkroom printing if it has bee n working perfectly for the last seven years and is causing you less trouble than the digital printing.
There are those who are happy to continue to use old technology and there are those who wish to progress with the new technology. I'm sure if you are happy getting good prints with your traditional methods there is absolutely no reason for you to change.
For my own work the digital printing workflow is easier, faster, more controllable , less expensive and time consuming and the results are just as good, perhaps even better, but now we're getting subjective again.
Best of luck with your tradtional printing.
"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is STILL a foolish thing" - Bertrand Russell
Obviously cost is a matter of how much anyone wishes to spend. Here are my approximate equipment costs so far for digital: Photoshop 4, about $500; Photoshop 6, about $250; dedicated computer (HP Pavillion) - about $2,000 plus $300 to upgrade the memory to handle Photoshop; first scanner (a basic HP 35 mm film scanner - $350; second scanner, Heidelberg Linoscan 1400 flat bed, doesn't work, I'm returning it to B& H but what a pain it's been - $900; first printer - an HP something - about $300; second printer - an Epson 1160 - about $300. I think that adds up to about $4,900, approximately $2,000 more than I spent on my darkroom equipment. And of course the big difference isn't just in the initial digital outlay, it's in the constant upgrades and replacements with digital as time goes on and the older stuff becomes obsolete (which is why I've had two scanners and two printers). And of course this is a pretty basic home hobby system. My traditional darkroom is pretty much the equal of a small black and white commercial lab, but for me to try to even come close to the really good digital stuff that service bureaus use, I'd be talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. So sure, I'm absolutely certain that for me, even on my fairly basic level, digital is and will continue to be vastly more expensive than a tradional darkroom. So yes, it better be a whole lot better than a traditional darkroom, not just as good.
Just how does the piezography 12x20 print look in direct comparison to a contact print of the same size from the same negative? Say, on Azo, Forte, Agfa, Ilford, Oriental, Bergger and a few other papers we have as options? I would be interested in seeing the direct comparison. Then, lets say a 30x40 inch print from an 8x10 negative. Try this & give us a location to see the comparison prints so we can see just how much different they are in real world viewing.
one way to get some comparative ability is to look at the reproductions in a newer, high-end fine art book of photographs, almost all of which are prepared these days using digital methodology. of course, the image sizes in books are typically, not larger than 7x9" or so, but it does give you a good idea of how nice even a 300dpi print can look on a variety of various nice papers. the book, photographs of oregon and the columbia river, which uses 300dpi hell laser scans of carleton watkins mammoth plate prints from his work in oregon in 1867, is simply wonderful. the book, phtography and architecture: 1839-1939 (my favorite book!), uses similar scanning and printing, but uses a very toothy paper - also extraordinary quality. the 4-color reproductions of bw images seem so much richer than plain half-tones.
>it is more environmentally friendly (no special disposal needed) and it is far quicker. >
I am sorry Peter but I disagree with you on this, do you know how much damage chip manufacturing has done to the enviroment? 100 years of silver printing has not come close to the 20 year damage that chip manufacturer has done!
I think also that Dan was looking at the cost and durability issues. Of course if I look I can get fairly reasonable prices for computer stuff, even prices that will be less than a darkroom. BUT!! and a big but it is, is that if I buy a $500 4x5 enlarger, it will still be working properly in 10 years....try that with the electronics of today! Not to mention the fact that in 1 hour I set up my enlarger and I up and working...try that with your piezography software!
In the end I have no doubt the digital and printer technology will become the standard. But I am not so sure in this one instance that unbrideled progress without real purpose is the best thing. I for one, have one computer, 3 years old (way obsolete by todays standards) and it works best for what I need it, but I know if I wanted to do anything serious with digital work, I would have to spend about $7000. I rather spend this money in paper, film, and a nice trip to Europe!
When I have done b&w, I have not been able to exceed what I have done with conventional b&w paper so far. I have printed color slides that were scanned with an Epson 1270. The color and shadow detail were much better than what Denver's Slideprinter did using Fujichrome Supergloss.
I will try printing a color neg digitally that I had printed onto Panalure and compare.
No need for apologies, it is your right to disagree with me and this is what makes this LF forum so interesting and informative. I think we will probably end up agreeing to disagree in the end ;-)
[snip]>do you know how much damage chip manufacturing has done to the enviroment? 100 years of silver printing has not come close to the 20 year damage that chip manufacturer has done! <[snip]
Jorge, I'm not sure where you got your statistics from, but that statement seems pretty vague to me. I'd love to see your source and references? Did this include the cost of packaging, the manufacture of the chemicals, the trees that were cut down for the paper, not to mention the effects of silver washed into the water system, the effects of heavy metal chemicals such as selenium on the environment and the health of users? I could go on, but I think this would be a pretty pointless exercise, statistics can only show so much.
So, perhaps accepting that both processes produce environmental harm, maybe the only difference is that digital printing produces less waste. All corrections can be done on-screen and if you have a properly calibrated monitor the first print will unlikely need any further correction, therefore wasted paper & prints is keep to a minimum. When it comes to duplicating your print then the savings are even better. Just type in the required number of prints and press print. In a few minutes you will have any number of identical prints being produced - try that in the darkroom ;-)
[snip] > Of course if I look I can get fairly reasonable prices for computer stu ff, even prices that will be less than a darkroom. BUT!! and a big but it is, is tha t if I buy a $500 4x5 enlarger, it will still be working properly in 10 years....t ry that with the electronics of today!< [snip]
I am still using a Mac computer for PS work, which I bought nearly NINE years ago (top of the range then), it still works with my current printers, it is stil l going strong, I have never had to have anything fixed on it and it will hopefully still work well for more years to come. Admittedly, it won't do what my more recent G3 with lots of RAM and faster processor will do, but it's certainly given me good value for money. My current computer is almost five years old and once again I have not had one thing go wrong with it - maybe it will last for ten years as well. I have a friend who has one of the first Macintosh computers made (and that's certainly more than ten years old) and it still works fine!
[snip]> Not to mention the fact that in 1 hour I set up my enlarger and I up and working...try that with your piezography software!< [snip]
I don't actually use piezography so I can't comment on that product, but I just timed myself on how long it took to start the computer, load in my software, open the image in Photoshop, press print and watch as my 13"x19" B&W print finshed printing. This highly complicated procedure took 9mins 34 seconds! A full colour print would take three or four minutes longer and all done in daylight, without inhaling smelly chemicals or getting chemicals absorbed into my skin! My clean-up time is 20 seconds! That's how long it took to switch off the printer and computer.
But like I said at the beginning Jorge, we'll just have to agree to disagree, because I love digital printing, I love the results I'm getting and I will conti nue to use my computer and digital printer to produce my work. I may occasionally venture back into the dark (ages?) when I feel nostalgic or want a hit from a chemical cocktail, but that will not happen often.
I wish you every success with your traditional printing and would love to catch up in ten years time and see how we are both doing then. You'll probably be printing digitally and I'll be back in the darkroom ;-)
It is better to have travelled and got lost.
Than never to have travelled at all.
>Jorge, I'm not sure where you got your statistics from, but that statement seems pretty vague to me. I'd love to see your source and references? Did this include the cost of packaging, the manufacture of the chemicals, the trees that were cut down for the paper, not to mention the effects of silver washed into the water system, the effects of heavy metal chemicals such as selenium on the environment and the health of users? I could go on, but I think this would be a pretty pointless exercise, statistics can only show so much.>
Peter, it was never my intention to "convince" you to stop working with digital processes. My only beef is when I hear the comments like more environemetally friendly, that in itself is also a very vague statement. What were your sources for this? I can tell you mine came from personal experience since I was a chemist in the hazardous waste disposal and environmental remediation industry. The quantities you talk about selenium, silver, etc are in no way as damaging as those of Arsenic and other hevay metals used in the chip industry, further more I can tell you I did far more environmental remediation caused by the chip manufacturers than I did for Kodak (this if course was back in the 80's and 90's). As to the packaging etc, well I have yet to see a chip by itself. It either comes in a computer or in a very secure package itself. Lets address the trees issue, you are going to tell me that computers do not cause paper waste? heck can you remember the stacks and stacks of paper next to a printer? how about the ease to "test" different things, this causing people to print, and print, and print...so when a darkroom worker tries to optimize to waste less paper, a digital worker is printing away until the las pixel looks just right! Your point that making succesive prints is easier and less wasteful, is only appropriate if you are an unorganized darkroom worker.I can tell you, with graded paper, I can go back and print the exact same print I did 2 years ago with no waste whatsoever. On this I agree with you and we will agree to disagree, since I KNOW for personal experience that your assertation is mistaken.
The fact that digital is more conevenient, makes a lot of the corrections more easily accesible etc, is very attractive to some people, like yourself. You are happy working this way, and happy with the results, good for you! My only complain is when I hear unfounded statements about why digital is so much better etc. Personally I have come to the conclusion that digital imaging and photography are two separate processes which provide advantages and disadvantages. To you is more exiting working in the computer, to me would be hell. The output of both is different, and maybe with time it will become less clear as to wheter there is a difference. For now to my opinion there is a distinct difference between a contact print from a 12x20 negative and one from a printer. The funny thing to me is that people working with digital technology are making their outmost effort to make their output look more and more like photography.
Well, didn't I tell you we'd agree to disagree. It's nice you are so passionate about your traditonal printing methods and prepared to stick up for the old way of producing prints - thanks great.
[snip>The quantities you talk about selenium, silver, etc are in no way as damaging as those of Arsenic and other hevay metals used in the chip industry<[snip]
That's like saying you are only slightly pregnant. A heavy metal, is a heavy metal, is a heavy metal, . . . .
[snip]>Lets address the trees issue, you are going to tell me that computers do not cause paper waste? heck can you remember the stacks and stacks of paper next to a printer? how about the ease to "test" different things, this causing people to print, and print, and print...so when a darkroom worker tries to optimize to waste less paper, a digital worker is printing away until the las pixel looks just right!<[snip]
These people are wasteful or uneducated workers Jorge, you'll get them in any industry. Any testing can be done perfectly well on-screen without needing to print, until the final print is needed to be done. One of the advantages of digital is that you can edit right down to a pixel (all on-screen) - try burning or dodging one film grain?
>[snip]For now to my opinion there is a distinct difference between a contact print from a 12x20 negative and one from a printer[snip]<
That is because Jorge, you cannot mke a 12x20 contact print from a digital printer.
Why do opponents to digital printing insist on comparing everything to 12x20 contact prints? If you want to make comparisons, then compare apples to apples, not oranges! Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be to compare a 12x20 print from a cold head enlarger to a digital print, perhaps both taken on the same or equivalent format, then make an evaluation. It's no good comparing a traditonal 35mm film enlarged image to a traditional 12x20 film contact print - that's just silly. So why try to do the same when comparing digital output? Smoke and mirrors perhaps?
[snip]> The funny thing to me is that people working with digital technology are making their outmost effort to make their output look more and more like photography. <[snip]
I'm not sure who you are referring to here or quite what you mean by more like photography, but those people should just stick with traditional prints don't you think? I produce prints digitally, from a tradtional B&W negative or colour transparency and make prints which are easier to produce and are far better than traditional prints. I don't TRY to make then look like photography because that is what they are. Prints made from a photograph.
I have also made beautiful, grainless, smooth toned prints from a digital camera which are far nicer than an equivalent print from a grainy film camera. Having acheived this beautiful, smooth, sharp print I certainly don't want to make it look like it's been taken on a low contrast, grainy, piece of film. Why would I? - I could use a tradtional camera and film to achieve that look.
What a fun discussion ;-)
Who can say the swamp does not have the magic of the mountains?
>That's like saying you are only slightly pregnant. A heavy metal, is a heavy metal, is a heavy metal, . . . .> No Peter, that is inaccurate, different metals have different dosages before they start causing damage. The ones used in chip manufacturing are much more dangerous than silver you can check on that with the OSAH regulations. Look for LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%) and you will see that for example Arsenic has a much lower LD50 than Silver. So maybe there is such a thing as slightly pregnant or a little bit dead..:-))
>Why do opponents to digital printing insist on comparing everything to 12x20 contact prints? > Why do opponets of traditonal printing are always picking and choosing your themes. The moment one mentions something you cant do on a printer you all cry foul! but I will even concede the point to you...lets compare 8x10 prints....with my film I can make, pt/pd, silver, AZO, Albumen...etc. You on the other hand can do prints that LOOK or resemble the above. Like I said a different process and different output. I am not opposed to digital printing, I actually own 2 prints by Dan Burholder, but I do own more prints made the "old fashion way" I have yet to see something that I would pay 500 to 1000 that would give me the quality, durability etc that prints made by chemical methods give me.
>I'm not sure who you are referring to here or quite what you mean by more like photography, but those people should just stick with traditional prints don't you think? I produce prints digitally, from a tradtional B&W negative or colour transparency and make prints which are easier to produce and are far better than traditional prints>
I have heard this many times, but so far the prints I have seen made by printers do not support this, I think there is a little bit of wishful thinking and exitment about the process in your statement. Like I said before, I put my money where my mouth is, and so far....no way I am paying for a print made this way, not with the quality I have seen so far, maybe in the future. Now I will tell you I saw an Olympus Dye Sublimation printer made by Olympus today, and I will tell you I was impressed with the color and reproduction. I would have been hard pressed to tell it from a regular print, but the pics where made with a 4 MB camera etc....again the investment for me does not justify the results. Like Dan said, why pay so much money for something that will give me something "just as good"?
I think we can go round and round like this, in the end neither you will pick up a LF camera nor will I sit in front of a monitor...so I guess this will be my last message. My only question is why are you responding to this on the LF board, since you obviously dont practice this craft. I am not asking this in a bad way, is just I see more and more digital practicioners in this forum, so at least let us know what your experience is with LF and whether you have ever done a contact print. I think at least this way we can judge your experience and the validity of your arguments.
Thank you for your replies. As you say this could go round and round. I also agree with you that this has got slightly off the topic, although it is about LF negatives/transparencies being scanned and then printed digitally which is what the original poster was interested in.
I don't agree with your other arguments, but that's neither here nor there, as we don't all agree on everything - thank goodness!
I do however take offence at your aspersion that I am not a LF photographer don't practice this craft and that I wouldn't know how to make a contact print.
IF you had taken the time to look back at some previous threads you would have noticed that I have contributed to this forum on a number of occasions, about a number of different posts, including P/P processing, camera equipment, philosophical discussions and even, heaven forbid, digital topics.
I am not opposed to traditional LF work nor am I particularly in favour of digital LF work. I am open-minded enough to be able to have an adult conversation on a variety of photographic subjects, for and against.
I think when posters' start making PERSONAL derogatory comments about one's abilities or knowledge, it is very sad. I thought we were having a thought-provoking discussion, but I was obviously wrong.
I would normally not send a reply such as this to an open forum Jorge, or even attempt to justify myself to you, but as you have questioned by abilities and character on the public forum, then I will respond in kind.
Here is a brief background on my ability to make comments on this forum, for your information and for anyone else who may think along the same lines as you.
I have been a practicing, professional photographer since 1971. I have worked in the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand in this capacity. For the last 41 years I have earned my living from this CRAFT! My images have been reproduced in a number of international magazines, company profiles, editorials and many of my fine art prints have been sold and hang on walls around the world . I have been involved in advertising, corporate, industrial, travel and tourism, documentary, fashion and underwater photography as well as having a lot of experience with alternative processes, infrared, polaroid transfers, platinum/paladium, toning, hand-colouring etc, etc. I have used Sinar 4x5 and 8x10 equipment, Rollei 6x6, Hasselblad, Pentax 67, Mamiya 67, Nikon, Contax & Canon 35mm. I have used, please forgive me, digital backs and cameras. I am proficient in a number of computer software graphic programs including Photoshop which I have been using since the first version.
I print using tradional methods (not so much lately) and, please forgive me again, digital. I can process and print my own negatives and transparencies and yes, Jorge, I do know how to make a LF contact print - wow!
I currently own an Ebony 45S and LF lenses which unfortunately I have to sell, due to worsening opthalmic problems. This is one of the reasons I have been investigating digital or auto-focus MF cameras, NOT because I don't like LF or can not do it Jorge.
I will continue to contribute to this forum if I think I can make a worthwhile comment, and I certainly will not be told by you that I should cease to participate in any posts.
Peter L Brown & Lucy Geijskes - ABN 72 854 940 849 Photography ~ Web Site Design ~ Illustration ~ Graphic Design
Tropical North Queensland - AUSTRALIA ' Warmed by the sun and kissed by the sea '
Mail: PO Box 1416 MBA Qld - Australia 4880
eMail me at: email@example.com You can view some of my editorial images at: http://www.contax.ch You can view some of Lucy's images at: http://gallery.passion4art.com/members/lucyg_illustration/index.html Our website at: wilderness-images-gallery.com will be up soon.
If you'd like to read my review on the wonderful Ebony 4"x5" large format camera go to: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/photography/lf/cameras/ebony-45s.ht ml
Peter, chill out buddy! my question was not meant to offend you or cast any doubt as to your knowledge. I was just curious as to your experience in LF since I have not seen many of your posts not related to digital capture. That is all, remember this is a very cold impersonal comunication format and sometimes we attribute to messages more meaning than there really is. C'mon man if we were talking abut this over a fosters Laeger and I ask you, so Peter what is your experience, would you have been offended? If so I apologize I did not mean to do this. Take care.
No worries Jorge. Let's call it a mis-understanding and leave it at that. No offence taken and none intended.
Perhaps if you're ever in Australia we can share one of those Fosters.
You are like a bunch of kids! JnNorman asked a legitimate question and got a few intelligent responses. After that the discussion was hijacked by your infantile, (and way toooo long) bickering on traditional vs. digital techniques. It might be due to the present economic climate, but it looks like you have too much time on your hands. If you ego requires bolstering why don?t you publish a book, or better yet get out and photograph! But grow up! Please!
geoffrey, in one paragraph you managed to insult us 3 times, you called us childish, stupid, and unemployed. Of course you do manage not to provide a single coherent tought on the subject, your post did not add anything to the discussion and all you can do is whine and complaint. If you had paid attention to Peter's posts you would have noticed that he does mentions he has done serious degital BW printing and we were discussing his choice and why he preferred the results. The choice of medium at this time is a very important part of this discussion and if it appeared tooooo long for you maybe it was because you could not understand it! So do me a favor and the next time you have a flash of moronic inspiration why dont you keep it to yourself? BTW if it was so boring, why did you keep reading the posts? This is the first time I see one of your posts and all you managed to do was to flame us....who the hell died and made you monitor and all around judge of what is interesting or not in this group, you dont like it IGNORE it!!! and keep your flames and hot air to yourself...
Hey Jorge and Peter - Thanks for hashing out all your points - it's a classic digital vs traditional argument, and helps me think about where I want to go. I want to investigate digital printing, but am afraid of losing quality and tonality rather than gaining it. I'm drawn to the better control of "dodging and burning" that Photoshop give, along with many other controls, and I also know that I want to be able to print more often with less time involved. At the moment I don't spend as much time printing because of all the setup required. This discussion helped me see that I can get even more control through digital and can also give me more good prints for the time I have.
Next question: what is the best sub-$400 printer and ink setup(ebay prices) to get a good start in BW printing? (Can I get 13" wide and quality at the same time?) Do I need a separate one for BW and color if I really want to do it well? And what scanner should I look for if I want to use 4x5 negs? Any good Internet resources you know to send me to?
I haven't checked prices for scanners lately, but have you tried this for black and white ... Make an 8x10 print or contact print the traditional way, and then scan it using a good flatbed scanner. The bigger your original print is, the better your scan will be. 4x5 comes out good, 5x7 better, and 8x10 best. It's a stopgap, but can give very nice results while you shop for a film scanner.
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