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Thread: Chromira vs Lightjet

  1. #1
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Chromira vs Lightjet

    What are peoples views/experiences of Chromira vs Lightjet colour prints?

    Having previously had work printed via Lightjet, one of the labs I use recently set up a Chromira printer

    I just got my first test print back (20x24) and am quite (pleasantly) suprised by the difference.

    I find the Chromira has a somewhat crisper cleaner feel to it with slightly better/richer colour (always found the lightjets - from three or four different labs) to be ever so slightly less saturated than I wanted and usually not quite matching the softproofing on my system here - even using the labs own lightjet profiles. The Chromira is pretty much spot on - certainly as close as I get in my own smaller sized printing here (about which my wife claims I am apparently somewhat of a perfectionist....!)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  2. #2
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Chromira vs Lightjet

    I agree. I've had West Coast Imaging do a Chromira reprint of something they had done in LightJet, and I felt the Chromira colors were a little cleaner. The only thing I noticed on the Chromira that I didn't see on the Lightjet was some digital mottling in large areas of solid color (it was a sky in this case). I wouldn't have noticed it, if someone else hadn't pointed it out to me, and it's not really visible under glass, but it's something I'll watch out for in the future.

  3. #3

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    I have recently spent around $2k on Chromira prints. Generally I have been satisfied although I am a relative newbie.

    I do have a caveat : One of my images, a crop of a sunset, with whispy clouds mixed with a background of ... 'the last shade of blue that is not grey', drove the Chromira insane. It started banding in a manner the lab could not cure. I went back three times and finally gave up. The banding was so faint you could not see it in anything but good light. In good light however it was bad. Ruinous.

    I know the lab had the Chromira rep out and they were supposedly dealing with it. The last time I went in I just took the print and left. It's not like I have a local alternative.

    These are the sorts of things that make digital captute so alluring.

  4. #4

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    West coast imaging showed me both chomira and lightjet prints. Side-by-side the chromira prints had much better blacks. I dont remember how the colors compared, though.

  5. #5

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    Chromira vs Lightjet

    Last year I migrated from Lightjet to Epson 9600 due to greater color saturation, color accuracy, and (to my eye) greater resolution, although I missed the deep blacks that glossy media can deliver. Last month I ordered several Chromira prints from West Coast Imaging, and was impressed. While the Chromira's color gamut seemed similar to the 9600, it had much deeper blacks, giving a stronger three-dimensional appearance to the prints. The Chromira's apparent resolution might be a smidge less than the 9600, but this is visible only under a loupe. Overall a noticeable improvement in my book, certainly when compared to the Lightjet.

  6. #6

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    Given that most Chromira and Lightjet labs print to the same paper (Fuji CA), the only thing at all different about the process is LED versus laser. Not sure how much of a difference the two present in blacks and overall saturation, but you'd be hard pressed to see obvious differences when NOT comparing prints side by side. They'll look identical to most anybody.

  7. #7

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    I am one of the developers of the Chromira technology, and am a co-holder of 2 patents on the technology. I find this discussion very interesting, but perhaps the effects being described may be attributable to reasons other than the printer used. Both the Chromira and Lightjet prints should be capable of making excellent prints. The Lightjet uses lasers which should do a good job of isolating the exposure of the emulsion layers. The Chromira uses very narrow multilayer filters to isolate the peaks of the paper sensitivity, minimizing unwanted crossover exposure. I would be suprised if the differences in color were due to exposure effects.

    More likely, there are differences in processing or color profile. Dmax can vary due to the chemistry used, and the replenishment. Likewise, different color profiles could limit the color gamut available to something less than the maximum the paper is capable of.

    Regards - Jim

  8. #8

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    Jim is right..... careful processing and most of all, your labs discipline in proper color profiling is a must. Both printers are outstanding! Foster Lab in Maine really excells in ensuring total picture quality when printing large files.

  9. #9
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Chromira vs Lightjet

    The medium being the same, could it be that the Chromira, being more recent, has better software ? The same inkjet printer used with different RIPs can give significantly different results.

  10. #10

    Chromira vs Lightjet

    Scott, was there banding in your file? If not, the problem is in output device or its software and I don't see how the origin of the file (scanned film or digital capture) would make any difference. If yes, the lab adjusting the Chromira isn't the way to fix the problem -- you should be looking at the scanning and editing stages.

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