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Thread: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

  1. #41
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Dominik - I don't think anyone here in North America has worked with that last batch of
    matrice film. Egbert Haneke uses up most of it for his own work, which is exposed with
    blue laser rather than enlarger. But it's allegedly similar to the batch made by Efke, which
    I am several others are using. Back in its heyday there were several major manufacturers
    of dye transfer film and dyes, including not only Kodak, but the US military, Color Corp
    of America, Hollywood of course (for release prints), and one or two others. Then alternative dyes might be selected for some special need. So it's pretty hard to generalize
    the archival properties of the medium in its broader sense. My own brother's dye transfer
    prints faded out because he kept them in vinyl sleeves. But that's how portfolios were done back then. They didn't know better.

  2. #42
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Drew - do you think the methodology of dye transfer can be transfered to carbon tissue and gum printing in tri colour??
    Making continuous tone separation negatives is easy peasy on my lambda , but I am being warned about highlight staining with these types of negative and
    am being recommended to hard dot film.

    But I am curious of your thoughts about combining the dye transfer work flow with a contact tissue process.

    Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Dominik - I don't think anyone here in North America has worked with that last batch of
    matrice film. Egbert Haneke uses up most of it for his own work, which is exposed with
    blue laser rather than enlarger. But it's allegedly similar to the batch made by Efke, which
    I am several others are using. Back in its heyday there were several major manufacturers
    of dye transfer film and dyes, including not only Kodak, but the US military, Color Corp
    of America, Hollywood of course (for release prints), and one or two others. Then alternative dyes might be selected for some special need. So it's pretty hard to generalize
    the archival properties of the medium in its broader sense. My own brother's dye transfer
    prints faded out because he kept them in vinyl sleeves. But that's how portfolios were done back then. They didn't know better.

  3. #43
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Bob - there's all kinds of chatter going on in both APUG and the Dye Tranfer Forum about
    hybrid this and that. There are all kinds of hypothetical tweaks, but as usual, the devil is
    in the details. I never did personally like any of the hard-dot modernizations of carbon -
    something about a printed versus true continuous-tone photographic look. Charlie Cramer
    can worked out image-setter figure for dye transfer, but even though dyes bleed a little,
    some halftone still showed. The holy grail would really be a new set of highly transparent
    process pigments (not inkjet inks, which use quite a bit of dye). I have a clue where to
    turn, but have no time to personally experiement with yet another process. But if I ever
    do get into something resembling true pigment printing, I'll be thinking outside the box
    completely. Separation negs is the easy part of the problem - there are all kind of ways to
    do them.

  4. #44
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Sorry Bob, but I get a lot of interruptions here at the office, which take priority of course. ... Dye Transfer is really obsolete when it comes to sharpness, convenience, cost, or permanence. For garden-variety work, inkjet will do a better job 70% of the time. But
    it's that other 30% of images, esp if shot specifically for the medium, where the transparency of DT dyes make all the difference. They have a life to them which inkjet
    simply doesn't, and which traditional process pigments don't either. The basic problem is
    that just about every alternative color worker has his own priorities, and it's difficut to get
    economic traction where pooled investment is crucial to ordering a custom product run.
    Either that, or you need to be independently wealthy - which I certainly am not!

  5. #45

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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I've got hundreds of Cibas, at least small ones (nearly all the big ones are sold). Not one
    of them is scratched. Kink marks were a bigger risk, esp handling large sheets in the dark.
    I made a special sled to transfer big sheets onto the vacuum easel. No different than handling polyester base in any other media, including Fuji Supergloss. You learn to never
    touch the image itself and how to correctly frame it. But one time I did get a defective
    batch of Ciba which has a remarkable 3D lustre to it, not like their pearl RC paper, but not
    high gloss either. They said it was a bad batch of gelatin. Never seen anything like it again.
    A beautiful surface.
    Yes, but you handle them with care. All people are not like you....

  6. #46

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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Sorry Bob, but I get a lot of interruptions here at the office, which take priority of course. ... Dye Transfer is really obsolete when it comes to sharpness, convenience, cost, or permanence. For garden-variety work, inkjet will do a better job 70% of the time. But
    it's that other 30% of images, esp if shot specifically for the medium, where the transparency of DT dyes make all the difference. They have a life to them which inkjet
    simply doesn't, and which traditional process pigments don't either. The basic problem is
    that just about every alternative color worker has his own priorities, and it's difficut to get
    economic traction where pooled investment is crucial to ordering a custom product run.
    Either that, or you need to be independently wealthy - which I certainly am not!
    You should be getting high prices for your work. I looked at one printer in L.A getting near a thousand $ a print for super large prints. I think they were inkjet too! But they got the Getty museum with big pockets. But...I see your in SF, so your rent must eat up all the print profit.

  7. #47

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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Sorry Bob, but I get a lot of interruptions here at the office, which take priority of course. ... Dye Transfer is really obsolete when it comes to sharpness, convenience, cost, or permanence. For garden-variety work, inkjet will do a better job 70% of the time. But
    it's that other 30% of images, esp if shot specifically for the medium, where the transparency of DT dyes make all the difference. They have a life to them which inkjet
    simply doesn't, and which traditional process pigments don't either. The basic problem is
    that just about every alternative color worker has his own priorities, and it's difficut to get
    economic traction where pooled investment is crucial to ordering a custom product run.
    Either that, or you need to be independently wealthy - which I certainly am not!

    Good summation.

  8. #48

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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Just Google it. The Dye Tranfer Forum is run by Jim Browning, who has a lot to do with the
    successful revival of the key materials. He also holds patents on the Chromira. Kodak dyes
    weren't unique - they were just high purity versions of common dyes. Tanning developer
    is easily made, but I personally prefer a technique more similar to old wash-off relief. What
    I have done is modernize separation negative technique, but all darkroom. I get enough of
    damn computers here in the office!
    Could not find it. But does not really matter. Was just curious as to how many are doing transfers. I'm 100% out of the wet darkroom. Don't have much wall space for prints. So i just view on the 'puter mostly. But if I did print, it would be inkjet.

    I had come into some vintage dye transfers and thought it would be a good time to do a little write up about it, so I did at some of the forums.

    Now am curious as to fade tests. So will work in that area a little.

    ...they were something in their day though...dye transfers...crafted by hand and not by machine!


  9. #49
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    It's very difficult to know how many people are still dye transfer printing worldwide. It's
    probably less than a hundred, and I'm only aware of four who will print commercially for
    others. There were two basic versions: matrice film for use with separations taken from
    chromes, and pan matrix film for printing directly from color negs instead. The last of the
    pan matrix film (which was relatively uncommon) was stockpiled by Ctein, who has just
    officially ended commercial printing with it due to diminishing supplies. But there are a
    handful of individuals attempting to make their own analogous film. The whole field can get
    pretty complicated (or fun - depending). It's a lot more tactile experience than inkjet printing, and when the hues land, they really land.

  10. #50
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Archival stability of dye-transfer prints

    ...they were something in their day though...dye transfers...crafted by hand and not by machine!
    If you really are interested in "hand made" and avoiding "Machines", you might want to also avoid using commercially made cameras and lenses, commercially made film and papers etc. ie all the machines and machine made products that make it possible for you to make your "Handmade prints".
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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