Page 8 of 8 FirstFirst ... 678
Results 71 to 80 of 80

Thread: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

  1. #71

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    682

    Thumbs up Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by john borrelli View Post
    Hi Audioexcels, I go to the Image Inn here in Massachusetts, I am not associated with them in any way financially, I have been going to them for about five years. They are a traditional black and white lab. They do contact printing and they will contact print a 4x5 inch negative for two or three dollars. Some nice things about their contact prints include the nice paper they use and that you receive a 4x5 inch print back, as opposed to two 4x5 inch prints on a thinner weight 8 x 11 inch paper. Some of their contact prints have gone right into little frames because they looked so nice.I believe they have a web site.
    Thanks John for your input. I only wonder if a higher end scanner bridges the gap furthermore to what you enjoy better with an analog vs. digital print. This may be a tough task to muster up, but here's what I would love to see done:

    1) I am assuming you know and use the better papers for inkjet printing. Take some papers that this lab does not use, and would be considered the equivalent of the paper/s that you use to do digital prints, and have them use these papers to make the prints with. Or, take over what is considered to be perhaps a pricey, but also best type of paper that can be used for digital printing for the contact look and likewise, the best type of paper that can be used for analog prints. I believe AZO is still around and many felt it was up there as the distinguished "best" for contact prints. Find something like an AZO that your labl obviously would lose money on if they used it for doing the contact prints since the sheet itself is say $5-$10 for a 4X5 sheet. I have to paper research as I have no idea what these papers for digital and contact printing cost, the ones for digital that are supposed to give the look of the contact print and the best analog stuff available today.

    2) Take the contact prints and try to replicate them using some sort of paper that is supposed to look like a contact print (see above) or some paper that seems to be what the machine wants to print onto to make those nice analog prints more indistinguishable to the digital prints. You have probably tried this already, but it would be an interesting thing to do IMHO, because now you are playing with different papers through the digital output and can adjust this/that/etc. as you do digitally, but can also find out what it is you need to do in order to replicate that analog print. Maybe it is possible? Maybe it is not. But if it is possible, you can indeed no longer use the printer locally and use that extra money to buy the future papers that will come out made specifically for those interested in getting the look of the contact print through a digital process.


    I know it's quite a tough one to handle, but if you really want to play around and experiment with it all to see just how much you can do on your own to just how much the lab could be doing if they were using different papers than they do, and likewise, you using different papers, along with doing all you can in learning about what papers along with what photoshop and printer necessities is required to get the same analog look.

    Sorry for the long one here, but I think this would be a very satisfying exercise. It would take some time, obviously, but you would be dealing with the best papers for both digital and analog paths, and have the opportunity to see not only if you can replicate and make a similarly good analog print as what you have been used to seeing from your lab, but you may actually see that the lab using such and such a paper is incredible and far superior to anything you can do digitally, while at the same time, you may find that even with these best papers for analog, you may find that the best papers for digital are able to not only replicate/look as good, but be far superior than what the analog ones look like.

    Thanks and hopefully you or someone will do an experiment like this. I think it's very interesting because if you did find a paper that really did it for you (that you gave to the lab), it could open up how you look at the traditional path more. At the same time, if you do the digital path with better papers and learn that you can replicate or make better prints than those the lab did with the best papers you give to them, you can surely know the best path to go, though the blown out highlights thing, if corrected in the darkroom or simply digitally is pretty mute for having it contact printed!

    Cheers and enjoy the shooting and hopefully some exercising of different papers for the lab and yourself to use!

  2. #72

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    132

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    audioexcels, i have done by experiments and found the perfect paper: another sheet of 4x5 film. the ones with a clear base.

  3. #73

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Before asking what is "better" you have to define your terms - what standards do you judge "betterness" by?

    The very thought of fiddling with print drivers, having to deal with a printer with a clogged head, or one that shows banding on the digital negative, would be enough to make me give up photography. Using wet darkroom techniques to make enlarged negatives that are then used for contact printing is infinitely 'better' in my opinion for that reason alone.

  4. #74

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew vincent View Post
    Most of the photographic artists I see working with these techniques are not really that interested in maximizing detail - it's certainly not their only concern. Many are deliberately trying to introduce accident, chance, variation, blur, etc. .
    Precisely! Do you have any idea how much money photographers spend to make sure that their pin-sharp lenses give them soft portraits with swirly bokeh?

  5. #75

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    682

    Thumbs up Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
    audioexcels, i have done by experiments and found the perfect paper: another sheet of 4x5 film. the ones with a clear base.
    hehehehehe

    I've got loads of 45 film...when my project cam is done, I would have forgotten about costs that I remember considering when I became profoundly interested in the format vs. 35mm/120 (still love these others). Then again, I also have about 50 or so sheets of 810 to cut down to WP+panoramic size as well.

  6. #76

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    682

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Before asking what is "better" you have to define your terms - what standards do you judge "betterness" by?

    The very thought of fiddling with print drivers, having to deal with a printer with a clogged head, or one that shows banding on the digital negative, would be enough to make me give up photography. Using wet darkroom techniques to make enlarged negatives that are then used for contact printing is infinitely 'better' in my opinion for that reason alone.
    Better to me is achieving as much of a transparent look as is possible. Yes, of course sharpness is one thing, and obviously even a "small" sheet of 45 film has loads of information. But I'm still stuck on web shots, and my own tests of polaroid film (have not had any of this scanned and printed) that show a see-through look/transparent look where it is like you can go into the picture rather than have a less dimensional look. Hard to say exactly what I am seeing, but when I look on the web, I see the same thing. There is something about the direct print from the camera that has a look as if I can go into it vs. one that seems to be capable of going into it, but being restricted at the same time...almost like a "flatter" rendition vs. a more "palpable" one.

    I know everyone will say webshots mean nothing, but I can see the why people have said a Canon 5D is a camera that has excellent coloration, but also holds the same exact Canon "look" that I have always seen with my cropped Canon DSLRs. At the same time, you can see clearly, even in the webshots that mean nothing, that the Canon has a greater resolved look/dimension to it than the cropped Canon cameras...effortless is a better word to use here. It looks more like an MF shot than it does a 35mm shot whereas the cropped Canon shots look more like 35mm shots than an MF shot.

    Same thing for this one person's portfolio with exceptional landscape photos shot with both a Mamiya 6 (and high end glass) along with his 45 work using excellent glass for it. The Mamiya shots are softer/lighter looking. Not that they are not exceptional when you compare them to other MF stuff or digital full frame stuff, but they are not with the same effortlessness of his 45 work. All his stuff is tripoded, using the same workflow, the same beach landscapes, etc. etc...but the 45 stuff is rock solid and plainly looks effortless and more authoritative if such a word should be used than the Mamiya stuff. But at small print sizes, it may be tougher to tell the differences, though it seems pretty clear even at Flickr native small size "and" very obvious when you click on the large file size where the 45 just stands out so effortlessly and the Mamiya stuff can show hints of grain, though in most cases retains itself very well grain wise...but just is not the same wow factor/effortless/gallery looking shot as the 45 ones...again, same context...though I have to say, Mamiya has some very beautiful coloration in spite color wise, his Nikkor lenses on 45 are quite similar to the Mamiya glass.

    Back to what is relevant here to me is the contact print and its ability to create a window to the world that is transparent=doesn't get held back by something. It's still a reproduction, hence, it's never going to look like the screen I am looking at right now, but it is the most transparent look into the screen I am looking at from what I have seen in webshots...and my own polaroid shots..

    Many will argue the digital is the culprit of losing this transparent look...many will argue it is the way to achieve a better look by being able to alter the image in photoshop. But regardless of whatever workflow and whatever the culprit or (my own eyes that are blind) is, I still see this transparent look that does not exist in the same manner as a digital scan of the negative...and the example given by Victoria shows an ugly looking print vs. the contact print IMHO...

  7. #77

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,513

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Before asking what is "better" you have to define your terms - what standards do you judge "betterness" by?

    The very thought of fiddling with print drivers, having to deal with a printer with a clogged head, or one that shows banding on the digital negative, would be enough to make me give up photography. Using wet darkroom techniques to make enlarged negatives that are then used for contact printing is infinitely 'better' in my opinion for that reason alone.
    Well, if you have actually made enlarged negatives with both wet darkroom techniques and with digital methods, and that experience brings you to the conclusion that wet processing is infinitely better, then more power to your reasoning.

    I have done it both ways and for me there is no comparison. Making digitally enlarged negatives is both easier and gives far superior results IMHO. Both methods, however, require a lot of skill to get optimum results.

    Sandy king

  8. #78

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Well, if you have actually made enlarged negatives with both wet darkroom techniques and with digital methods, and that experience brings you to the conclusion that wet processing is infinitely better, then more power to your reasoning.

    I have done it both ways and for me there is no comparison. Making digitally enlarged negatives is both easier and gives far superior results IMHO. Both methods, however, require a lot of skill to get optimum results.

    Sandy king
    Its just that I don't want to fiddle with office equipment!

  9. #79

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,513

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Its just that I don't want to fiddle with office equipment!
    I understand that point of view. For many years I was chair of a large department at the university where I taught. My life at the time (if you can call it that), basically consisted of writing reports for the dean, faculty evaluations, exchanging electronic messages with faculty at war with other faculty or me me, and writing my own work for publication. That put me in front of a computer for many hours every day, and often at nights as well. The last thing I would have wanted at that time was to spend more time in front of a computer scanning and making digital negatives.

    However, when I finally left that job, and did not need to publish any more for promotion or tenure, working at the computer became a pleasure and not a chore and I got involved in making digital negatives for printing with alternative processes. It is now fun to me, though it is still more fun taking the camera out and finding interesting things to photograph.


    Sandy Kiing

  10. #80

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Flint, MI
    Posts
    442

    Re: Contact vs. Digital print AND scanners for large format...

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    I understand that point of view. For many years I was chair of a large department at the university where I taught. My life at the time (if you can call it that), basically consisted of writing reports for the dean, faculty evaluations, exchanging electronic messages with faculty at war with other faculty or me me, and writing my own work for publication. That put me in front of a computer for many hours every day, and often at nights as well. The last thing I would have wanted at that time was to spend more time in front of a computer scanning and making digital negatives.

    However, when I finally left that job, and did not need to publish any more for promotion or tenure, working at the computer became a pleasure and not a chore and I got involved in making digital negatives for printing with alternative processes. It is now fun to me, though it is still more fun taking the camera out and finding interesting things to photograph.


    Sandy King
    so true, so true.... in summer I extend my weekends to include Friday and Monday which are dedicated to shooting, processing, scanning, retouching, and printing and every part of the workflow is rewarding and fulfilling. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are hard days, but it's a good compromise.

    Sandy, are you still using Pictorico for enlarged negs?

Similar Threads

  1. Large Format Scanning & Digital Workflow Workshops 2007
    By Ted Harris in forum Announcements
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15-Jan-2007, 14:15
  2. scanner and 4x5 or contact print 8x10
    By Percy in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 22-Jun-2005, 17:50
  3. Digital or Film?
    By Percy in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 29-May-2005, 02:51
  4. digital darkroom question
    By Dan Jolicoeur in forum On Photography
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 15-Dec-2004, 09:54
  5. Questions regarding George DeWolfe in View Camera mag
    By Jim Chinn in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 10-Jan-2002, 07:41

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •