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

  1. #71

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    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.

  2. #72

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    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.

  3. #73

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    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?

  4. #74

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    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.

  5. #75

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    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...

  6. #76

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    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

  7. #77

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    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!

  8. #78

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    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

  9. #79

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    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?

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