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Thread: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

  1. #261

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    Brian, you are in good company. Brett Weston used the word "drudgery" in referring to his darkroom sessions when printing for his portfolios; a mechanical process devoid of pleasure. Of course, the initial prints from the negatives evoked quite a different response.

    Personally, there is something very special and irreplaceable about darkroom time; the faint safelight glow, the scent, the solitude, and the occasional perfect print. That is where I spent today, and I never tire of the process.
    Hi Merg - Thanks, it's good to know there's one thing Brett Weston and I have in common. : - )

    I too used to enjoy my darkroom time up to a point. When I was younger the point was about 12 hours. As I got older the point gradually shrunk to about five hours. Beyond those points I was ready to get out. And I was like you with the solitude and the quiet, I never liked music in the darkroom, I couldn't figure out how anyone could do either the music or the darkroom justice when doing both at the same time but obviously many people have.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  2. #262
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    Back to Sandy's last post (which I just noticed) - there obviously is a break-even point
    with what can be reproduced in terms of scale relative to print sharpness, i.e., you
    cannot create detail which simply does not exist in the original itself, so at a particular
    degree of magnification, all things are equal between digital and optical printing in this
    respect. And high-end scanners are capable of picking up virtually everything in the
    original. The problem is with output. Inkjet might be getting a lot better than what it
    was a few years back, but just can't resolve that much detail in a typical print size.
    To see the difference more dramatically, print on polyester print base instead of paper,
    and the advantages of optical printing per detail become more apparent. This might
    not be a concern for some people, but I personal like most of my own prints very sharp
    or unmistakably photographic. But I never print bigger than 30x40 from 8x10. And I do like darkroom work. Nothing like a rainy day and a quiet (no music or phones) darkroom session; just the sound of the rain. So relaxing. But I would go mad if I had to make a portfolio of the same negative over and over and over. Usually two or maybe three is the most of any given neg.

  3. #263
    falth j
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Above the Straits

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    Ho, hum,

    Poor old Brent has had to digest twenty-pages, of this stuff.

    He must really be better for all of the information.

    What he really needs to understand, is the difference between grains of silver, and collections of electrons...

    Once he understands all this, surely, he'll be able to make an intelligent decision?

  4. #264

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Syracuse, NY

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Anybody who walks up to one of my prints with a magnifying glass gets what they deserve.
    I would LOVE for someone to walk up to one of my 8x10 contact prints with a loupe! My 250mm Wide Field Ektar speaks for itself, and for me. Seeing their jaw hit the floor would be priceless.

    If you're doing what you love, these "vs." discussions become somewhat irrelevant, although they are entertaining and can be very informative. Yes, the beauty of digital inkjet prints is undeniable.. But for my own work, I simply *must* have the big negative

  5. #265
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    brooklyn, nyc

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    I was obsessive in the darkroom and loved it. Most of it, anyhow. But I learned to love the digital workflow, too.

    The undeniable improvement for me is the amount of time I can spend doing creative work vs. mechanical work. This is entirely separate from how much I like either process. I'm so happy to be able to focus more on the part that ultimately has more value to me, and which will actually get noticed.

  6. #266

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    You might want to look into laser B&W printers. I have an HP 4000, available used and reconditioned for about $200. A new cartridge good for thousands of pages is about $90. This printer can do 1200 dpi and make a very nice print on watercolor paper that for the right subject matter resembles a platinum print. I print from the GIMP software.

    With lasers, you need printer RAM installed to take the full size of the file you want to print. I put in 100 MB, which is the maximum the HP 4000 can take, and which allows me to print an 8X10 at 1200 dpi. I can only get files of this size by scanning LF negatives. I have a 9 MB digital camera, and from that I can make a 5X7 at 600 dpi which looks nice. These images are half-tones from Post Script files, converted from jpegs, tiffs, ect. by the GIMP.

    Even with a powerful work station computer, these images take a few minutes each to process and print, but I prefer the look of them to ink jet prints and I can use any smooth surface paper. The laser is very economical and low maintenance.

  7. #267
    photobymike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Tampa Florida

    Re: wet darkroom vs. inkjet

    I like epson 4800 or 4880 printer over 3880 because the have a vacuum pump that holds paper while printing. Also does roll paper... the ink and paper are more cost effective with 4800.

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