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Thread: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

  1. #1

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    Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Perhaps some of you xpurts could explain some of the options and price levels for getting decent film negatives and darkroom prints out of our digital files?

    I'm mainly concerned with home darkroom options rather than sending out, like what is affordable and reasonably possible for a black and white worker?

    Are those old Polaroid film recorders usable? Is there something good that isn't desk size and impossible to fix/replace?

    I haven't done this since the old LVT days in the mid-1990s when ignorant ad clients would pay $$$ to have my digital files output so they could be rescanned by the printer, lol, those were the stupid days....

    Does any lab even have a working LVT anymore?

  2. #2
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    Does any lab even have a working LVT anymore?
    http://www.albumenworks.com/digital_.../archival.html

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Many of the Epson pigment printers can be used to good effect.

    You can use Epson's ink and something like Mark Nelson's system. See: http://www.precisiondigitalnegatives.com/

    Alternatively, you can use Quad-toned rip. See: http://www.ronreeder.com/ If you're using the OEM inks, the first options gives slightly smoother results. If you're willing to make an inkset just for this, then Jone Cone has an inkset available, or you could use multiple dilutions of a very smooth printing ink, such as Epson's, HP's, or Canon's green pigment ink. If you do the latter, something like Epson's 1400 might be ideal, as it has a very small droplet size.

    Sandy King has done a lot of work in this area, although mainly for carbon transfer printing. I'm sure he'll have some good suggestions.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  4. #4

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Would your needs be met by inkjet to a translucent/transparent media for contact printing?

  5. #5

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    What sort of equipment do you have?? There are a bunch of different ways to tackle the digital negative thing, and there are pros and cons with most of the "systems." QTR will only work on select epson printers, so if you are canon or HP you won't have that as an option. PDN works quite well, as does the new HP profiles, but if its only a few prints you may want to look into these guys

    http://www.digitalsilverimaging.com

    I have seen their prints and they are awesome, I feel it would be hard to match their quality on a home ink jet printer.

    If you do want to do the whole digi neg thing, it has been discussed in great depth over on dpug.com, lots of knowledge over there and many people applying it to silver prints.

    d

  6. #6

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    If you want the best possible digital negatives for printing on silver papers I would suggest albumen works, or Bob Carnie at Digital Elevator. Both are outputting to continuos tone film.

    If you want to make the negatives yourself I believe you will get the best results by adapting one of the epson printers to all gray shades and then create a profile to drive the ink set. Depending on the density range you need it may be necessary to adjust the ink set by diluting one or more of the shades to give greater or less transmission density for your process.

    Most people who have seen my large carbon prints made from digital negatives (QTR and Epson 3800 with the K3 ink set installed have found them very smooth and sharp. But I am not one to be easily satisfied with print quality so over the past several months I have been working to create a profile with the Epson 7600 and the Cone K7 Piezgraphy selenium set. This has given me results about the same as I get with the 3800 and the K3 set, in large measure because the Cone set can effectively only use three of the seven inks in the set for the UV density range I need for my process. This has led me to create an alternative set with the Cone inks, in which I have diluted the strong inks with weaker inks and the weaker inks with strong inks. The problem with the Cone K7 set for printing with alternative processes that require a very high density range negatives, is that the UV densities of seven (or eight) inks vary tremendously. This seems to work fine for printing on paper, but for the smoothest possible print tones, I expect it is necessary to have the inks fill in the holes around each other's dots as much as possible. This means that all of the inks should be fairly close in blocking UV power. So far, and I have no completed the work, I have managed to get much greater smoothness by adjusting the strength of the inks so that now all seven are being used in the profile, in contrast to the limit of three inks when using the original inks.

    My impression is that picoliter size is important, but not nearly so important as having the inks mix in such a way that their UV densities differences are minimal.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 13-Aug-2011 at 13:43.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  7. #7
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    But does anyone have an answer to Frank's question about whether it's practical to set up an LVT recorder at home?

  8. #8
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Here is a solarization wet contact print made from a digital negative off our Epson7800
    printer.

    Film neg, scan, pictorio negative, contact exposure, solarization chemicals.
    Russell Monk Photographer

  9. #9

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    Here is a solarization wet contact print made from a digital negative off our Epson7800
    printer.

    Film neg, scan, pictorio negative, contact exposure, solarization chemicals.
    Russell Monk Photographer
    Bob,

    Interesting image for sure. But do you really consider this print an example of best practice in making silver prints from digital files?

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  10. #10
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Hi Sandy

    I was going to add that I would only use this technique for solorizations or lith prints,where the mandate is not a perfect print but rather more of and abstract and not fine silver as I can print directly on silver using the lambda for that purpose.
    I may try the same test with the silver film coming off my lambda and see if I can match direct prints.

    I see this as a fun way to make images, as some of the digi negs I have made are from digital capture and the ability to make lith or solarized prints is appealing to some of our young artists who have never shot film and probably never will.
    I am doing a workshop this fall on this very concept .

    Hope your trip out west was great,

    Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Bob,

    Interesting image for sure. But do you really consider this print an example of best practice in making silver prints from digital files?

    Sandy King

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