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Thread: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

  1. #31
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Not sure how this post is relevant to Franks question, 10 years ago is a long time, things have changed a bit in that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SamReeves View Post
    I remember screwing around with film recorders 10 years ago. Not impressed with the resolution or quality, and I never touched a piece of "digital film" again. The real McCoy or nada.

  2. #32
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    I used to work in a school lab around 1994-95 where we had a film recorder that did color imaging onto 35mm film. It did a fabulous job for 35mm film and they looked real good projected big; better than any other computer-connected color output medium available to us at the time. We usually burnt the images into polaroid 35mm film which we could process in 10-15 minutes in daylight in this cheesy handheld processing machine polaroid sold. Other times we'd burn fujichome or kodachrome if the professors weren't in a hurry. This was sort of the pinnacle of projection before powerpoint and digital projectors came into being. Remember syqest disks and bernoulli cartridges for digital file storage?

    For LF use these days, I'd personally try digital negatives first (which I'd contact print) because it's something I have the equipment to do.

  3. #33
    Just waiting to be developed..
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    Ian
    You have just made my mind up not to purchase this unit... I owe you a beer.
    What a wonderful device when working at top condition,
    Ian is this unit like the Kodak Preimier?
    Thanks, id love to come by and see your place next time im up north.
    They are amazing machines, the quality is to die for. Ive seen some of my clients prints and they blew me away.
    One is using 6x12 color negs i made to do 30x40Ē prints that are indistinguishable from the camera film. Another is making large B&Ws.
    About 60% of my film output is for gallery 8x10 chromes and the rest is negatives.

    Once you get them up and running which can take a few months, theyíre extremely stable as long as your processing is top.
    The LVT almost never drifts, itís the processing that does. Because of that you have to run a 2.5x10Ē cal strip (cut an 8x10 into 3) often.
    That adds up quickly but its worth it. Ill post some pics of the inside of my Rhino the next time i take her apart.
    Its pretty cool! Speaking of cool, one thing i forgot to mention is the environment. That chip i mentioned that has the battery will blow if it gets to hot.
    By blow i mean bubble up and die!! Stupidly they put said chip right next to a large heat sync for the processor. Design run amuck.
    Actually its not Kodaks fault, they took a standard DEC Alpha AXP board and customized the programming.
    Which is fine until you confine it into a small casing with little air flow. So that can turn into a disaster.
    I have blown the chip 3 times since i got it, all on print runs of 10 8x10s or more.
    I put a big 5Ē AC fan inside the casing which seems to have helped. In the meantime i also bought $$ a bunch of spare chips just in case.


    I donít remember the Kodak Premier, is that the service they offered for duping film?
    I donít think they have any LVTs up there but i could be wrong.
    Most likely they have cine film recorders printing to 35mm or 70mm film.
    Those are the only current film recorders that are sold new and supported.
    The still film recording market died almost 15 years ago when digital projectors hit the market.

    Interestingly the LVT wasnít a casualty of that, it was the Durst v. Durst fight that killed it.
    They were selling like hotcakes. They had a lot of them still on the production line but then everything was scrapped.
    Very sad really, it could have gone on for a few more years. But the lawyers had the final say.
    On the other hand, the company that was developing the software had stopped work on it a few years before.
    That was a story all to itself. Lots of them surround the LVT

    When Kodak finally sold the LVT business to Durst, they sent everything including all of the engineers and techs.
    I didnít think it was still legal to sell people but they did. Like i said, a whole bunch of stories.
    -Ian Mazursky
    www.ianmazursky.com Travel, Landscape, Portraits and my 12x20 diary
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  4. #34
    Just waiting to be developed..
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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    Not sure how this post is relevant to Franks question, 10 years ago is a long time, things have changed a bit in that time.
    This is an interesting subject, the still film recording market hasnít changed in 15 years but the CINE market has.
    Nothing new or updated has come to the still market, the last device was the Polaroid 8k, MGIs and maybe a few others but they were a longtime ago.
    The only real changes have been in the CINE market. They are large units (1000+lbs) that can image at 2k, 4k and maybe even 6k but at a high speed.
    The 35mm still ones could go up to 8k and 16k (MGI), but they are slow!! We are talking about 3-10+ minutes per frame.
    I also have a Polaroid ProPalette 8000 and a 7000. I use them for 35mm slides for projection only. Even though i have the 6x7 and 4x5 backs, the LVT blows it out of the water!
    The print time for an 8x10 in the LVT is 30 minutes + processing time. The LVT is manual device, manual loading/unloading, calibration, no queue and no automation.

    The LVT is a different beast, it was $35+k versus $5-10k for a 35mm still. It uses RGB LED lasers compared to a B&W CCD through dichroic filters (RGB).
    The LVT has the most amazing dot pattern, even under 100x magnification, you cant see it.
    It images through an aperture that looks like a <> diamond shape, they interlace with each other and are a true contone image.
    The CCD recorders are not, depending on the type of image you can see the lines form a pattern.
    Not a huge problem for projectors but a huge one for printing.

    Like drum scanning, you have to get the hang of it to produce top quality prints. It took me a few months to figure out the quirks but once i got it, the prints are spectacular.
    One really neat thing about the LVT, you can use pretty much any film that will fit on the drum. You just need to calibrate it by changing some filters and writing a new LUT.
    Thatís not to hard, ive done it a few times now. Im testing Litho camera film to make a contone image for the 1620 LVT im getting.
    Id rather not damage a sheet of 16x20 FP4 on a tacky carbon transfer sheet. Litho film may be a great alternative.
    -Ian Mazursky
    www.ianmazursky.com Travel, Landscape, Portraits and my 12x20 diary
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  5. #35

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    We usually burnt the images into polaroid 35mm film which we could process in 10-15 minutes in daylight in this cheesy handheld processing machine polaroid sold.
    Although off topic, I have to say in all these years, you are the first person I have heard of that actually used one of those small Polaroid processing machines and their film for it! I guess it means they really did exist in real life, and not just in photography books.

  6. #36

    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    well, also off topic I guess.. it was used a lot, including commercially. I used it for two different annual report projects both of which were in the AR100 in their day. The B&W, Polapan, had a grain structure to die for, and a halated look almost like diffusion, but sharp. It was so delicate you could handle it once maybe twice, so getting in to prepress and scanned quickly was imperative. The color, while somewhat less interesting, also did have a unique look as well.
    In the 80s, at a Friends Of Photography workshop, Tom Millea showed us some gorgeous Platinum/Palladium prints made from 35mm. He shot Polapan and enlarged it directly onto a B&W film for the contact neg, negating the need for an interpositive and therefore more generational loss, and had ~11x14 handcoated prints with a very unique feel incuding the grain and glow.
    This stuff was not as obscure as it now may seem, many things weren't.
    Tyler

  7. #37

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    Re: Best Practices, Making Silver Prints from Digital Files

    Quote Originally Posted by IanMazursky View Post
    Hi Larry,
    You might want to check on the Blue laser. Those are the fastest to die in a lightjet.
    If its going in and out, it might be dying. Also check the cooling unit to make sure its actually keeping the unit cool.
    Also check to see if any of the cables or power supplies have come loose. That could cause the laser to go on and off rapidly.

    Sort of had the same problem with my LVT once. But it wasnít an LED laser, it was one of the cables sending data to the laser that was shorting in and out causing banding in the blue channel.
    I had some really interesting looking chromes that didnít please my client

    I totally understand the service and parts problem. Before i bought my LVT i investigated a 2080.
    With a lot of effort i was able to contact the last company servicing them.
    I forget the guys name but when he finally called me back, he said that they can but donít really want to service them.
    The cost was outrageous and parts are so scarce. If the system that auto loads and ejects the film goesÖouch!
    The lasers are considered consumables, same goes for the big lightjets. They have a finite life span, blue goes first, then green (i think) and finally red.
    They can be 2-4k to replace them, sometimes more. All depends on your service contract if you have one.

    Hope that helps.

    Ian, I'm only seeing this message a bit late (3 years). Thanks for the tips. I was just recently able to get my LightJet functional again. The banding was actually due to the spinner mirrors desilvering. I found a replacement spinner, installed and focused the laser and got that fixed. In the process I found the rubber rollers on the output cassette and attenuator motors had melted. I recovered the rollers after cleaning up the melted rubber mess. I printed some negatives again last weekend and they worked well - no banding or other artifacts, just a slight bit of skew due to the feed mechanism needing adjustment.

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