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Thread: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

  1. #11
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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    I was looking at it more from a scientific comparison if they is one, ie from the amount of tonal range / contrast each can produce.
    For that, a reflection densitometer will tell you what you need to know. Perhaps someone has the numbers handy.

    I have a silver print I made in 1971 on glossy paper that is no longer available, selenium toned, and it has a very rich black. I'll compare it to one of my inkjet prints. My guess is that they are very close in terms of dMax and dMin. Probably indistinguishable.

  2. #12

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Scanner/printer/inkset included you are looking at an investment of around $800
    Thanks David,
    Well I have use of a great 5x4 scanner, the Hasselblad X5, I have an Epson R3000 so its just the cost of the inks & rip.
    I would imagine the carbon inks replace all the colour set? Would that mean they cannot be reinstalled? as they are new full ones at the moment.
    Are you then printing on Epson cold press fine art paper?
    http://www.architecturalphotos.net

  3. #13
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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    It's not too difficult to produce inkjet prints that are exremely close to traditional darkroom prints, the Ilford (Harman) FB Baryta Inkjet papers are superb although a bit pricey.

    I've finally bought a decent printer and scanner to digitise some work for publication and made some comparison prints. In fact the negatives were scanned and digital negatives then platinum prints made a few months before I made silver gelatin prints for exhibitions, the Inkjet prints made with my R2400 are comparable both in tonality and image colour to the Forte Polywarmtone versions.

    Ian

  4. #14
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Otherwise it is best to just say that they are different and each can be very fine and respectable. I much rather have a clean, good inkjet than a silver print full of Spotone and excuses - I hate defects worse than the last bit of tonal density.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

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  5. #15

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    The big decision is going to be whether you go with a smoother (glossy) approach to your ink jets, which is more akin to the look of traditional photo paper versus the matte, textural papers that are unique to inkjet and some alt processes.

    The ability to make something that looks like a giant Platinum print is pretty attractive. I don't want to upset anyone by saying they are as good as Platinum prints, but you can head in that direction....

    (I mostly want a traditional glossy look myself, I got my fill of "artists papers" back in the early days of Iris printing and the early, funkier inkjet printers.)

  6. #16
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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Convenietly a silver print and an inkjet representation is sitting on the viewing station so I made a quick comparison between the two. Dismissing the antiquity of my digital tools I looked for a noticable unpleasantness between the two methods and was immediatly struck with how the border between light and darker tones looked like "cutouts" placed on the inkjet version but were smooth and unnoticable on the silver print. Both were printed on smooth glossy paper. I suspect this is because, as noted above, the ink is deposited on top of the paper whereas in the silver print the silver molecules are imbeded inside the paper.



    Also I split toned the wet print with Kodak Brown and selenium toner which imparted a slight but noticable brown tone to the silver print which is hinted at in the scan above but that may be due to my equiptment/scanning ability.

    In sum, then, for me the real silver print rules!

    Thomas

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  7. #17

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Thanks David,
    Well I have use of a great 5x4 scanner, the Hasselblad X5, I have an Epson R3000 so its just the cost of the inks & rip.
    I would imagine the carbon inks replace all the colour set? Would that mean they cannot be reinstalled? as they are new full ones at the moment.
    Are you then printing on Epson cold press fine art paper?
    Yes, the carbon inks replace the color set. You can just swap them out and run a few cleaning cycles if the color set has been installed but not used. If it has been used they sell a flush kit, then you may install the carbon set. You have the choice of using a gloss system with your printer as well!

    http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....egory.54255/.f

    I am printing on inkpress picture rag warm and cool tone as well as hahnemuhle bright white.

  8. #18

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    Convenietly a silver print and an inkjet representation is sitting on the viewing station so I made a quick comparison between the two. Dismissing the antiquity of my digital tools I looked for a noticable unpleasantness between the two methods and was immediatly struck with how the border between light and darker tones looked like "cutouts" placed on the inkjet version but were smooth and unnoticable on the silver print. Both were printed on smooth glossy paper. I suspect this is because, as noted above, the ink is deposited on top of the paper whereas in the silver print the silver molecules are imbeded inside the paper.



    Also I split toned the wet print with Kodak Brown and selenium toner which imparted a slight but noticable brown tone to the silver print which is hinted at in the scan above but that may be due to my equiptment/scanning ability.

    In sum, then, for me the real silver print rules!

    Thomas

    Thomas
    Nice Thomas, BEAUTIFUL tones. I tend to see better "depth" from a wet print, however, the control with the digital workflow is simply more practical for me. Wet printing is a very time consuming in art unto itself and I have a great respect for people who can do it well. I have two small children and can easily take a break from my processing workflow to be with them/tend to their needs. I went with the digital workflow when I compared wet/piezography side by side and have been very pleased with the results thus far.

  9. #19

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    ....Dismissing the antiquity of my digital tools I looked for a noticable unpleasantness between the two methods and was immediatly struck with how the border between light and darker tones looked like "cutouts" placed on the inkjet version but were smooth and unnoticable on the silver print.
    Yeah but... that could be over-sharpening of the digital file and/or the older printer with the coarser droplets, etc. Some papers do better than others with ink and printer combinations, etc. You may just be a better silver printer than a digital one!

    Constructing a really good test is really, really hard as the recent attempts to compare a medium format digital back to large format film showed... there are so many variables and operator skill is a huge factor as well.

    That's why this has never been (or will be?) definitively answered. A mediocre silver print will be crushed by an expert digital print and vice-versa.

    I think it is really a good idea to let go of "the absolute best". There will always be a better profile or scanner or ink set. You could always develop the negative better, the enlarger could be stabler, the chemistry optimal... go with what works to get you 95% there and tweak what is practical to improve within your time and budget.

  10. #20

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    Re: Inkjet better than wet prints yet?

    Yeah I think the important thing is that you can make amazing prints with either method. I recently got an Epson 4900, it's my 4th inkjet printer and the first one that's not totally frustrating. It just seems to work.

    On some of the new papers (Canson Infinity papers) I've made some really sweet prints. I haven't made silver prints in a long time and was never very good at it. So I have nothing to compare them to. But I think most "experts" would say they are at least "good" prints.

    One advantage with digital is that you can bring all the elements of photoshop and that sort of thing into maximizing your negatives. You can do burning and dodging with a level of precision that I think is unavailable to anyone except the most very skilled digital printers. Since my negatives are all over the place, I tend to do a lot in PS before printing.

    If you can't do darkroom printing anymore, I think you'll be able to do inkjet prints and be satisfied with the results. It's a learning curve, like anything else.

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