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Thread: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

  1. #1

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    Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    I have been doing a little research into the digital negative realm and would like to hear some thoughts and opinions from experienced users. Specifically from those who have created a digital negative and obtained a favorable outcome contact printing with platinum/palladium. For what it is worth the source of my originals would be 6x6 and 4x5 wet scanned on a V700 flatbed. A digital negative sounds great in theory due to the adjustments that can be made before it is enlarged; everything from dodging and burning to contrast control. Now I have never done a wet print in my life and will not have the space available for a dedicated darkroom; Pt/Pd sounds like it may be a beautiful solution to my otherwise boring inkjets.

    What do you say?

  2. #2

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Can't come close to calling my self experienced but I pretty much do what you are thinking of. I scan 4x5 and 8x10 on an Epson 4990 and print with an Epson 2200 and stock inks on Pictorico OHP. I've also used dslr files and they've worked equally well for small prints like 8x10. I definitely enjoy everything that Photoshop offers in regards to control and its non-destructive nature. The hardest part for me has been fine tuning the digital negative file. Sometimes the curve I use will get me in the ballpark but other times it doesn't really come close. So I have put most of my time into modifying each negative file. It would take many iterations for a perfect negative but I have stopped when I am decently satisfied since it has all been just a bit of practice on small prints. But I have had a few that I am happy with.

    I also don't have a darkroom. Definitely don't need one, imo. Even though the room I do this in is fairly dark it certainly is no darkroom with a window and thick curtains. I've had sensitized scrap pieces laying out in my trash for a week and tried developing them to no effect. I do all my work under regular incandescent lamps and it has had no effect either. I use black lightbulbs but if you might take this seriously an HID grow light or equivalent seems the best route. Not too expensive really either.



    I have switched to toned Kallitypes just because I went through the Palladium quickly with all the negatives I did and re-did. Technically though Palladium is easier I think since there are less steps and less chemicals involved. Not that Kallitypes are hard. I think the processes are fun and they give quite a different look to prints than inkjet or lightjet prints.
    My website
    "There is little or no ‘reality’ in the blacks, grays and whites of either the informational or expressive black-and-white image" -Ansel Adams

  3. #3

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    I've done quite a few, but not for 4 years or so since I got my 5x7 camera.

    I followed Dan Burkeholder's book. Let me be clear. I did not print my own negs. I had them output by a digital bureau at 3600dpi through an imagesetter.

    I used Dan's curves and thought they were quite good. Normal pt/pd contrast controls can still be used.

    Biggest I went was 12in long print off 35mm scan. Most were scanned from Type 655 negs and printed around 8x8in.

  4. #4

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Excellent to hear (and see) gentleman...I assume the most difficult and time-consuming step of the process is creating a negative that prints well with the medium. I recently switched to pyrocat-hd in order to maximize the negatives potential for scanning. I am going to order Dan Burkeholder's book, thank you for the resource.

    Good lookin' pup to Zaitz!

  5. #5

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Another method to check out is Mark Nelsons PDN system. A friend of mine is getting very nice results using Marks system. I have also seen Marks platinum and polymer plate prints and they are excellent.

    Roger
    formerly rtbadman

  6. #6
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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    I think Ron Reeder and the QTR is the way to go, I have seen Ron works first hand and my staff think he is the bomb.

    Really a good teacher, nice guy and straight to the point... makes it look easy peasy

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Another point for Ron Reeder and QTR from me, I started this year making digital negatives for Kallitypes following his method using QTR and I'm quite pleased (though I still prefer the results from my 8x10 in-camera "tailored" negatives)
    Filippo

  8. #8

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Quote Originally Posted by David Brunell View Post
    Excellent to hear (and see) gentleman...I assume the most difficult and time-consuming step of the process is creating a negative that prints well with the medium. I recently switched to pyrocat-hd in order to maximize the negatives potential for scanning. I am going to order Dan Burkeholder's book, thank you for the resource.

    Good lookin' pup to Zaitz!
    I wouldn't order Burkeholder's book now, it's way out of date. Try Mark Nelson's PDN system or bone up on using QTR. The advantages of using PDN is that it isn't printer specific (can be used with non Epson printers) while QTR only supports Epson printers.

    Visit Clay Harmon's website for insightful information re: QTR and digital negatives.

    http://www.clayharmon.com/techne/?p=596

    http://www.clayharmon.com/techne/?page_id=2

  9. #9

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    All great resources...I will have some reading to do this week. I am currently printing with Jon Cone's K6 piezography inkset and Harrington's QTR; I doubt this can be adapted to the digital negative but I will contact him anyway. Thank you all, this is looking like a very reasonable and pleasing alternative process.

  10. #10

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"

    Quote Originally Posted by David Brunell View Post
    All great resources...I will have some reading to do this week. I am currently printing with Jon Cone's K6 piezography inkset, I doubt this can be adapted to the digital negative but I will contact him anyway. Thank you all, this is looking like a very reasonable and pleasing alternative process.
    There are Piezography digital negative ink sets for several Epson printers.

    http://www.inkjetmall.com/wordpress/...-negative-kit/

    Depending on the printer and methodology Piezography ink sets are available for different density ranges appropriate for various printing processes. Some discussion of this has taken place at the Piezography forum on Yahoo. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/piezography3000/

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

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