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Thread: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Negative

  1. #1

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    Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Negative

    What would give me the best end result, a 12x16 contact print (on silver based paper) from a 12x16 digital negative after being scanned from a 5x7 (2400dpi) negative or a 12x16 dry print straight from photoshop after being scanned at the same resolution as the previos 5x7 negative?

  2. #2

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    I have a hard time to believe any inkjet printer can beat a contact print on Lodima/AZO. Michael A. Smith once told me it is also much harder to get it right on an inkjet, and much more expensive. So I will go for the digital negative route printing on Lodima

  3. #3

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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    The same inkjet printer is used to make both images. The contact print is made with a vacuum frame. The only difference between the 2 digital prints is that one is a negative onto transparency material, while the other is a positive onto the final paper.

    One image - the positive - is made directly onto paper. End of story. The other image is a negative that is subsequently re-printed via contact.

    Since every subsequent transfer is "destructive" to some extent (no matter how small) then the image printed only once should be better.

    Whether a human can discern the difference is another matter.

    This presumes that the inkjet paper is like the photo paper: so smooth that resolution is not an issue. If the inkjet paper has "tooth" or texture which limits resolution, then that's another matter.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    It would save a lot of effort, time and cost, to just enlarge the negative in a darkroom.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    You may be right, but each approach has advantages and disadvantages.

    Effort, time and cost are not the only factors.

    The list of of other factors is rather long and has been the subject of considerable... discussion

  6. #6
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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    Human perception or ability to tell the generation loss is an interesting component.
    I am sure there are some of us who believe they are better than others at that, I have heard of a worker here who has colour memory which is amazing if it is true.


    We have made silver prints from Inkjet negs and from Silver negs off a Lambda.

    Our test included the following.

    4x5 image enlarged onto Ilford Warmtone silver paper -20 x24 print
    same 4x5 image scanned and outputted onto pictorico inkjet, and Rollie Ortho 25 via Lambda laser exposure at 400ppi both negs to 20 x24.

    Both alternative negatives contacted onto Ilford Warmtone silver paper. We did our best to make a negative that when contacted matched the enlarger print.. A bit of futzing required but really only a matter of contrast control with curves in PS.

    Conclusion

    Inkjet contact print did not stand up to critical viewing.
    Ortho 25 negative print was for all intents identical to the enlarged silver print.

    We are moving into this direction of making silver negatives due to this test.

    I believe if the final support was art paper much like that used in PTPD or other alt processes the inkjet negative works very well.

    For what its worth we did the a similar test 6 years ago and showed over 300 photographers.

    we made a 30 x40 print on a enlarger on Ilford MG4
    we then scanned the same negative and using glossy bartya inkjet made a print.
    we also printed the same file on our digital fibre wet paper.

    we encouraged the photographers to tell us which print was which, we even had one person bring out a loupe during the presentation to
    tell us which one was the enlarger, and which ones were the digital print.
    less than 5% of the viewers were able to tell the difference.This was very surprising to me and was a lesson well learned.

    {Whether a human can discern the difference is another matter.)
    I tend to believe we are at the point with our print output that we cannot in all honesty tell the difference if the workflow is good.

  7. #7
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    "best end result" isn't very objective....

    Personally I'd prefer a silver print as a final result because I know it will hold up better than an inkjet in case it gets wet, even if they were both matching in tones and pixel peeping.

  8. #8

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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    I am going to mention something that may not be as self-evident to others as to me. Making high quality digital negatives with inkjet printers that are capable of making sharp prints with no dithering pattern, and that capture the full range of tones of the original image file, is no small matter. Even people who have been doing this for years using different methodologies (PDN, QTR with Epson inks, QTR with Piezography, etc.) don't always agree on which method gives the best print.

    But one thing is sure. If you want the best possible results in the final print, however you define the word, the method must be perfectly calibrated with the final printing process in terms of negative density range and curve type, and with the desired outcome.

    Sandy
    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

  9. #9

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    Re: Wet contact print from Digital Negative or Dry Inkjet print from scanned 5x7 Nega

    I am in agreement with Sandy here, who certainly knows his stuff. I will add one more observation, however. There are many here who do not make prints that are "perfect" prints, by traditional standards, but are perfect for them. There are many alternative processes that yield all kinds of different results, as well as endless variations doing things to an image in photoshop, and printing it on different papers, matte or glossy, or with different inksets.

    I have recently made a print through an inkjet printer that is indistinguishable from a platinum print. The hybrid workflow combining film and digital printing has been proven to be excellent, especially with the precise control one has in Photoshop for making corrections to the image.

    What's missing from the question is what you are trying to accomplish (in a print). The "best end result" is unknown to us. While some here wouldn't consider printing on glossy, others wouldn't consider printing on matte, for example. I find contrast range to be quite important. Much of the difficulty is in retaining the smooth transitions I grew to love doing platinum printing - that's my bias. Contrasty printing is not so difficult (technologically speaking). I think you could elaborate on your question a bit and the answers might be a little clearer. After all, the best end result is all in your aesthetic, and not necessarily anyone else here...


    Good luck,

    Lenny
    Last edited by Lenny Eiger; 26-Sep-2012 at 12:36. Reason: typo
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  10. #10

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    I will stress the point of the possibility when contact printing to use Lodima, which is something very different from a VC paper. The paper is just better in every aspect than any VC paper I have used, and I have tried most of them. It is made for contact printing. Developed in Amidol it is just faboulus. I switched to contact printing because of this paper alone.

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