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gth
16-Apr-2014, 21:55
You will enjoy this….

http://youtu.be/v3EBIMVJVXE

/gth

Curt
17-Apr-2014, 00:02
Even though I have a headache from watching it I think I'll start dye transfer printing. I have fifteen to twenty years left. I might be able to get a dozen good ones in that time.

AtlantaTerry
17-Apr-2014, 00:33
Here in Atlanta, I knew people who made dye transfer prints back in the '80s. The results were beautiful.

Are the needed supplies still available?

gth
17-Apr-2014, 06:55
I put this link in my Eliot Porter thread but it belongs here too…… it bit less "dense" than the previous video.

http://youtu.be/qiRy0hszVRk

If you can spend the time with both you will have an idea what it takes….. or you might be running screaming for the latest Epson Inkblower.

Which you might need anyway to make your digital separation negatives.

We live in good times where both classical, new and hybrid printing workflows are possible.

Greg Davis
17-Apr-2014, 06:58
I had read a lot about the dye transfer process that Bob Pace had written, but I never knew that he sounded like a character from The Sopranos until I watched that video.

Bill_1856
17-Apr-2014, 07:15
A good Inkjet print will equal a Dye.

gth
17-Apr-2014, 08:16
A good Inkjet print will equal a Dye.

Yeah, 60 years later and a few billion $$ i development, whoo, whoo…….. let's not go THERE…. it's all good...

Jim Noel
17-Apr-2014, 08:22
A good Inkjet print will equal a Dye.

NOT EVEN CLOSE! Obviously you have never had the pleasure of viewing a dye transfer print.

Alan Curtis
17-Apr-2014, 08:25
Thanks for posting the video it brings back good memories. I had the good fortune to teach several large format workshops with Jim Bones in the 80's and 90's. He gave me a few lessons in Dye Transfer, a remarkable process. I had a elementary grasp of the subject just as Kodak quit producing the materials.

rcmartins
17-Apr-2014, 08:34
As Terry was asking, I too am interested, are the materials for producing dye transfers still available?
raul

Renato Tonelli
17-Apr-2014, 08:39
Even though I have a headache from watching it I think I'll start dye transfer printing. I have fifteen to twenty years left. I might be able to get a dozen good ones in that time.

Call me if you need a darkroom assistant (i'm serious).

Drew Wiley
17-Apr-2014, 09:17
You can chime into Jim Browning's Dye Transfer Forum. It's a stiff learning curve because you have to improvise most of your supplies nowadays. There are still a few commercial dye transfer operations, but naturally keep the necessary materials for themselves. All the necessary masking and color separations can still be done in the darkroom, and probably be done better than ever, but using different films from that in the older how-to sources. Or those steps can be done digitally. Dyes are still obtainable. Transfer paper can be hand-mordanted, just like it was in the earlier days of the process. But the clincher is matrix film, which is no longer commercially available. It is still being made for one lab in particular, but not for general sales. The exposure and registration equipment can be cobbled together all
kinds of way by anyone seriously interested. If you want good results easily, stick with inkjet. But when a dye transfer print is done right, there's nothing else like it.

Bill_1856
17-Apr-2014, 09:46
NOT EVEN CLOSE! Obviously you have never had the pleasure of viewing a dye transfer print.
It seems to me that YOU don't know how good inkjets have gotten.
I made Dye Transfer prints for years ever since I was in high school, but gave them up several years ago when it became obvious that there were better (and easier) ways to do it. Even Ctein has switched.

Drew Wiley
17-Apr-2014, 10:10
Ctein switched because he was running out of critical materials (he worked with the comparatively rare pan matrix process from color negs), and frankly, just because he wanted to do something different. When he showed me a whole series of parallel prints he had printed both ways, well yeah, 60% of them were about
equal; but then there were about 40% where the dye transfer version really stood out. One of the big differences is that inkjets are made from inks (duuh), and lack the transparency of dyes. On the other hand, lots and lots of mediocre dye prints were made when that work the conventional way of printing chromes. I tend to think good inkjets looks inferior to even well-made chromogenic prints, but that's half personal taste, and the other half, just sick of seeing so many of them, I suppose. The mere fact Dye Transfer has been successfully commercially revived shows it still has market appeal. And completely apart from that fact,
it has the appeal of a hands-on craft - like, "I actually made that myself", and not "I pushed some keypad buttons while hooked up to my high-fructose corn syrup
IV".... Pardon the personal bias, here. I'm obviously sick of computers. ... Superb results can be obtained all kinds of ways.

Drew Wiley
17-Apr-2014, 10:17
I should add another important distinction. With dye transfer, it is really difficult to control the highlights, but you can get luxurious shadow reproduction. With inkjet it's just the opposite - you can adjust the printing curves in advance, but the very nature of the blacks is muddy and discontinuous. Not every image works well on
every media. One just learns with whatever. I pretty much mastered Cibachrome, and it was certainly an idiosyncratic process in terms of color accuracy and contrast. And I hope to spend some more time with dye transfer once I retire, but am not under any illusions that I'll make more than a handful of classic keeper images. There are easier ways to do that.

Andrew O'Neill
17-Apr-2014, 10:32
I have a dye transfer print by Ctein. It's beautiful.

Curt
18-Apr-2014, 04:55
I saw a color carbon print of Freida Kahlo at the George Eastman House and was totally blown away. Up until that time I thought only a dye transfer print could look like that. Renaissance painters have them all beat though!

Jim Noel
18-Apr-2014, 08:28
It seems to me that YOU don't know how good inkjets have gotten.
I made Dye Transfer prints for years ever since I was in high school, but gave them up several years ago when it became obvious that there were better (and easier) ways to do it. Even Ctein has switched.

Ctein switching is no recommendation in my view. I will compare a properly made dye transfer to any digitally produced image any day. Digital imaging has a long way to go to equal the process. and yes, I have a friend who constantly upgrades his printers (plural) to the latest available including beta testing for one of the major manufacturers.

Iluvmyviewcam
18-Apr-2014, 09:30
I had read a lot about the dye transfer process that Bob Pace had written, but I never knew that he sounded like a character from The Sopranos until I watched that video.

He was very nice. I worked with him in the 1970's.

Kirk Gittings
18-Apr-2014, 09:33
A good Inkjet print will equal a Dye.

Actually it is fairly rare but I agree with Drew on this. I have over the years (because I live in NM and knew Eliot Porter a bit etc.) have seen tons of his dye transfers. Some are exquisite but most I thought were "ehhh" even back in the day. So I would have to say that the best inkjets exceed EPs average dye transfer, but don't reach his best. So my advice.......unless you are just into a laborious painful, expensive, process or want to try and match the best work of a historic master (who spent a lifetime mastering the process when there was readily available materials) stick to mastering inkjet (which very few do no matter what equipment you have-and beta testing? Iv've done it-not a mark of anything in particular except doing a manufacturers work for them for free).

Also DT on display is not hugely lightfast either as some collectors of EP sadly learned.

Iluvmyviewcam
18-Apr-2014, 09:35
Ctein switching is no recommendation in my view. I will compare a properly made dye transfer to any digitally produced image any day. Digital imaging has a long way to go to equal the process. and yes, I have a friend who constantly upgrades his printers (plural) to the latest available including beta testing for one of the major manufacturers.


Ink jet = or surpass a dye transfer in IQ. And DT's fade like hell. Ink jet will out last a DT by eons.

http://fadetesting.tumblr.com/

RE:Ctien? An egomaniac.

Iluvmyviewcam
18-Apr-2014, 09:46
I should add another important distinction. With dye transfer, it is really difficult to control the highlights, but you can get luxurious shadow reproduction. With inkjet it's just the opposite - you can adjust the printing curves in advance, but the very nature of the blacks is muddy and discontinuous. Not every image works well on
every media. One just learns with whatever. I pretty much mastered Cibachrome, and it was certainly an idiosyncratic process in terms of color accuracy and contrast. And I hope to spend some more time with dye transfer once I retire, but am not under any illusions that I'll make more than a handful of classic keeper images. There are easier ways to do that.


Inkjet / computer PP is a gift from the gods when it comes to problem negs.

(NSFW)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Vintage_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Inkjet_Print%27_Copyright_1973,_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..JPG

Yes inkjet can = silver prints.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Hahnemuehle_Ink_Jet_Print%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_Teoli_Jr..jpg

But the silver prints have a benefit when it comes to matte. They are much more durable. And silver BW is a practical process nowadays. DT's are not. The big benefit with inkjet is how you can mass produce museum quality work in no time. Something the wet darkroom cannot do.

Pigment inkjet does a pretty good job reproducing a DT.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:150_%27Dye_Transfer_Scans%27_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

Pigment inkjet is extremely fade resistant.

Don't expose your DT to light. They will sadly fade. Dark storage is fine. But inkjet still wins dark or light.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dye_Transfer_Fade_Test_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_mr.jpg

Inkjet is only surpassed possibly by Cibachrome and laser prints for fade resistance. But laser prints are not as nice as a inkjet when it comes to various paper surfaces. Cibachrome had that god awful gloss that showed every little scratch and dust spot on it. If they had made it in an air dried 'F' surface they may have had something. They would have also needed to improve on shadow detail. Ciba's were terrible with contrast and shadow. They did have gorgeous colors. But Ciba's are dead so it is moot.

Now, there may be some obscure alternative color wet tech that is as durable or more so than inkjet. I'm not into that end much. So I am speaking about the media I have worked with and fade tested.

DT will be favored by the photogs that like doing things the hard way. The ones that like wet plate and shooting a banquet cam. They are the opposite of camera fondlers...they are tech fondlers. They derive pride by saying look how hard I made it for myself.

I've been around DT's since the early 1970's. I love DT's, but their time has passed. Inkjet is the king for now.

gth
18-Apr-2014, 11:24
Look, so inkjet prints 60 years after the heyday of DTs and billions of dollars in development in software and printing technology and now on a good day it surpasses DT?

OF course. With obvious production benefits.

The fact is these old technologies were phenomenally advanced and I want to learn about them…. the long video I posted up top won't entice a lot of people to run out and get DT materials that is for sure…. So I think InkJet is safe from the DT trolls.

I just think it's fun and interesting.

Now if you have been slopping around in a darkroom for 30 years you might think differently I understand that and I appreciate all inputs

Back to the future….




Inkjet / computer PP is a gift from the gods when it comes to problem negs.

(NSFW)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Vintage_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Inkjet_Print%27_Copyright_1973,_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..JPG

Yes inkjet can = silver prints.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Hahnemuehle_Ink_Jet_Print%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_Teoli_Jr..jpg

But the silver prints have a benefit when it comes to matte. They are much more durable. And silver BW is a practical process nowadays. DT's are not. The big benefit with inkjet is how you can mass produce museum quality work in no time. Something the wet darkroom cannot do.

Pigment inkjet does a pretty good job reproducing a DT.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:150_%27Dye_Transfer_Scans%27_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

Pigment inkjet is extremely fade resistant.

Don't expose your DT to light. They will sadly fade. Dark storage is fine. But inkjet still wins dark or light.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dye_Transfer_Fade_Test_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_mr.jpg

Inkjet is only surpassed possibly by Cibachrome and laser prints for fade resistance. But laser prints are not as nice as a inkjet when it comes to various paper surfaces. Cibachrome had that god awful gloss that showed every little scratch and dust spot on it. If they had made it in an air dried 'F' surface they may have had something. They would have also needed to improve on shadow detail. Ciba's were terrible with contrast and shadow. They did have gorgeous colors. But Ciba's are dead so it is moot.

Now, there may be some obscure alternative color wet tech that is as durable or more so than inkjet. I'm not into that end much. So I am speaking about the media I have worked with and fade tested.

DT will be favored by the photogs that like doing things the hard way. The ones that like wet plate and shooting a banquet cam. They are the opposite of camera fondlers...they are tech fondlers. They derive pride by saying look how hard I made it for myself.

I've been around DT's since the early 1970's. I love DT's, but their time has passed. Inkjet is the king for now.

Oren Grad
19-Apr-2014, 10:28
Ctein switched because he was running out of critical materials (he worked with the comparatively rare pan matrix process from color negs), and frankly, just because he wanted to do something different. When he showed me a whole series of parallel prints he had printed both ways, well yeah, 60% of them were about
equal; but then there were about 40% where the dye transfer version really stood out...

Here is what Ctein had to say about it:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2011/08/digital-and-dye.html

gth
19-Apr-2014, 15:13
Digital negative separations processed and tweaked in PS and used to expose the DT matrices = best of both world?

Exciting times!

/gth


Here is what Ctein had to say about it:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2011/08/digital-and-dye.html

Bill_1856
19-Apr-2014, 16:34
My best DTs were made from 3-color separation negatives made directly in the camera on Super XX film. There is no other way to have more honest reproduction. To start with color negatives (or even 4x5 Kodachrome in the old days) one is stuck with the particular characteristics and limited exposure range of the film originals (mostly uber-vibrant Fuji these days), or the palette of one's digital camera.

gth
19-Apr-2014, 18:58
My best DTs were made from 3-color separation negatives made directly in the camera on Super XX film. There is no other way to have more honest reproduction. To start with color negatives (or even 4x5 Kodachrome in the old days) one is stuck with the particular characteristics and limited exposure range of the film originals (mostly uber-vibrant Fuji these days), or the palette of one's digital camera.

What filters did you use?

Great method but you must be limited to very stationary scenes.

What about problems rocking the camera when you change film holder and filter?

You need a very solid camera tie down.

Bill_1856
19-Apr-2014, 20:13
What filters did you use?


Great method but you must be limited to very stationary scenes.

What about problems rocking the camera when you change film holder and filter?

You need a very solid camera tie down.
I have no idea what filters -- whatever was recommended by Eastman Kodak in their excellent little guide for making seps and masks.
If one uses filmpacks (remember them?) three exposures can be made in a matter of a few seconds. You might be interested in looking at the famous color images made in Russia around the turn of the century -- he used a camera with three filters which dropped in front of the lens snicker-snack.
It's not really necessary to keep the camera perfectly positioned, because when you print the matrices the negatives are aligned and then the ragged edges of the picture are cropped out.
It's really an outmoded system, which was never all that great to begin with.

sanking
19-Apr-2014, 20:52
Kodak recommended Wratten Filters No. 29 (Red), 61 (Green), and 47B (Blue) for making direct separations directly from still subjects.

Another set commonly used was 25 (Blue), 58 (Green) and 47 (Blue). This set allows a slightly wider bandwidth.

Some years ago there was a long thread on the LF forum on making three color separations in the camera. I remember contributing to the thread but don't remember the name and was not able to locate it in a search.

Sandy

sanking
20-Apr-2014, 09:38
Here is the thread on making in-camera color separations I was thinking about.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?48583-Color-photography-with-black-and-white-film&highlight=tri-color

Sandy

bob carnie
20-Apr-2014, 09:58
My 3 colour separations are made directly from PS on 25 ISO ortho silver film.
I do not care what the original image is from , film or digital.


My best DTs were made from 3-color separation negatives made directly in the camera on Super XX film. There is no other way to have more honest reproduction. To start with color negatives (or even 4x5 Kodachrome in the old days) one is stuck with the particular characteristics and limited exposure range of the film originals (mostly uber-vibrant Fuji these days), or the palette of one's digital camera.

Drew Wiley
21-Apr-2014, 08:34
That's a bit of an oversimplification. For the best results, you'd need not only three in-camera separations, but at least two color correction masks, and generally
three highlight masks. That at total of at least eight exposures. I've heard of people doing as many as fifteen exposures for dye transfer. But generally, it's been done off chrome film. TMX100 is an excellent separation as well as masking film. You don't need the old Super-XX or Pan Masking film. You do need a sizable film budget.

Bill_1856
21-Apr-2014, 13:32
The one essential item that you need, (and which hasn't been mentioned), is a densitometer. (See Drew Wiley's comments above for the reason why.)

Mark Sampson
21-Apr-2014, 20:32
The real problem with dye transfer at this point is an existential question. To wit: Do I have color images worth the struggle to reproduce them? Our Mr. Carnie (more strength to his arm) doesn't have that issue to deal with, as his customers make that decision for him. But the rest of us? Eliot Porter, for one, had the talent and work ethic to produce great photographs and master this most difficult of color processes. But he had a private income so could devote the time and money to follow his muse. Who among us has the energy to shoot great color photographs and the endurance to master the craft?

Drew Wiley
22-Apr-2014, 08:38
It's all relative. You can still run across old Kodak marketing sheets touting how easy the dye transfer process is for home hobbyists. Compared to color carbro, it
was easy. Then Cibachrome came along, and made things easier. But you still had to make masks. Then bit by bit, chromogenic prints have improved. But people still squirm, and just want everything instantly, with no effort. But some people like a challenge.

gth
22-Apr-2014, 17:21
The real problem with dye transfer at this point is an existential question. To wit: Do I have color images worth the struggle to reproduce them? Our Mr. Carnie (more strength to his arm) doesn't have that issue to deal with, as his customers make that decision for him. But the rest of us? Eliot Porter, for one, had the talent and work ethic to produce great photographs and master this most difficult of color processes. But he had a private income so could devote the time and money to follow his muse. Who among us has the energy to shoot great color photographs and the endurance to master the craft?

Artists! And retired cranks.

Kevin J. Kolosky
22-Apr-2014, 18:19
Ctein switching is no recommendation in my view. I will compare a properly made dye transfer to any digitally produced image any day. Digital imaging has a long way to go to equal the process. and yes, I have a friend who constantly upgrades his printers (plural) to the latest available including beta testing for one of the major manufacturers.

What exactly do you see to back up your claims?

gth
22-Apr-2014, 21:28
Some nice DT images and reminiscence from DT practitioners

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=67972.0

I did not know that as late as the 80s's DT was still very much alive… at least in NYC.

gth
23-Apr-2014, 05:09
An excellent archive of DT material including Kodak original brochure and manuals on DT.

http://www.daviddoubley.com/DyeTransfer.htm

Check out this ad video from he same archive...

http://www.daviddoubley.com/Videos/LaClaire%20Dye%20Tranf%20Promo/DyeTransfer%20Demo-LaClairePhotoStudio.WMV

bob carnie
23-Apr-2014, 05:21
My friend John Bentley was a very good Dye Transfer Printer, He switched to four colour carbon prints, I think he cherishes both medias but prefers carbon for its archival properties.

In todays world we can mimic with inkjet any process to a point. But a good eye can pick out the processes and appreciate them for their subtle quality's.

Drew Wiley
23-Apr-2014, 09:00
Well, I'm not a retired crank just yet. ... But there were a lot of practical shortcuts to learning dye transfer, and not everyone needed the kind of R&D knowledge of the process that one finds in some of the old literature. It was always a process that invited a lot of new experimentation with different dye, mordants, etc. In this
day and age, it invites hybrid technique. In Germany, they scan the chromes then directly expose the three printing matrices with blue laser, thus eliminating physical
separation negs. Labor intensive, no matter what.

gth
23-Apr-2014, 19:04
Eh….. too much late night posting there gth…… Sorry about that one fellows……. That article or whatever I linked to on LL was posted by slackercruster….. remember than one? I am sure the moderators do! Anyway about a month later he posted his famous DT fade test and flamed out on LL posting nasty comments about Ctein. My apologies!

The archive site by David Doubley is the real stuff though. I emailed him and he mentioned the archive is his homage to old friends. It will stay up at least until 2020.


Some nice DT images and reminiscence from DT practitioners

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=67972.0

I did not know that as late as the 80s's DT was still very much alive… at least in NYC.