View Full Version : frontier proofs

13-Feb-2007, 15:40
is anyone scanning negatives and printing 8x10's at the 1 hour lab as proofs? if so, how was your experience?

Michael Gordon
13-Feb-2007, 16:37
I use Costco for Noritsu proofs and they're great, albeit they don't have the same matte surface Fuji Crystal Archive as do real photo labs. Costco's is a cheap plasticky "luster" surface.

Check out Dry Creek photo http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/ for Costco and other labs custom profiles and instructions for use. You'll also find profiles for Frontier's, lab dependent. It's pretty hard to beat $3 for a 12x18 on Fuji Crystal Archive :)

15-Feb-2007, 01:31

thanks for the tip. i've tried an 8x10, but my monitor is not calibrated, so my print was way off. i'll try again. although, my 1200dpi flatbed scan is not inspiring.

i've yet to see the promise of 4x5. i had one negative printed 8x10 at image experts in LA, and while it is better than my scan and 1hour proof, it doesn't inspire either. i paid for an enlarger print, but what i got looks like a scan too. maybe it's the paper, it's not labled on the back, but it feels like the fuji crystal archive that my 120 proofs are on. my next step is to let A&I try an 8x10 enlargement on fiber.

i learned photography in a darkroom. i printed xp2 negatives on fiber based paper in 5x7 size from 35mm film. none of the work i've had done with the 4x5 negs i've made move me as much as those little prints did. i figured if 35mm could look that good, 4x5 should be that much more detailed and crisp. i have a color 8x10 from a 67 negative hanging on my wall that looks every bit as high res and sharp as the 45 8x10 (with similar subject matter).

what am i doing wrong?

btw, you have some really beautiful images on your site. congratulations.

Michael Gordon
15-Feb-2007, 12:15
Thank you for the kind words!

The first thing you need to do is get your display calibrated. There's no way you can expect any accuracy without it. Secondly, are you 'working' the scans, or just submitting as scanned? Just like a traditional darkroom print, your scanned output is also going to need some color and contrast work, dodging/burning, and sharpening specific to the output size.

If this is all new to you, you may want to pick up a book on the subject or attend a digital workflow/printing workshop.

15-Feb-2007, 18:52
i have a decent eye for grading/coloring, but i don't fancy myself a printer at all. it was always my hope to be able to proof an image on the computer, and if it passed, send it out to a good lab to be printed. i shoot very little 45 and 120, and i scan with an old epson 1200s flatbed, so spending the resources to get my "digital darkroom" up to par is not worth it. I dropped the 45 negative off at A&I today, should have a fiber print by tuesday. if i see the sharpness and snap that i'm looking for in this print, i'll feel good about using 45 for specific images. if it doesn't, i may just use my 67 camera for large prints and consider the fate of my 45 camera. i do expect a great improvement, though.

21-Feb-2007, 19:56
i did get the 8x10 fiber print from A&I today. it was printed on ilford warm tone glossy. the tone and surface of the paper, the seeming increase in tonality, the attention to contrast by the chosen grade, and the attention paid to burning in a little sky detail, make this new print what i was after. i am completely satisfied with this print, and only wish i could print it 20x24 today (it'll have to wait for the moment). i will also add that the a&i print shows more of my negative than the "enlarger" print from image experts, a telephone pole appeared off to the side in the new print. also, the a&i print is not as sharp in the fine details as the image experts print, leading me to conclude that the latter was probably a scan for 8x10. even with the slightly softer detail sharpness, the overall impression when viewing the print is so satisfing that i don't miss it. i think the "snap" i was looking for was more about subtle contrast within an increased tonal range, and this i got with the new print. anyway, i believe that if the scan shows a sharper image, then a larger print from A&I will bear that out as well. so the 45g and i are best buds again.

21-Feb-2007, 22:16
I like fujichrom frontier proofs. they're not bad at all.

22-Feb-2007, 10:49

What did the A&I fiber print cost? And that was from your negative? Who made the choice to burn the sky, etc?

Just curious...thanks!

22-Feb-2007, 15:23

the negative was my own 4x5 b&w, arista.edu 400. the "presentation" 8x10 was $25.
the print i got from image experts was $12, i think it is a "poli type C machine print". A&I offers this service also at $15. the machine print has the feel of fuji crystal archive, there is a noticeable bit of cropping, and the gamma and contrast are high. this print makes a good low cost proof print for something you'll want custom printed larger, later.

the printer, Cindy, made the grade/contrast, exposure, and burning choices. she is fairly new there, and so her boss allowed her to present me with two interpertations of the image. i thought both were very appropriate and pleasing. while this particular image was straight forward to read, she did suggest that i give her any relevant notes for the next time. she shoots also, and has good taste as a printer.

i feel that the personal attention was well worth the extra small cost, given the quality of the print i got.