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percepts
2-Dec-2009, 11:01
Have just been researching the cost of lambda or lightjet prints in the UK.

I was shocked to find the cost of a single 20x16 B+W printed onto harman digital fibre is 90 (+ VAT ) from the lab I looked at. That is roughly double the cost of having a hand printed FB print done at the same size by the same lab.

I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down. But even so, it seems very expensive. Maybe its not designed for us mere mortals who don't want massive display prints.

What's your experience?

Joanna Carter
2-Dec-2009, 11:39
Have just been researching the cost of lambda or lightjet prints in the UK.

I was shocked to find the cost of a single 20x16 B+W printed onto harman digital fibre is 90 (+ VAT ) from the lab I looked at. That is roughly double the cost of having a hand printed FB print done at the same size by the same lab.

I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down. But even so, it seems very expensive. Maybe its not designed for us mere mortals who don't want massive display prints.

What's your experience?
The usual problem with having a single print done on a Lightjet or Lambda printer is that there is a possibility that they will have to use the full width of the paper (possibly 50") just for your single print. Usually, if you can make up 50" x one of your dimensions, then you will pay for a linear dimension full of images rather than one image in the middle of a lot of paper; therefore, the unit cost per print should be considerably cheaper, possibly the same as a single print.

If the lab doesn't do this, maybe you should look elsewhere.

percepts
2-Dec-2009, 16:28
The usual problem with having a single print done on a Lightjet or Lambda printer is that there is a possibility that they will have to use the full width of the paper (possibly 50") just for your single print. Usually, if you can make up 50" x one of your dimensions, then you will pay for a linear dimension full of images rather than one image in the middle of a lot of paper; therefore, the unit cost per print should be considerably cheaper, possibly the same as a single print.

If the lab doesn't do this, maybe you should look elsewhere.

Not sure about that. A pro lab has these things running all day and will be using a rip which is easily capable of taking a number of images and working out optimum layout to minimise paper wastage. Any single print just gets added to next print job. So unless things are light and they have nothing else to print, then the cost seems very high to me. and if your not in a rush it can wait until they have enough prints for a worthwhile print job.

Maybe Bob Carnie will chime in with his expertise on this.

Joanna Carter
2-Dec-2009, 16:38
Not sure about that. A pro lab has these things running all day and will be using a rip which is easily capable of taking a number of images and working out optimum layout to minimise paper wastage. Any single print just gets added to next print job. So unless things are light and they have nothing else to print, then the cost seems very high to me. and if your not in a rush it can wait until they have enough prints for a worthwhile print job.
I would agree that this should be the case. It might just be worth your while speaking to the lab and asking them what their poilicy is on this. Maybe their pricing assumes you want it yesterday and they factor in the cost of possibly not being able to make up the full width.

Bruce Watson
2-Dec-2009, 20:02
I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down.

Nope. Inkjet ink is expensive, but pales in comparison to inkjet media which is truly expensive. There are hundreds of papers, with lots of surface choices, with most of them on higher quality paper bases (cotton as opposed to plastic coated alpha cellulose). Gamut on inkjet prints is higher than Chromira prints also. Finally, Chromira machines and the RA-4 processing lines attached to them can be highly automated. Inkjet machines, while considerably less expensive, are also slower and take more hand work dealing with prints that are considerably more fragile (which often means spoilage and therefore reprints on that truly expensive paper).

In short, the inkjet print is the premium product. It shouldn't be a surprise that it costs more. The other way to look at it is: if the Chromira print is the premium product, you're getting a hell of a bargain.

percepts
3-Dec-2009, 04:57
Nope. Inkjet ink is expensive, but pales in comparison to inkjet media which is truly expensive. There are hundreds of papers, with lots of surface choices, with most of them on higher quality paper bases (cotton as opposed to plastic coated alpha cellulose). Gamut on inkjet prints is higher than Chromira prints also. Finally, Chromira machines and the RA-4 processing lines attached to them can be highly automated. Inkjet machines, while considerably less expensive, are also slower and take more hand work dealing with prints that are considerably more fragile (which often means spoilage and therefore reprints on that truly expensive paper).

In short, the inkjet print is the premium product. It shouldn't be a surprise that it costs more. The other way to look at it is: if the Chromira print is the premium product, you're getting a hell of a bargain.

What's inkjet got to do with it. I think you need to bone up on Lambda prints and Harman Digital Fibre paper.

Jim Michael
3-Dec-2009, 05:37
The overhead buying and running one is high. As Bob Carnie mentioned in another thread when a laser goes out it's expensive to replace. There's also the energy to run it, the space to keep it, the staff to calibrate, maintain, and run it, etc.

percepts
3-Dec-2009, 10:47
The overhead buying and running one is high. As Bob Carnie mentioned in another thread when a laser goes out it's expensive to replace. There's also the energy to run it, the space to keep it, the staff to calibrate, maintain, and run it, etc.

I guess that keeps it inline with digital cameras costing more than film cameras then...:rolleyes:

Sean Galbraith
3-Dec-2009, 12:49
What about sending your files overseas to print? Here in Toronto there are several shops that would likely do that print job for less, even when shipping is factored in.

percepts
3-Dec-2009, 17:25
What about sending your files overseas to print? Here in Toronto there are several shops that would likely do that print job for less, even when shipping is factored in.

which labs?

Sean Galbraith
4-Dec-2009, 07:08
which labs?

Bob Carnie can speak for his lab Elevator, but their "Press n Go" seems to be very affordable $9.50 per 12 linear inches @ 30" wide. So, your print would fit in a 24"x30" paper space (2 linear feet), which would be $19. I think they will ship prints.
http://www.elevatordigital.ca/pressngo.html

Toronto Image Works also offers a similar prep-it-yourself service at $20/linear foot (they call theirs "bulk printing"), but theirs is a 50" wide printer. http://www.torontoimageworks.com

The nice thing about both of these services is that you can print as many images as you can fit in the paper space for the same price (further lowering the price per photo).

percepts
4-Dec-2009, 10:27
Bob Carnie can speak for his lab Elevator, but their "Press n Go" seems to be very affordable $9.50 per 12 linear inches @ 30" wide. So, your print would fit in a 24"x30" paper space (2 linear feet), which would be $19. I think they will ship prints.
http://www.elevatordigital.ca/pressngo.html

Toronto Image Works also offers a similar prep-it-yourself service at $20/linear foot (they call theirs "bulk printing"), but theirs is a 50" wide printer. http://www.torontoimageworks.com

The nice thing about both of these services is that you can print as many images as you can fit in the paper space for the same price (further lowering the price per photo).

Suggest you go back and have a look elevator site for price of digital Fibre at 16x20.

Mike1234
4-Dec-2009, 11:01
Is this of any interest?

http://www.adoramapix.com/PriceList.aspx

percepts
4-Dec-2009, 11:18
Is this of any interest?

http://www.adoramapix.com/PriceList.aspx

I'm beginning to wonder if some of you know what fibre based black and white paper is...:rolleyes:

p.s. Let me offer a free gift of a clue to those missing one. Harman Digital Fibre Paper is traditional black and white fibre based paper with a silver halide emulsion specially designed for use with laser printers such as Lamdas or Lightjets. It is not an RA4 paper or c-print paper.

Mike1234
4-Dec-2009, 11:34
I know what FB paper is, percepts. I was shooting LF at age 13 and used only FB with archival procedures... all tray process. I just didn't understand the process to which you referred. Pardon my ignorance as I've been out of "real" photography for a quarter century and I'm trying to catch up. I was trying to help and I don't appreciate the sarcasm. There's really no need to make someone feel like a complete fool, is there?

Wallace_Billingham
4-Dec-2009, 11:39
I have used Dalmation Labs here in the USA a few times and have been happy with the results using the Ilford Digital Fiber

http://www.dalmatianlab.com/digital/true-bw-digital-fiber-prints-pricing/

there is also a good explanation on that link as to what this is

bob carnie
4-Dec-2009, 14:25
Hi Percepts

I do print Harmon digital fibre as does Metro in your neck of the woods.
my 16x20 price is around 125 Canadian plus toning charge on top.
One of the reasons that this service is so expensive is in my case is the ROI of a Lambda exposing unit which was around 200k.
I just replaced a laser last week at 15k, and when technicians are needed to work on my machine it is at $500 per hour.
The main reason of the cost though would be that I have to keep a rather large darkroom available as I hand process the paper after lambda exposure and the calibration stage to get the 21 steps in line take around 1-3hours for me each time I run. By keeping wet darkrooms open in a shrinking market I have been forced to pay the rent on space that other labs have given up on.

Some labs, use Thetas , or Lightjets and all others use machines to process which I do not.

I just saw the new Harmon Warmtone paper which I will be putting on the Lambda first quarter 2010, and there may even be a matte surface for the warm base.
Now we just need the schools to put a laser machine in place and let all the youngsters get turned onto fibre.


I'm beginning to wonder if some of you know what fibre based black and white paper is...:rolleyes:

p.s. Let me offer a free gift of a clue to those missing one. Harman Digital Fibre Paper is traditional black and white fibre based paper with a silver halide emulsion specially designed for use with laser printers such as Lamdas or Lightjets. It is not an RA4 paper or c-print paper.

percepts
4-Dec-2009, 14:34
The lab I gave figures for also hand prints and the cost for that is 50% of the lambda cost. And the lambda is used for c-prints as well and they are very much cheaper. The pricing still doesn't make sense to me. In your case if the darkroom is solely for lambda prints I could understand it but your prices are cheaper than the lab I looked at so their prices still seem very expensive to me. Especially as the bulk of lambda use will be for c-prints. There is a premium for harmon digital fibre prints and I still haven't found out why.



Hi Percepts

I do print Harmon digital fibre as does Metro in your neck of the woods.
my 16x20 price is around 125 Canadian plus toning charge on top.
One of the reasons that this service is so expensive is in my case is the ROI of a Lambda exposing unit which was around 200k.
I just replaced a laser last week at 15k, and when technicians are needed to work on my machine it is at $500 per hour.
The main reason of the cost though would be that I have to keep a rather large darkroom available as I hand process the paper after lambda exposure and the calibration stage to get the 21 steps in line take around 1-3hours for me each time I run. By keeping wet darkrooms open in a shrinking market I have been forced to pay the rent on space that other labs have given up on.

Some labs, use Thetas , or Lightjets and all others use machines to process which I do not.

I just saw the new Harmon Warmtone paper which I will be putting on the Lambda first quarter 2010, and there may even be a matte surface for the warm base.
Now we just need the schools to put a laser machine in place and let all the youngsters get turned onto fibre.

bob carnie
4-Dec-2009, 16:04
Labs that offer this printing are in most cases in very expensive areas of the world.
Metro - London , Picto - Paris , Lamount - New York, Duggal - New York.
I think this has to come into the equation, Also the work involved with this process is every bit as involved as silver printing by hand , but with the added steps of laser calibration, and Photo Shop work that if not done properly will create all kinds of problems.
For me scanning negs to print are the easiest to work with, getting raw files and converting myself is next. We do run into a lot of conversions that are basically crap and over the years have slowly tried to encourage this part of the workflow to be at least overseen by us.
I print inkjet, RA4 , enlarger fibre and lambda fibre and coming up with the results I like is most definately the hardest with Lambda Fibre.

I cannot speak for any other lab but for me the difficulty of making everything come out right on paper is why I charge the prices I do. It must be noted that my enlarger hand prints are about the same price and in the new year we are making adjustments in our pricing to equalize them.
CPrints off a lambda, chromira or lightjet is dead nut simple, fast and efficient , you will notice that I have spoken on this in past threads about murals from Chromira.
In Canada and parts of the States a ongoing price per foot is going on and it is because , the customers are becoming very digitally savvy and are able to image quite well without the labs technical knowledge and therefore only need us to ram the paper through the machine. There fore the lower costs.
For some reason imaging to Lambda fibre is harder and a premium is attached to do so.

Price per foot will never happen with wet fibre , at least not in my case , as dev, stop, fix, fix, wash , hypo clear wash, bleach sepia, selenium tone is part of the process and I cannot, or will not automate,

There also is the possibility of a group of like minded photographers , getting together and purchasing a Devere Digital Enlarger. They have been around for a few years, I think the price range is around 50k Canadian .
I have never seen output from this device so cannot comment on the quality vs Lambda.

percepts
4-Dec-2009, 16:13
Labs that offer this printing are in most cases in very expensive areas of the world.
Metro - London , Picto - Paris , Lamount - New York, Duggal - New York.
I think this has to come into the equation, Also the work involved with this process is every bit as involved as silver printing by hand , but with the added steps of laser calibration, and Photo Shop work that if not done properly will create all kinds of problems.
For me scanning negs to print are the easiest to work with, getting raw files and converting myself is next. We do run into a lot of conversions that are basically crap and over the years have slowly tried to encourage this part of the workflow to be at least overseen by us.
I print inkjet, RA4 , enlarger fibre and lambda fibre and coming up with the results I like is most definately the hardest with Lambda Fibre.

I cannot speak for any other lab but for me the difficulty of making everything come out right on paper is why I charge the prices I do. It must be noted that my enlarger hand prints are about the same price and in the new year we are making adjustments in our pricing to equalize them.
CPrints off a lambda, chromira or lightjet is dead nut simple, fast and efficient , you will notice that I have spoken on this in past threads about murals from Chromira.
In Canada and parts of the States a ongoing price per foot is going on and it is because , the customers are becoming very digitally savvy and are able to image quite well without the labs technical knowledge and therefore only need us to ram the paper through the machine. There fore the lower costs.
For some reason imaging to Lambda fibre is harder and a premium is attached to do so.

Price per foot will never happen with wet fibre , at least not in my case , as dev, stop, fix, fix, wash , hypo clear wash, bleach sepia, selenium tone is part of the process and I cannot, or will not automate,

There also is the possibility of a group of like minded photographers , getting together and purchasing a Devere Digital Enlarger. They have been around for a few years, I think the price range is around 50k Canadian .
I have never seen output from this device so cannot comment on the quality vs Lambda.

Last time I looked the lcd pixel array was way too small to print anything half decent over 12x16 and the lcd moves during the exposure to blur the pixel boundaries. Somehow I don't think thats going to give the best definition. They may have improved it by now but I'm not planning on using one.

percepts
5-Dec-2009, 06:45
I checked and the spec for the DeVere lcd pixel array is currently 8 megapixels. They don't give the format but assuming its square then that is only 2896x2896 pixels which gives 9.6in x 9.6 inches at 300dpi.
Their literature says average of 300dpi output. i.e. goto a 20x16 or 20x24 print and you won't get anywhere near 300dpi output.

They are useful tools in colleges and labs but I don't think they are the right tool for optimum quality at the sort of size people wnat for exhibitions. When the lcd pixel array they use is updated to a significantly higher megapixel count then maybe they would be worth looking at. But I doubt they will eve reach the 400dpi at 20x24 and bigger that a lambda can do.

bob carnie
5-Dec-2009, 07:58
I think that as a training tool and small print output device they would be fine.
For fibre we have to run at 400ppi as it won't work at 200ppi which also is a setting on the Lambda.
Sometimes we see issues , that I think are due to small file trying to go large or file manipulated to death and then printing large on fibre.
I started using Agfa Classic on the Lambda around 2002 and since then Harmon has taken over . Yesterday I saw a warmtone version and a warmtone matte version on rag paper . I really hope they go forward with both.

The more students using this technology the better , but unfortunately the kingpins running the schools in my province are all ripping out the darkrooms which I feel is very shortsighted and limiting.
Its like alternative wet prints don't exist, digital negs and archival processes is a wicked combination and its like the schools are ignoring our history and really shafting the young students.
You will see private schools opening up with wet alternatives for the young minds, that I am willing to bet on.. If I could pay off my Lambda , I would start one next year with a Deveere or Theta linking to a large wet room.
If Epson, Cannon, HP were really concerned about longevity they would make devices that produce prints that last. It is going to take individuals to bridge the digital and alternative processes and produce work that has true archival properties. Once enough of the big guns start producing real archival shows then the goal posts have moved and artists will have to consider how their images are made.
The longer I am in this game , the more I am convinced that a print that lasts the test of time is really the only print worth putting on a wall. So I will continue with wet darkroom prints and I guess this is why a wet print seems so expensive, because in my shop the 1500sq ft darkroom comes with a hefty overhead to keep paying month after month after month.




I checked and the spec for the DeVere lcd pixel array is currently 8 megapixels. They don't give the format but assuming its square then that is only 2896x2896 pixels which gives 9.6in x 9.6 inches at 300dpi.
Their literature says average of 300dpi output. i.e. goto a 20x16 or 20x24 print and you won't get anywhere near 300dpi output.

They are useful tools in colleges and labs but I don't think they are the right tool for optimum quality at the sort of size people wnat for exhibitions. When the lcd pixel array they use is updated to a significantly higher megapixel count then maybe they would be worth looking at. But I doubt they will eve reach the 400dpi at 20x24 and bigger that a lambda can do.

percepts
5-Dec-2009, 08:41
unfortunately the shortsighted and cash strapped educational institutions see computers as the answer to everything. They have rooms full of pc's and think they can save a bundle of money by using the pc's for everything including "photography". Hence the mindset is "we don't need a darkroom, enlargers and material costs associated with photography anymore.
I beleive a lot of them are or will regret the lost opportunities for expanding students knowledge and experience of a practical hands on process. And also the lost opportunities for expanding students knowledge of chemistry and physics that is the foundation of photography. Little things such as parallelism of planes and how to set them. These all teach students to think about how to solve real world problems which are lost when you do you everything on a pc.

mdd99
3-Jan-2010, 07:42
National Geographic offers Lambda prints, too: http://www.ngimaging.com/4_printing.html

photojunkie99@live.com
17-Jan-2010, 15:47
in Toronto, Colourgenics specializes in Lighjtet Exhibition Prints
they print with Fuji Crystal Archive media @ 300 dpi. need to ask your printers specific questions if you really want to compare service cost vs the type of prints you are buying.
www.colourgenics.com

tbirke
27-Jan-2010, 02:44
In Berlin, Germany the best price you can get on a 300dpi lightjet 500XL print is around 50 per square meter, if you print large and much. (like 15m and up).

I recommend Gigant Bildproduktion (http://www.gigantbildproduktion.de/GIGANT/GIGANT-IMPRESSUM.html).

What is the square meter price for large pieces in the UK / US?