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Thread: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

  1. #11

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    A B&W laser printer that can output at 1200 dpi can produce a very satisfying print. I have a HP4000 that you can buy used for as little as $100. Aftermarket laser cartridges cost about $35. To print an 8X10 at 1200 dpi, the printer must have 100MB or more of RAM. I abandoned color inkjet long ago and just do the occasional color print on the Fuji Frontier at Walmart. I'm looking at buying a late model HP color laser printer now. They come from the factory with 128MB RAM, enough to print legal size, 8.5X14 at 1200dpi. You must use a high quality laser paper to make the best prints.

    Interesting thread on archival properties of laser prints.

    https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/f...mages.3778130/

  2. #12

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    Silver is silver. But carbon is carbon. And platinum is platinum! ... but even if I had the money and space, I wouldn't go back to silver printing.
    Of course it is a personal choice...

    Me, I do the counter, I have inkjet and lightjet printed but now I'm learning darkroom printing and I wouldn't go back.

    I inspect my (small) 8x10" contact prints with a x20 or x40 magnifier, this is total technical quality (and low artistic quality in my case). And also I bring the magnifiers to the exhibitions. I was asked by security guards about what I was doing... in the Genesis exhibition. In that case some 4x5 Delta 100 negatives were printed with a film recorder (in fact a LVT Rhino, 4 images in a 8x10") and then optically enlarged... I was comparing with the Salgado's TXP 645 optically enlarged share vs the para-digital LVT workflow. The guards saw me in the monitors and they came Now I beg permission before showing the magnifier !

    I've inspected many other exhibitions with the magnifier, and of course also from far... It is true that at 1m all prints are good... but silver prints have a better texture. Many viewers won't perceive that, perhaps...

    My personal conclusion is that good prints made in (say) the 1970s by people really controlling well their processes are incredibly good, well beyond what we see done with modern reprography systems. Today digital image manipulation is powerful and flexible, but those masters excelled with simpler tools. A bit is like making La Pietà with 3D Blender software or with a hammer. The hammer is better, in the right hands.

    I personally find Sally Mann's exemplary work is great to get inspiration, she mostly departed from raw chem and bare glass to end in the most impressive silver prints many have seen. To me this is the path. Of course inkjets are also an excellent path...

  3. #13

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    A B&W laser printer that can output at 1200 dpi can produce a very satisfying print.
    A Lambda may print is equivalent to 4000dpi... (commercial info says...)

    Neal, dpi and ppi are sometimes mixed. A Lambda prints only 200 or 400 PPI, pixels per inch, but each pixel is continuous tone, a Lambda pixel is not made from several (or many) ink droplets (measured in ppi) but with a single light shot that can be more or less intense.

    The 1200 dpi are not there, what it can be said is that a Lambda prints better than a 1200dpi inkjet printer, or better than some 4000dpi printers, but this also depends on the inkjet printer and how many droplet sizes may be used in the same pixel made from several dots.

    _____


    "The Durst Lambda exposes digital information (raster pixel) directly to conventional photographic media at full continuous tone with a linear writing speed of up to 65 cm (26 in.) per minute with the choice of two resolutions of 200 and 400 ppi (equal to an apparent resolution of 4000 dpi)." https://www.manualslib.com/manual/41...?page=2#manual

  4. #14
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Very interesting!

    Which exact model laser printers are you referring to. Both B&W and Color.

    What about laser printed digital negatives.

    I made digital negatives on a very high end office copier in 1997 but they were not acceptable to me.

    22 years may make a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    A B&W laser printer that can output at 1200 dpi can produce a very satisfying print. I have a HP4000 that you can buy used for as little as $100. Aftermarket laser cartridges cost about $35. To print an 8X10 at 1200 dpi, the printer must have 100MB or more of RAM. I abandoned color inkjet long ago and just do the occasional color print on the Fuji Frontier at Walmart. I'm looking at buying a late model HP color laser printer now. They come from the factory with 128MB RAM, enough to print legal size, 8.5X14 at 1200dpi. You must use a high quality laser paper to make the best prints.

    Interesting thread on archival properties of laser prints.

    https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/f...mages.3778130/
    sin eater

  5. #15

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    1200 dpi seems to be the limit for affordable laser printers, but is good enough for me in a "machine print". In 1990 I had a seascape of the rocks at Kennebunkport, Maine made into posters by a very good printer following the reproduction recommendations of Ansel Adams. The 16X20 print I made from an 8X10 TXP negative was scanned and separation negatives made for duotone printing at 1200 dpi. Search "Kennebunkport poster" on eBay to see it. You have to use a magnifier to see the dot pattern.

    My primary interests and goals involve silver printing and I just dabble with computer printing, so I'm not the guy to ask technical questions about it and I run Linux and use GIMP. To the educated eye, in a side by side comparison there is no contest between a contact or optical print from a large format film and anything digital.

  6. #16
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    If I was starting today . I would make high quality inkjet or silver digital negatives, and I would profile these negatives to any and all processes I was interested in and do only contact prints. No need for enlargers or complicated workspaces and I would make sure I could do all processes in the same room.

  7. #17

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Laser printers are getting better -- no doubt about that. However, I have yet to see a laser print I'd use for anything other than a quick print.

    In a course I teach every fall for 12 students we use digital photography and make prints using a Xerox Versant press (basically a huge laser printer). For this purpose it does a great job. I can send 60 digital files to the printer and get 12"x18" prints back on the same day. We use a heavy paper stock and the students are thrilled because most have never made prints before, let alone prints that size. Colour fidelity is excellent (assuming the monitors are calibrated). However, it all falls apart in areas of the print that have anything approaching a continuous or smooth tone. There you see all kinds of artefacts. I'm quite happy to live with these problems because there's really no alternative in this environment.

  8. #18

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    You know the game. It's the same as the old Nassrudin joke about fashion shows, "They show you the women and then try to sell you expensive clothes."
    The HP color laser printer I looked at was HP533n. It has 1GB of factory RAM and costs about $500 new. It comes with full capacity cartridges. Black will always run out first, but a full HP set of all colors will cost more than a new printer. For this reason, many businesses just buy new printers instead of replacing toners and deals can be had on nice used printers. I have had excellent results from the aftermarket toner brands in B&W and they cost a fraction of genuine HP. Sellers claim equal performance, so I would try them for color. They look like they came from the same factory as the genuine HP.

    A neg that you scan at 1200 dpi for 8X10 or 8.5X14 should make a good same size print. I have laser transparency film and can scan an 8X10 negative at 1500 dpi on my Umax Powerlook 300 ($100 used like new, but you must have Linux to run it, SCSI) just haven't tried it yet, probably never will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Very interesting!

    Which exact model laser printers are you referring to. Both B&W and Color.

    What about laser printed digital negatives.

    I made digital negatives on a very high end office copier in 1997 but they were not acceptable to me.

    22 years may make a difference.

  9. #19

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    "I made digital negatives on a very high end office copier in 1997 but they were not acceptable to me."

    Even today, if you ask to see a sample print, the photos on the page it puts out are not close to 1200 dpi. Most people don't know what they looking at and don't put a loupe on it, and if it did print at 1200 dpi, it would take too long and potential customers would think the printer is slow.

  10. #20

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    If I was starting today . I would make high quality inkjet or silver digital negatives, and I would profile these negatives to any and all processes I was interested in and do only contact prints. No need for enlargers or complicated workspaces and I would make sure I could do all processes in the same room.
    Yes, but for silver prints, what better than a lambda print on FB paper ? You save the digital negative... Printing 65cm long each 60 seconds... Single problem is paying the lambda, so having enough orders. A Lambda can eat what 10 Photoshop staff people may edit their best day, not counting all post work, like toning and conditioning the FBs.

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