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Thread: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

  1. #11

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Is it a true statement that Darkroom printing is cheaper and safer for the environment?
    Consider chemical dumping & water running, all going into our sewage system, river & ocean.....

  2. #12
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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Consider all the printer machines that fail and are discarded. They are made by the millions.

    They also use ink and ink cartridges.

    And they use paper.

    I embraced Inkjet printing for a while.

    But in 15 years all my printers failed and became landfill.

    Our wet print chemicals are very dilute when we use them and after we wash it all down, it's trace. Especially when compared to the other toxins dumped everywhere.

    I bought at least 6 printers and good ones!

    My main theory is a big factory that makes film and photo paper is less environmentally dangerous than millions of Ink Jet printers printing... and becoming trash.

    I expect one day when we grow up, nothing will be printed anywhere.

    Soon the viewing screen will be inside our head.

    Not kidding, We already make the blind see with a tiny camera and direct wiring to the brain.

    10 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhsu View Post
    Is it a true statement that Darkroom printing is cheaper and safer for the environment?
    Consider chemical dumping & water running, all going into our sewage system, river & ocean.....
    sin eater

  3. #13

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    I'm not saying you're wrong Randy... But you'd have to do a proper life cycle assessment to compare darkroom printing to printing on inkjets. There are lots of variables. I use refillable cartridges, and I mix my own ink. The only thing that goes in the garbage is prints that weren't worth saving. I had a big garbage can in my darkroom too, which I filled with lots of prints that didn't make the cut.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Consider all the printer machines that fail and are discarded. They are made by the millions.

    They also use ink and ink cartridges.

    And they use paper.

    I embraced Inkjet printing for a while.

    But in 15 years all my printers failed and became landfill.

    Our wet print chemicals are very dilute when we use them and after we wash it all down, it's trace. Especially when compared to the other toxins dumped everywhere.

    I bought at least 6 printers and good ones!

    My main theory is a big factory that makes film and photo paper is less environmentally dangerous than millions of Ink Jet printers printing... and becoming trash.

    I expect one day when we grow up, nothing will be printed anywhere.

    Soon the viewing screen will be inside our head.

    Not kidding, We already make the blind see with a tiny camera and direct wiring to the brain.

    10 years ago.

  4. #14

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    I've done both, and I teach digital photography, so I have a good basis for comparison. In my experience, it's not difficult for someone who has the equipment to get to the stage of reliably making mediocre prints fairly quickly. Getting to the stage of making excellent prints that are worth looking at? That involves a lot more effort and knowledge (for both silver gelatin printing and inkjet printing).


    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    I don't agree. Hybrid processing is way, way easier than darkroom printing, with Photoshop you bend the tonal curve like you want, you have layers, you dodge and burn like you want.. etc, etc, etc...

    Adjusting the print in the darkroom can be very challenging, with every mistake you waste paper and time, and we may require advanced techniques like CRM, SCIM, etc to obtain what you do with two clicks in Photoshop.

  5. #15

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    I've done both, and I teach digital photography, so I have a good basis for comparison. In my experience, it's not difficult for someone who has the equipment to get to the stage of reliably making mediocre prints fairly quickly. Getting to the stage of making excellent prints that are worth looking at? That involves a lot more effort and knowledge (for both silver gelatin printing and inkjet printing).

    I agree with you. Making excellent prints in any media involves a lot of expertise and knowledge. It involves select application of understanding that is aesthetic in formation, and technical in application.

    "Scanning isn't easy, and making a good quality inkjet print isn't easy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! As with any technical activity, there's a steep learning curve, lots of different ways to do things, and a high prospect of mediocre results until you figure out how things work so that you can get the results you want."

    Thanks for making the point.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
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  6. #16

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    ...and technical in application...
    (Disclaimer: not saying if a workflow is better or worse, this is Chacun son got)


    Sandy, let me point why I think that a full optic process is way more challenging/difficult than an hybrid workflow. For example with Photoshop it's a kid's game to adjust the tonality to the point we want.


    This is well known, but let me enumerate the easy basic steps:


    > The range and levels for the mids are adjusted with two mouse clicks, we see (WYSWYG) a continuous variation in the image as we drag a point, so we nail it.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    > The compression for the shadows and hilights are adjusted with two aditional clicks, so we give the range we want to the shoulder/toe also with WYSWYG convenience.

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    > Then "individual gamma" is adjusted both for mids, for highlights and for shadows, also with WYSWYG convenience !!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Single challenge is having a good soft proofing, and printing a final mosaic proof with say 16 tinny images with slight contrast-bright combinations to see the effect with the particular paper-inks we use. Straight...


    Then we can see how easy (WYSWYG, do-undo) is local edition, layers, adjustment layers, etc, etc...

    (this is from I'm coming)

    _______________________


    Now let's see what happens in the darkroom:


    > Yes, we may adjust the mids for the range and the levels: by determining grade and exposure. It takes quite a work to fine tune it, (it's not two clicks & WYSWYG) we may have to waste some paper until we have it ok. Well, more work but easy to do it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    >>> But this determines how the rest of the print will be !!!! We are tied to the resulting shoulder-toe, and to the local gamma we have in every place.



    >>>
    What can we do to adjust toe-shoulder extensions?
    What can we do to adjust the "local gamma" in shulder and in the toe?
    and the gamma in the mids ?

    We may try changing the paper, but this may not solve much...



    >>> we can go to Split Grade dodge/burning, CRM, SCIM or selective masking... these are advanced and challenging techniques... for what a rookie Ps user does with a few clicks the first day !!!


    Yes, we may adjust all that in the darkroom, but it takes a master photographer-printer of the Sexton's size to do it in a divine way.


    _______________________

    This is IMHO, a personal opinion:

    What amazes me is that being way more difficult controlling the pure analogic process those pure analogic prints from masters (IMHO) are pure gold, and consistently superior to all digital and hybrid around. I looks to me that a silver master artisan starts printing before shutter release.


    IMHO it's like the sculptor's work... An sculptor may first make the main volumes, he has to determine were the head and a hand will be in the space, this is not for free, he has to hit a boulder with a hammer, if this early step is flawed no polishing will solve it later.


    This requires to a full analogic artist to be a master of his tools, any pitfall in the process is dramatic, I'd say that this required proficency in the artists is what makes their average output better. Also the path followed in the creative process is of high value, sporting a remarkable authenticity.

    (this is where I want to go, to the point I'm able)
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 7-Jun-2019 at 04:28.

  7. #17

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    I work as an exhibition printer, primarily in the digital darkroom, but also with film prints. I use an Epson P9000, X5 scanner, Epson V850 for 8x10, and a Durst L1200 for printing. I have been working in this job for about ten years, so while I would not consider myself a master printer, I am quite good. My own experience dictates that with a good, properly exposed negative with a manageable contrast range, nothing in the digital realm can match a good contact print or small enlargement (say 4-5x). If you are lucky enough to own an 8x10 analog enlarger, then I would say that your analog prints are going to be better than digital until you get to mural sizes. The biggest reason for this is that 8x10 and 4x5 (even 6x7) have so much resolution in the smaller print sizes that it simply overwhelms the reproduction ability of the digital workflow. As said above, the best printers can put down about 720dpi. In my experience, for smaller formats you need about a 4000-5500 dpi scan to extract all the usable information from film. On an 8x10 sheet, that leads to a comically large and impractical scan, one which often exceeds the ability of drum scanners to output in a single file, and overwhelms the ability of the printers. I recently tried to print a 100x130cm print of digital generated work with extreme detail, and when I printed it at 720dpi the Epson made it 2/3rds of the way through the print before it just glitched out and kept printing the last line of information over and over.

    So, all this preamble is to say that with smaller or medium prints and good negatives, the analog workflow can produce sharper prints with better tonality. This is assuming a best case scenario where your enlarger is perfectly aligned, your lens is spot on, and you are working with fresh materials, good skills and so on. At larger sizes, the uniformity of digital printing makes it much easier to make huge prints than it is in the analog darkroom, where they are incredibly dependent on film and paper flatness, alignment, lens quality, chemical freshness, timing etc etc. Where digital comes into its own is in those large prints and in areas like Pere has hinted at. Digital is far more flexible in manipulating tones and the information in the print. The most important aspect of digital is the digitization itself. The Epson V850 is great for prints up to a meter or more, but over that, the drum scan will really come into its own. Color rendition is another area where something like a drum scan or Eversmart/iQ scanner will beat the Epson. The Epson also needs to be carefully set up, which might mean shimming or adjusting based on your individual scanner, given that it is a fixed lens.

    Personally, if you are working with 8x10 and are ok with contact prints, then they are the way to go. But if you want anything larger and do not have an 8x10 enlarger, digital is your only way to go. I think the most practical solution is to use an Epson for proofing and prints smaller than around 1m, and send them out to an experienced drum scan operator if you need larger or for an important show.

  8. #18

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    let me point why I think that a full optic process is way more challenging/difficult than an hybrid workflow.
    Emphasis added. It's subjective. I understand the things you say. I 'grew up' in the digital domain and have used Photoshops, curves and inkjet printers for longer than I care to think of. Still, I personally find it (1) easier and (2) more rewarding to get a somewhat decent print (occasionally a good one) from a darkroom.

    While your statements about flexibility of curves and reversible changes are all true, I find that with inkjet, I also have to think about things such as bleed, ink viscosity, paper absorbance, metamerism, dithering algorithms, individual ink curve crossovers and a whole host of other things that I don't have to deal with when working with silver gelatin. The focus of your argument for a digital/hybrid workflow entirely revolves around the ease of use that 'curves' give, but you leave out the context in which this happens. It is the context and its vast number of parameters that need to be controlled (partly with curves, partly with other measures) that make the issue complex, and that also make the difference between a mediocre print and an actually good print.

    It's not so difficult in the digital domain to get a nice rendering for a computer screen. Getting it onto paper is a whole different story, and that's a story you don't tell and barely reference. But let's not forget it's a story that is at least as important as the convenience of mouse-clicks when it comes to making quality prints.

    Indeed, I feel that a hybrid/digital workflow is not superior to a darkroom workflow, and the reverse is probably just as true. It's a matter of preference, of both the viewer and more importantly (in our context) the maker.

  9. #19

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    Still, I personally find it (1) easier and (2) more rewarding to get a somewhat decent print (occasionally a good one) from a darkroom.

    While your statements about flexibility of curves and reversible changes are all true, I find that with inkjet, I also have to think about things such as bleed, ink viscosity, paper absorbance, metamerism, dithering algorithms, individual ink curve crossovers and a whole host of other things that I don't have to deal with when working with silver gelatin. The focus of your argument for a digital/hybrid workflow entirely revolves around the ease of use that 'curves' give, but you leave out the context in which this happens. It is the context and its vast number of parameters that need to be controlled (partly with curves, partly with other measures) that make the issue complex, and that also make the difference between a mediocre print and an actually good print.

    It's not so difficult in the digital domain to get a nice rendering for a computer screen. Getting it onto paper is a whole different story, and that's a story you don't tell and barely reference. But let's not forget it's a story that is at least as important as the convenience of mouse-clicks when it comes to making quality prints.

    Indeed, I feel that a hybrid/digital workflow is not superior to a darkroom workflow, and the reverse is probably just as true. It's a matter of preference, of both the viewer and more importantly (in our context) the maker.
    I have to agree with this to a certain extent. I teach occasionally and work with a lot of clients, while also working as a photographer and artist and participate myself in shows. Even though digital is "easier" it is not easier to get great prints from it. There are a lot of pitfalls, just like the analog darkroom. I think for making black and white prints, students usually are quicker to get decent analog BW prints than digital ones. I certainly encounter a lot more poor digital prints than I do poor analog ones, but I think that has more to do with the personality type that chooses to print analog in 2019 than it does with anything inherent in the processes. Digital is deceptively "easy", and analog is deceptively "hard". In either case it is many years to learn to do them masterfully.

  10. #20

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    Re: Seeking scanning solution for 8x10 negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    The focus of your argument for a digital/hybrid workflow entirely revolves around the ease of use that 'curves' give, but you leave out the context in which this happens.
    IMHO this is "the" critical point. I we are not able to control the curves we have a painful limitation.

    _________________________


    "bleed, ink viscosity, paper absorbance, metamerism, dithering algorithms, individual ink curve crossovers" : this is mostly solved by calibrating printer and with some methodic work, but it has no conceptual complication, beyond being able to digitally calibrate our printer-ink-paper and making a proofing mosaic with say 16 small images.


    If you want a contrast bump in some range of the mids... this is only two click in Photoshop, but... what you do in the darkroom? exposing/processing film better next time?


    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    I have to agree with this to a certain extent. I teach occasionally and work with a lot of clients, while also working as a photographer and artist and participate myself in shows. Even though digital is "easier" it is not easier to get great prints from it. There are a lot of pitfalls, just like the analog darkroom. I think for making black and white prints, students usually are quicker to get decent analog BW prints than digital ones. I certainly encounter a lot more poor digital prints than I do poor analog ones, but I think that has more to do with the personality type that chooses to print analog in 2019 than it does with anything inherent in the processes. Digital is deceptively "easy", and analog is deceptively "hard". In either case it is many years to learn to do them masterfully.
    +1

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