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Thread: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

  1. #11

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    A close inspection shows that a C print is way more spectacular than an inkjet as the image lives inside the gelatin, but YMMV.
    Although joking aside, I agree with you on this Pere

  2. #12
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Thanks both of you for your thoughts. I've been informed privately about a local lab that can do larger Lambda prints. I certainly prefer the ability to personally inspect/approve of a print, especially for such a large/expensive order. I am waiting on the most important part of the equation now - client approval and payment .
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  3. #13
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    When clients want to do a show I allow them to be part of the Lambda- wet process team... Usually works beautifully

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    I find the gamut of RA4 distinctly better than inkjet. There are firm technical reasons for stating that. I even make em from contact internegs from LF chromes, which end up better than Cibachrome in terms of hue accuracy, yet equally rich in terms of saturation and depth. Forget your old stereotypes about RA4. But it takes some advanced darkroom skills to take advantage of the fact. No commercial lab can afford all the extra time to do it right, unless it's via scan manipulation onto a laser print. And the alternative, Inkjet, is, after all, all about opaque inks where the priority is simply getting them through those tiny nozzles, rather than either process color purity or permanence, though these issues are factored secondarily, thank goodness. Such inks consist of not only of certain finely ground pigments, but also dyes (familiar ones, less than ideal in terms of permanence), and lakes (dyed inert pigments), which potentially vary significantly in terms of hypothetical lightfastness, depending on the exact ink composition of any given image. Calling them pigment prints per se, as is frequently done, is deceptive marketing. And blanket statements about the alleged permanence of anything this relatively new and unproven basically amounts to wishful thinking, though it is probably true that, on average, they're going to handle somewhat more light than RA4 prints over time. This seems to be the case when prints are tortured under unwise sorts of excessively strong lighting. Whether it remains true under tightly controlled lighting low in UV is another question, but that is rarely feasible with really big prints. It's also a matter of taste. For my own color work, I greatly prefer the transparency and more subtle tonal transitions of true dyes over inks, as well as the greater detail capacity of true optical prints. Bob Carnie will have his own viewpoint, since he knows how to do all three options - optical enlargement, laser printing onto RA4, and Inkjet. I've seen a few of his big inkjets, and they're technically as good as they get.

  5. #15
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Yes, Peter, I've talked with Aardenburg about such issues. A very helpful person who has made a significant contribution relative to addressing the shortfalls in Wilhelm's prior methodology. But I also have a lot of analogous background in relation to industrial pigments, so have known for a long time the inherent flaws of accelerated aging torture tests, and how hard it is to address all the relevant variables and realistically extrapolate these regarding long-term performance. That kind of industry really paved the way for inkjet in terms of 4-axis analytic geometry, programming pigment mixtures to obtain specific hues. You'd be amazed at how seriously equipped some of the relevant R&D labs are, and how extraordinarily many options they test. But it's hard enough to keep ordinary paint pigment nozzles from clogging. The far tinier demands of inkjet colorant nozzles inherently results in a lot of compromises where one simply CANNOT choose either the most lightfast or process pure options. That's why there are so many dang flavors of ink involved in even a home desktop inkjet printer. And the rendition of blacks ... yecch! (I'm speaking of color inkjet, not monochrome options). In many ways, visually, I regard inkjet as a step backwards. But it's certainly a boon for democratizing color printing. I have discussed in person the root of the issue with people working on the holy grail of hypothetical options - a set of true CMYK process colors truly lightfast, which can accommodate micro-nozzles, being essentially nano-pigments. It's like a manned mission to Mars - maybe it will happen someday, maybe it never will. And the ever-tightening restrictions on certain promising yet unhealthy ingredients in the EU, where the most progress had been made so far, makes a realistic result seem further and further distant.

  7. #17

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	195866Maybe when you have someone inkjet printing with no proper experience and training as to how to get the most out of the inks and paper, but if you have someone who knows what they're doing and doing it well, well, most of the digs on inkjets go away. Hell, I had an exhibition of all inkjet music portraits a couple years ago here in the L.A. area, both color and black and white images, all printed on the aforementioned Hannemühle paper and I got multiple inquiries from people in the gallery as to how I made so many darkroom prints with so few dust specks. Hated to burst their bubbles, but I did it anyway. And we sold more prints out of that show than any previous show at that gallery. But here's a screenshot from ColorThink Pro, comparing the gamuts of Hannemmühle FAB and a Lightjet Glossy paper. Since I did not make the LJ profile, I don't know if it's on Kodak or Fuji paper and I don't know what spectrophotometer was used to measure the target, but you can easily see that the inkjet paper has a significantly wider gamut in all areas except the blue-magenta range. This LJ profile is very similar to other RA4 media profiles I have made myself. What I generally find is that what I see in the 3D profile maps is born out in real world printing. There are a lot of colors in real world images that simply will not print on any Lightjet material, and often you have to resort to complex luminosity masking to control the saturation in saturated highlights or just give up on retaining any meaningful detail, where none of those shenanigans are needed when making inkjet prints. But, by all means, print on whatever paper makes you happy and I'll do the same.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Well, you threw in a monkey wrench by applying the term "gamut" to a general inquiry about monochrome printing via laser onto RA4, which is more a topic concerning linear tonality, and not multiple-axis color gamut. So I replied in like kind. But I seriously doubt you've even begun to understand the full potential of current RA4 options. In fact, you're at least thirty years behind. It was color neg film itself that was slow to catch up. Don't try to impress me with some cannibalized web graphs, especially if you don't even know the specific spectrophotometry, and if you don't even know what specific paper was involved. It is precisely because of real-world color problems that I've bypassed inkjet and continue to explore RA4. I'm trying to find a worthy replacement for Dye Transfer, not for some desktop printer; and for certain hue categories, I'm already there. What's you're problem with masking? I do the real deal. PS merely pirated the term. But neither is "shenanigans", but simply part of the work involved in doing things well, just like any serious craft requires more than sitting on your rear punching a few buttons.

  9. #19

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Drew - You're missing the point here. That was only ONE of many advantages that inkjet has over RA4, and it's not just button pushing that I do. I start out hopefully taking a great photo, then figure out how to make the best looking print. You go and make your masks and I'll make mine and hopefully never the twain shall meet.

  10. #20
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    If you want to argue this, please use the appropriate subforum.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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