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Thread: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    I don't normally do this size, and my normal vendor doesn't quite go that big. Suggestions for a decent lab that can do 60" long prints? Preferably ones with a robust online storefront and mounting options for ease of use/pricing, and of course good quality that isn't way out of spec in terms of color/contrast/etc. North American location.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    My favorite Lab
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    forgot about the Lambda spec
    Last edited by Tin Can; 23-Sep-2019 at 11:46. Reason: Lambda
    sin eater

  4. #4

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I don't normally do this size, and my normal vendor doesn't quite go that big. Suggestions for a decent lab that can do 60" long prints? Preferably ones with a robust online storefront and mounting options for ease of use/pricing, and of course good quality that isn't way out of spec in terms of color/contrast/etc. North American location.
    Do you mean 60" on the long dimension or the short? Color Type C prints or black and white fiber?

    I believe 50 inches is the standard size (length) of the rolls of paper and that most lab's machines won't do over 50 inches on the short side...Also you are aware the Lightjet is super similar to Lambda right? same technology, one is not necessarily "better" then the other any more than a Durst enlarger is better than a Devere. Same technology different machines. The lambda does take 400 dpi files but is slightly softer than the lightjet.

    Griffin in NYC is good (and has an oversized machine) but you'll pay through the nose.

    Contact Photo Lab in Los Angeles is also great, ask to speak with Evan. But I've found that working remotely is never as good as being able to be there and speak one on one with the person running the machine. No places in Atlanta do it?

    Also I bet inkjet would be way cheaper and last longer.
    Last edited by Chester McCheeserton; 23-Sep-2019 at 16:50. Reason: roll x2

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

    I know this isn't what you asked, but for high quality large prints you might check with John Dean in Atlanta: https://www.deanimaging.com
    “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. #6
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Thanks Chester. I meant 60" on the long side. Lightjet or Lambda is fine, I'm not a big fan of inkjet. Interesting you say you think it'll last longer though.

    Thank you Peter. I will remember Dean if I have a project that inkjet will work with.

    Long story short, I'm fulfilling a request from a client to make a custom print, and obviously I am not able to do 60" wide prints at this time in the darkroom. I've found a service that seems to fit my needs online, and yes the price is $$$$ for large prints on Lightjet/Lambda materials, which is why I'm charging appropriately. I'm comfortable with the current lab I work with for prints that aren't huge, but hadn't shopped around for these sizes in a while.

    We are certainly lacking in these services locally, from what I've seen, even after reaching out to some folks that would know here in the Atlanta area.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  7. #7

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Thanks Chester. I meant 60" on the long side. Lightjet or Lambda is fine, I'm not a big fan of inkjet. Interesting you say you think it'll last longer though..
    you mentioned color in your initial post so I thought maybe you were doing color, where inkjet would likely last longer than type C.

    But a properly processed (and don't take that for granted from any of these labs) black-and-white lambda or lj would be the same as your darkoom prints and prob would outlast an inkjet, (though I'm sure someone's breathlessly waiting to debate this)

  8. #8
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    You're right, but when I said color I mean black and white, but with neutral grayscale, not a cool or warm tone (unless toned digitally and intentional!). I generally send RGB files for black and white prints, as it seems some labs don't work well with single-channel grayscale images. I tend to slightly duotone images for print depending on my intention.

    I see that Ilford b&w papers are available from the lab I found online so I am going to talk to them about that instead of "color" prints.

    Mostly I wanted to know if the forum had a good resource they've used and can vouch for, for such prints, to help in my research. I am sure these suggestions will help others as well in the future.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #9

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Whether you print to a Lightjet, Lambda, Chromira or large format inkjet, you'll need a good custom profile if you're sending RGB and want dead neutral neutrals. And then the lab has to have good control over their chemical line if it's not inkjet. Here in L.A. most of the commercial labs that make large prints have gone to inkjet as the parts for both the Lightjet printers and for the RA4 lines are getting harder and harder to get. It looks like Weldon Color Lab in Los Angeles, right next to Culver City, has a 48 inch Lightjet and offer fiber based black and white up to 120 inches long.

    Personally I've pretty much given up on chemical prints. They don't last as long as inkjets. They have a severely limited gamut compared to glossy or semi-glossy inkjet media - something like Hannemühle Fine Art Baryta or the equivalent. They have a wide range of media types available in a variety of surfaces that are simply not available in any RA4 print media. And for black and white, the Epson 9900 prints I make on the aforementioned Hannemühle FAB paper are as rich as anything I ever made in the darkroom.

    It's not clear whether you're looking for a 60"x something longer than that or just a simple 60" wide print. Better to put both height AND width out there. For instance, if you want a 50"x60" print, that's going to be a lot harder to find than a 48"x60" print. I think all the 72" Lightjets are out of commission in L.A. but maybe New York. Then there are places like Digital Plus in L.A. that have 10' wide and wider inkjets.

    I'll finish by passing on a printing experience I had printing black and white on a Lightjet many years ago. Even though I had made my own custom profile for that printer, the prints, which were about 48 inches square, shifted in color, going from dead neutral on one side to about three points cyan on the other. The culprit was the auto replenishing in the RA4 line - and because the lab owner was freaking color blind (yes) he couldn't see the color shift, and wouldn't re-do the prints. I guess I could have brought the Spectrolino over and read him out the L*a*b numbers for both sides to prove it to him, but I just stopped going there. Wasn't worth the fight.

  10. #10

    Re: Looking for Lab for Lambda Print, 60"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatchian View Post
    Whether you print to a Lightjet, Lambda, Chromira or large format inkjet, you'll need a good custom profile if you're sending RGB and want dead neutral neutrals. And then the lab has to have good control over their chemical line if it's not inkjet....
    I'll finish by passing on a printing experience I had printing black and white on a Lightjet many years ago. Even though I had made my own custom profile for that printer, the prints, which were about 48 inches square, shifted in color, going from dead neutral on one side to about three points cyan on the other. The culprit was the auto replenishing in the RA4 line - and because the lab owner was freaking color blind (yes) he couldn't see the color shift, and wouldn't re-do the prints. I guess I could have brought the Spectrolino over and read him out the L*a*b numbers for both sides to prove it to him, but I just stopped going there. Wasn't worth the fight.
    Leaving aside Pere's revving of the engine at the stoplight for the moment...I'll just say that I agree with many of Sasquatchian's points here. Having been first a client and then an employee at a lab and paying for, then making for others black-and-white prints on Type C or RA4 process lightjet paper, the profile doesn't matter as much as realizing that even a lab with good chemical control, the color "drifts" a few points on the lightjet from day to day, and the only way to compensate for it is by running a small test and correcting manually in levels or curves that same day, ideally that same hour, and running it again. The prints will never be truly neutral, although you can get closer than just printing a black and white negative on C-print paper in the darkroom.

    Black-and-white fiber paper is a different animal, it too won't be consistent day to day, the color will, but the density will swing quite a bit depending on the chemistry. And the processing is a big deal. Lab I worked at ran a machine made by harman that processed the paper in a machine with tanks and rollers that was dry to dry and under 10 minutes. Perma Wash was not used...In areas of smooth continuous tone like skies there were frequent problems from the rollers in the processor producing mottling or weird patterns. High end labs like Griffin and Contact have solved this by switching to hand processing the paper, using crank and roller setup that is extremely labor intensive and wastes quite a bit of paper. Bottom line, if you can afford to do the fiber paper, make sure to inquire about the processing, and know that the test print they send you is not as easily reproduced by them, day/weeks later as an inkjet print is.

    I did my own side by side tests with the same image and Sasqatuatchian is right that inkjet and good paper has more dynamic range than lightjet on black-and-white fiber.

    All this is not mentioning the scan, these larger sized are where the differences become apparent between drum and flatbed.
    Byran your work seems pretty subtle and exacting, I think unless there is something you need to change through the computer that an analog fiber print from a place like Griffin in NYC would be the uncompromising way to go.

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