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Thread: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

  1. #21

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Ok but the bottom line is that with a camera, the film development gear and a scanner with software, I'd be in business ( hobby business, that is...)

    Total cost for the film developing gear runs between $200-$400. And a scanner will run between $150-$450 on up. I think the v800 is about $800.

    Is this about right?

  2. #22
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Here are small contact prints, mostly, some done by members here.

    Look at the 4X5 contact prints...and click on HABS...in the last link and here to a downloadable large file from a 4X5 negative. I have been in that room.

    A Baker's Dozen: Large-Format Contact Prints
    sin eater

  3. #23

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    Ok but the bottom line is that with a camera, the film development gear and a scanner with software, I'd be in business ( hobby business, that is...)

    Total cost for the film developing gear runs between $200-$400. And a scanner will run between $150-$450 on up. I think the v800 is about $800.

    Is this about right?
    If that’s the way you want to do the process, it’s a start. And a good start, too. Do you have a good computer with the speed and memory for graphics processing? If not, factor that into your end-to-end cost assessment.

    When I started I focused, literally, on first things first... capturing enough worthy images to warrant figuring out how to print and how big the prints should be. Berenice might disagree, perhaps, but without even a mediocre neg of a worthy image all the rest is just gear.

  4. #24
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Interesting question that needs to be asked, but it seems a little back-asswards to me. I would tend to start from the image and how I might want to present it -- then determine what type of image capture and processing (and processes) would allow me to reach that goal. How do you like to work? What type of imagery do you want to make? If you are not sure, then whatever option gives you the most options of weaving equipment, process and image together while having fun at it. Play with it for awhile, then decide what you want to make.

    I use LF and make contact prints with in-camera negatives printing with alt processes to achieve my photographic goals...so my bias is towards contact printing. Pretty dang cheap way to go. No batteries, pixels, or software. Direct experience -- pin the latest print to the kitchen wall and live with it for a while.

    PS...4x5 images can rock on the walls! So can 5x7s! Save the bedsheet size prints to cover bad plaster on the walls.

    ...and one can always print a couple (or more) together...

    (two 4x5, Polaroid Type 55 negatives, contact print, silver gelatin)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IndianCanyonLadder.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #25

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    If that’s the way you want to do the process, it’s a start. And a good start, too. Do you have a good computer with the speed and memory for graphics processing? If not, factor that into your end-to-end cost assessment.

    When I started I focused, literally, on first things first... capturing enough worthy images to warrant figuring out how to print and how big the prints should be. Berenice might disagree, perhaps, but without even a mediocre neg of a worthy image all the rest is just gear.

    Do I want to process that way??? IDK...that just seems like a clean and easy way to go.

    And yes I have a good computer. It's pretty new.

    I need to learn more about how to make contact prints.

  6. #26

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Contact printing might open a whole new line of learning. Lots of options too. I tend toward the “non-silver” “alternative “ approaches... cyanotype, gum bichromate, platinum/palladium. I’d love to do carbon printing but that has to wait for a retirement project. Many of these require mixing chemicals and hand-coating paper, with exposure via UV lamps. More toys...

    I’m not sure what traditional silver contact papers still exist but some a quick trip to the Freestyle site should answer that question!

    How’s your wife taking all of this?????

  7. #27

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

    How’s your wife taking all of this?????
    LMAO!!!! She's in the dark!! Well she knows something is afoot. I just need to be respectful and not blow a bunch of money and not do anything with it.

    ��

  8. #28

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    LMAO!!!! She's in the dark!! Well she knows something is afoot. I just need to be respectful and not blow a bunch of money and not do anything with it.

    ��
    Let me share something out of my photography playbook. Buy camera and some transparency film. Take wife’s picture. Make sure they make her look gorgeous. Send film out for processing. When it comes back, hold the big “slide” up for her to see. Anything you want after that will be yours!

  9. #29
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    Ok....I think I have a pretty good picture now of the three options.

    Here's the deal....for me the entire purpose of wanting to shoot large format is to end up with an enlarged print. Having the ability to share it on the internet is a side bonus. In practice, I'd imagine in 20 or 30 shots, I might find one or two worthy of enlargement.

    To me, the entire contact printing process makes sense especially if an enlargement is the end game, BUT, I don't think I want to even entertain that option at this time.

    To me scanning is a more logical first step. BUT, I'm not clear on the purpose of scanning and what I'd do with the output (digital file if a negative).

    So, can someone please elaborate on the scanning process that starts right after I developed the negative? Then what, how to do it and what I do with it for the purpose of eventually printing the good ones. I think I know the answer.....

    Is it that the scanner replaces to contact printing output with a digital file? Seems like you'd need software to convert a negative scan to a digital "print". THEN, you'd have the "contact" on the computer. At that point you'd say, enlargement that "one", and send it off to a lab for 11x14 or something crazy like 30x40 or whatever works.

    Is that correct?
    The downside of using a digital contact "proof" to progress to an enlarged silver print is that unless your negatives are technically great, work has to be done during the making of the final print. One option is to manipulate the image in photoshop as you would if you were making the enlargement in the darkroom--that is, paper grade (contrast), dodging, burning, etc. You will then need to work with the lab, making a work print and communicating your expectations of what you'd like them to do. Also, paper tone, finish, toning and bleaching are options in the darkroom that are difficult to simulate on the computer. A calibrated monitor really helps, too.

  10. #30
    Les
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    This is from the other thread #3 post (4th solution ?)......or use a digital camera to copy the negative on a "light table" of choice....so you'll have a digital copy to work with or as reference. Is there something wrong with this solution ?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Additionally, if done well (stitching and all) you'll have plenty of pixels for a large enlargement.

    Les

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