Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

  1. #1

    Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    I have an interest in learning to produce film negatives from a digital file with the ultimate goal of being able to use them to make both contact and enlarged prints on silver gelatin paper. Because of the massive interest in making digi negs using inkjet processes, it's super duper hard to find info on this (i.e. noise to signal ratio is very bad). I have several reasons for avoiding the inkjet route, but the simplest is probably this: I have a large format friendly darkroom, and I make both contact and enlarged prints. I have found the few services which print to film, but what I am missing is info on optimizing tone curves, how the print to film process impacts the image etc. I'd like to get some anecdotal information from someone who is familiar with this process if at all possible. I'd love to hear your wisdom and/or suggestions for further reading. Thank you!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    294

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    As far as I know, your only real option if you want to avoid inkjet / dye printing, is to project the digital image via some form of display, and take a photograph of that image.

    But I don't see how you're going to avoid losing massive amounts of resolution and detail in the process-- HD is only 2 megapixels, 4K is about 8, and an 8k projector (or small panel) is going to be more expensive than a good inkjet.

    And since all of these panels / projectors are some form of LED technology, you'll have to be careful not to pick up the grid lines.

  3. #3

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    There are a few companies which will print digital files to film, so I'd be using one of those.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
    Posts
    3,957

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    Years ago, using an "Imagesetter" enabled one to print a digital negative that had sufficient quality and resolution to contact print silver gelatin photographs. I've seen some large examples of those prints, and they were very nice. But common then in graphic arts houses, I think that Imagesetters have kind of disappeared from the scene.

    At that time, using an Epson printer did not provide the quality and resolution needed. They were primarily used to print digital negatives for alternative methods that used hand-coated papers for Platinum-Palladium prints, Cyanotypes, Van Dyke browns, etc.

    But, perhaps that's changed? Apparently Richard Boutwell and Paula Chamlee teach a process using QuadToneRIP for contact printing Silver Chloride papers:

    https://www.bwmastery.com/silver-gel...ative-workshop

    It would be interesting to see examples of their work.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    10

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    Perhaps take a look at Quadtonerip? http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRoverview.html

    I don't use digital negatives, but this seems to be the standard for taking digital files and getting them setup with "proper" b&w curves for things like alternative process printing. Would something like this be at all helpful to you?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    10

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    Apologies - I assume this was clear, but unspoken is the notion that you would take your "corrected" digital image and print to film using something like: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ency_Film.html, which you could then use for contact printing.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    80

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    I'm pretty sure that image setters are still around. It would take some experimentation because their standard is to produce lineart, copy, halftone images and separations rather than continuous tone.

    As an aside, Twenty-six years ago while working in printing I did some work with stochastic color images. The pressmen hated them, but the results were wonderful. It was far superior to the 200 line screens that were our standard at the time for color glossy work.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,882

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    Chicago Albumen Works seems to be mindful of calibration and profiling in outputting to LVT:

    http://albumenworks.com/digital_services/archival.html

    http://albumenworks.com/digital_services/standards.html

    If you have questions beyond that about how to use the process to achieve specific objectives, why not try contacting them?

  9. #9
    Andrej Gregov
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    158

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    The only idea that comes to mind for avoiding the whole Photoshop/inkjet route and service bureaus for digital neg making is the De Vere 504DS Digital Enlarger. I don't know about print quality via this method but I would expect anything from De Vere to be pretty good.

    http://de-vere.com/products-504ds-digital-enlarger/

    That said, with respect to contact printing from digital files, I think the best course is to bite the bullet and learn digital neg making using inkjets. I too prefer analog means of making images (b&w and color darkrooms). But digital negatives are a great new technical leap in contact print making. For example, you can shoot with a lite and nimble 4x5, scan your negatives and contact print onto 11x14. The alternative is shooting with a 11x14 camera to make a negative that big and nothing about an 11x14 is "nimble." Also, you can shoot one negative type (say b&w targeted for traditional silver enlargement), scan and make digital negatives for contact printing for many historic processes such as albumen, cyanotype, platinum/palladium, gum, etc. That way you avoid the need to shoot multiple negatives in the field targeted for each process with its own negative density/development requirements. Shooting with a smaller camera system and making one negative type are a few examples where digital negatives really shine for contact printing.

    Last year I ramped up on making digital negatives using QuadToneRIP plus Richard Boutwell's software. As a quality test, I printed a 4x5 negative via an enlarger on 8x10 Ilford paper and compared it to the exact same 4x5 negative I scanned and then contact printed to the same Ilford paper. Same developer to process both prints (LPD). They were effectively identical to my eyes. I then showed both prints (one made from the enlarger and one made from the digital negative contact) to some expert photo pals and they all had trouble telling the difference between the digital negative made contact print from the traditionally enlarged one. Only one person could see a slight difference in the digital neg made contact because they could see my lack of sharpening skills.

    So, you can get very high quality results making digital negatives on transparency inkjet film. The QTR + Boutwell workflow is not hard but can be nit-picky in details. It requires some patience learning. Bill Schwab has a five part digital negative making series on YouTube that can give you an idea of the whole workflow.

    https://youtu.be/TMmG1wzVxEM

    Christina Z. Anderson has a new book that was co-authored with the late Ron Reeder which covers the QTR and Boutwell software workflow along with a number of alt processes.

    https://www.routledge.com/Digital-Ne.../9780367862299

    If you'd prefer avoiding the digital workflow altogether, Bob Carnie is another bureau for making digital negatives offering an innovative service where he can make real silver negatives via Lambda laser exposure unit. He talks about the process on a recent video.

    https://youtu.be/mtPxXeHfews

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,882

    Re: Looking for advice/guides on digital to film (not inkjet)

    The cost of having a service bureau write an LVT negative is so high, it's hard to imagine that there are many who are doing so routinely for their personal work and are in a position to comment on the practicalities of optimizing the process. But again, talk to the labs, especially any who cater to artist-photographers rather than primarily to institutions needing conservation services.

Similar Threads

  1. Archival digital inkjet printing........
    By Kirk Gittings in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2013, 16:14
  2. workflow for inkjet prints from digital scans of 4x5 film
    By don mills in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-Jul-2010, 08:40
  3. Harmen digital inkjet papers Matt
    By Raymond Bleesz in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Feb-2009, 20:36
  4. Jobo 4x5 Film Guides
    By Martin in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2008, 22:26
  5. Learning inkjet printing- your advice!!
    By claudiocambon in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 20-May-2008, 15:25

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •