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Thread: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

  1. #11

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    The setup I used with a Canon and dye based inks was more than adequate to get sufficient Dmax for the highlights to be correct in the print. No worse than when I used Epsons. It's really not that hard. Inkjet printers have come a long way since 2003...

  2. #12

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by keeds View Post
    I will try this tonight. I'm very attracted to the feature of making LUTs for use with Affinity.

  3. #13

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    The setup I used with a Canon and dye based inks was more than adequate to get sufficient Dmax for the highlights to be correct in the print. No worse than when I used Epsons. It's really not that hard. Inkjet printers have come a long way since 2003...
    It all depends on what sufficient is and what Alt processes we are talking about. For example, not many people I know do carbon prints with Canon’s. Just see carbon@groups.io, this question gets asked about 3 times a day.

  4. #14

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    In my experience if you want full control for the best possible results, best Dmax, etc, you have to go with Epson and QTR to get a calibrated, repeatable and optimized process. QTR is just not available for Canon.
    Having not bought a printer yet, I worry about how much longer QTR will be supported or work with new Epson models.

  5. #15
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Having not bought a printer yet, I worry about how much longer QTR will be supported or work with new Epson models.
    This is the million dollar question..... I have been using QTR with an Epson 7800 for years now and love the results, But for my inkjet printing side of the business I have a Canon which I like.

    Richard Boutwell has apparently developed a system for working on any printer which I am going to try out this fall, I switched to his system to make negs using QTR this past winter and have good profiles
    but like Michael points out how long will this last. In a perfect world for me at least I need to buy a 44 inch machine that can produce the same quality prints I am currently making on my older Canon and as well
    produce the same quality negatives that I am currently getting with my older Epson set up.
    I would love to see a 100 step chart posted rather than the Tree image so I could see how well chart throb has actually reproduced each LAB values, the image does not really tell me much.

    I had Ron Reeder visit my shop a couple of times to set up my system using the Harrington Reeder QTR system, sadly Ron passed away or I am sure he would have the answer to Michaels question

  6. #16
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    I should point out that I am not very good with calibration, kind of Deer in Headlight syndrome, but I have young friends that are very adapt. I just happen to know what a good negative should look like.

  7. #17

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I should point out that I am not very good with calibration, kind of Deer in Headlight syndrome, but I have young friends that are very adapt. I just happen to know what a good negative should look like.
    Thanks for the insight, Bob.

    Having been 100% darkroom forever, since I’m new to the “hybrid” workflow and haven’t bought any of the equipment yet I’ve just been trying to learn as much as I can about the various parts of the process and I’m sort of in my typical “analysis paralysis” holding pattern at the moment because the longevity of each of the pieces worries me.

    So far, like many/most people (I presume ?) I’ve been leaning down the Epson path for a variety of reasons but they are probably all just a matter of opinion. Most of the high quality work I’ve been exposed to (prints and negatives) just happens to be based around QTR/Epson so that is what I’m most familiar with so far including Reeder/Boutwell (I’ve found Bill Schwab’s recent YouTube series on digital negs to be a nice introductory overview to QTR, calibration etc.). I’ve also looked into Piezography/profiles.

    Since the various pieces of this puzzle (software, drivers, whatever) are the products of small or one-man operations, who knows.

    Perhaps I’m overthinking and I just need to jump in. Don’t know.

    There are other such powerful, customizable RIPs/curve-building things out there which I think are not Epson-exclusive, which might be worth exploring for Canon or HP. However you probably have to be more of a wiz with the software to get them working rather than having the head start out-of-the-box stuff for QTR.

    I’m still a digital novice or not even novice so apologies if anything I’ve written is dumb.

  8. #18
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    My experience is with Epson printers and various BW inksets, MIS, Cone.....Richard Boutwell's system is excellent. Piezography can work very well...when they are working. Maybe I've been unlucky....but these systems rarely stay working for me, and that involves about 8 printers. I've tried a lot of different techniques, wet sponges in printer during storage, covering the printer with plastic, running automated prints, loading cleaning carts with Piezo flush.....none of this has prevented serious nozzle clogs in fairly short order, sometimes with only a day between a perfectly working system and a huge problem.

    Awhile ago, I taught at a university that had a large BW printing lab using Piezography. There were about 20 printers, and the professor in charge was extremely experienced. When I ran test prints in preparation to do some personal printing, every single machine had problems. Every single one. Printing a simple step wedge clearly demonstrated this.

    Another example, I have an Epson 4880 that I bought new. It has only had official Cone inks and cartridge's. I spent a week setting up Richard's system....all good. It printed fine for a week. A week! I printed every day. It didn't sit. And it developed two massively clogged channels, which even Piezoflush in cleaning cartridges couldn't fix.

    The loss of money, time and patience, for me, is massive. I'm hugely reluctant to try inkjet printing again.

    Perhaps I'm unlucky. Maybe there's a large variation in the quality of printer heads...I don't know. I'd like to eventually printing ditital negatives. If a dye printer could give good results with the processes I'd use, I'd be strongly inclined to try one.
    “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

  9. #19

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I would love to see a 100 step chart posted rather than the Tree image so I could see how well chart throb has actually reproduced each LAB values, the image does not really tell me much.
    OK, I had only made a Chart Throb curve for Argyrotype, and I had subsequently stopped using Photoshop in favor of Affinity and PhotoLab, so can't make any new Chart Throb curves to try.
    Fortunately, Affinity was able to open my old PS file of that tree and export the correction curve as an LUT (just figured out I could do this; lifesaver!). So, I can print up a step chart with that Chart Throb curve applied and make a print to see how it looks; have all the fixins for making Argyrotype on-hand, so that no issue. I'm in the midst of trying out Easy Digital Negatives, and so far the results look very promising, so I shall make a competing Argyrotype curve with that to compare it to Chart Throb.

  10. #20

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    Re: Digital Negative Printer Recommendation

    I’ve heard some other similar horror stories.

    From a tone reproduction perspective regarding digital negatives specifically (ie not prints), Piezography might be overkill and not worth the potential trouble - not to mention whether or not it will even work with the next generation of Epson printers.

    For example, in the intro/demo series Bill Schwab did on digital negatives with QTR/Epson, his personal take is that the OEM Epson inkset works just as well.

    I don’t understand the ins and outs of how Piezography apparently gets double the resolution (?) out of an Epson printer. If that is the case, maybe there might be some possible benefit for certain types of digital negatives depending on what kind of paper you end up doing your contact prints on or something, but maybe it doesn’t matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    My experience is with Epson printers and various BW inksets, MIS, Cone.....Richard Boutwell's system is excellent. Piezography can work very well...when they are working. Maybe I've been unlucky....but these systems rarely stay working for me, and that involves about 8 printers. I've tried a lot of different techniques, wet sponges in printer during storage, covering the printer with plastic, running automated prints, loading cleaning carts with Piezo flush.....none of this has prevented serious nozzle clogs in fairly short order, sometimes with only a day between a perfectly working system and a huge problem.

    Awhile ago, I taught at a university that had a large BW printing lab using Piezography. There were about 20 printers, and the professor in charge was extremely experienced. When I ran test prints in preparation to do some personal printing, every single machine had problems. Every single one. Printing a simple step wedge clearly demonstrated this.

    Another example, I have an Epson 4880 that I bought new. It has only had official Cone inks and cartridge's. I spent a week setting up Richard's system....all good. It printed fine for a week. A week! I printed every day. It didn't sit. And it developed two massively clogged channels, which even Piezoflush in cleaning cartridges couldn't fix.

    The loss of money, time and patience, for me, is massive. I'm hugely reluctant to try inkjet printing again.

    Perhaps I'm unlucky. Maybe there's a large variation in the quality of printer heads...I don't know. I'd like to eventually printing ditital negatives. If a dye printer could give good results with the processes I'd use, I'd be strongly inclined to try one.

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