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Thread: BW paper to print on Durst Lambda 131

  1. #1

    BW paper to print on Durst Lambda 131

    Dear forum members,

    I have a question about large format BW print on Lambda 131.
    At first, I must say that I am not a professional photographer neither someone who usually orders large scale prints, so please forgive me in advance if my questions or answers would look really stupid. Also sorry for my language skills, as English is not my native.

    I really liked the idea of printing a large (100x25 inch) landscape BW photo and putting it to the wall in my office, so I started to research available options and stumbled upon "VAST" large scale prints website. They offer nice chromogenic prints but prices are a little too steep for me. So I bought a photo from the stock, found a lab that offers printing on Lambda and ordered a sample. However there was a problem - print does not match original colors. It looks like some light blue filter was applied to it, so everything looks bluish, especially white color. Lab guys said that the reason was Fuji premium paper for color prints that they used. They say that it adds color to the original picture if used for BW printing and there is no other paper option for a BW print of this scale.

    I would really appreciate if you can confirm that paper for color prints can really be the reason for color mismatching if used for printing in BW?
    What would be the best BW printing paper for the 100x25 inch print, if any?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2

    Re: BW paper to print on Durst Lambda 131

    The Ilford B&W paper rolls (largest option: 56 inches x 96 feet) should fit in a c-type printer, but I don't have any personal experience with those machines. A well balanced print from a B&W neg to RA-4 paper is theoretically possible with traditional printing methods, and the ICC profiles on the Lambda is the digital equivalent to this color balancing process... so with some color balance adjusting you should be able to achieve a neutral tone on a c-type printer with a grayscale digital file.

    The "best" B&W paper (my personal favorite) is the 'Ilford Multigrade FB Classic Glossy' paper which comes in rolls big enough to make your print size, but any of Ilford's fiber base papers are going to give you an archival fine art quality.

    EDIT: After some digging the Durst Lambda 76, 130, and 131 machines, as well as their respective 'plus' variants, are all able to print to silver gelatin paper and RA-4 paper as well as some other media options. As far as I am aware there is only one Lambda machine with a "RA-4 only" limitation, that being the 'Pi 50' model.

    I also believe that c-type printers which use LEDs have some limitation which prevents them from exposing to silver gelatin which is why the new ZBE Chromiras are RA-4 only. However the Lambdas all use halogen bulbs iirc, but certainly not LED.
    Last edited by Colton Tompkins; 1-Jan-2023 at 19:00.

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