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Thread: Epson P700 printer, impressed

  1. #11

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    I don't have facts and figures, but I work in the industry. I think it really depends on where and what you are looking at. For example, many of the processes that photographers used to use for fine art prints are no longer available or hardly available, such as dye transfer or cibachrome/ilfochrome. The big William Eggleston show at David Zwirner in 2017 or so was made on inkjets. They are called "pigment prints", which is code for inkjet. Specifically the archival pigment-based inkjet printers like the Epson and Canon printers. As both a printer and an artist, I am curious about this in general. I talked to a gallerist in Berlin who specializes in fine art photography from well-known photographers and asked her about this topic. She said that the issue of darkroom prints or silver-based printing was not something that concerned most of her clients. She did say, however, that she often found that photographers working in analog made better work. But from the standpoint of printing, whether it was digital or not did not influence the value or collectability of the work. Indeed, in color prints the digital versions tend to be both more archival and more vibrant.

    Value in the uniqueness of a given print is a fraught subject, whether in digital or analog. In the old days, it was the darkroom prints themselves that had less value than paintings, as the photos could be mechanically reproduced to look more or less identical. In the recent past (and still today for some), people thought those darkroom prints the unique ones, whereas the digital prints the ones that are infinitely reproducible. Now we are at the stage where having a print at all is the "unique real object", while things like NFT's are trying to establish uniqueness for digital only work that might be distributed in full quality all around the world. In the case of NFT's, you simply pay to say you own it. Ultimately in most cases you are paying the artist or gallery for some representation of the idea of the photograph, and/or for some sort of contractual agreement of artificial scarcity...editions or NFTs, for example. The print itself (and I say this as a printer!), is usually the least valuable part of the venture and often the easiest to replicate. I have reproduced a lot of older work for galleries and artists on inkjet because the originals had faded or were damaged. Also in cases where the artist is much happier with the newer version, because the digital got them closer to what they had originally envisioned. This does not always please people who preferred the old look...

  2. #12

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    I appreciate your insight and certainly respect your experience. I suspect that many of us (who have printed silver for 30+ years) have a hard time converting. I know that I'm working on a blended system of super high resolution scanning of analog negatives (shooting 6x17, 4x5 and 8x10) then making adjustments in PS then producing a digital negative. I'm not a 100% convert yet but the controls in the digital realm certainly can't be ignored. My recent prints (Epson) are as good as many of my darkroom images. I'll not stop shooting film as even images from a Hasselblad digital camera I owned several years ago aren't as "fine" or realistic as film. I also like the controls of developing so I'll stay with that for a while. That said, you probably won't see my purchasing any "investment" images that are produced digitally.

  3. #13

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    I am not advocating anyone to convert, btw. It is just the reality of the market right now. Analog materials have skyrocketed in cost and dwindled in availability, volumes of analog work at labs have gone down, etc etc. Most shipping companies will not send chemicals by anything other than truck or ship, so if you are located on an island like me, it becomes extremely slow and difficult to get materials (because no one stocks anything...see above). Anyway, we are lucky that the digital prints have gotten as good as they have. I am also glad that we still have access to good analog materials, especially in black and white.
    As for "investment" images, I would recommend purchasing art you enjoy, regardless of the media (assuming of course, it is well-executed), unless you are truly in it for the money.

  4. #14

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    The big William Eggleston show at David Zwirner in 2017 or so was made on inkjets. They are called "pigment prints", which is code for inkjet.
    I went to this show. The prints looked good, but it was a little bit disappointing not to see the original dye transfer ones I'd always heard so much about. But that's only because I'm a photo nerd and know about that. I'm sure the average viewer wouldn't notice the difference or even care if they did.

  5. #15

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    I'm not sure how much photographic "investing" has yielded over the years so, yes, it is really a love of the original image. Photo collecting is a fickle hobby and one that is rarely producing any actual gains. I've always considered it important to support the artist directly when possible instead of the gallery.

  6. #16

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    ...things like NFT's are trying to establish uniqueness for digital only work that might be distributed in full quality all around the world. In the case of NFT's, you simply pay to say you own it. Ultimately in most cases you are paying the artist or gallery for some representation of the idea of the photograph, and/or for some sort of contractual agreement of artificial scarcity...editions or NFTs, for example...
    Methinks the NFT flim-flam is coming to an end:


  7. #17
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by bmikiten View Post
    I believe (as an owner of many Epsons over the years and a P700 now) that they have resolved the ink clogging issue. I've had mine for a year and haven't had any problems even if it remains idle for a month or more.
    I really hope that's true! My own experience, on a number of their printers over the years, was awful. Because of it, I haven't printed in years. I still have a 4880 upstairs that lost two channels in a week of use using a Piezography inkset....It's better sitting with cleaning cartridges installed for years. I doubt I'll ever mess with it again.
    “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

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