Page 1 of 28 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 279

Thread: Darkroom vs Scanning

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    200

    Darkroom vs Scanning

    Hey guys just getting back into 4X5 Shooting. What is your workflow ? do you scan and print inkjet ? or do you print in a darkroom ?. Can you achieve a darkroom looking print from Lightroom and good inkjet printer with good paper ?. I do love printing in the darkroom, but having to travel back and forth to the darkroom, (15 miles each way) the cost of renting the time at the darkroom, having to make contact sheets just to see your negatives. Can you get the same results at home in lightroom and lets say a Canon Pro 1000 printer and good paper. I know the out of pocket cost is higher for inkjet printer and scanner vs just needing some good darkroom paper, but in the long run lighroom and inkjet and scanner have to win for cost and time.

    Looking for someone who has done both and seen the side by side look. I guy i respect very much with many years of photo and printing darkroom and inkjet told me he can get better looking BW prints at home on lightroom and Canon Pro 1000, whats your opinion ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,850

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    All other questions aside, a few years ago I saw an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago of a photographer who made large prints (20x24 or larger?) using both inkjet and traditional methods. His photos were of similar subject matter, and I could not tell a bit of difference between digital and non. So regardless of what the people who can't do it are going to say, I say that it's possible to make a darkroom-looking print digitally.

    For myself, I actually prefer digital. I can do much more, easier, than I could in the darkroom, the results are repeatable, and the prints satisfy me.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    151

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    Shoot film (4x5, 617 and 8x10) -> Develop -> Scan using a Creo Sitex scanner at very high resolution -> clean up in PhotoShop, make minor edits -> Produce a digital negative -> Contact print in the darkroom or print on an Epson P900. I resisted this for years but have found it to allow me the greatest flexibility and long-term process stability as I also archive the negative. I'm using it for prints up to (almost) 16" x 20". I get repeatable prints and enjoy the process more without the variabilities in dodging and burning especially in fine detail areas. I still contact print 8x10 negatives at times and yes, it took me a long time to give up 100% darkroom work!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,394

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    I do both and IMO the choice doesn't come down to "what's better." I love a finely crafted B&W analog print...with good fiber-based paper and decent skills, you can create a print that simply glows. I have seen from other photographers' prints and, occasionally, I'm able to produce this in my own work. All I can say (and it sounds a bit trite) is that light seems to emanate from the paper! It's a truly beautiful thing when you see it.

    On the other hand, I shoot quite a lot of 8x10 film and, though I do contact print these negatives in the darkroom, if I want to enlarge one, I have to scan and print via the desktop. Again, a skilled worker with good digital editing skills, good baryta-based paper, and a decent printer can produce a very nice B&W (or color) print. That's actually another point (for me) ...I only do color (not that I do that much of it) on the desktop. I tried analog color printing many years ago and I made a few decent prints, but I never really mastered it.

    The bottom line for me is that analog prints are simply different from digital prints, both have their place. And, either workflow can produce some really fine work.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,401

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    I’m speaking here as an exacting darkroom worker - you can get results at least as good with inkjet, which is why some similarly exacting people I know (and some superb photographers) moved over to inkjet printing over the past several years. Digital has matured to the point the quality of the output comes down to the skill and vision of the operator - just as in the darkroom. Once you have a good printer/inkset (which doesn’t need to break the bank anymore) it’s about knowing how to scan, and then how to edit in Photoshop or whatever software.

    Of course just as in the darkroom this can get as complex as you want, depending on how critical you are - for example creating custom printer profiles, using a specialized and/or calibrated monitor, etc. etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    Hey guys just getting back into 4X5 Shooting. What is your workflow ? do you scan and print inkjet ? or do you print in a darkroom ?. Can you achieve a darkroom looking print from Lightroom and good inkjet printer with good paper ?. I do love printing in the darkroom, but having to travel back and forth to the darkroom, (15 miles each way) the cost of renting the time at the darkroom, having to make contact sheets just to see your negatives. Can you get the same results at home in lightroom and lets say a Canon Pro 1000 printer and good paper. I know the out of pocket cost is higher for inkjet printer and scanner vs just needing some good darkroom paper, but in the long run lighroom and inkjet and scanner have to win for cost and time.

    Looking for someone who has done both and seen the side by side look. I guy i respect very much with many years of photo and printing darkroom and inkjet told me he can get better looking BW prints at home on lightroom and Canon Pro 1000, whats your opinion ?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    200

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    To me, a darkroom print has more depth, and a different feel, i have not seen in person an inkjet print on a good paper good printer that has that same feel, but I'm sure they exist. I think i will go to the darkroom and start printing after many many years away and see what i can do and do some comparison. Very hard to tell online i want to see the prints side by side, i would love see them without knowing which is which and see if i can pick them out.

    I guess my real concern was does scanning negatives into LR or PS does it retain that film look or is there a cross of digital and film look, i have never scanned or seen a scan on my screen.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,401

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    I thought that was the case until I saw how good inkjets could look when they were made by people who were really good at it. They have all the “depth” of anything that can be done in a darkroom. Not only that but you have more flexibility. One of the least enjoyable (to me) things about the current state of the darkroom is the lack of paper choice. There’s relatively little to choose from and if you don’t like the surface quality etc. you’re SOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    To me, a darkroom print has more depth, and a different feel, i have not seen in person an inkjet print on a good paper good printer that has that same feel, but I'm sure they exist. I think i will go to the darkroom and start printing after many many years away and see what i can do and do some comparison. Very hard to tell online i want to see the prints side by side, i would love see them without knowing which is which and see if i can pick them out.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    200

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    I thought that was the case until I saw how good inkjets could look when they were made by people who were really good at it. They have all the “depth” of anything that can be done in a darkroom. Not only that but you have more flexibility. One of the least enjoyable (to me) things about the current state of the darkroom is the lack of paper choice. There’s relatively little to choose from and if you don’t like the surface quality etc. you’re SOL.
    Hey Michael R, im also a Michael R, how funny. Ok im hearing good arguments for Inkjet more and more , i watched some interesting youtube videos. So im guessing shooting film and scanning is about still shooting film and getting the benifit of being able to PS or LR it and still print it on a inkjet and achieve good results. I agree there are not many darkroom papers left to choose from. There really isnt much color film or slide film left to choose and its so over the top exspensive.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,799

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    The GOOD black & white fiber papers died about later 1980's, it's essentially down hill since..

    Bernice

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,401

    Re: Darkroom vs Scanning

    Hmmm another Michael R? That can’t be good for this forum LOL

    At this point in the progression of digital camera technology, I have to say I don’t really understand why one would shoot film anymore if the intention is for the rest of the workflow and output to be digital. Unless one enjoys the film process, which is a perfectly valid reason. I guess the idea (generally speaking) is that this “hybrid” approach is that you retain some of the traditional material/chemistry in your workflow but aren’t stuck with relative hassle of darkroom printing, which requires space etc. Kind of the best of both worlds maybe. This is especially likely to be the case where colour work is involved. Making high quality colour prints in a darkroom was always a somewhat niche activity even in the pre-digital era. Relatively few colour photographers ever printed their own negatives/chromes, whereas now with inkjet printing a colour film shooter can do the whole thing A to Z, which is nice.

    The other nice thing about inkjet for B&W film shooters (in addition to digital shooters of course) is they can make enlarged inkjet negatives, which opens the world of alt processes up to people using smaller film formats than were ever practical for contact printing.

    One of the reasons I’d like to start down the digital rabbit hole is the possibility of making inkjet masks for darkroom printing. So many possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    Hey Michael R, im also a Michael R, how funny. Ok im hearing good arguments for Inkjet more and more , i watched some interesting youtube videos. So im guessing shooting film and scanning is about still shooting film and getting the benifit of being able to PS or LR it and still print it on a inkjet and achieve good results. I agree there are not many darkroom papers left to choose from. There really isnt much color film or slide film left to choose and its so over the top exspensive.

Similar Threads

  1. DSLR scanning vs. Epson V800 scanning
    By Smorton in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 6-Sep-2020, 00:54
  2. scanning with dslr? part III Extracting gigapixes in your darkroom
    By VictoriaPerelet in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 20-Apr-2009, 11:19
  3. Betterlight Scanning Back for Film Scanning?
    By William Leigh in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2004, 13:50

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
  •