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Author Topic: digital vs analogue printing  (Read 10672 times)

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2016, 12:56:22 PM »

In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?
In this case, on two digital camera system from the last century, to my eye, there's clear superiority:


http://digitaldog.net/files/Filmvsdigital.pdf


And if you don't want to read all the details:


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Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2016, 04:03:32 PM »

Or the supposed superiority of film, that you seem to be claiming in a number of recent threads ...

Cheers,
Bart

In the eye of the experienced viewer.

Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2016, 04:19:07 PM »

"In this case, on two digital camera system from the last century, to my eye, there's clear superiority:


http://digitaldog.net/files/Filmvsdigital.pdf"

Hi,

If I get this right: you were shooting both a digital original and a film original, and then scanning the film original to make the end comparisons?

If that's the scenario, then it's not really what this is about. What I think this is about is looking at an original wet print made from a good film negative by a good printer (not from a copy of a negative via a digital device), and at a digital print from a digital capture of a subject made via a digital camera.

IMO, that's the only way you can make a truly valid comparison: on, and of, the end product of each medium. That's where you can judge 'look' and any felt advantages or otherwise.

Rob C

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2016, 04:23:53 PM »

If I get this right: you were shooting both a digital original and a film original, and then scanning the film original to make the end comparisons?
A drum scan was necessarily to reproduce it in the magazine. At the time, the vast majority of photographers shooting film OR such a capture system were doing the same; output to a halftone, NOT a wet print process.
The differences you see here would render to a wet print differently agreed, but the qualities of the two captures (or lack thereof) clearly illustrate to me, which would reproduce better. No?
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Andrew Rodney
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Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2016, 06:13:01 PM »

A drum scan was necessarily to reproduce it in the magazine. At the time, the vast majority of photographers shooting film OR such a capture system were doing the same; output to a halftone, NOT a wet print process.
The differences you see here would render to a wet print differently agreed, but the qualities of the two captures (or lack thereof) clearly illustrate to me, which would reproduce better. No?


No. I repeat why:

"If that's the scenario, then it's not really what this is about. What I think this is about is looking at an original wet print made from a good film negative by a good printer (not from a copy of a negative via a digital device), and at a digital print from a digital capture of a subject made via a digital camera.

IMO, that's the only way you can make a truly valid comparison: on, and of, the end product of each medium. That's where you can judge 'look' and any felt advantages or otherwise.

Rob C"


Anything else, and I believe it's apples/oranges all over again.

My contention has been that wet prints are intrinsically more appealing, at least to me, than are digital ones, and I think I've made pretty good ones on both mediums. I've also mentioned before that I don't really see it as having all that much to do with infinite detail either, more about the overall impression of a subject, especially of people, that film seems capable of lending to the exercise.

As I hope I indicated in response to something Erik wrote, I do not think of image quality in terms of ultimate detail fidelity as much as of absolute, holistic emotional response. And there, I suggested, the difference in approach between a technical mind and one that has different core values. It's not a judgement of people, but of approaches to the same situation.

Rob

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2016, 07:09:24 PM »


Rob, you wrote: In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?
I simply provided two captures (well three) illustrating the superiority of the digital capture system.
You might believe that the inferiority of the film was due to a very expensive PMT drum scanner, scanned by a good scan operator (me). We can go there if you wish.
You might believe that the film scan appears subjectively better to you than the digital captures and we can go there although, I don't believe that's the case by a mile. Maybe you like non image forming noise and a reduced tonal range of the film, I don't. I think I know which would produce a better quality print but a lot of that would boil down to subjectively again.


What I think this is about is looking at an original wet print made from a good film negative by a good printer (not from a copy of a negative via a digital device), and at a digital print from a digital capture of a subject made via a digital camera.


Well a 'wet print' could be made from the digital capture, preferably on a Lightjet or Lambda and the transparency could be made in the wet lab directly. Based on the captures I've provided, do you really think the print from transparency should eliminate the grain, add the same tonal range we see in the digital capture? I don't. But maybe. One thing is clear and true, film or digital, printed in any fashion: GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out! There's a lot more 'garbage' I see in the film I don't in the digital capture.
Further, do you think film has progressed much in the last 15 years since this test? Do you think digital capture has? It's a rhetorical question.


Quote
IMO, that's the only way you can make a truly valid comparison: on, and of, the end product of each medium. That's where you can judge 'look' and any felt advantages or otherwise.
The facts are, the best test would be making a print from each and then I'd fly to your home and everyone else following these posts and let you view them side by side. The facts are, we need to scan film or produce digital files to view in the fashion I've provided here or in print. The facts are, a lot of photographers make a living whereby whatever the shoot, it is digitized and printed on a halftone process; books, magazines, posters, billboards and the film has to be scanned.


I'm not here to start a film vs. digital debate, that war was ended many years ago. Didn't go well for film.  ;D   I'm also not here to debate subjectively or religion or politics. All I can do is provide the data I have. Like the data about color gamut. Now if you print B&W day in and day out, the color gamut of even a $300 ink jet greatly exceeds anything you can print in the 'wet lab' isn't pertinent. But it's still a colorimetric fact and it might be important to someone else where color saturation on a print is critical to them. Again subjective, I'm not trying to convince them either way.


Further facts, no subjectively: that $300 ink jet, with pigmented inks is going to be vastly more archival, it's going to provide vastly more options for papers than any wet lab. And the printer itself is going to be far more affordable to a photographer; my first digital printer in 1993, a Kodak XL-7700 cost me $10K used! Nice 10x10 prints on one paper. We've come a long way.


Quote
My contention has been that wet prints are intrinsically more appealing, at least to me, than are digital ones, and I think I've made pretty good ones on both mediums.
That's subjective and I'm fine with that. It has nothing really to do with the facts I think I've provided. I have no idea of the GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out or lack thereof in any process you or anyone else has tested. I'm not here to convince anyone what is subjectively better, no dog in that fight.


Again, you asked: In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system? I think I illustrated how this worked out 15 years ago between film and a digital capture system.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 07:14:19 PM by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
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bjanes

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2016, 09:01:10 PM »


No. I repeat why:

"If that's the scenario, then it's not really what this is about. What I think this is about is looking at an original wet print made from a good film negative by a good printer (not from a copy of a negative via a digital device), and at a digital print from a digital capture of a subject made via a digital camera.

IMO, that's the only way you can make a truly valid comparison: on, and of, the end product of each medium. That's where you can judge 'look' and any felt advantages or otherwise.
Rob C"


Your protocol is far too vague. Good film negative. What camera, what lens, what film, what enlarger, what paper, what chemistry?

Digital capture? Phase One 100 MP with apochromatic lens or Digital Rebel with a kit zoom?

There are too many uncontrolled variables for a meaningful comparison.

And what do you mean by a wet process? A LightJet print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper is a wet process. It uses chromogenic paper and is developed chemically just like a darkroom print from an enlarger. With a digital print, you have the option of using a wide gamut inkjet printer with a wider gamut than the Lightjet, as Andrew indicated.

To minimize variables, I would suggest using a 4*5 film camera with top grade optics and film. For the digital print, one would have go scan the negative. Roger Clark made this experiment some time ago here. The digital print won out.

Bill
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Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2016, 04:49:50 AM »

This could run for ever. I've made my view as clear as I can make it, and apparently I have failed in that attempt. Fine; it really doesn't matter very much.

The concept of the differences is very clear to me, if not on the opposite side of the opinion barriers. I have not been casting aspersions on the abilities of anyone, I see the entire thing in one light, a light different to the one you choose to use, and that's fine by me too.

There's no point in my trying to express this in any other terms because the result will be exactly the same: the one in which you choose to believe will be the right one. Mirrors?

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 09:38:48 AM by Rob C »
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digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2016, 09:48:50 AM »

This could run for ever. I've made my view as clear as I can make it, and apparently I have failed in that attempt. Fine; it really doesn't matter very much.
The concept of the differences is very clear to me, if not on the opposite side of the opinion barriers. I have not been casting aspersions on the abilities of anyone, I see the entire thing in one light, a light different to the one you choose to use, and that's fine by me too.
There's no point in my trying to express this in any other terms because the result will be exactly the same: the one in which you choose to believe will be the right one. Mirrors?
Based on Bill's well thought out, technically sound ideas of testing and his comment (Your protocol is far too vague), I have to say Rob, that statement sounds rather close minded and void of technical reasoning. I'm surprised to hear it from you but you're entitled to the opinion. The analog/digital wars are over. Where can I buy supplies for printing dye transfers or get my Kodachrome processed? Some of us have at least attempted to use facts and data based on (among other attributes) color science to describe some advantages of a digital print process over an analog one without adding subjectivity to the discussion.


Without data, you're just a person with an opinion.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2016, 03:20:32 PM »

Based on Bill's well thought out, technically sound ideas of testing and his comment (Your protocol is far too vague), I have to say Rob, that statement sounds rather close minded and void of technical reasoning. I'm surprised to hear it from you but you're entitled to the opinion. The analog/digital wars are over. Where can I buy supplies for printing dye transfers or get my Kodachrome processed? Some of us have at least attempted to use facts and data based on (among other attributes) color science to describe some advantages of a digital print process over an analog one without adding subjectivity to the discussion.


Without data, you're just a person with an opinion.


Oh dear, this is doomed drag on a bit further...

Look, I am not playing at digital wars; I am not asking you or anyone else to change their ways. I certainly do owe Kodak a big debt for its Kodachrome over the years - it served me very well indeed, as did TXP 120 ad various Ektachromes.

And there you go again: "color science". With two words you illustrate the gulf that divides us: I am not driven by facts and figures and tests beyond those that tell me how something does or does not fit my desires; I have interest neither in brick walls nor photographing the same little still life over and over again till I go insane (accepting the while that others can find such exciting); my likes and dislikes are more mundane: they are based upon what looks good to me in a photograph, and I think, unless I have allowed myself to be diverted by all the tech-talk, that this started as something to do with the 'wet darkroom' and grain as seen on prints made the traditional way from negatives... or perhaps several threads have become one.

As to 'using facts and data' every government and debate has attempted that route, and the same data is used in attempts to prove the opposite by each faction.

I accept that you dig digital, that it's part of what your vested interests and expertise is all about; I do digital photography too, for the reasons you mentioned above about the supplies no longer existing, as well as the important reason - for me, now - of money: my photography is for fun and no longer for commerce. I feel no desire to blow cash on photography or anything else that's not essential. And as I have said in LuLa before, I am firmly convinced that, had digital been all that photography had ever had to offer, I would more than probably not have taken it up as my life's work. I find no satisfaction whatsoever in the processes; I feel they have nothing at all to do with art and everything to do with electronics and the patience needed to tweak and tweak until you go blind; I find the end results sterile; in short - I still do some photography because I have a very deep and longstanding love for images. Man, even the cameras now disappoint me in their basic failures to allow simple aids such as split-image screens, in their weight, and the increasing pile of built-in junk that I keep switched off as well as I can manage to do that, but for which I still have to stump up when I buy.

I accept that I am not your natural soul-mate. I neither blame nor condemn you for that, and I certainly do not seek to belittle you with comments in the vein of your Parthian shot.

Rob C

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2016, 04:33:37 PM »


Oh dear, this is doomed drag on a bit further...
If you insist.
Quote
Look, I am not playing at digital wars; I am not asking you or anyone else to change their ways.
Neither am I. You asked a question: In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?
I provided some examples. You ignored them or my questions about why you might think the analog version provided is in any way superior to the digital capture made 15 years ago. 
Quote
I certainly do owe Kodak a big debt for its Kodachrome over the years - it served me very well indeed, as did TXP 120 ad various Ektachromes.
OT but so do I!
Quote
And there you go again: "color science". With two words you illustrate the gulf that divides us: I am not driven by facts and figures and tests beyond those that tell me how something does or does not fit my desires;
That is clear.
I stated from my first post and every post here I'm simply providing facts. Since you never disputed the facts and now state you don't care about facts, what's the point of continuing? I stated I'm not interested in arguing about subjectivity, religion or politics. That's pointless. I provide facts about color gamuts and the abilities of digital printing devices that analog devices (what you lumped together as 'wet process') can't provide. You can ignore the facts or dispute them. You appear to be a fact denier.
Quote
I have interest neither in brick walls nor photographing the same little still life over and over again till I go insane (accepting the while that others can find such exciting); my likes and dislikes are more mundane: they are based upon what looks good to me in a photograph, and I think, unless I have allowed myself to be diverted by all the tech-talk, that this started as something to do with the 'wet darkroom' and grain as seen on prints made the traditional way from negatives... or perhaps several threads have become one.
Some of us are simply providing facts and it's clear you don't care about facts and ignore them. Fine. Old saying that's true in this conversation: You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. You're not even interested in facts!
Quote
As to 'using facts and data' every government and debate has attempted that route, and the same data is used in attempts to prove the opposite by each faction.
So now you've brought this into the political realm, what's next, religion? Despite (sorry) the fact I've stated I'm not interested in political or religious debates? 
Quote
I accept that you dig digital, that it's part of what your vested interests...

Stop right there! The absurd is the last refuge of a pundit without an argument. There's no vested interest; I'm providing facts about two processes based on this topic which is called digital vs analog printing; nothing more. That you need to pull the vested interest card here isn't something I ever figured I'd hear from you. But there you go; What do you owe to people who are guilty of being wrong?
Quote
I accept that I am not your natural soul-mate. I neither blame nor condemn you for that, and I certainly do not seek to belittle you with comments in the vein of your Parthian shot.
Someone's in a bad, pissy mood. Not sure why; did the facts without any subjunctive, political or religious slant rub you the wrong way Rob? Sorry. Was it my agreement with Bill (Your protocol is far too vague)? He's right. He's also coming into this discussion with an interest in facts and not subjectively which is pointless to argue over. Sorry you're having a bad day.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 04:37:44 PM by digitaldog »
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Rob C

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2016, 04:34:09 AM »

Digipooch, that's one of the best displays of mechanical reactive thought that I have ever read!

Congratulations; I await further episodes with bated breath!

;-)

Rob C

ErikKaffehr

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Some reflections
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2016, 06:22:35 AM »

Hi,

Personally, my digital experience started when one of my colleagues bought the original Epson Stylus Photo, he had no stuff to print so we printed one of my PhotoCD images. I was on the phone ordering the Photo Stylus EX after seeing half the print coming out of that printer.

On the other hand, I have seldom been happy with the analogue world. I started with B&W and a kitchen lab. Shooting Kodachrome was a nice experience, but viewing slides was a mixed pleasure, as they were prone to pop. Back around 1972 processing Kodachrome suddenly took three weeks in Sweden. I also hated those paper slide frames from Kodak. You could get the film back without frames if you cut of one of the corners on the mailer, done that I got my film back as a hard wound roll. It was impossible to get rid of the curl. Film was effectively wasted. I always hated Ektachrome. So I was an eager prey for Fujifilm.

With time I upgraded to Pentax 67 shooting slide film, mostly Velvia and Provia. Those slides are still nice, although hard to scan.

Once I started with digital capture and reached 6MP, the P67 went to the wardrobe.

In general, I think that most aspects of my photography have improved since "film days". This was in part due to Michael Reichmann giving a lot of inspiration. Before LuLa photography was a passtime but with LuLa it evolved a lot. So, going back and looking at old stuff is not a very good comparison.

I have made some Lambda prints from both scanned originals and digital capture. I did also compare Lambda to my Epson Stylus Pro 4800 a couple of years ago, based on one of Bill Atkins test images. In that comparison I think I saw a few advantages of the Lamba print:

  • The inkjet print looked to be printed on the surface, probably due to gloss differential. The Lambda had no gloss differential
  • The Lambda had better differentiation in the very near blacks

Yes, I could observe the greater gamut of the ESP 4800 as some colours were not separated on the Lambda.

A great feature was that I had two prints, one of mine and one printed at a pro lab that could not be told apart except for close scrutiny.

Personally, I just can't image making prints in the dark room again. I rather do my processing in the Lightroom.

Best regards
Erik

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2016, 09:51:11 AM »

Congratulations; I await further episodes with bated breath!
I'm sorry that reality and facts continue to ruin your life and make you so angry Rob.
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Andrew Rodney
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ErikKaffehr

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An interesting video with Charles Cramer
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2016, 10:16:02 AM »

Hi,

Here is an interesting video Charles Cramer:

Best regards
Erik

digitaldog

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2016, 11:41:10 AM »

Excellent and informative video, thanks for sharing.


Bill Atkinson is an extraordinary color geek, photographer and tech advocate who has hugely informed and influenced many of us over the years. The printing of his book "Within the Stone" pushed conventional 4 color printing to a new level as well:


http://www.billatkinson.com/Pages/SpecialOffers.html
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html
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Andrew Rodney
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2016, 12:20:29 PM »

Hi,

Yes, I have "Within the Stone" and Bill Atkinson is a very fascinating fellow.

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/luminous-landscape-video-journal-issue-16/interview-bill-atkinson/

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/luminous-landscape-video-journal-issue-15/bill-atkinson-colour-management/

And Bill demonstrates mate cutting in the athletic way: https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/luminous-landscape-video-journal-issue-15/bill-atkinson-matte-cutting-print-mounting/

And here is one with Charlie Cramer:
https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/luminous-landscape-video-journal-issue-16/interview-charles-cramer/

Best regards
Erik

Excellent and informative video, thanks for sharing.


Bill Atkinson is an extraordinary color geek, photographer and tech advocate who has hugely informed and influenced many of us over the years. The printing of his book "Within the Stone" pushed conventional 4 color printing to a new level as well:


http://www.billatkinson.com/Pages/SpecialOffers.html
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html

KevinA

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2016, 09:29:01 AM »

Well at the end of the day you can throw all the meters and numbers at it you want, what counts is which do you prefer the look of. I hear digital prints have this and that more than a wet print. As far as a B&W goes I'm yet to see one look as nice as a wet print, I'm told digital has the capability to be better but I never see it.
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EricWHiss

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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2016, 02:24:25 AM »

It seems that I can still identify the analog prints in the galleries from the digital prints.  I don't doubt that the new inksets can produce larger gamut and higher DMAX but I seem to see a lot of very good looking traditional darkroom prints.  I can only conclude that in general the craft of analog darkroom printing has reached a higher level than the craft of digital printing.  I was in a gallery in Santa Fe two months back and there were several prints for sale where the sharpening halo was thicker than the platinum credit cards of the potential buyers.  Yuk!  When inkjet prints are done poorly it really stands out.  Analog is more forgiving and the small errors don't pop out at you.

Also there's digital printing from digital capture and digital printing from scans.   I think in some cases a larger negative can give you a different look regardless of how its printed.  So a lot of traditional prints one see's has that advantage built in.
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Re: digital vs analogue printing
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2016, 08:45:58 AM »

Printed, matted, under glass and lit can you really tell the difference? I really think the difference between an epson print and digital-c is negligible, with the slight advantage going to epson with paper choices. I usually have to read the tags to figure it out (except with silver prints), then have to go look on my phone when someone invents another name for whatever process it was. Last one was "diffusion transfer print", oh.. Polaroid! I also liked what Jeff Wall had to say on the subject:

http://whitecube.com/channel/in_the_studio/jeff_wall_in_the_studio_part_ii/
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 01:22:32 PM by samoore »
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