Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => The Wet Darkroom => Topic started by: mccoywynne on January 29, 2016, 03:50:12 am

Title: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: mccoywynne on January 29, 2016, 03:50:12 am
I'm having a discussion with a couple of photographer friends about the merits of what they call analogue printing ie prints from digital files ( scanned film or from camera) onto fuji crystal archive or other "photographic papers" versus archival ink jet prints. They say analogue is best ! The problem is that this is a very subjective point of view, but they won't have it. They say the "depth" in the analogue print is better, the range of colours or tonal range ( in black and white ) is better. I would rather they say " I much prefer the look of an analogue print, it suits my work better" rather than the definitive "analogue printing is much better than digital"

Are they right ? In the opinion of experienced printers on this forum is analogue better than digital in its ability to produce "better" prints ? Has anybody carried out exhaustive tests with the same image printed in different ways ?
I have read that the colour gamut achievable in digital printing is far wider than with analogue so this must mean the results from a "good" digital print must outweigh the results from a "good" analogue print.

Is it really a matter of subjective taste or is there any scientific evidence to back up one point of view against the other ?

Most interested to hear thoughts from the forum.

Steve
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 29, 2016, 09:55:39 am
I can only speak from my own experience, which includes about fifty years of wet printing (black and white only, no color) before I switched to digital.

For background, I studied with some superb print makers of the day (including Minor White and Paul Caponigro) and I have gotten positive responses from many viewers of my darkroom prints in exhibits over the years.

So when I switched to digital, one of my highest priorities was to raise my digital printing level to a point that my digital prints were as good (to my eyes, at least) as my darkroom prints. It took a few years, and lots of good information from folks like Jeff Schewe, Andrew Rodney, and Eric Chan, and from LuLa videos, but I eventually I got there, and now I cannot tell the difference between one of my own best darkroom prints and one of my digital prints of the same image. And, of course, the digital print had to go through the process of scanning (either print or negative) before I could print it digitally.

Thus, I am convinced that there is no perceptible difference between the two ways of printing. The differences that exist result from differences in the knowledge and skill level of the person doing the printing, and some from the availability (or lack of it) of digital papers that have the same look and feel as your favorite darkroom papers.

That's my two cents, and others will no doubt offer different perspectives.

-Eric
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: kers on January 29, 2016, 10:30:47 am
Me too have spend a lot of time in darkrooms developing selenium toned barite prints, even color prints...
I must say i am very happy i have left it behind.

I bought a HPZ3100 44inch printer as soon as i made digital photos.
Now i have so much more control over printing than ever before; i can do color with ease, exactly reproduce a print after years.
More paper choices, the colors fade less fast.
It prints a very neutral BW and with the paper now available i can make it as beautiful as an analogue barite print.
Also you can make a very deep matte BW print as never before.
Apart from material as always you need the skills to get it right.
Often you see digital prints with too much sharpening and color, but that is a choice.

Of course inktjet printers use dots to make the image. With light you have more colours to blend. but the dots are so small that i don't see the difference...
In my case the BW prints are made with one black an two grey inks + some additive colour.

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Schewe on February 15, 2016, 01:43:47 am
Are they right ?

No, they are wrong...the total volume of color is greater with Digital (assuming Epson HDR ink set). The D-Max is better with digital, and assuming proper sharpening, the detail of ink jet printing is better. So what you are fighting is the old school vs the new school...and the odds are you will not be able to turn their minds around. Kinda like Democrat vs Republican...
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Telecaster on February 15, 2016, 03:53:58 pm
Some years ago my friend Bruce pulled a bit of a trick on one of our more adamant "darkroom forever" acquaintances, convincing the fellow Bruce's Epson prints were darkroom-made while the actual darkroom prints were ink-based. Same photos, shot on b&w film, printed with both methods. Needless to say, the fellow's response when the ruse was revealed wasn't at all Oh wow, look at that, I guess maybe I've been wrong. Nope…it was anger.  ???

Bruce still uses film for some projects and does some darkroom printing, mainly 'cuz he enjoys it and (for certain photos) because he prefers the look he gets.

-Dave-
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: KevinA on March 20, 2016, 08:38:18 am
Depends on what you call better I suppose. I shoot digital for a living, but honestly it's just button pushing, I don't feel I've created anything.
So right now I'm going back to basics for the hell of it, building a 5x7 pinhole with an Old Sinar 5x7 back. Wether or not my Canon would produce the same result printed digitally after a few photoshop session I really don't care.
I want to produce images that go nowhere near a computer, it's the journey I'm interested in. I already have a huge collection of 1's and 0's on many TB of hard drives.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 07, 2016, 09:53:40 am
Well, I spent about six years of my early photo-life working in an industrial darkroom on b/white as well as both types of colour: trannie and print. After that, and until I left the UK twenty-one years later, I did all of my own commercial b/whites but not the colour. Why not colour since I knew how? Commercial suicide unless you had a great throughput. Same reason the commercial colour labs died after digital came along: not enough work to make it viable.

Now, with colour, I'd say my view is that the different films had independent signatures, and you knew where you were with them, short of X-Ray damage; the writing I preferred for most of my work was that of Kodachrome 64 Pro, not the slower, finer stuff that was too dificult to control in my circumstances of work, mostly in sunlight. That also meant no rush for processing; Ektachrome had to do for those rush jobs, unless you lived near a rare Kodachrome processing plant that offered 24 hrs. pro service. Sarah Moon used a very fast film for her personal reputation build. Compared with film, I think digital has some really good colours but also some shockers.

Regarding black/white: I'm not a great fan of digital capture to black/white conversions; I do it a lot, but am never really thrilled. I still prefer the wet production pictures - as long as they were on WSG and not those hellish matt or textured things whose sole purpose was, it seemed to me, to disguise shortcomings in technique. I simply refused to buy into the myth that some surfaces gave 'character'; nope, they gave excuses and were easy to 'spot'. Nothing beat the tonality of well-glazed WSG.

All personal, of course, and Schewe may well have a point about bias. Just as he may have his biases, too, the other way around.

Would I go back today, to the wet? As the original materials seem to have vanished with the dinos, what's the point, quite apart from the Spanish logistics making it impossible? It was bad enough when plastics came in to reduce washing times, and I hated Multigrade with a vengeance.

I'm afraid it (analogue) truly is of the past, out with the baby from that pesky bath.

Rob C
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: KevinA on May 20, 2016, 06:56:12 am
Well, I spent about six years of my early photo-life working in an industrial darkroom on b/white as well as both types of colour: trannie and print. After that, and until I left the UK twenty-one years later, I did all of my own commercial b/whites but not the colour. Why not colour since I knew how? Commercial suicide unless you had a great throughput. Same reason the commercial colour labs died after digital came along: not enough work to make it viable.

Now, with colour, I'd say my view is that the different films had independent signatures, and you knew where you were with them, short of X-Ray damage; the writing I preferred for most of my work was that of Kodachrome 64 Pro, not the slower, finer stuff that was too dificult to control in my circumstances of work, mostly in sunlight. That also meant no rush for processing; Ektachrome had to do for those rush jobs, unless you lived near a rare Kodachrome processing plant that offered 24 hrs. pro service. Sarah Moon used a very fast film for her personal reputation build. Compared with film, I think digital has some really good colours but also some shockers.

Regarding black/white: I'm not a great fan of digital capture to black/white conversions; I do it a lot, but am never really thrilled. I still prefer the wet production pictures - as long as they were on WSG and not those hellish matt or textured things whose sole purpose was, it seemed to me, to disguise shortcomings in technique. I simply refused to buy into the myth that some surfaces gave 'character'; nope, they gave excuses and were easy to 'spot'. Nothing beat the tonality of well-glazed WSG.

All personal, of course, and Schewe may well have a point about bias. Just as he may have his biases, too, the other way around.

Would I go back today, to the wet? As the original materials seem to have vanished with the dinos, what's the point, quite apart from the Spanish logistics making it impossible? It was bad enough when plastics came in to reduce washing times, and I hated Multigrade with a vengeance.

I'm afraid it (analogue) truly is of the past, out with the baby from that pesky bath.

Rob C
Since this thread I have been looking at lots of prints made with both techniques. I can quite believe a digital print can be as good as a wet print. The problem is I have not seen one.
 I found myself locked in a darkened room the other week, (I was only there to pick something up), I got my timing wrong, it was the local camera club having a print competition. I didn't know this sort of thing went on still.
At the interval on closer inspection of the prints, they all suffered from the same over cooked on the computer effect. Too sharp and too saturated. I think the nature of digital pushes the technical to get it near the limit, get it to look as sharp as knives, make all the colours bright etc. It robs many images of any soul.
Yesterday I went to a Cartier Bresson show, it was some of his shots of Paris. Lots of images from a technical point of view missed the mark...it mattered not a jot.
 That's the difference to me between lots of digital and film, with film you know it's not going to be perfect, the goal with digital appears to be have it all perfect, have the eye pin sharp, have just enough depth of field, balance the histogram, boost the saturation and sharpen until it bites.
 People will say you have a choice with digital on all those things, it just looks to me that everyone makes the same choice, including the pro labs. I think thats were the difference between the two shows the most, the mindset each tends to create that dictates the final outcome, more than the technical abilities/limitations of each.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 20, 2016, 02:57:49 pm
Since this thread I have been looking at lots of prints made with both techniques. I can quite believe a digital print can be as good as a wet print. The problem is I have not seen one.
 I found myself locked in a darkened room the other week, (I was only there to pick something up), I got my timing wrong, it was the local camera club having a print competition. I didn't know this sort of thing went on still.
At the interval on closer inspection of the prints, they all suffered from the same over cooked on the computer effect. Too sharp and too saturated. I think the nature of digital pushes the technical to get it near the limit, get it to look as sharp as knives, make all the colours bright etc. It robs many images of any soul.
Yesterday I went to a Cartier Bresson show, it was some of his shots of Paris. 1. Lots of images from a technical point of view missed the mark...it mattered not a jot.
 That's the difference to me between lots of digital and film, with film you know it's not going to be perfect, the goal with digital appears to be have it all perfect, have the eye pin sharp, have just enough depth of field, balance the histogram, boost the saturation and sharpen until it bites.
 People will say you have a choice with digital on all those things, it just looks to me that everyone makes the same choice, including the pro labs. I think thats were the difference between the two shows the most,2. the mindset each tends to create that dictates the final outcome, more than the technical abilities/limitations of each.


1. Yes, that's my view exactly; I think 'perfection' in the sense of everything looking crisp, having a total black and an absolute white in every circumstance misses the point of image, which is about the representation of, essentially, an idea, and not an exercise in following the 'rules'.

2. Indeed; in fact, in an attempt to break from that perceived sterility I do my utmost these days to avoid too much photographic reality. That's just too easy an option: do very little yourself to change things and you get that sharp picture saying pretty much nothing more than hey, don't I look perfect? Hence my liking for blur and the introduction of a little bit of faked granularity, just enough to remove that deadly slickness from where it doesn't quite belong.

Of course, this comes from my wearing my amateur's hat; wearing the old alternative would have had me singing a different song.

Rob
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 20, 2016, 03:43:16 pm
Hi,

There are a few differences between digital printing and chemical printing:

With chemical printing you are given a limited sets of parameters. You have a film curve and a paper curve. In B&W printing you have some gradation from hard to soft, but each comes with it's curves.

With chemical process yo have a chain where quality is lost at each stage. If you are familiar with MTF, each stage has an MTF and the final quality is the product of all MTFs along the way.

So MTF of the print is MTF (lens) x MTF (film) x MTF (enlarging lens) x MTF (Paper).

With digital you have MTF (Lens) * MTF (sensor) * MTF (capture sharpening) * MTF(output sharpening) * MTF (printer)

The sharpening steps here can restore sharpness lost in the process.

Also, digital processing has much less noise, not least because digital sensors are much more efficient capturing photons (light) than film. That allows for better processing.

Large format film may have an advantage over small digital sensors, but I would bet that in most cases digital, when correctly processed, will outperform film.

Best regards
Erik


I'm having a discussion with a couple of photographer friends about the merits of what they call analogue printing ie prints from digital files ( scanned film or from camera) onto fuji crystal archive or other "photographic papers" versus archival ink jet prints. They say analogue is best ! The problem is that this is a very subjective point of view, but they won't have it. They say the "depth" in the analogue print is better, the range of colours or tonal range ( in black and white ) is better. I would rather they say " I much prefer the look of an analogue print, it suits my work better" rather than the definitive "analogue printing is much better than digital"

Are they right ? In the opinion of experienced printers on this forum is analogue better than digital in its ability to produce "better" prints ? Has anybody carried out exhaustive tests with the same image printed in different ways ?
I have read that the colour gamut achievable in digital printing is far wider than with analogue so this must mean the results from a "good" digital print must outweigh the results from a "good" analogue print.

Is it really a matter of subjective taste or is there any scientific evidence to back up one point of view against the other ?

Most interested to hear thoughts from the forum.

Steve
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog on May 20, 2016, 03:51:30 pm
I have read that the colour gamut achievable in digital printing is far wider than with analogue so this must mean the results from a "good" digital print must outweigh the results from a "good" analogue print.
Far wider indeed. Here's a gamut plot of a Lightjet vs. an Epson 3880. Lightjet is the red plot, Epson the semi-transparent full color (to show what colors exceed the Lightjet):

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2016, 02:54:36 pm
Hi,

There are a few differences between digital printing and chemical printing:

With chemical printing you are given a limited sets of parameters. You have a film curve and a paper curve. In B&W printing you have some gradation from hard to soft, but each comes with it's curves.

With chemical process yo have a chain where quality is lost at each stage. If you are familiar with MTF, each stage has an MTF and the final quality is the product of all MTFs along the way.

So MTF of the print is MTF (lens) x MTF (film) x MTF (enlarging lens) x MTF (Paper).

With digital you have MTF (Lens) * MTF (sensor) * MTF (capture sharpening) * MTF(output sharpening) * MTF (printer)

The sharpening steps here can restore sharpness lost in the process.

Also, digital processing has much less noise, not least because digital sensors are much more efficient capturing photons (light) than film. That allows for better processing.

Large format film may have an advantage over small digital sensors, but I would bet that in most cases digital, when correctly processed, will outperform film.

Best regards
Erik


Erik,

That's life viewed from a techincal point of view. But it represent only one part of the whole: art ain't technical; art is gut feeling.

Since the advent of digital many people have tried to show that idea to be flawed; however, I feel they all fall down in one way or the other. It's really about the photographer and what, if anything, his work is able to express. It is perfectly true that digital capture can probably handle some work far better than could film, but within the realm of people photography, I'd disagree.

Three of the best people photographers of whom I am aware are below; they are far from young, they still work regularly. I would be surprised if anyone not familiar with the ages of the models could identify the capture processes each has used.

www.hansfeurer.com

https://www.google.es/search?q=gil+bensimon+photography&biw=1257&bih=889&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=hHZCVdq8JMixUcj5gpgH&ved=0CCMQsAQ#imgrc=qW0HDBCeuiwF0M%253A%3BzWNYqucj4baSXM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fattheloft.typepad.com%252F.a%252F6a00e54ecca8b9883301a511aab7a5970c-pi%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.imageamplified.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fvogue-paris-karlie-kloss-andreea-diaconu-in-bronzage-culture-by-gilles-bensimon-claire-dhelens-may-2014-wwwimageamplif.html%3B650%3B845

http://2bmanagement.com/peter-lindbergh/

Now, that's magazine printing and web-viewing; perhaps you are on about printing for the wall? In that case, it boils down, surprise! surprise! not to technical but to aesthetic parameters, including opinion. Sure, I'm biased because of my many, many commercial printmaking hours spent in several darkrooms including two of my own, but I have yet to see anything to touch a double-weight glossy black/white print that's been beautifully glazed: the tonality is the best you can get. IMO, of course. Colour prints? I think I might grant digital superiority there: never was very fond of colour prints, even of those I had to make myself. No question that the advent of Layers makes life for a colour printer much more simple!

Rob

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 21, 2016, 03:21:53 pm
Hi Rob,

I am just an amateur photographer. I have been doing B&W printing from say 1965 to 2000, or so. After doing military service in 1980 I had some respiratory problems and had issues with darkroom chemical, so when the Epson Stylus EX arrived it was a great relief. Since that time I have learned a lot about colour management. So, for me at least the digital workflows is a relief.

Now, I never stated that I would have been an Ansel Adams in the wet darkroom, but I am also no Ctein in the Digital Lightroom.

I would say that it is a great advantage with digital that I can have full control. My printing capacity is up to A2, going beyond that it would be Durs Lambda at a Swedish pro labb. But, I just post the processed image and they print it without human involvement. So far I have been extremely happy.

Best regards
Erik



Erik,

That's life viewed from a techincal point of view. But it represent only one part of the whole: art ain't technical; art is gut feeling.

Since the advent of digital many people have tried to show that idea to be flawed; however, I feel they all fall down in one way or the other. It's really about the photographer and what, if anything, his work is able to express. It is perfectly true that digital capture can probably handle some work far better than could film, but within the realm of people photography, I'd disagree.

Three of the best people photographers of whom I am aware are below; they are far from young, they still work regularly. I would be surprised if anyone not familiar with the ages of the models could identify the capture processes each has used.

www.hansfeurer.com

https://www.google.es/search?q=gil+bensimon+photography&biw=1257&bih=889&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=hHZCVdq8JMixUcj5gpgH&ved=0CCMQsAQ#imgrc=qW0HDBCeuiwF0M%253A%3BzWNYqucj4baSXM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fattheloft.typepad.com%252F.a%252F6a00e54ecca8b9883301a511aab7a5970c-pi%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.imageamplified.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fvogue-paris-karlie-kloss-andreea-diaconu-in-bronzage-culture-by-gilles-bensimon-claire-dhelens-may-2014-wwwimageamplif.html%3B650%3B845

http://2bmanagement.com/peter-lindbergh/

Now, that's magazine printing and web-viewing; perhaps you are on about printing for the wall? In that case, it boils down, surprise! surprise! not to technical but to aesthetic parameters, including opinion. Sure, I'm biased because of my many, many commercial printmaking hours spent in several darkrooms including two of my own, but I have yet to see anything to touch a double-weight glossy black/white print that's been beautifully glazed: the tonality is the best you can get. IMO, of course. Colour prints? I think I might grant digital superiority there: never was very fond of colour prints, even of those I had to make myself. No question that the advent of Layers makes life for a colour printer much more simple!

Rob
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 22, 2016, 03:29:37 pm
Hi Erik,

It's not a call about whether either of us would have been a St Ansel; rather that I got the impression from your post that you figured that digital invariably, because of the marriage of lens/printer/system measurements, produced a finer product. (I also note that my spelling of 'technical' looks kind of more cute when I write 'techincal' instead!)

I never suffered problems from chemicals; the guy from whom I took over the colour printing in the industrial photo-unit where I was working before going solo did suffer, very badly, from dermatitis all over both hands from, I think, not enough care with colour chemicals. For those, I always wore rubber gloves, but never for b/white because it was hands on or not at all. We were very often doing runs of thirty to fifty prints from each negative, so putting thirty of them through a dish at one time meant you had to feel them properly or you were lost. What I did realise was that wearing clear nail varnish stopped the fingernails turning brown. My wife never told me if she worried about that.

In a sense, colour printing was pretty much close to digital printing, because it was all done at a distance, as it were: you never watched a sheet of paper develop: it all happened inside a Kodak tank. I vaguely recall there was a filter of sorts that could be used in a safelight, but we never took that route.

Incidentally, being an amateur doesn't, by definition, mean somebody has to be less capable than some professionals are; far from it, unless you get into fairly specialised fields of work.

Ciao -

Rob
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: KevinA on May 23, 2016, 05:27:01 pm
Erik, I think you just proved what I said.
Just because digital has lossless wider gamut, does not mean it's better.
I'm yet to see a digital portrait that looks as beautiful as one shot on Kodak portra, sharper yes, lots of bright  colours yes but not as beautiful. You can argue with digital you can make it like film. Seldom does anyone do it and usually when they think they do they try and make it look like bad film.
Why does less grain mean it's better anyway?
A few years ago I shot some aerials of London for fun on a Rolleiflex, only about 2 rolls. I put them on my site with all the thousands of digital images. An architect selected 6 images and paid the license for the use. I was curious and contacted them, explaining that out of all the thousands of images to choose from they picked 6 shot on film.
They didn't know they were film but just preferred the feel and atmosphere of those images. I didn't say are you sure all the others have less noise and larger gamut.
That to me was the ultimate blind test, a new client handing over money after choosing from my website without any contact with me.
The more digital progresses the bigger the difference and better  film looks, it's the difference between a comfy chair and a dentists chair, one might have all the bells and whistles and electric motors but I wouldn't want to down a beer and watch TV on it.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 24, 2016, 09:38:57 am
Erik, I think you just proved what I said.
Just because digital has lossless wider gamut, does not mean it's better.
I'm yet to see a digital portrait that looks as beautiful as one shot on Kodak portra, sharper yes, lots of bright  colours yes but not as beautiful. You can argue with digital you can make it like film. Seldom does anyone do it and usually when they think they do they try and make it look like bad film.
Why does less grain mean it's better anyway?
A few years ago I shot some aerials of London for fun on a Rolleiflex, only about 2 rolls. I put them on my site with all the thousands of digital images. An architect selected 6 images and paid the license for the use. I was curious and contacted them, explaining that out of all the thousands of images to choose from they picked 6 shot on film.
They didn't know they were film but just preferred the feel and atmosphere of those images. I didn't say are you sure all the others have less noise and larger gamut.
That to me was the ultimate blind test, a new client handing over money after choosing from my website without any contact with me.
The more digital progresses the bigger the difference and better  film looks, it's the difference between a comfy chair and a dentists chair, one might have all the bells and whistles and electric motors but I wouldn't want to down a beer and watch TV on it.


Resonates! Spent one hour in such a chair yesterday, and paid a hundred euros for the pleasure. Essential for what it does, but that's it!

Many top guys use/used film for as long as they possibly can/could. Of many, Albert Watson is the first coming to mind. This wasn't because of fear of the new, ignorance or anything like that - they have the means to employ any digital guru they wish - but from the evidence of their own eyes. Never mind digital, I first noticed the decline when plastic Multigrades became the norm.

Rob C
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog on May 24, 2016, 10:18:10 am
Just because digital has lossless wider gamut, does not mean it's better.
Better is subjective. A wider gamut is a colorimetric fact. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. If the image content fits within the gamut of both, then it's not even a colorimetric fact for that image. Better is going to still be subjective.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C on May 26, 2016, 09:21:36 am
Better is subjective. A wider gamut is a colorimetric fact. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. If the image content fits within the gamut of both, then it's not even a colorimetric fact for that image. Better is going to still be subjective.

Isn't that what the art of photography has ever been about? Isn't that why some top guns get the work that other top guns do not?

In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?

Rob C
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 26, 2016, 09:32:56 am
Isn't that what the art of photography has ever been about? Isn't that why some top guns get the work that other top guns do not?

In which case, where the presumed superiority of a digital system?

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

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 26, 2016, 12:18:35 pm
Hi,

I wouldn't regard continous printing from digital originals analogue printing…

There are many different perespectives:


For me, digital was a challenge but foremost a deliverance.

This interview with Charles Cramer is one of my all time favourites here on LuLa: https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/luminous-landscape-video-journal-issue-16/interview-charles-cramer/

Best regards
Erik


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

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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:


(http://digitaldog.net/files/FilmVsDigital.jpg)
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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?
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: bjanes 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 (http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/digital_advantage/). The digital print won out.

Bill
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Some reflections
Post by: ErikKaffehr 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:


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
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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.
Title: An interesting video with Charles Cramer
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 28, 2016, 10:16:02 am
Hi,

Here is an interesting video Charles Cramer: https://vimeo.com/124162553

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: digitaldog 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://www.billatkinson.com/Pages/SpecialOffers.html)
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html)
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: ErikKaffehr 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://www.billatkinson.com/Pages/SpecialOffers.html)
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/06/within_the_ston.html)
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: KevinA 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.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: EricWHiss 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.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: samoore 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/
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: samoore on July 16, 2016, 08:57:35 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.

If you're a bad printer, you're a bad printer, that doesn't really reflect on the process. A little while ago I saw the last Taryn Simon(not sure if she still shoots film), and Crewdson shows in New York, and those prints would knock you're socks off! 
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: donbga on July 16, 2016, 09:15:14 am
If you're a bad printer, you're a bad printer, that doesn't really reflect on the process. A little while ago I saw the last Taryn Simon(not sure if she still shoots film), and Crewdson shows in New York, and those prints would knock you're socks off!

I've seen Simon's work and the prints were good but her content is completely droll and boring.

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: samoore on July 16, 2016, 01:18:37 pm
I've seen Simon's work and the prints were good but her content is completely droll and boring.
Content is a whole other can of worms.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: DavidPalermo on August 19, 2016, 06:54:38 pm
I've read this thread with great interest. I too wanted to find out to my eye what looked better, analog silver gelatin print or inkjet so I sent a photo to Digital Silver Imaging and had them make an 8x10 b/w print on Ilford fiber based photographic paper. I made a bunch of inkjet prints of the same image on various papers. I then scattered all the prints on my living room floor. I could not tell what image was the silver gelatin print. In my view inkjet print is just as good looking as a silver print.

Soon, I'm going to start platinum printing from digital negatives. Aside from the archival qualities of a platinum print I'm wondering if I'll prefer looking at an inkjet print over a platinum print. Since the image is embedded into the paper using platinum or palladium I'm wondering it will have a different (better) look.

Have any of you compared one of your own platinum prints to the same image printed with an inkjet printer?

Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing (a general reflection)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on August 19, 2016, 11:39:01 pm
Hi,

With a proper, colour managed, workflow there would be little difference between different printing techniques as long as the image is within or nearly within the envelope of the media. So, if I print on my Epson 4880 or send of a properly adjusted image to be printed on a Durst Lambda I will get essentially identical results. The printed surface will be different, though.

If you send a digital image for darkroom printing, like Platinum I would guess that it involves a lot of craftmanship and it will be an interpretation of your image by the printing artist.

My understanding is that BW printing is a bit more difficult than colour printing as there is not really a colour managed workflow for monochrome prints.

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Peter McLennan on August 21, 2016, 12:25:06 am
A few years ago I paid a lot of money for large Cibachrome prints of some of my images.  Professionally framed behind glass, in a sunny room they all faded badly within a couple of years. I had to throw them out.  The distant blue mountain ranges of Death Valley had become sickly cyan.

In a similar sunny location, I now have several large inkjet prints from my Epson 9800 on canvas.  Uncoated and unprotected, they're completely fade-free after nearly a decade.

The defense rests.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: DavidPalermo on August 23, 2016, 04:26:16 pm
Peter:  That is pretty good!  Hard to believe even. 

I'm not criticizing the archivability of inkjet.  I think the estimates are probably pretty good (in a hundred or so years we might know for sure!) but I am questioning the look and feel of a platinum print vs an inkjet.  The only way I will find out is if I print them myself which is exactly what I am going to do in the next few months.

I have studied a lot lately about platinum/palladium printing and nearly everyone claims they have a "3D look because the metal gets imbedded into the paper fibers".  This is an interesting statement and I am wondering if it's just hype or reality.  I'll find out in a few months I guess.

; )
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing (a general reflection)
Post by: digitaldog on August 23, 2016, 05:19:58 pm
With a proper, colour managed, workflow there would be little difference between different printing techniques as long as the image is within or nearly within the envelope of the media. So, if I print on my Epson 4880 or send of a properly adjusted image to be printed on a Durst Lambda I will get essentially identical results.
By envelope of the media you mean the color gamut? Because the gamut of the Lambada and the 4880 are different.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: Deardorff on July 03, 2017, 12:04:58 pm
I get the notice this topic is OLD - but will post anyhow.
Have curated gallery shows with photographers such as Bruce Barnbaum, Michael A. Smith and the like. They work in traditional darkrooms.
Same show with some excellent digital B&W printers as well.
If the photographer/printer knows what they are doing the quality is there.
Modern papers for digital, whether inkjet or silver based/chemically processed offer quality that is excellent.

The only advantage I see with traditional silver based prints from a real darkroom is that each is printed by hand, one at a time and it is difficult to get two that are exactly the same. Contact prints are easier for repeatable results but still each has to be done one at a time. For some collectors this leads to higher valued images.

As for enlarged negatives, we used to do it with film. Why not with digital gear? Whether to Pictorico transparent film negatives or digitally made film negatives or straight copy negatives - excellent results are done by those who work carefully and learn their systems. I've seen digital negative prints to 20x30 that are excellent. Again, those doing the work master the materials and technique.

Fifteen to twenty years ago this was an argument many of us made - digital isn't as good as...

Doesn't apply any longer. What does apply (for me) is the same thing it has always been. Crappy photos are always with us while top quality is done by few. Digital or film - why not work for top quality?
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: snappingsam on April 02, 2018, 04:17:19 pm
I run a small photo lab - and print fro digital files onto both fuji DPII crystal archive wet process paper with a Frontier, and with a HP Z3200 inkjet.  The prints from both, when properly profiled, are almost identical. However the Z3200 suffer less from light fade on display in bright areas. The prints off the Z3200 can be slightly sharper. However the inkjet prints are much more prone to mechanical damage, particularly in the first day or two. The materials on the Frontier are far cheaper- probably a third of the price - and its much more productive - I can print 400 10"x8" per hour on the Frontier - at least 10 times faster. Of course, the downside, the Frontier need quite a bit of work going through - and its way more expensive to buy - and required regular servicing. To get large prints, a Lambda or ZBE is required for DP11 wet process - and the service costs of the Lambda are really high - around $25,000 a year for a maintenance contract!  If you want to print your self, the inkjet are the most affordable.
Title: Re: digital vs analogue printing
Post by: BrianBeauban on April 04, 2018, 10:16:34 am
My acid test on this subject was something I encountered very recently. A small exhibition of prints where some silver halide fiber prints were displayed side be side with inkjet prints. Each was a different image so I couldn't directly compare one image to the next to pick out the differences. And guess what? I could not tell the difference without touching the paper or inspecting them under magnification. So if you ask me I would say to pick the process you are comfortable with and have at it. Poorly made prints are still very easy to pick out in either method. The very well made prints are pretty much on par.