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Author Topic: Making digital prints look like film prints  (Read 6273 times)

nirpat89

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2019, 04:47:35 pm »

LOL!!!  I'm reminded of my qualitative organic chemistry class some years ago.  Each week the professor would bring in a natural substance and circulate it around the class for us to smell and guess the functional group.  One lecture he had a mortar and pestle and was grinding up some leaves.  He sent it around for the sniff test and it faintly had the almond smell of cyanide.  One of the chief components in the plant was a cyanogenic glycoside that when treated with weak acid released the cyanide (not enough to do any kind of damage).  The plant was a common weed whose name I cannot remember and the compound was a deterrent to prevent insects and others from eating it.

This is totally OT, but cyanogenic glycosides are in a lot of common foods that we consume regularly:

"There are approximately 25 known cyanogenic glycosides and these are generally found in the edible parts of plants, such as apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, quinces, particularly in the seed of such fruits. The chemicals are also found in almonds, stone fruit, pome fruit, cassava, bamboo shoots, linseed/flaxseed, lima beans, coco yam, chick peas, cashews, and kirsch [3, 4]. Other food products that may contain cyanogenic glycosides include some food ingredients with flavoring properties such as ground almonds powder or paste, marzipan, stone fruit, and alcoholic drinks made from stone fruits. These foods therefore represent potential sources of hydrogen cyanide."

https://www.intechopen.com/books/toxicology-new-aspects-to-this-scientific-conundrum/a-review-of-cyanogenic-glycosides-in-edible-plants
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Garnick

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2019, 07:22:41 pm »

Standard issue! Does not work with inkjet prints.

Yup, that's the one John.  Well at least I had the last part of the name correct.  Not bad for an old memory that seems to be slipping away much more quickly than I had anticipated.  Good old liquid sunshine, did a great job once one had mastered the control of it.  I also recall using Farmers Reducer (a combo of hypo and potassium ferricyanide) to bring some life back in B&W negs that had been grossly over exposed.  Again one that had to be used sparingly and with very close attention to the progress of the reduction.  I also seem to recall diluting FR beyond the printed ratio to give more time to play with the process and have more control. 

Yes, those were the days, but not necessarily days I'd want to return to at this point in the evolution of photography and all of its parts.  I have a video of Ansel Adams walking through Yosemite and talking about his career, both in music and photography.  It's a great piece of history that also covers different facets of his life and work.  Near the end of the vid he talks about the fact that all of his negatives would be left to the University of Arizona as I recall.  Some of them had been scanned and he showed them and the different ways they had been edited in some program way back in the early '80s, perhaps Photoshop but I'm not sure.  What I do remember, due to how it really stood out, was the way Ansel talked about some of the negscans that had been manipulated and how he would love to live long enough to see how all of that technology would progress.  Unfortunately he was deprived of that wish, but he knew then that photography was on its way to a completely new era.  How right he was!   
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 09:19:32 pm by Garnick »
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Silver-halide prints from digital files
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2019, 04:04:29 am »

In the U.S. at least there are several labs that print digital files using traditional-type silver-halide B&W papers and chemicals. I have attached a chart that I recently compiled on the ones I could readily identify. Some print on fiber-based paper, some print on resin-coated paper, and some print on both types. The available papers and surfaces differ, although most (all?) of the labs that offer prints on resin-coated paper use Ilford's paper designed to be printed on wet minilab-type equipment. Ilford sells that paper in glossy and 'pearl' surfaces. The pearl is about like luster. Personally I would have preferred Ilford to offer their 'satin' RC surface, which IMO is closer to matte. The range of prices is large, the cost of an 8x10 inch print running from $3.52 to $45.00 or more (toning etc.).

I have made some comparisons of RC prints from the first three (Mpix, Harman / Ilford, and Fromex / True B&W) with prints of the same files I made on a Canon Pro-100 (dye-ink) printer with papers with similar surfaces. Overall they are pretty close, but I won't say identical. Obviously if you are using pigment inks and/or matte papers the difference could be large.

What I cannot do is make close comparisons of these digital B&W prints to wet B&W prints from film. Not only have I not had a functioning wet darkroom since 2005, but there are too many process differences. I will let you experts discuss and debate that.



To me, potentially-important but unanswered questions include:
(1) are there any traditional-type B&W papers for sale today that are neutral (not warm-tone) that don't contain substantial amounts of OBAs?
(2) Does exposing the paper for a comparatively short time, to comparatively much more intense light, as is done with a typical digital printer, produce some effect that makes the resulting print differ substantially from one made under an enlarger with, say, a 10 s exposure? As a corollary, does the performance of papers designed for short, intense exposures differ meaningfully from the performance of papers designed for longer, less-intense exposures?

Wonder what is available in the EU using converted minilabs.  Size of the prints is more limited than what the Lightjet etc equipment can deliver. 

On your second question, at least chromogenic papers were redesigned for that difference in exposure, it would be simpler to do the same for B&W analogue papers. https://imaging.kodakalaris.com/sites/uat/files/wysiwyg/pro/Silver_Halide_White_Paper.pdf.  Page 13 to 15
On top of that the digital tools available to compensate exposure effects on sensitive emulsions are way more subtle and easier to apply than what was needed to control that in analogue times. The most simple approach; custom B&W profile creation. Similar methods are used for alternative processes that start with inkjet printed contact films.

I think OBA free silver halide and chromogenic papers are hard to find these days and if available more likely in the non-RC paper qualities. Main reason; the suppliers of the paper base already add OBA in the papers. Best way to check is what Felix Schoeller supplies in that market if that information is published.  My gut feeling based on RC papers available for inkjet printers says that there might be one or two papers like that.

I have measured the Harman/Ilford analogue B&W papers, 2014 catalog and as written already none is free of OBA. The one with the least content has it mainly in the paper base. Screenshots added here. I can still make similar measurements of other catalogs if I receive them from list members here.


Whether the OP is happy with this discussion I doubt. His comments were quite specific on what he sees as differences in detail/texture reproduction between digital B&W inkjet prints and analogue B&W prints. IMHO that can be addressed with the right tools and methods.


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NAwlins_Contrarian

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Re: Silver-halide prints from digital files
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2019, 11:51:11 pm »

Wonder what is available in the EU using converted minilabs. Size of the prints is more limited than what the Lightjet etc equipment can deliver.

Several of the labs in the U.S. that print on resin-coated black and white silver-halide paper mostly offer only minilab-type sizes, i.e., up to 10x15 inches (25x38cm). However, Mpix offers up to 20x30 inches (51x76cm), and Digital Silver Imaging and Whitewall offer much larger.

Whether the OP is happy with this discussion I doubt. His comments were quite specific on what he sees as differences in detail/texture reproduction between digital B&W inkjet prints and analogue B&W prints. IMHO that can be addressed with the right tools and methods.

I agree. I would like to see a Bob Carver-style test (for any audiophiles who may remember). Basically, set up a controlled test, probably in a studio, where both a film camera and a digital camera photograph the same subject and a Color-Checker and a step-wedge from the same position under the same light. Let the film photographer process and print the black and white film to taste, except global controls only (no dodging or burning etc.). It should be possibly to calculate a curve for each of the red, green, and blue channels such that the digital raw file, converted properly and printed with an inkjet with an appropriate profile, would match the film / enlarger-printed black and white print in all aspects of tonality. Once that is done, it is only a matter of grain (original or simulated), noise reduction settings, and sharpening to make a digital camera / inkjet printer print that looks to the human eye the same as the film / enlarger print.

But I don't really worry about such things for my own photos. For the most part I am happy with my digital images, converted from raw then sometimes processed with DxO FilmPack as part of the raw conversion, and sometimes processed separately with DxO Nik Silver Efex, then printed either on silver halide paper by Mpix or Harman / Ilford, or on inkjet. Sometimes I do miss the wet darkroom printing process, though.
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2019, 02:35:27 pm »

Interesting conversation and I was just about to start a new thread about this topic when I saw this one. I like the digital workflow however I prefer the look of a silver-gelatin print over an inkjet print (at least I do so far.... I have yet to see an inkjet print exhibit the smooth tonal transitions that you'd see in for instance an Edward Weston print). I am talking black and white, not color.

I have a book called "Dune: Edward and Brett Weston" and while the images in the book are reproductions they still look better than what I have produced using inkjet! If any of you have that book take a look on page 38 or 67 and note the beautiful, smooth, tonal transitions. I went to those same dunes last week and the week before and I got some beautiful photos with my FujiFilm GFX 50s but when I print them do not come close to what I see in that book! Now maybe it is my post-processing, maybe it's the limitations of inkjet... maybe some other reason... I dunno... but I sure love the look of the Weston prints in the book and am trying hard to come close to that!

I have a question. If I were to make an 8x10 digital "negative" from one of my dune images and print on silver gelatin a contact print would I get better results??? Would that print be closer to what I am trying to achieve? I want to try that.

Yes, there are film simulation plug-ins but what I am trying very hard to do is to get a silver gelatin look with a digital image. I am specifically interesting in beautiful, smooth, graceful tonal transitions similar to what some of he masters were capable of.

Have any of you tried making a digital negative and then making a contact print?


Other examples of what I am trying to achieve:

John Sexton's book, "Quiet Light" - look at Plate #47

Ansel Adams book, "Examples", look at page 149. That was photographed using a Hasselblad medium format camera  - just beautiful!

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faberryman

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2019, 03:07:10 pm »

I have a book called "Dune: Edward and Brett Weston" and while the images in the book are reproductions they still look better than what I have produced using inkjet! If any of you have that book take a look on page 38 or 67 and note the beautiful, smooth, tonal transitions. I went to those same dunes last week and the week before and I got some beautiful photos with my FujiFilm GFX 50s but when I print them do not come close to what I see in that book! Now maybe it is my post-processing, maybe it's the limitations of inkjet... maybe some other reason... I dunno... but I sure love the look of the Weston prints in the book and am trying hard to come close to that!
They we using 8"x10" cameras not 33x44mm sensors. You should expect some quality differences.
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2019, 04:15:14 pm »

They we using 8"x10" cameras not 33x44mm sensors. You should expect some quality differences.

Ansel Adams book, "Examples", look at page 149. That was photographed using a Hasselblad medium format camera  - just beautiful!
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deanwork

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2019, 05:49:23 pm »

We met with Ansel as students in Tucson Arizona in 1980 and a year before. He was good friends of the president of the university, John Schaffer, a scientist and photographer himself. This was before Photoshop and the Mac were around. He had been visiting some cutting edge optical scientists who were working with hi definition digital capture sensors and drum scanners. He told us this would be our world to live in. He only wished hed be around to take advantage of it. He was talking about how contrast curves in the form of high bit pixels were going to make negative chemical characteristic curves look like the Stone Age , in a few short years . He wanted the Center there to allow future students to scan his negatives and make prints that he was sure would accomplish tonal subtleties that he could never begin to approach. He died four years later.

Went back to see his and Westons full archive of original master prints in 2008. They all looked so dark to me now, even the snow in the great photograph of half dome from the 1920s was below middle gray.

If someone cant make a better monochrome pigment inkjet print than a repro in a book, somethings wrong.

Have you ever drum scanned a well exposed piece of 8x10 film and printed with 4, 6, or 7 channels of gray pigment? I cant come close to duplicating that with Ilford gelatin silver paper from the original neg.

God, I think this is the same conversation we were having 15 years ago.......

John



Ansel Adams book, "Examples", look at page 149. That was photographed using a Hasselblad medium format camera  - just beautiful!
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2019, 06:41:55 pm »

We met with Ansel as students in Tucson Arizona in 1980 and a year before. He was good friends of the president of the university, John Schaffer, a scientist and photographer himself. This was before Photoshop and the Mac were around. He had been visiting some cutting edge optical scientists who were working with hi definition digital capture sensors and drum scanners. He told us this would be our world to live in. He only wished he’d be around to take advantage of it. He was talking about how contrast curves in the form of high bit pixels were going to make negative chemical characteristic curves look like the Stone Age , “in a few short years “. He wanted the Center there to allow future students to scan his negatives and make prints that he was sure would accomplish tonal subtleties that he could never begin to approach. He died four years later.

Went back to see his and Westons full archive of original master prints in 2008. They all looked so dark to me now, even the snow in the great photograph of half dome from the 1920s was below middle gray.

If someone can’t make a better monochrome pigment inkjet print than a repro in a book, somethings wrong.

Have you ever drum scanned a well exposed piece of 8x10 film and printed with 4, 6, or 7 channels of gray pigment? I can’t come close to duplicating that with Ilford gelatin silver paper from the original neg.

God, I think this is the same conversation we were having 15 years ago.......

John


You may not know what books I am referring to.  These images are not just "repros in a book". lol

Two of the books I mentioned are using the Fultone method of printing. (Incidently that is the process Adams chose to print his books when he saw it. He totally reprinted his "Portfolios" book using this method as well as all his books afterward until he passed away. I can't find the quote but Adams claimed they were very close to his actual prints. So, no I can't print (yet) an inkjet print that looks as good as those images. I doubt many people can. I was very specific in my post about the look I am striving for. I've yet to see it in any inkjet prints. I'm not saying it cannot be done, I am saying I have not seen any yet.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 06:48:03 pm by DavidPalermo »
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MfAlab

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2019, 11:02:27 pm »

I like the digital workflow however I prefer the look of a silver-gelatin print over an inkjet print (at least I do so far.... I have yet to see an inkjet print exhibit the smooth tonal transitions that you'd see in for instance an Edward Weston print).

It's important to make sure which one has a better performance in a silver-gelatin print in your opinion, the "look" or the "tonal transitions". For the "look", old Harman gloss baryta has most similar surface since they actually made Ilford silver halide papers. Unfortunately, the paper has been discontinued. Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is a substitute, but I have no experience on hahnemuhle's replacement paper. My baryta inkjet paper test. (written in Chinese traditional)

For the "tonal transitions", modern K3 or K4 inks did a good job on this. Or you can try K7 inks, the prints are incredible sharp and without any visible ink dots. I spend a lot of time to fine tune a good K7 print curve, 52 steps 16 bits ink transition and 256 steps density linearization using my own formula in excel. But it's an advantage for digital printing process, once you have done a good setting, it's easily to repeat and get the same performance. My review on K7 ink. (sorry, still in Chinese traditional)

I have a question. If I were to make an 8x10 digital "negative" from one of my dune images and print on silver gelatin a contact print would I get better results??? Would that print be closer to what I am trying to achieve? I want to try that.

doubt on this... Even if nearly no loss on chemical stages, this procedure still has more loss when contact print on a silver gelatin paper compare to direct print on inkjet paper. Don't forget the inkjet transparency film has the same loss with inkjet paper, sometimes even more. Some studios use similar procedure but on Platinum/Palladium print. And for best result, use a screen exposure machine to get collimated light beam and assure firm contact between film/paper by the vacuum pressure.
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elliot_n

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2019, 05:46:19 am »

It's important to make sure which one has a better performance in a silver-gelatin print in your opinion, the "look" or the "tonal transitions". For the "look", old Harman gloss baryta has most similar surface since they actually made Ilford silver halide papers. Unfortunately, the paper has been discontinued. Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is a substitute, but I have no experience on hahnemuhle's replacement paper.

As far as I can tell i.e. by printing on it, looking at it, and handling it the Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is exactly the same as the old Harman paper.
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SharonVL

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2019, 11:10:31 am »

As far as I can tell i.e. by printing on it, looking at it, and handling it the Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is exactly the same as the old Harman paper.

This is my favorite paper for black and whites with smooth tones.

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elliot_n

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2019, 11:28:51 am »

It's my favourite paper for both colour and black-and-white. (It's a shame that it contains OBAs, and has a tendency to curl.)
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2019, 02:44:00 pm »

Thank you for all of your very thoughtful comments!

I use Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta 315gsm now because it has a slightly warm tone to it. Probably because it doesn't contain OBA's. The surface is very similar to a Silver Gelatoin print. I had a silver print made and I printed the same image on the Photo Rag Baryta and I prefer the Photo Rag print better!

For some reason I am not getting what I expected when I print the sand dunes images. I have had a few discussions about this and it may be my viewing environment and editing environment as well as my use of Photoshop etc... so I will be looking into all that.

From my research so far I absolutely should be getting fantastic results from my inkjet printer. Good. I won't be buying a film camera anytime soon!

; )
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #54 on: October 08, 2019, 02:45:37 pm »

It's important to make sure which one has a better performance in a silver-gelatin print in your opinion, the "look" or the "tonal transitions". For the "look", old Harman gloss baryta has most similar surface since they actually made Ilford silver halide papers. Unfortunately, the paper has been discontinued. Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is a substitute, but I have no experience on hahnemuhle's replacement paper. My baryta inkjet paper test. (written in Chinese traditional)

For the "tonal transitions", modern K3 or K4 inks did a good job on this. Or you can try K7 inks, the prints are incredible sharp and without any visible ink dots. I spend a lot of time to fine tune a good K7 print curve, 52 steps 16 bits ink transition and 256 steps density linearization using my own formula in excel. But it's an advantage for digital printing process, once you have done a good setting, it's easily to repeat and get the same performance. My review on K7 ink. (sorry, still in Chinese traditional)

The "look" I want is what I described in my post earlier. I want beautiful smooth tonal transitions on whatever paper I can use!  ; )

I wish I could read Chinese!

Thank you very much!

doubt on this... Even if nearly no loss on chemical stages, this procedure still has more loss when contact print on a silver gelatin paper compare to direct print on inkjet paper. Don't forget the inkjet transparency film has the same loss with inkjet paper, sometimes even more. Some studios use similar procedure but on Platinum/Palladium print. And for best result, use a screen exposure machine to get collimated light beam and assure firm contact between film/paper by the vacuum pressure.
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kers

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2019, 05:40:09 pm »

Thank you for all of your very thoughtful comments!

I use Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta 315gsm now because it has a slightly warm tone to it. Probably because it doesn't contain OBA's. The surface is very similar to a Silver Gelatoin print. I had a silver print made and I printed the same image on the Photo Rag Baryta and I prefer the Photo Rag print better!

For some reason I am not getting what I expected when I print the sand dunes images. I have had a few discussions about this and it may be my viewing environment and editing environment as well as my use of Photoshop etc... so I will be looking into all that.

From my research so far I absolutely should be getting fantastic results from my inkjet printer. Good. I won't be buying a film camera anytime soon!

; )

+1 very much like Photo Rag Baryta for BW - works also good on my HPz3100
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MfAlab

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2019, 12:43:38 am »

As far as I can tell i.e. by printing on it, looking at it, and handling it the Hahnemuhle Photo Gloss Baryta 320 is exactly the same as the old Harman paper.

It's good to know that. The texture and reflection is so similar to Ilford silver gelatin paper, they even smells the same.

Although my first choice for fiber gloss inkjet print papers is Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta.

Have a exactly the same substitute as a great discontinued paper is always a good thing.
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MfAlab

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2019, 02:34:42 am »

I wish I could read Chinese!

Sorry about that, if I translate all my articles to English will cost too much time on it. Maybe you can try google translation for roughly look. a quick link

You can see the images below show absolutely differential between prints using K7 and K3 inks. no necessary to mark which one is K7
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 04:11:40 am by MfAlab »
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David Sutton

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2019, 03:34:50 am »

It's probably not useful comparing digital with darkroom prints as far as texture goes without knowing something about the lenses, paper/emulsion and printing technique.
However one thing that may affect an inkjet print is banding, particularly in masks. A quick way to check this is to make a solar curve on top of the layers. I use it enough to have made an action for it.
The addition of dithering on the masks from CS6 has made life easier, but I still find I may need to add noise to the mask.
Silver FX can also get quite nasty with banding. I don't it much now for that reason. It's quite hard to see on screen without the solar curve to show it up. But I think it shows up in print with somewhat coarse tonal transitions.
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henrikolsen

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Re: Making digital prints look like film prints
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2019, 04:49:09 am »

Very nice smooth transitions with that K7 inkset. Impressive.
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