Any experience with PDN and silver gelatin print?

Discussion in 'APUG.ORG's "Gray" Area Subforum -NOW HYBRIDPHOTO.C' started by Mehmet Kismet, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Hi,

    I started to make some trials with Mark Nelson's PDN system to calibrate the digital negatives for silver gelatin prints.

    The standard color density pallet didn't work for me. I am using an Epson 4000 printer with pigment inks and Pictorico OHP for the film. I didn't get enough density for the color density combinations given within the system.
    After some trials and guessings I settled on R75 G00 color density.
    The result is just on the right point but critical, and I feel that I should need some more density on the film.
    The fix graded paper -Bergger Silver Supreme- worked better then the varicontrast paper-Bergger VC CB-
    If you have some experiences on this subjects, your opinions will be deeply appreciated.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Mehmet,
    What printer driver settings are you using? You may need to switch to a driver setting which lays down more ink--just a thought.
     
  3. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Jeremy,

    I used the driver for "photo lustre paper" which should lay down a good qty of ink.
    Mark Nelson's system is based on not using black ink at all, in order to avoid noise and grain. For UV sensitive process it must work with some color densities that would block the UV light and so giving density to the film. But for silver printing how to proceed without using black ink?

    I used the R75 G00 color density which uses black ink, and get quite acceptable results. But I feel that the max. density must be a bit higher.
    Just now I will try to expose the silver paper with UV light and will see what happens with the color densities working for UV light. For exemple G255 B50.

    I will share my experiences with you and will be waiting yours if any.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  4. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Mehemet,

    As Jeremy mentioned you didn't mention which Print Quality or Paper choice you are using. Premium Glossy will lay down a lot of ink.

    However in the event that doesn't work Sandy King passed on a technique to me for getting very high density ranges required for VDB, Albumen, or Salt prints developed by Sam Wang. This involves creating a copy of the background layer, with the blend mode set to multiply, filling with black ink and adjusting the opacity setting to obtain the required density.

    I've tested this with VDB and this method provides plenty of density at an opacity of 50% (actually a little to much) giving a UV DR of slightly greater than 2.3.

    The density range of silver gelatin paper shouldn't even begin to require this much contrast though. I can get plenty of density for grade 2 AZO which requires a DR of about 2.1 without resorting to a black ink fill layer.This is with Ultrachrome inks printed with the E 2200 and dye inks used for the 1280.

    I've never used the paper you mention though so who knows. The color combination you mention though doesn't make sense to me - R75 G00.

    Don Bryant
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Mark's system is also the one I'm using. Try setting it to glossy photo as this lays down more ink at the highest quality than any other setting. If this doesn't work, try emailing Mark directly, he always answers my questions in 48 hours or so.
     
  6. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Don,

    The quality and paper setting is Photo lustre paper and the printing is at 2800dpi. I can not choose the premium glossy photo paper, I don't know why, but my printer the Epson 4000 gives me a message that I can not use this paper in the paper tray. Maybe I am doing something wrong.
    I tolked with Dick Arentz on the same subject and he told me that after some trials he settled on premium lustre paper for his Epson 4000, but he is printing Pt/Pd not silver.

    For the color combination R75 G00, here is what I am doing: After inverting the RGB picture to negative and having applied the correction curve, I make a new fill layer with solid color of R75 G00 B00 and for the layer set to "screen".
    However the copy layer with multiplied blending idea is interesting. I will try it with only one color but without using the black ink.

    Mehmet Kismet
     
  7. donbga

    donbga Member

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    So after printing the Color Density Range Palette you have choosen this color? With these numbers you are putting very little ink on the substrate, as a matter of fact the two R colors on the CDRP start at 255 and add Green or Blue ink. How did you derive those numbers?

    Don
     
  8. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Don,

    After printing the CDRP at the standard printing time, none of the colors gave me paper white, but the clearest one was somewhere in middle grays. So the CDRP didn't worked for me. I dropped the CDRP and searched another combination of colors with minimum use of black ink. That is how I found the fill layer with screen blend mode having the solid color of R75 G00 B00. My digital negative for silver has now a dark red color. But I am not sure if that is the best one.
    The first print that I made from is not so bad, but I can say that a good eye can see that this is made from an inkjet negative.
    Mehmet
     
  9. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Mehmet,

    Wow those are surprising results! And it appears that you have already added black ink thus the low values for the colored ink settingd.

    What is the density range of the paper? That is, how many steps from black to white does your step wedge show (lapped or unlapped)?

    I'm at a loss to explain why the Premium Glossy setting isn't available in the Print Quality setting for the 4000 driver. It just sounds like you need more ink to increase the density range. Have you e-mailed Mark Nelson about this? He may have some insight about the 4000 settings.

    This is an interesting problem. FWIW, I choose the R=255 B=10 when testing AZO with the 1280 dye inkset. I've noticed a dithering pattern though so I'm not happy with that result. Perhaps using Red accentuates this effect.

    Maybe someone else has an insight to the problem. I'm interested to hear how you make out with this problem.

    Don
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Don,
    I have noticed that the Red ink settings seem to fare worse than the blue or green. On the C66 (durachrome pigment inks), the choices with red gave the grainiest results.
     
  11. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Hi,

    I sent an email to Mark Nelson and get a quick reply.
    He is asking some info about my testings. For exemple the density value of the clearest gray on the Color density pallet test, the grade of silver paper that I used, and some other.
    Today, if I will have time I will remake some tests in order to send those info to Mark Nelson, and for sure I will inform you about the results.

    I live in Istanbul, so we have a minimum of 7 hours of difference. I will try to catch that difference to finish my tests.

    Jeremy and Don, I thank you for your kind opinions.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  12. davidharris

    davidharris Member

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    I have made an extension line to the colour density range palette which is filled with R=0, B=0, G= 0 to 250 in steps of 10. This involves black ink to give higher density, but on the Epson 2100 seems to give very good results. I have been using it for selenium toned POP.
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Let me clarify the above. The technique that I passed on to Don was not actually developed by Sam Wang, but results from a suggestion made by David Harris in another thread for blending black with another of the colors on Mark Nelson’s palette to increase overall printing contrast. Sam helped me figure out how to do this in Photoshop, since my skills with this software are somewhat rudimentary, but the basic idea belongs to David, not to Sam or me. Here is what David suggested.

    The idea is based o the fact that one can get plenty of contrast out of the neutral black inks of the Epson 2200 and that the best method for working with this printer with processes such as albumen, salted paper and VDB is to blend in a little black with one of the colors of the color palette.

    Remember, you are starting with the 360 dpi tonal palette, having previously determined that a particular combination based on Green gave the highest contrast, but still not high enough for your process. With that information, and using the modified file of the palette with the green fill color already added, here is what David suggested.


    1. Set up a new layer above the green color fill layer.
    2. Fill the new layer with black.
    3. Set blend mode for new layer to multiply.
    4. Choose blending options for the new layer and move the white sliders on the Blend if underlying layer scale, pressing the Alt key to separate the two white sliders. Move the sliders until about the darkest 20 squares or so on the tonal palette are visibly darkened - I found this to be 50/175. I chose 20 squares so that the blend in would be very gradual.
    5. Reduce the opacity of the new layer. You will need to do some tests with your alt process to determine the correct opacity. I found 2% to be right for palladium toned POP - when printed it produces tone in the 100 square, but 101 is pure white (I prefer to have a pure white, others might prefer to have some tone).

    In my case the maximum Dmax possible, as measured by a densitometer in UV mode, ranged from about log 2.30, with opacity of the black layer set to 0%, to log 2.5 with opacity set at 50%, and over log 3.0 with opacity set to 75%. In theory this range should prove adequate for processes such as VDB, albumen and salted paper that require negatives of very high CI.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2004
  14. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Sandy,

    Thank you for the clear explication.
    As I never did the alternative process you mentioned "..VDB, albumen and salted paper that require negatives of very high CI." I don't know if they are UV sensitive processes. If so, I can understand your exemple of green color which blocks the UV light so generate the contrast ratio. But for silver printing, green did not worked at all for me but red + some black did the job, but I am in contact with Mark NELSON and with his kind help and advices I will try to get more perfectionned negatives for silver printing.

    When finished and settled, I would like to share my experiences with the forum participants.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  15. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Hi,

    Finally I finished my tests of PDN for silver printing.

    Following some of the ideas given by Mark Nelson I ended up with perfect results.
    In order to increase the negative density, I increased the color density adjustement of my printer -Epson 4000-by 10%.

    This magic touch solved the problem, and I have got a perfect range from black to paper white without using the black ink, so reaching to an almost grainless result.

    I set my paper -BERGGER VC CB- to ISO 0,5 which helped also to the smoothness of the tones.

    Mark Nelson is really a very kind person, and with the PDN, he created a wonderful system!

    Best and thanks to all.
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    That's fantastic, Mehmet! Mark is a great guy who has helped on a number of occasions when I have had a problem with digital negs. Any chance you could add some more info about how to increase the color density, is this done in the printer driver settings?
     
  17. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I spoke with Mark this past weekend, instead of adding black ink for increased negative density range he recommended adding ink with all colors using the sliders in the printer driver. I haven't tried it yet but this may be similar to the advice he gave Mehmet.

    Now if I could just perfect my curve for AZO!

    Don Bryant
     
  18. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    Hi,

    To increase the color density of the negative, I did the adjustment in the following steps:
    In the Epson 4000 (Epson 2200 or 2100 should be the same or similar) print window I selected "Custom", then clicked the "Advanced" button. In the new window, clicked "Paper Configuration"
    In the new window there is a slider for "Color Density" adjustment from -50% to +50%.

    I made three tests with the slider set to +5; +10; and +15%.
    +5% did not gave enough density for ISO #0,5 grade of my paper. For a higher grade it should work but this soft grade was most suited for a very smooth grain on the print.
    +15% risked to cause some smear and motling because of the ink qty increased.
    +10% did the job perfectly.
    You will see that even a small increase in this setting makes a lot of difference.

    Hoping that my experience will help you.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  19. davidharris

    davidharris Member

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    That's interesting Mehmet. What media are you using? I tried exactly this test using Epson 2100 and Pictorio OHP material and found that even with +5 colour density I got bad ink smear/transfer and "pizza wheel" marks, and ink diffusion effects due to slow drying.
     
  20. Mehmet Kismet

    Mehmet Kismet Member

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    David,

    I am using two different kind of medias. The one is the Pictorico OHP, and the second is the Copyjet from AGFA. I remarked that Copyjet is a bit more sensitive to smear due to color density increase, but worked perfectly with an increase of 10%.

    I use an Epson 4000 so I don't know the 2100.
    But for paper selection I select the "Premium Lustre Photo" with 2800dpi super photo setting.(The 4000 doesn't allow me to use the premium photo paper, and I don't know why? But it doesn't matter because the other equally works for me)

    In the paper config. section of the settings, there are some other settings for drying time; paper suction; and paper thickness. All of those settings could affect the end result.

    In the 4000, there is a suction bed and the printed media is held flat on that bed and driven by small rubber wheels so that there is no "pizza wheels" effect.

    I am not sure but maybe some similar settings should be present in the Epson2100, and you could make different adjustments to avoid smear at +5% or +10%.
    Best
    Mehmet Kismet
     
  21. HenceForthWith

    HenceForthWith Member

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    Pizza wheel tracks be gone...

    I don't know about the smearing problem, but this is what I did to my 2200 to eliminate the tracks:

    http://www.colorbat.com/epson_2200.htm