Digital Negatives for AZO

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by fhovie, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I am not sure if this is in the archives or not so I'll just ask. The 8x10 camera is on the way - along with a lens, film and all that good stuff.

    I have not yet given up hope that a decent negative can be made with an Epson 1280 and OHP Pictorico film and Photoshop. I have had some success making kalitypes and cyanotypes with the digi magic bullet but for AZO there is never enough density. I have Dan Burkholder's disk and tried unsuccessfully with white film. It seems it ought to be less difficult than this. Although I look forward to In-Camera Negs - I still want to backpack with a camera and would like to make AZO prints - as well as Kalitypes and Cyanotypes.
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I havent even come close to a proper curve for AZO. Regular silver prints with the White film / 2200 / berger paper in dektol look pretty darn good, but no luck with AZO yet. Same problem as you have stated. Not enough density.

    Brian
     
  3. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Someone who took one of our workshops is making 8x10 negatives, digitizing them, and using the digital negatives to make prints on Azo. he said it took him a couple of tries to get the curves right, but now that he has, he feels he is making the best prints he ever made. His last comment, " I spent the day in the darkroom yesterday and am finally getting prints that are exceeding my expectations."

    He has agreed to write up, as an article, what he is doing including the curves he has used. I have not seen the article, but it may be on the way now. It will be posted under "Writings about Azo: in the "Azo" section at www.michaelandpaula.com.
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Is that Pictorio film clear enough to use a second sheet with only highlight density enhancements printed on it and registered to the first? May be the only way to get the density using those materials.
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Michael,

    Is the person you mention making digital negatives for AZO working with inkjet negatives or is he having them printed with an imagesetter by a service bureau? If they are being made with an inkhet printer I would love to hear what you think of the image quality, both in terms of tonal quality and apparent sharpness

    I have been making digital inkjet negatives for almost two years with Epson 2000P for printing in carbon, kallitype and palladium. With kallitype and carbon I see no difference in image quality between my in-camera negatives and the digital ones, since the texture of the art and drawing papers we use with these processes is the limiting factor in final print resolution. However, with carbon printing, when I put the final image on smooth surface papers. I believe there is some slight loss of final image quality with the digital negatives compared to in-camera ones.
     
  6. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    He is making inkjet nagatives. Will let you know what I think of the quality once I see them.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    If you have the Epson 2000P or 2200 (or another of the Epson printers that use pigmented inks) you can get plenty of density on Pictorico for AZO and Pt/Pd printing. The 1280 is another matter. I don't know of anyone who has been abole to get enough densisty with this printer on any clear substrate using the black inks. However, you can get enough UV printing density for Pt/Pd with the 1280 by making what are known as spectral negatives , i.e. you use a color that blocks UV radiation more effectively than the black inks. What some have found is that green works best for this printer for spectral negatives, even though I think that Burkholder recommends orange or orange/magenta. In theory orange should block UV light more effectively than green but in practice this does appear to be the case.
     
  8. kudzma

    kudzma Member

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    I very recently began investigating inkjet negs for Pd/Pt. I’ve rapidly found that the dye based black or red ink for my Canon i960 does not give near enough UV blocking to give sufficient negative contrast. Highlights fog much too rapidly. I think Pictorico film is clear enough to use a second sheet with highlight density enhancements registered to the first, but good registration could be problematic.

    Sandy King has stated above and elsewhere that he gets excellent results with his inkjet negs. Unfortunately, I have yet to personally see one of Sandy’s inkjet neg Kallitypes, but I don’t doubt this assessment. However, the key is that he uses Epson pigment-based inks. Apparently, this is absolutely required to get the proper density. Regarding pigment inks, I may be out in the cold with my Canon printer.
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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  10. GreyWolf

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    Sandy wrote:

    If you have the Epson 2000P or 2200 (or another of the Epson printers that use pigmented inks) you can get plenty of density on Pictorico for AZO and Pt/Pd printing

    What some have found is that green works best for this printer for spectral negatives, even though I think that Burkholder recommends orange or orange/magenta


    I have the 2200 but have yet to even begin attempting to make a digital negative. Of course I am deeply interested in doing this as I would like to use my 4x5 camera for shooting but wish to do much larger contact printing.

    I would like to ask you Sandy ... Do you use the green pigment ink quite extensively when you make digital negatives? Would you recommend that an Epson 2200 owner start from the beginning by using the green ink? Should a beginner attempt to cultivate curves to match the printing process with the green ink for the type of negative desired? (i.e. pt/pd, kallitype, cyanotype)

    Thanks
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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  12. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Who supplies the Pictorico media?
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    www.pictorico.com
     
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  15. bmac

    bmac Member

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    You can also get the 8.5 X 11 sheets through Amazon for about $16 or $17.
     
  16. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Great! Thanks, they may also carry a few other things I can use too.
     
  17. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I found out something interesting, the 2200 at least will reregister a sheet for a second pass with great accuracy if you set the guides tight against the sheet at the outset. I was playing with a scan from a 4x5 and output it to some enhanced matte paper, which is pretty dull stuff. I decided to play with it when the mediocre print came out and cut the highlights and most midtones out with levels and ran it through again. The result were encouraging enough to try a third pass with only the blackest shadows left after a levels adjustment. Though the print didn't show stupendous shadow detail when I held it up to the light the tonal range was quite good with lots of detail into the shadows. This tells me that a second pass on transparency should give you any amount of density you want with a little research and experimentation, and the 1280 may be able to do quite a bit better if it can hold the reregisteration.
    I tried it on some luster paper and found by the third pass the ink had sealed in the paper enough to give some problems in the darkest areas with ink absorbtion and left a little dull patch there.
    It'll be interesting to see what happens when I get some transparent media to play with.
     
  18. rogein

    rogein Member

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    I've had succes making inkjet negs with the Epson 1280 and OHP for platinum printing. However the Epson 2200 has been problematic. While the density and contrast are fine prints made from the 2200 negs have an overall 'grittiness'. So far I've been unable to correct this.
     
  19. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I think it must be a question of printer settings. I use the predessor of the Epson 2200, the 2000P, which has lower resolution than the 2200 and my prints from OHP negatives are very smooth and definitely not gritty or grainy.

    Make sure that you are using the following settings (assuming a grayscale file).

    Media = Glossy Paper (not OHP)
    Ink = Color
    Mode = Automatic

    A dialog box should let you know that fast speed printing is turned off and that you are printing in photo, or maximum, resolution.

    Also, use Pictorico. I don't know of any other OHP material that works with the Epson 2200. It is possible that there are others but I have not heard of anyone having success with anything other than Pictorico.

    No point in using profiles here, you just need to be consistent.
     
  20. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Sandy,

    Yes, I've tried different paper settings, different curves, etc with the 2200 and the 'grittiness' is still ever present. Colorizing the negs yellow-green seemed to minimize it the most on the 2200 but the 1280 negs are still noticeably smoother. I dunno - maybe it's my water, lightsource, karma.....<g>
     
  21. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Rog,

    Are you using OHP or the white film on your 2200? Burkholder suggests you use the white with the 2200. That is what we use. With the 1270/1280, we are using the OHP clear(ish) film.

    Brian.
     
  22. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Brian,

    Yes, I use Pictorico OHP - have been for the past 3 years printing in platinum. Dan suggests using the PGHG white film for silver printing but this film blocks uv which is necessary for most alt processes.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  23. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Got ya.
     
  24. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    has anyone tried this with silver printing in mind? I'm just curious if it would be easier to mass produce a print which requires some hefty dodging and burning by doing so in photoshop first and then just contact printing. I would be working with an 8.5x11 printer, though, not one of the 13x19s.

    what would I like to mass produce? postcards for the apug exchange :smile:
     
  25. Joe Lipka

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    Jeremy - Yes, it happens all the time. The LensWork Special Edition prints are all made this way. Except that the negative is film, not Pictorico.
     
  26. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I have known about the LensWork Special Editions. They are actually the ones which have led me to my research and ask my questions. I'm sorry, I should have been more specific in question.

    Has anyone created a pictorico (or similar transparancy) digital negative on an inkjet printer and contact printed it on fiber silver gelatin paper (I have only worked on traditional enlarger papers, but can move to the foma contact or even azo if need be) and been completely satisfied with the results?

    I have seen many mention of soft images produced on silver gelatin whereas the material limitations (or artisticly imposed) on pt/pd, cyantotype, van dyke, etc. commute this softness to a point where it is either very close to or indistinguishable from a straight from camera 8x10 film negative. It also appeared that all of these softness complaints came from individuals NOT using pictorico transparancies.

    I would like to think of myself as being very skilled in the use of photoshop--a veritable god compared to my darkroom skills. In time I would like to practice and increase my straight wet skills, but due to college in addition to an almost full work week I don't have the extra hours to commit. In contrast, I can do pre-press work on the computer in-between chapters of Kant or Thuycdides and batch process my images when time allows. I also know that this level of sophistication in the process will take time, but I am willing to spend that time now if it will allow me to create more prints in the future than I am now (have been in the darkroom once since this past summer).

    My other requirement is that the images be produced from a desktop printer and not come from a imagesetter. At the moment I print in the area of 8x10 on 11x14 paper and 5x7 and smaller on 8x10, but envision that in the future I may wish to print larger. I will have to weigh whether or not a large carriage printer would be worthwhile against the cheaper 8.5x11 printers.

    If anyone is doing this would be willing to send me a sample I would greatly appreciate it. I can either purchase it or rent it and send it back, just let me know.