Reducing paper waste with 6x6...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PKM-25, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I am wondering how other people deal with paper waste in printing square format negs. I don't mind a few 4" x 16" test strips from 16 x 20 paper, but a whole bunch is kind of, well, a waste.

    Since the vast majority of what I am going to print is square format, this is going to add up to like, 200 inches of paper waste from a box of 50 sheets of 16x20 or 12.5 16 x 20's.

    That's like $62 in paper from a $250 box of MGWT in 16 x 20....relegated to test strips! In terms of the next paper size down, 11 x 14, Ilford does sell 100 sheet boxes of 10 x 10 MG, but it is RC so that is a no go for me.

    How do some of you re-monetize or otherwise mitigate what could be hundreds of dollars in test strips per year?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Clearly, you need to add a panoramic to your arsenal.

    And make 4x4" proofs, 4x6" postcards, and the like.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Test strips are a necessity for me, I don't mind the cost. It beats slicing an entire sheet to get them.
     
  4. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I use these as test-strips almost always. Consider that you're going to burn a certain amount of paper on tests anyways, in the end it's eventually going to even out.

    I can see how it may seem wasteful, though, when you're knocking out 25 copies of something you've already tested/nailed down. Maybe this is where roll paper and a cutter is more useful?
     
  5. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I've never thought in terms of price per square inch... When I trim, for square, I use the rest for test strips, or contact print a step wedge on the remainder. The step wedge exposed pieces allow me to check various toning techniques. I also use the wedges to see how my mixed paints look on a particular tone, when I hand paint. You can also use the wedges to check your spotting dyes, on a tone you're trying to match.
    Most of the time, though, I'll print square on the full sheet, and trim before matting. I use those trims to "work" spotting dyes off the brush.
     
  6. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Ok, good, it's kind of what I figured. It's not like I am getting less than 50 sheets out of a box, just more test strips. And yes David, I have panoramic images to print too....:smile:

    Now, it terms of going up a paper size, instead of paying $350 for a box of 20 x 24, I am inclined to try this paper out in a smaller size and if it works, buy the big enchilada and dispense as needed, it's RC and pearl finish but maybe at 20 x 20 that will be a good thing...?

    Who knows, just making product and service road maps and thinking out loud...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Dan:

    The RC warmtone is very nice :smile:

    And 20" rolls would be slightly easier to cut than a certain 30" roll you may be familiar with :wink::D.

    The roll paper does retain a curl though, at least at first.
     
  8. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Seems to me that for every 16x16 you make on 16x20 paper, you have enough left over for either:

    4-4x4 prints or
    2-4x6 prints and 1 4x4 print or
    1-4x12 and 1 4x4 print

    All of these are with exactly zero waste in terms of left-over paper. You just have to figure out how to do what you want with the least waste. About 20 years ago I was making wooden crosses for sale in my mom's store that people could use to put on their loved ones' graves for Memorial Day. Through careful planning, I could get 12 crosses out of 5 8-foot long 1"x2" boards with very little waste. If there was a knot or other imperfection in a board , I could plan around it and that would be the small amount of waste.

    If you're printing these for a client, you could offer a 16x16 plus up to 4 4x4 prints to them with almost no additional paper cost. The 16x16 could hang in their home and the 4x4s could go to their office or be given away as gifts to friends or relatives. (Yeah, I know, if you're doing dodging and burning on the 16x16 it might be harder to do it on the 4x4 prints because of the smaller print size, I won't discount that...)

    Just my thoughts... Of course they would still make good test strips.

    ME Super
     
  9. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    An XPan image could be printed to 4 x 11, but would actually be a tad smaller due to the easel blades...
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    PKM-25: Based on your Gallery images, I don't think you're wasting paper. Nice stuff...
     
  11. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    That's an AWESOME idea!
     
  12. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    ^^^ That's actually kind of an old idea. Portrait studios in my area still offer the "1-8x10, 2-5x7, ..." and some number of smaller print sizes in a package. The way we usually end up dividing up such a package when we buy one of kids' portraits is that we keep the 8x10, one each of the 5x7's goes to the grandparents, along with whatever smaller sizes of pictures they want.

    ME Super
     
  13. skahde

    skahde Member

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    Life is too short and pictures too precious to relly care about it.
     
  14. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Yeah, well, this passion of mine is a business so I have to think about it. This is a 5 year business plan, if it tanks, I get out of photography entirely after shooting professionally for what will be over 25 years at that point, I could never go back to it just being a hobby at this stage of my life...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2012