Require analogue printing, UK

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by poorusher, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. poorusher

    poorusher Member

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    I am at the end of my tether with modern labs.

    Everyone has gone over to digital printing, and I find they are far inferior to old analogue prints.

    I am working with a colleague soon who's publisher wants to scan in prints, scanning digital prints is horrid, noisy, blech.

    So does anyone know of a lab still using traditional printing without excessive costs. I don't mind posting films to them, if they are UK based

    I used to run with Jessops then Snappy Snaps but they've all switched to digital.

    I hope someone can help me out here.


    Regards
    Luke
     
  2. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    Why not print yourself?



     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

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    That raises an interesting idea.
    Why not organise here in APUG a section where profficient printers can offer their services to people around the world? They don't have to have a lab, just a darkroom and be able and willing to make prints of others.
     
  4. poorusher

    poorusher Member

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    I used to do that, as I was at college and had access to a darkroom, but I don't anymore and even if I did it would be a time issue.

    The labs used to offer this (with standard 6x4 prints and processing), I just can't convey how much I despise disgital prints.

    What's more I bet it costs the lab less to print digitally but they still charge the same amount.
     
  5. poorusher

    poorusher Member

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    arigram

    I suspect that would be individual hand prints which could get quite expensive, I am just after a lab that still prints analogue, 6x4 via a machine. But using chemicals and so on.
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Sorry Luke, but I beg to differ. Scanned images printed on a traditional photographic paper like Fuji Crystal Archive or Ilfochrome paper are indistinguishable from those printed under an enlarger on the same paper. It all depends upon the quality of the scan. I do it, and I know many other color landscape photographers who do it as well.
     
  7. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Not sure if this is what you're after but i have used http://www.transpacolor.com/ for transparencies and they were OK, then again I'm fairly inexperienced photographer.

    Cheers CJB
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Poorusher. Based on your reply to arigram I think First Light Photographic in Daventry, Northants would fit your bill. They process film then do RA4s by laser, using Fuji Crystal Archive. Their charge for 6x4 is very reasonable. Bigger prints then get disproportionally expensive, in my opinion but that probably because their throughput depends on sticking to the popular size of 6 x4. I can't say they will do mail order. I think most if not all their business is personal callers but you could check this out by a call.

    I was told by the assistant that they still have an analogue optical enlarger as well. I believe the owner's wife prefers prints from this when she does weddings.

    The number is: 01327 702866

    My wife uses them not me primarily for speed and but also quality but that's another story.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. frugal

    frugal Subscriber

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    I suspect he's just comparing the 4x6 prints you get with C-41 processing (such as from a fuji frontier), I find those tend to be pretty abyssmal. Even at the local pro lab I see horrible noise in my prints a lot of the times. Usually more in flatter contrast scenes like something shot just as the sun is going down and you have nice blue shadows that aren't very deep. I've seen some shots in mist that looked absolutely horrible when they came back from the lab but when the person printed them they looked fine.

    Now in terms of high quality scans and output on a quality digital enlarger, then they are stunning. I've even had good results from a frontier as long as it was from a quality scan.
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Yes, that probably is the case. I'm used to making much bigger prints than that.
     
  11. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    why not scan the negs? scanning the prints whether they be digital or analoge will result in an unnescisary generation loss.
     
  12. isaacc7

    isaacc7 Member

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    Hear hear. Nothing wrong with the digital labs per se, but just like in the analog world you have to find someone that knows what they are doing and cares about their product. We use a Noritsu system here and the print quality consistency has gone way up. In fact in the hands of an operator that knows what they are doing, they have much more control than they did with a traditional minilab machine. The trick, as always, is finding someone that knows what they are doing...


    Isaac
     
  13. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    I'm still runing an analog lab, and I did run a digital lab for three years. When I went back to an analog lab after digital I was amazed at how good the analog prints looked. They do have a different look. A good optical print from a good negative is hard to beat, I reckon.
     
  14. Kino

    Kino Member

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    I noticed with all the mini labs around here, they damn near boil the emulsion off to get it processed fast, then apply these weird LUTs (look up tables) to the scanned negative image that tries its best to take the log curve and flatten it out; decompressed shadows and highlights, squished and squashed into a linear output that looks very, very weird on the print.
     
  15. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    the LUT on a frontier is kind of like setting up a calibration film chanel. Its for making it easier to have the filtration for each batch of paper propperly calibrated.
     
  16. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    To HELP answer your question:

    It sounds like you are looking for lab that uses a non-digital machine printer which outputs optical prints. The journey may be difficult as the business trend has moved to scan>print machines. Noritsu used to produce very fine optical machines but has discontinue the line. I would suggest to do research and find the authorized Noritsu UK web site and get the contact information for Noritsu Resale Department. Call them up and ask them for contact information of customers that have the older optical machines. They are out there, many individuals, small business photographers and labs have pick these up for great value. I wish I can remember the model numbers for optical machines; I used to have to work on them here and there.

    I hope this helps and good luck.

    Shane
    www.shaneknight.com
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

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    True. There is a wide variety of digital labs out there, some like my local Ritz store, that just puts out the prints as fast as they can. Then there are those labs who print on high end laser/LED printers and cater to professionals.
     
  18. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    bigger than 4 x 6 ? oh....they mean inches and you mean feet! :D
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The problem with digital prints is on the small size print like 4x6 and 5x7. At 8x10 and up if you have a good scan then digital print can be the same if not even better than optical print. The problem with small size print is that the printer resolution is only about 300ppi (some noritsu machine did do 400ppi) but that is signifcantly lower than what an optical print can achieve at 4x6 size. At larger size, the film resolution is becoming the limitation.
     
  20. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    I may be the only one who'll say this....BUT generally i prefer the digital prints availible to me as opposed to analoge. I work at a frontier lab, and did work at an SFA lab, the frontier when set up properly IE sharpness at the "low 2" setting, and "retouching" set to "lower" provides me with much more consistant results than I could ever achieve on the SFA
     
  21. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It is why we shoot the big chromes. :D