These inkjets are not bad at all!

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Lee Shively, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I'm talking about the new issue of Lenswork and the porfolio of Vladimir Kabelik. Lenswork has the best reproduction of any magazine I've seen and the look of this guy's photos impresses me a lot. I love that gritty, grainy look. And to think he printed using "carbon piezography", described as scanned film negatives printed with carbon pigment inks.

    I know. It's still ink. But I really like the way these pictures look in reproduction and I would love to see some live prints.
     
  2. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Real "piezographies" are great, has the look of a photogravure, you can reach a very high dmax, a very deep blacks, in specialy treated cotton papers. The main problem with them is that are fragile, they scratch easy.
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    I was at a gallery in Carmel Valley and I saw a whole bunch of Inkjets a couple of years ago. I was stunned! They were nice. You need a lot of moolah to get those printers, ink, computers..... I forgot who it was. Japanese. Ryuji? It was printed on some type of rag paper as I recall.
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Half analog is better than no log at all.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Well I just got back from talking a few days ago to a high end firm who does scans and prints digitally. No I am not going digital. I needed very good scans done professionally of the contest winners. Once this man saw the photos to be scanned, and the quality of them, he tried hiding a inkjet print he had near by. Inkjet may look good until you get them next to the real thing.
     
  6. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I do Piezo prints on a 7600 printer all the time (mostly lanscapes) for an Interior design client. They do look pretty good but not close to the original. Quality wise they have a look of their own, kind of apples and oranges but they really lack the strength you get with Fiber based papers.
     
  7. DavidS

    DavidS <div class="smallfont"><strong><em><font color="44

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    LensWork's printer is up in Canada. He uses a very high linescreen (600+) to make the reproduction look so great. His sell through rate on newsstands is about 55%, so from newsstands he's probably making $3-$4 a copy. His subscription prices is about $3 off of newsstand prices...he makes, after shipping costs about $5.50 per copy. He does pretty good for himself. The small size of his magazine reduces shipping costs so he can afford a nice look. His high newsstand price discourages a lot of subscribers (even though he is only $2 more than B&W) so he can continue using this printer so long as his circulation numbers stay below 30,000 (they're around 20,000 last I checked). If he gets above that, he'll run into a problem.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I remember seeing an Iris print from an Atget neg from which no other print exhisted at an Atget exhibit. It looked like a good gum bichromate print, but nothing like the albumen prints in the rest of the show.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Although they were first to the party and coined/tm'd geclee (sp?) I have never liked Iris prints. To me they look like cmyk on newsprint.
     
  10. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    How Long Will THey Last

    The question remains though, how long will they last? I would love to print my polaroid manipulations on watercolor paper but I'm afraid they will fade in a few minths or a couple years.
     
  11. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I'm not sure what their life really is, I've seen some fade after a couple months done with standard Epson inks all black then left on a wall than gets afternoon sun. This freind is using newer inks now and not having the same problem. My stuff I lose track of after they install it but the few I've seen hold up fine. (After the check cashes I don't worry any longer) I've heard that it is not so much the ink thats the problem as the papers.
    I view these prints as throw away art. Designed to fill a market with out regard for the future or resale value. It is pretty anti- climactic to have someone scan a neg then install the image on my computer then push a button.
    My sarcastic 2 cents.
     
  12. DavidS

    DavidS <div class="smallfont"><strong><em><font color="44

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    According to one of the photographers I recently interviewed for the second issue, digiprintstore.com claims at least 50 year archival.
     
  13. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Kodak claimed that color prints will last a lifetime in the 60s. They were wrong. I know quite a few couples who are upset they didn't get a BW print when they got married.

    I tend to be automatically suspicious of claims by some one who has a stick in the fire.

    Hopefully I'm around to be shown which way it turns out.
     
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  15. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    There really isn't any such thing as "standard" Epson inks. They use dye inks in their consumer printers, and pigment inks in their professional line (and, oddly enough, some of their business printers). The dye inks, like all other dye inks, will fade anywhere from 2 months to 15 years, depending on brand and techniques (sprays, paper selection, framed/unframed, etc). And yes, I realize that even the 15 year one is still a to-be-verified claim - my point is that even ink manufacturers realize that dye inks will fade.

    Pigment inks are _rated_ at closer to 100 years on archival papers. In no way am I suggesting that such a figure has been confirmed beyond "industry-standard" fade tests.

    Well, it's usually a lot more complicated than just pushing a button. Or, rather, there is a pretty big processing step between scanning and printing, at least for anyone doing anything considered "professional," and especially in black and white.

    And, of course, I fully realize that this is apug, and it likely seems that I am making at least quasi-defensive comments about digital. My goal is to clarify, not defend. People generally already have strong opinions on digital.

    allan
     
  16. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is very true. Especially on scans. It is here that I question the advantages of the digital workflow on one-offs. Spotting, color correction followed by test prints (for colour critical output -- which I would argue is anything professional) is not any more efficient and often less efficient then analog.

    I don't believe people who say their system is 100% calibrated and correct 1st time everytime. I do believe that what passes for colour balanced would be considered crap by many or at least by me -- sorry if that is immodest.
     
  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Alex;

    I had some sx-70 manipulations scanned and printed on water color paper. THey used the commerical pigment inks, and so far so good. However, with that said, i have not placed any in direct sunlight to force a fading test.

    They do look great, which was a surprise.
     
  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Water colour paper and canvas is the great equalizer for dyes and pigmented inks. The surface tends to mute the colours regardless of the ink and the surfaces look best with a less saturated image.

    Pigments on d' Arches cold press (or similar) and treated canvas is were inkjets shine IMHO.
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Lee, I just read that portfolio and it says that he is currently working with carbon piezography, but that this portfolio was from back in the 70's. You would have to email Vladimir (he has a website) to find out the truth, but I thought that he NOW works in carbon piezography, but that this portfolio was actually printed in the darkroom. I'm guessing the gritty, grainy look comes from the film he used.
     
  20. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    fighting....urge....to...reply.....grrrrrrrrr

    :smile:

    anyway. to each his own. it is easier than wet printing for _ME_, for both color and black and white. and it works for _ME_. and, in the end, I get what I consider to be the physical result of my (somewhat) creative efforts. that's what matters, right?

    allan
     
  21. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Having never seen in person your work it is hard to judge. We just went to a show where all the photography exibited was on either canvas or watercolor paper. As nice as some of the images were they fall short. value gradations are grey and pixelated. Despite my best efforts my own stuff using piezo is the same. I have a hard time understanding in some of the cases where the images are very strong why they don't go the extra yard. It's the difference between fake and "Oh Baby".
    Also at APIS we saw images printed alternative process (plat/pall) using digital negs. Something I'd really like to do if I can do a better job than with negs. Some of the people there are the best around at what they do with these negs and still these images looked digital. They are beautiful in their own right but pixelated non the less. Maybe it's apples and plastic oranges or pure arrogance on my part but I don't think digtizing images has found its own voice yet. Someday maybe.
     
  22. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I think that it is very difficult to have a full discussion of this issue on APUG because it is so far from the intent of the group. I'll just say that if you see ANY pixelation, posterisation, discontinuities in what should be continuous tone, unintended departure from a neutral tone, blocked shadows, blown-out highlights, dot effect or banding then it is not representative of the best B&W digital prints.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  23. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Helen's points are all valid and apply equally as well to colour inkjets. The strength of a colour inkjet is NOT how it competes with a c-print or ciba, but how it allows for a different kind of colour image. This different image, as Helen states, is beter discussed elsewhere.

    I can't speak to B&W with similar knowledge, but assume the same applies.
     
  24. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Maybe you didn't mean it this way but...no, it's not hard to judge. _I_ consider my results to be a satisfactory _and_ fulfilling physical manifestation of my photographic efforts. That is true. You need not judge whether it is true.

    My point isn't to be combatative - it really isn't. My point is that it's still about the creative process, and whether one feels he/she is getting what he/she needs/wants from photography. When I look at my prints, I feel fulfilled.

    aaaaand...cut. :smile:

    allan
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Member

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    If by "pixelated" you mean process flaws such as visible dithering patterns, banding, posterization, etc. I did not see this in any of the better work at APIS produced from digital negatives. Certainly you would not have seen it in my carbon or palladium prints, and I did not see it in the Pt./Pd. work of Dick Arentz and a number of other photographers working with digital negatives.

    However, I would agree that in some cases there is a digital look that results from the fact that Pt./Pd. prints made from digital negatives have a very linear straight line curve that is quite different from the typical curve of Pt./Pd. prints, which tends to have a very long toe and shoulder. In fact, I started a thread in the gray area of the Alternative photography area that addresses this very point. This is not an issue with my work in carbon since this process is almost perfectly straight line anyway, but I can definitley appreciate the difference between Pt./Pd. prints made with in-camera negatives as opposed to digital negatives.

    Sandy
     
  26. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    My position remains that this is nothing more than a limitation of current digital technology. It's challenging because the hardware and software used make it challenging. Give it a few more years for automation to fully take hold, and consumers will have "professional" quality scanning/printing facilities on their desks, probably purchased from Best-Buy for under $300. The resulting works will be phenominal, 1-click, and a dime a dozen.. I'm not sure how it could be argued that this is not going to happen..