unhappy with frontier output

Discussion in 'APUG.ORG's "Gray" Area Subforum -NOW HYBRIDPHOTO.C' started by avandesande, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Is it just me or is something wrong frontier output on crystal archive?
    I find the colors to be a muddy cold color (this is at a pro lab)
    I like kodak processed paper better but it is getting harder and harder to find places to do this.
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Maybe this should be moved to the Grey Area?

    I get my large-ish colour prints done on FCA by a lab that uses a Frontier (www.ezprints.com). After spending a bit of time discovering the best way of preparing the files for them, I'm happy with the quality and amazed by the price. Let me know if you would like a sample print or two.

    As far as I understand, the Frontier assumes that the image is in sRGB. That's not the greatest colour space, and is probably not exploiting the capabilities of FCA. I get some prints made at a local lab in NYC (www.printspacenyc.com) which uses a Chromira and Endura paper. The Frontier/FCA results compare well with those. I guess that a lot is down to the lab.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    I have my color negs done on a Frontier and ( depending on the lab ) get fine prints if the operator is free of drugs, cares about the job, and the lab itself encourages good quality.

    The paper isn't the issue, it's the lab / operator.

    As for ( GRAY AREA ALERT ) printing stuff I scan, it's easy-peasy to get great prints with just a little prep work.

    .
     
  4. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I am going to a good lab.. perhaps fuji film will work better? I have always been partial to portra films but just can't seem to get good prints on a fuji.

    I think moving this to the grey area is a little harsh... I don't think it is really possible any more to have your color printed 'digital free' unless you do it yourself.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    The grey area was set up for this exact thing. It's not harsh it is just keeping with what apug is about.
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It has nothing to do with either the film or the paper. With this printer, your negatives/slides are scanned first, and were probably improperly adjusted before being sent to the printer. Just find another lab.
     
  7. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I usually don't look in the grey forum.
    Any beginner that is taking up color is going to be running into the same problem I am having, not many people are going to mess around with color photography and jump into c-41 and ra-4 at the same time.

    I seems like a legal distinction more than a practical one. Film goes into a machine and a silver print comes out.

     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Frontier/LightJet/Chromira etc. are probably not even appropriate topics for the Grey Area, which is more for things like digital negs for alternative processes, but I'll move it there for now.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    If that is what this sub-forum is for, why did Sean write this in the rules:

    "This forum is for the discussion of using traditional and digital processes together as an alternative process. Some examples would be creating digital negatives for contact printing on photographic paper, or scanning film then outputting that scan to a digital print."?

    Thanks,
    Helen
     
  10. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Helen thanks for the advice about the color spaces. Didn't mean to bite your head off about the gray area thing!
    I always though that frontier had different profiles for different negative materials?
    I have zero interest in manipulating scans so I am at the mercy of the lab.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I would suggest that zero interest in manipulating scans will indeed put you at the mercy of any lab.
    In any colour print the subjectivness of colour is astounding, You should as suggested find a lab who wants to work with you in achieving a colour balance that is pleasing to your tastes and any good lab technician with some reference can work the file to meet your needs.
    We always prefer to have a small proof print for colour /density /contrast reference when working with photographers. We do not work with a frontier but with a Lambda and try to provide a very custom print.*reference prints are the key*
    If the reference is too blue , cyan, yellow , dark , light , muddy, you would convey this to your printer so that final adjustments can be made.
    As Helen points out , she has managed her files and found a convient printer to follow her requirements. * She controls the colour density*
    Most frontiers , dlabs and other mini lab operations are set up for volumne and good price.* the service side you may be required to provide* or you may need to purchase a much more expensive custom print .
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're not interested in doing the digital work, then shoot slides and you can tell the lab to match the slide or to adjust as you would normally with a lab that prints optically.
     
  13. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I have thought about that. It would also set me up for when/if I decide to do color myself since the choice would ilfochrome.

     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    as bob said, some labs will work with you, offer profiles/so you can 'soft proof" your work, and they may offer color correction services along with proof prints. it ain't cheep, but until you get your "profiles" to match what you want your output to look your prints will come out as you describe.

    good luck!
    john
     
  15. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    The Fuji Frontier like any machine is only as good as it's operator. But it depends on exactly what you didn't like about the prints you had done. When the lab I worked at switched from an analogue machine to digital (a Noritsu, but similar to F/F) I felt that the prints were really kind of lacking compared to the analogue machine. Kind of muddy as you describe. But after getting used to the machine and making some adjustments to the default profile it was much better.
    Now I have gone back to an analogue machine, and I have to say for some prints I prefer the analogue. Working on an analogue machine you really notice the difference in film types, which is somewhat minimised on a digital machine. I like being able to see the actual grain, projected straight on to the paper, not a computer processed type of grain. Some colours and gradiations reproduce better optically printed, IMO. A good, sharp well exposed neg printed optically is still impressive I think, although very few would seem to agree with me on that these days!
    OTOH digital is much bettter when it comes to dust and scratches, overexposed & underexpeosed negs, slightly out of focus negs, and with a digital lab it is generally much, much easier to get an acceptable result.

    Not sure if this ramble is of any help, but there it is.