Vivid/Saturated Prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tiberiustibz, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I've started color printing. It is great fun. I recently took a trip to Death Valley and shot buckets of film and I brought along a digital camera for the hell of it and took 1400 pictures (most of which are the exposure checking ones).

    I processed the film at home and then made contacts and have printed a few. I also inkhosed some pieces of paper in the forms of digital images (most out of camera jpgs). They both look great. However, even after all the fun and inhaling chemistry fumes, the prints from my digital camera are more vivid/saturated than my ol' fashioned ones. I tweaked the camera saturation before the trip.

    My question is: how might I get more vivid pictures while printing RA4? I'm currently shooting Reala and printing to Fuji Crystal Archive. Don't get me wrong, it looks amazing, but it's simply not as vivid as I want it. Is there a more vivid film to shoot? I understand kodak makes their NC/VC films. I'm considering trying a bit of that (maybe some kodak paper too) to compare and contrast (no pun intended). Does anyone know fuji films/what the most saturated print film is?

    Plan B which has come to my attention is to switch to slide printing with the old ilfochrome. I would shoot velvia and print from that. Any experiences/suggestions? I'm thinking of sending a slide off to be printed for me to see how it compares. I don't know how far I want to go and if I end up needing contrast masking I may just bail.

    I'm not going to be abandoning negative printing just yet. I have some paper I want to use and some experimenting to do. If it turns out to be difficult I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, but I'm just looking around before I settle fully into one film/paper.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    You can rate fuji pro s at 100 and get tons of saturation.

    If that still doesn't do it for you, and you want zany slides, look at fortia SP at megaperls. Fortia can give uebervelviesque effects.

    But you can get almost slide-like saturation simply by overexposing pro s, pro h, and pro z. Likewise the comparable kodak print films.
     
  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    The most saturated colour film I've used is the old Agfa Ultra 50. That was a stunning film, but you'd struggle to find any now.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think a significant reason that people find they need contrast masks for every Ilfochrome print is that they are also using highly saturated slide films like Velvia. Most reproduction processes pick up contrast from generation to generation, so if one starts with a high contrast original, it's no surprise that a contrast mask may be necessary. Ages ago, when I made Cibachromes (and they were still called that) I usually printed from Agfachrome 100 (and it was still called that), and rarely needed much more than a little normal dodging and burning. Try a less saturated film like Astia with Ilfochrome, and it might come out just right.
     
  5. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    have you tried cross-processing color slide film?
    take a look at Mr. Callow's gallery for some great examples...
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    How about the agfa films today?
     
  7. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I have not, I processed negative film as a positive with some B+W developer plus the C41...

    Which films work well for that?
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Agfa no longer make films unfortunately.
     
  9. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    To get saturation in the print you need it in the neg. If shooting Reala, rate it at 50 (process normal) and print it onto CA type 'C' or Endura Ultra -- Glossy for both or print it to a flex (Fuji Flex or Endura Flex). Reala can rock with saturation if you get it enough light and the scene has colour and contrast to begin with. Kodak's 400uc rated at 200 print to Ultra was a good combo, but UC is gone. Beyond that, I haven't shot enough of the new fuji 160c or Kodak's 160vc to recommend either for punch, NC and 160s are nice films but not too punchy (160s has more than NC). If you want juicy photographs and like to print and don't mind a challenge crossprocess kodak chromes.

    Agfa Ultra was the king and really a great film -- I have one roll left.
     
  11. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I agree with JD that you require it in the neg first. With Reala I have shot it at 100 or 80 and push processed ½ a stop for high contrast fashion type stuff.

    Push processing is 3.15 standard 3.45 1 stop and 4.15 2 stops.

    Mick.
     
  12. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Also, don't forget that high contrast/saturation is a double-edged sword. People generally flock to a high contrast bold look, and it's very easy to prefer that print in an A-B comparison with a more natural-looking scene.

    John Sexton has said that many printers, especially new ones, tend to print too contrasty (and too dark). It's the same with digital photographers who use too much sharpening. It's such candy for the eye and it's hard to look at it any other way after you've seen it bumped up that way. But I guarantee that after a few years (or hopefully less!) you'll see the garishness.
     
  13. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mick is correct regarding contrast, but that will only get you saturation at the upper end -- this is a good example of where saturation and contrast will go their separate ways. PVia is also correct that digital printers and I believe commercial print processors (frontiers, noritsu and what ever Kodak uses) will tend toward contrast and saturation. I believe this is due to market preference and as a way to rescue slightly to really badly exposed negs. I've printed with Kodak's consumer papers (edge and I think royal) and they seemed to have the most punch of any paper. I can't be sure of this last bit as I've printed from just about every paper I could get my hands on, but didn't take notes for most. I've noticed with digital camera's or at least the few I've used that they do seem to boost the saturation a bit and they tend not to have a toe or shoulder and therefore are more contrasty then film. With the Nikon there are settings for natural (NL), medium (SL which is the default) and vivid (VL). The NL setting is similar to the way film renders saturation, the default, SL, is like a chrome and the vivid is over the top to the point that shooting monochromatic subjects can create weird colour shifts and colour noise as it searches for something to boost. This leads me to believe that PVia and Sexton are correct that the digital market feels that you can never have too much cow bell.
     
  14. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Plan B which has come to my attention is to switch to slide printing with the old ilfochrome. I would shoot velvia and print from that. Any experiences/suggestions? I'm thinking of sending a slide off to be printed for me to see how it compares. I don't know how far I want to go and if I end up needing contrast masking I may just bail.

    Hi there.
    Velvia onto ciba polyester is the richest image I produce.
    I'm happy with most values rendered, and don't use contrast masks. The older and now defunct fiber paper was rich, but a little less contrasty.
    All we are saying, is give ciba a chance.
    DT
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    IF you can still find them => Kodak UltraColor 100 and Kodak UltraColor 400. I brought up all I could find to keep it from the hoarders!

    Steve