What is a C print?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by mark, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    I'm letting my ignorance flop out on the table here. I hear mention of these all the time but I don't know what they are. Can someone tell me? How is the process different from others and why don't people like them?
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Color print developed by the C41 process.
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    Whelp, now I feel F-in stupid. Could it have been more obvious.
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Dont worry, I have had the same brain farts many times......:smile:
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, like just now. It's a color print, usually processed by the RA-4 process, from a negative, usually processed by the C-41 process.
     
  6. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    The "C" stands for Chromogenic.

    joe :smile:
     
  7. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    a lot of digital printers now use "C-Print" to describe their digital output, removing all description that it had anything to do with digital whatsoever :sad:
     
  8. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Are you sure about this?

    Cibachrome - Now Ilfochrome - is considered to be a classic direct positive "C " print, and the chemistry for that is either "P3 or P30". Kodak Radiance is another "direct positive" - process "R3/ R3000." I'm not familiar with Fujichrome papers.

    "C41" is negative color FILM chemistry. Unless I've been confused into buying additional chemistry through deliberate mislabeling, these are all not the same.

    Ilford "P30" is the only chemistry I'm really - and deliberately- afraid of. I think that the "nasitiness" of this chemistry and its unique disposal techniques is the real reason for the demise of Ilfochrome. Oh, boy - that little packet that says, "Cut this packet open and, holding the edges together, immerse the cut edges under the surface of the liquid, taking precautions to prevent any dust from escaping into the air. Mix *ONLY* in an area with plentiful ventilation".
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...well yeah, could be. Back when I was doing color development both prints and film, it seemed the chemistry was the same, but that was more than 20 years ago, so it could have changed names by now. In essence, is a color print developed in color chemistry, as opposed to and ink jet print.
     
  10. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I guess a "C-Print" could now stand for a CR^P Print!
     
  11. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    I found this...

    http://www.californiahistoricalsoci...ction/photo_guide/processes_descriptions.html

    joe :smile:
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I don't understand what you mean. Are you saying that some digital printers are calling inkjet prints C-prints?

    Sandy
     
  13. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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  15. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Sean,

    A C-print describes the final process. It is not a digital/analogue issue.

    From my understanding of what these folks are doing they are making real c-prints, i.e. wet processed prinfs, from digital files. If that is indeed the case, and the caveat is that I am not sure that it is, there is absolutely nothing wrong in calling the work c-print. Prints by any process, whether it be cyanotype, gum, carbon, Pt./Pd., etc. don't care and don't specify what kind of negative was used.

    The great majority of c-prints being made today are from either original digital negatives or from scans of film originals.

    Sandy
     
  16. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    So as far as your concerned, a hand crafted c-print and a "digital c-print" produced by a machine are identical in their intrinsic value? I just can't stomach that because it seems misleading and a bit too convenient, but I guess it is a buyer beware market..
     
  17. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Yes, exactly, that is what I believe. A c-print is a c-print is a c-print, regardless of whether it was made with a wet-processed negative or from a digital file. Now, if an inkjet print is called a c-print, that is deception. Or if an inkjet print is called a carbon or Pt./Pd. print, that is a deception.

    In the 19th century there were many kinds of print processes, i.e. albumen, salted paper, carbon, collodion, and various forms of silver gelatin. These prints were made from wet-plate collodion, dry plates, negatives on silver nitrate surfaces, etc. etc. Nowadays, in the vast majority of cases no one knows, or could care less, what kind of negatives were used to make the print. The final image has always been defined by the printing process, not the negative used to print the image.

    But back to color. Some of the most beautiful color prints I have ever seen are color carbons, and Tod Gangler in Seattle makes some of the best prints of this type that I have seen. He spends hours and hours, if not days, hand-crafting each print. But he uses digital negatives because the end product is superior in color balance and density with this kind of control. Are you going to tell me that the product would be superior if he fried his brain and tried to make balanced separations with wet processes materials? Sorry, I don't think so. I would equate that kind of obsession to intellectual masturbation, "inutile et sans plaisir." And, since I have actually made color carbon prints from balanced separations with wet processing I don't hesitate to say this, hey, been there and done that, and it ain't better, just more masochistic.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2004
  18. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Not taking sides in this, I do agree with Sandy that the process of the PRINT is what names the process - not the way the negative was created. Now, if you read much of what is said in ads these days you will here them talking about plt. inks, which have nothing to do with plt. prints - not sure that there is any noble metal in the ink. Would I like a print made from a digital file - probably not, it is not what I collect. I do recall some article in the past few years talking about the carbon process, one that described a color print from the late 1800's that was described as the most stable, richly colored print seen...don't know if the new carbon prints can match the older process or not. Would like to see one though.
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    This may be true in that they are Chromogenic prints (c-prints) made via the RA4 process at the local 1 hour photoplace and are digital scans of 35mm snap shots.

    The quantity of this work alone might be the majority of all colour prints.

    I would think that many, if not a majority of, professional work is done similarly for proofs and packaged prints (portrait and wedding).

    I suspect the traditional custom print is still done non digital by a wide margin.

    Digital is a very slick and efficient way to get to point 'b' with colour work. RA4 process in combination with digital exposure is infinitely faster than inkjet output.

    One can argue which is a better print by appearance or which process is more fulfilling, but it is difficult to argue against the business case of digital >> RA4.

    You can teach monkeys how to load the machine and push the buttons and if you can make Koolaide you can probably be taught how to mix the chemistry.

    The fact that RA4 is hanging on and is such an integral part of the digital wave gives me some sense of relief. It means that I will still be able to get my chems and that more R&D will be spent on the materials.
     
  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Quoting not really working, so...

    (Common usage) is that "Type `C' prints are from negatives; Type `R' from transparencies ..."

    Not really worth a long message. Labelling prints as either type "C" or "R" is not very common anymore. I would understand type "C" to be a direct positive, and ... I really would not have a label for the usual, more common color negative prints.
     
  21. AllanD

    AllanD Subscriber

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    Aren't these "type" names just gallery speak ? I don't think that that the intention is to have a name that describes a specific process (e.g RA4). Perhaps someone in the gallery trade could explain.

    I thought everyone in the art market was calling inkjet output "giclee" or "iris".
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    Apparently Allen is right. I saw a polaroid listed at a gallery site as a Dye Dispersion print. That was funny.:smile:
     
  23. steve

    steve Member

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    What's really funny about all of this, is that the wet darkroom advocates never seem to have a problem with package printers spewing out hundreds of thousands of school photos or wedding packages. Or, minilab setups turning out millions of photo prints. Neither requiring much in the way of photographic intervention or even knowledge to produce a print. Yeah, those are "real photographs."

    Just chuck in the film, push the appropriate buttons and let the automatic exposure setup, take over. I can see how that's way more valid and creative than something coming from the dreaded LightJet or Lambda printer...

    Jim Dine calls his inkjet prints "pigment print" - since he uses pigment inks to produce the final image - any problems with that description?
     
  24. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    As a maker of hand made (my hands) photographs, I'm bothered by that description... But I can see why if you do inkjet outputs, how that is an attractive title for you.

    Everyone wants to make their work seem more special, less pedestrian...

    Inkjet gets a bad name because of the common inkjet sitting on our desks. These are not tools to make art work that LASTS. By changing the paper and the inks one can make prints that are very good looking, attractive and long lasting (time will tell). I just don't spend my money on them that's all... Same with that silly Giclee description that gets used so often... Sounds special, sounds exotic... But in reality it means to spurt/spray.

    joe :smile:
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I have a problem with the use of the terms "pigment print" and "carbon print" to describe inkjet output because both terms have been used to describe historical processes, some of which are still in use today. This makes the use of the term confusing to buyers and collectors of photographs, and possibly misleading, though that would depend on the intention of the artist. My conclusion is that any inkjet printer marketing his/her prints as either "pigment prints" or "carbon" prints is either ignorant of other historical and contemporary use (least offensive), or is being deliberately deceptive (worse case).

    Another issue is that the ink sets used to make prints on inkjet printers do not consist entirely of pigments, but of a combination of pigments and inks. This brings into question their permanence vis-a-vis processes that use pure pigments.

    In my opinion the primary distinguishing quality of prints made with inkjet printers is the particular dye or pigmented ink set used by the printer so it would make sense to me to describe prints that way. Calling a print an Ultra-Chrome or Dura-Brite, etc. tells one a lot more about the technical qualities of the print that by use of the generic term pigment print.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2004
  26. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I would agree in principle but would avoid brand names and call them Pigmented Inkjet prints or UV/Pigmented InkJet Prints

    This could easily be shortened to UPIG.