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  1. #21
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Golden Color, http://goldencolor.com/, does exquisite all optical work. I use them for large prints.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  2. #22
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    Not really, if your looking for a proof print, then the digital prints are cheap and the quality of the print is actually pretty good. In a 4x5 or 4x6 print from 35mm, if you take an all optical print and a digital RA4 print, you would be hard pressed to see the difference, unless you know which is which before hand. The advantage for the processor is that a roll of colour negative, B&W, and roll of colour slide film can be printed one after the other in any order, without changing the printer any. The computer determines what it's looking at, and then prints it. The benefit for the photographer is that your not spending 40 hours in the darkroom producing proof prints and better yet, your not paying someone else to spend 40 hours in the darkroom producing proof prints.

    If your looking for good enlargement prints, you want to do those yourself to give you control over the final result.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  3. #23
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wogster View Post
    Not really, if your looking for a proof print, then the digital prints are cheap and the quality of the print is actually pretty good. In a 4x5 or 4x6 print from 35mm, if you take an all optical print and a digital RA4 print, you would be hard pressed to see the difference, unless you know which is which before hand. The advantage for the processor is that a roll of colour negative, B&W, and roll of colour slide film can be printed one after the other in any order, without changing the printer any. The computer determines what it's looking at, and then prints it. The benefit for the photographer is that your not spending 40 hours in the darkroom producing proof prints and better yet, your not paying someone else to spend 40 hours in the darkroom producing proof prints.

    If your looking for good enlargement prints, you want to do those yourself to give you control over the final result.
    Yes and " The computer determines what it's looking at, and then prints it." That is the reason that the prints of the red rock country turned the foreground red sandstone to green sandstone requiring me to return everything to Qualex who promptly lost the negatives, the scans and all the prints. The best ting they did was go out of business!
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #24
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    Before the digitalization, there was a similar computer looking at the negative and adjusting exposure and color! Of course, it had far fewer "pixels" in it, so it most probably worked based on the average of the image. Well, the digital counterpart, even though it COULD be much better, is not much more intelligent. And due to the fact it can do more, it can also mess up more. The analog version cannot change contrast, only the exposure level and color balance.

    But what I have seen, the digital minilabs are pretty much the same, they just make minor adjustments in color balance and adjust the "brightness" of the image based on the average. Dark night scenes end up gray.

    Even before the "analog" computer, there was a person responsible for adjustments, but I think we have to go back for half a century for that. Anyway, all these automated systems have always supported and still support human intervention and it's up to the company whether they have a capable person and time to do that or not. Proper minilab operators would do that, at least when asked to...

  5. #25

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    In mini-labs you've got some kid making three dollars an hour. The week before he ran the popcorn
    machine at the theatre. Next week he'll be behind the counter at Starbucks, and the week after that
    he'll become some big box store manager learning how to create industrial accidents. By contrast,
    full-service custom labs generally offer relatively inexpensive machine prints and not just custom prints, but at least professionally monitor their equipment and routinely calibrate their chemisty. A better option if you can find it.

  6. #26

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    Personally, what I would do is send your film to a quality lab to get your film developed and have (scanned and printed) 4x6 proofs made. Alternatively, you could get your film developed and scanned to a low-res CD. Either way, you get a way to view your images and tell which ones you would like to have enlarged. Once you have chosen the images you like, send the negatives to a place that does optical enlargements, like Colourworks in Wilmington, DE (www.colourworks.com).

    This way, you're not paying extra for optical prints you don't need, but still getting the quality of optical prints for the best shots.
    "Panic not my child, the Great Yellow Father has your hand"--Larry Dressler

  7. #27

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    On the subject of printing. How does a high quality inkjet print (from a 120 neg) compare to a hybrid print? Equal or worse?

  8. #28

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    Depends, could be equal, better or worse. All depends on the skills of the people doing the printing.
    Bob

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-D659 View Post
    Depends, could be equal, better or worse. All depends on the skills of the people doing the printing.
    Thanks. I was worried that it could not be as good as hybrid or optical. I am learning now that inkjet prints are basically my only option here in Shanghai. That is the only way labs print here.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Yes and " The computer determines what it's looking at, and then prints it." That is the reason that the prints of the red rock country turned the foreground red sandstone to green sandstone requiring me to return everything to Qualex who promptly lost the negatives, the scans and all the prints. The best ting they did was go out of business!
    Okay a crappy lab is a crappy lab, whether the machines are operated by, computers, trained chimpanzees or even (gasp) people. I think one of the best ways of making sure that a lab is doing the right thing is Quality Control. The problem with a lot of labs is that the only quality control that gets done, is keeping track of the number of rolls through the soup for replenishment. Really you need someone who is properly trained to evaluate prints, it should be possible to look at a negative and then evaluate whether the print colours are correct, but it takes a lot of training and experience.

    However if your just looking to see which images are worth digging the darkroom out for, then most labs will get you close enough. In many ways a photograph is like a symphony, the negative is the score, the print is the performance.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

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