It can be printed with offset or rotogravure. Offset has no dot depth and printing surface is flat but rotogravure is like carbon print and every dot have a different depth and width. If your dots are square , it could be offset but if they are elliptical they are rotogravure or tiffdruck in german . If anyone interested in the beauty of screening interplay , find national geographic magazine from 86 to 89. They are all ektachrome and kodachrome shots and dai nippon drum scanner work. The other thing for rotogravure , the cylinders are copper and they dont wear with 1 million of prints. Offset always change the print quality with short run because cylinders are aluminum.
All the food packaging to wall papers are still done with rotogravure.
Offset ink is in tonal control during print with water additive. Water lower the ink quality and rotogravure uses alcohol as additive.
Alcohol evaporates very fast and leave a clearer dot.
At 70s or that era , tiffdruck done with coating copper with gelatin and uv shot with film. It leaves a three dimensional relief on gelatin and acid react to thickness of gelatin. Its a metal carbon print with screening.
I have a article at articles section.
The tonal depth of rotogravure and ink density is times more than offset.
Last gelatin rotogravure is at india AFAIK. Now they dont use copper plate and directly engrave on cylinder with laser or hammer and it increases the prices. Rotogravure technique is the pinacle of printing and ink research is massive.
These guys dont use film separations also and you dont need a laser on film screener. If you find a loupe and dive in to national geographic 86-89 issues , its better than sex.
Somehow I mistakenly thought this was APUG ... but whatever.... I don't personally classify halftone effects as "grain". Yet if you want to see perhaps the ultimate in "gritty" analog reproduction due to the printing process itself, take a look at color Fresson.
Fantastically detailed answer Mustafa, thanks for that!
What the OP is describing almost sounds like dye transfer, but I don't think dye transfer prints were easily made from slide film.
I saw Mark Cohen's True Color exhibition a few years back and his dye transfer prints were beautiful. The prints had a rich and fully saturated fine grain to them -- a nice contrast/complement to the squalid subject matter.
I agree with the OP. Fine grain in Slide film can look great, especially in the OOF areas. I only project them or see them with reflected sunlight (makeshift lightbox).
But, This week I'm gonna pass a lab and have a Kodachrome slide (hybrid) printed.
Generally, I like rather fine grain in colour. Overly exaggerate isn't very pretty.
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What you might have seen in the dye transfer prints was the grain of the separation negatives, not the original transparency film, though
it could be a cumulative effect too. The dyes bleed to some extent, so this is not the best medium for rendering original fine detail. But I obviously do not know the specifics in this case, since so many variables can be involved in this particular printing process.
To me the film grain gives a picture substance. I like that, which is why I enjoy making prints from 35mm negatives.
Tri-X 400 grain from 35mm looks very good.
But then again, it isn't that important either. It always starts with a good picture, in my opinion; there is nothing more dull than a photograph that gives me no emotional reaction, and that is printed to perfection. But a jewel of a print is one where I really get into the story, and the grain and all that becomes immaterial, far beyond the point where I care.
But to harmonize with the OP's post, I rather take a print with visible grain than one without. I think it's something subconscious at work.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Grain can be very effective for certain images. Just look at this gutsy grainy image taken by Sgt Rupert Frere in Afganistan. I believe it was a digital picture, but grain/noise tells the same story.
The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention
I have fond memories of the likes of 3M 640T and Agfachrome 1000...great for the right subject.
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
Yes I like a little bit of grain. Those modern images from digital cameras that are totally grain/noise free just look too perfect. I like an image to look like it was taken with a camera and lens, not a PERFECT image of reality. My DSLR is an older one. Many whine about that model being super noisy above ISO 1600. Yes, if you blow it up to 100% on the monitor and pixel peep, sure it's noisy. But I have an 8X12 from that camera that was shot at ISO 2500 and it's not bad.
Pentax 645, Pentax 6X7MLU, and many Nikons-F2 Photomic F2AS FM2N N2000 N6000 N6006 Nikomat FTN