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Thread: Color Printing?

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    That's precisely why we need, as I asked, for everyone on APUG who has had experience of the new Fuji paper to give us their experiences as you have.

    I have no doubt that frotog's opinion is genuine as indeed is Drew Wiley's but as things stood it was simply two APUGers with diametrically opposed opinions which doesn't help those who want to try RA4 printing and don't want to try cutting their own sheets from Kodak roll paper which it seems does not suffer from the same problems as the Fuji paper if I have understood frotog's contention correctly.

    pentaxuser
    I also use Fuji color papers and see no problems. Excellent products. My only difficulty is that they have such a huge variety of papers, and it's hard to figure out from their web site which one I'd like the most. Verbal descriptions are not always a good indicator to the characteristics of the paper. I wish Fuji would offer a sampler pack so I could try them out and buy a roll or two of the product that suits my style the best.

    The new papers have much sharper contrast and much stronger/cleaner colors, so color mistakes such as color cross-over on negatives or unintentionally mixed lighting are much more visible. Subtle near-gray scale prints require higher skill level from the printer compared to when one used the old papers. I suspect that's because the old papers had much muddier colors than the modern ones. I personally like the new papers better - you can always muddy up your negatives by adding carefully constructed masks or adjusting processing, but it's nearly impossible to clean up colors of a muddy paper. Really, that should not be a deterrent for the new printers.

    Eugene.

  2. #62

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    Excellent point, Eugene. Part of the problem isn't that the paper has changed as much as films have. Having more saturated, more contrasty
    color neg films available means there is less room for error in printing. That just comes with the territory. It's still far easier than printing chromes, but some of these newer pro films need proper color balance to begin with. But realize that some of the papers on their website are no longer in production, like Super C and Type P, though they are still commonly available until supplies run out. Everything being made now is somehow based on the CAII formula, even the expensive Fujiflex product. Neither Kodak nor Fuji are particularly good at communicating to potential new users. Over the years, I've learned that often, to find out the facts, you have to test for yourself. That takes time and money, but it's also a fact of life in photography, because supplies always keep changing.

  3. #63
    labyrinth photo's Avatar
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    we are very happy using Fuji CA DPII. the cut sheet paper here in the UK is thinner in the base and therefore kinks more easily, the roll paper seems to be better but we don't have much evidence to back that up, maybe it's a tactile thing.
    regardless of whether it's better or worse than old papers is irrelevant, it is all we've got so we make the best of it.
    if you aren't getting what you want then you pull out a few tricks to get the print where you want it. improvements in film stock help.
    we just keep on going regardless, it still beats any other print technique out there and gets the best results so simply. i speak with the other pro lab printers in london and no one is complaining about paper and i see great print after great print being made.
    i know here i'd rather be working day in day out so you just get on with it.
    Labyrinth Photographic Printing
    121 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 0QN
    020 8709 9961
    http://www.labyrinthphotographic.co.uk/

  4. #64

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    [QUOTE=labyrinth photo;1557431]
    we just keep on going regardless, it still beats any other print technique out there and gets the best results so simply. i speak with the other pro lab printers in london and no one is complaining about paper and i see great print after great print being made.
    /QUOTE]

    Without wishing to appear "picky" can I just ask that you confirm that you do optical enlarging as we home enthusiasts do? I infer that you do but you don't actually state this in so many words. This is important as the problem with Fuji CAII paper is alleged to occur with optical enlarging. The kind of mini-lab RA4 printing is these days mainly laser printing for which the paper is said to be optimised.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser

  5. #65

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    Do yourself a favor. Download the tech sheet for the specific product or products being offered in your country. You need to get the actual
    Fuji product no. for this, although that number will also involve size and packaging notationo. You just don't seem to get it. "Digitally Optimized"
    does not necessarily equate to "non-analog", or even "less than ideal analog". Most minilab prints come out ugly regardless of whatever was
    put into them.

  6. #66

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    The reason you need the product code is so you can compare it with what is being offered in major markets like the US. You UK Fuji site is
    quite abbreviated compared to ours. I enlarge onto "Crystal Archive Type II", which is distinctly specified for both digital and analog, not DPII, which I've never even seen.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    All one has to do is visit Fuji's website, or take a sneak peak at an actual dealer's price list, to realize that "Crystal Archive" is a suite of products, just like I said, and not one paper.
    Fuji began using the tm "Crystal Archive" sometime in the late nineties to designate their, at that time, newly developed, longer lasting emulsions. To be clear, all the current fuji silver halide papers carry the CA trademark. CAII, their only paper currently being packaged in cut sheets is the same paper as their commercial minilab paper. AGAIN, JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T HEAR ME THE PAST TWO TIMES - CAII IS THE ONLY FUJI PAPER AVAILABLE IN CUT SHEETS. CAII, as I said before, is not available in any sizes larger than a 12" roll or a 20x24" sheet.

    Their professional papers (and trans and metallic materials), none of which are available in cut sheet form, all carry the further designations of "super" and "professional". None of these papers were ever intended for use under an enlarger. This doesn't mean that they won't work, only that they produce poor results compared to the former, optically optimized papers that they replaced. Can you contrast and color mask them for better control under an enlarger? Of course you can. You can also use high fidelity analogue mikes and tube amps and record directly to mp3 if you're so inclined. But the majority of people who know better would think you a fool. The kinder among them would consider you clever, but a fool nonetheless.

    Here's a link to type ii http://www.fujifilmusa.com/products/..._II/index.html

    Notice their other offering on the right hand margin.

    CA super type pdn is the same as super type p except with back print. CA super type CN (the rightful descendent of the old "CA Super C") is nowhere near the same as CAII, the paper currently available in cut sheets.

    All the professional papers, unlike the CAII, exhibit the dmax you'd expect from a professional line, whether exposed by an enlarger or by laser light. The CAII, on the other hand, besides having the cross-over typical of a digital paper being used in an tungsten/halogen traditional drkrm., has the worst dmax of any of the papers currently available. This is not at all surprising as CAII is fuji's budget paper, primarily intended for laser exposures in frontier machines like the one at the local walmart and with prints that small, you can get away with horrible dmax (read less silver).

    I think it's safe to assume that Fuji's cut sheet packaging of CAII makes up less than 1% of the total sales of this particular emulsion in the CA line.

    Does anyone here really think Fuji is worrying about the extreme minority of their clients who are still using enlargers to make their exposures?

  8. #68
    Truzi's Avatar
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    I certainly cannot add anything of value to the technical data posted, nor do I have any experience with color printing.
    However, I would like to point something out. Look to other industries, and the labeling on those products (any products).

    Being optimized for digital printing may in fact indicate some sort of difference that makes it work with current digital printing, and better than a previous version did. I do not see that as excluding or harming optical printing ability, per se.
    It does also seem a bit like an advertising catch-phrase found on so many products that want to show they are still current with whatever is predominant or in-style at the time (except for BP's gas with "Invigorate, which seems to harken to advertising of the 50s, long before my time).
    I'm not saying there are no differences, but I would merely venture a guess that the largest difference in digitally optimized paper is the statement that it is optimized for digital.
    Truzi

  9. #69
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    You guys have pretty much talked me into it. Once the basement build out is completed later this year and I have running water in my darkroom, I'm pretty sure I'll get back into color.

    I printed RA4 without problems in the 80s along with Kodak Type R and what was then Cibachrome. Maybe I was just uncritical but I still have prints from those days that I think look good (and some that are clearly badly faded on Type R, not sure why some faded and some didn't - the RA4 and Cibachrome look fine) and didn't have a problem with it. Drew's advice in other matters has been spot on. I'll do it again in a few months.

  10. #70
    bvy
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    Welcome back, Roger. It will be good to have another color printer to talk to -- or in my case, learn from.



 

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