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  1. #11

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    My belief is that the more competent and sophisticated the printing of a slide is in terms of making contast control masks, highlight masks and color correction masks etc. the more the print begins to look as if it were done on print film. Making and registering such masks requires much skill and equipment that can be hard to find these days. Making first rate internegatives is very demanding of a high degree of skill.

    To shoot transparency film is fun. Projecting transparencies is a nifty way to view your work. It opens an entirely different means of photographic presentation. Typically I believe that buying and having processed transparency film is more expensive that buying and having developed your print film without prints...negatives only.

    When it comes to making prints my opinion is that print film is the way to go.

    C41 is not overly hard to process yourself and should you choose to do so you could use the same chemicals to process your c41 b&w film. The problem will be cost effectiveness of using the chemicals before they croak on you.

    The results of using C41 B&W print film can be quite nice. It also offers quick and easy development at many locations. My preference for b&w is to use the conventional black & white film for printing. I too very much like the Fuji 160 print films.

    I have much less experience in printing in color than "forever". It will be a couple of years before I start my forth decade of doing so.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12
    vic vic's Avatar
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    black&white is balck&film .. real one, not c-41 .. sorry , this is colorless picture to me... black&white is languege - it has its art side and its craft side ...

    about slides vs print ...
    if u wanna go from 35 to big prints (bigger than 30x40cm / 12x16 ) ... i think it is absolutly neccessary to use the best techniques. a optical enlarging can take it with negative film too, but if u r about scanning, then it should be the highest quality (imacon, creo and alike pro services).. here, a slide film (correctly exposed etc) is preferred, simply because it scans better rite from the beginning. but if u use the camera in more freely reportage manner, i think the negative has a bit more advantage even here, cause it is more flexible ...
    slide films that are very flexible (but still not as much as a good negative like fuji pro 160s for example) = fuji astia 100 and fuji provia 400X, the provia 100 and even velvia 100F are ok too ... but again, some accuracy is still required to make them shine and printable to that magnification

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft View Post
    My belief is that the more competent and sophisticated the printing of a slide is in terms of making contast control masks, highlight masks and color correction masks etc. the more the print begins to look as if it were done on print film. Making and registering such masks requires much skill and equipment that can be hard to find these days. Making first rate internegatives is very demanding of a high degree of skill.

    The contrast control and any (usually optional) colour correction filtration is the hallmark of the Ilfochrome Classic (Cibachrome) process, founded in 1963. Contrast masking is necessary for high contrast films such as RVP (Velvia); it is also used to negate scratches on the slide i.e. in clear sky area. True, the process requires a lot of skill and experience: my printer has been doing it since working at Ilford UK in 1970!

    Contrary to an earlier thread that prints can be made from trannies by scanning them, the Ciba process has absolutely no scanning anywhere, so the resulting print is as close as physically and colourimetrically accurate to the transparency as can be. The Ciba process has no K (black, hence the contrast masking) only C/M/Y channels so the result is very very different if the tranny is scanned and then imported into a computer: at a basic level, the colour space does not match as trannies (e.g. Velvia) has quite an extended gamut while RGB monitors do not.

    I believe Ciba media (traditional mylar-based media) when framed to a museum-grade conservation standard, has a mean storage life of 700 years (that is, matted with cotton rag mat, UV-retardant glass and vac-sealed). None of us are going to be around then, but hey! There's nothing wrong with leaving a lasting impression!
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  4. #14

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    My references to the skill level required were intended to be cautionary for the person wishing to do their own printing.

    If someone else is doing the work for you the I believe that the investment shifts from the learning curve to wallet.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  5. #15
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft View Post
    My references to the skill level required were intended to be cautionary for the person wishing to do their own printing.

    If someone else is doing the work for you the I believe that the investment shifts from the learning curve to wallet.
    They're not doing all of my work. I have 7 years' hands-on experience with Cibas working with the printer, and have made at least 17 / 30x45cm cibas at material cost only (usually $180 for 30x45cm, then add another $152 for matting+framing...). Unfortunately, I cannot be in two distant places at once and often the studio or location keeps me grounded; but the printer still has 4 pages of technics and instructions to work through! It took 4 months to get my last 30x45cm print done; the printer beavered away alone as I was overseas as an artist-in-residence.

    I don't know of anybody who does their own Ciba printing in this day and age. My old camera club in 1991 (long since folded) often exhibited home-spun cibas that caught my eye. The trouble is they were almost always let down badly by imprudent trimming, or shoddy matting; times have changed! My personal mantra is to treat the imaging holistically from conception, then start to finish and don't ever cut corners (that suggests avoid using digital and/or inkjet stuff). In my study I have 3 early RA-4 prints produced from RVP trannies in the mid- to late-1990s; nostalgic and scenically attractive as they are, they look positively bland besides Cibas from a later generation.

    I can only wildly imagine the cost of setting up for home ciba printing. What would that be??
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  6. #16

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    Slide film is much less forgiving than negative film, especially in exposure. It has higher contrast, and, the Fuji films especially, stronger saturation. It is also more subject to color casts (except Kodachrome). That means that you really have to have an excellent transparency to get an excellent print. The careful work that takes comes with practice, so your early adventures may be disappointing. For traditional prints, Ilfochrome (Cibachrome) is now the only possibility (unless you want to do alternative processes). I've used a little of it, and it is excellent material, and it is very easy to use. But it is expensive. You can scan slides and make digital prints. You still need a very good transparency to get very good results, but the process works well. I prefer negative film for prints, either traditional or digital. You have a greater variety of products to choose from to get the effects you want, and the contrast is not a problem. You also have a bit more flexibility in traditional printing. I find that digital printing is also easier with negative films.

  7. #17

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    You could try Mr Robert Pace for someone who knows a bit about such printing and could advise you as to where else it may be done. Put on yoyr googles and go for it.

    Intriguing to me is the possibilty that PDJ can be at two nearby places simultaneously.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  8. #18
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    I have used all of the above mentioned printing methods. The Cibachrome is the way to go but expensive and harder to find. My local lab used to do inter-negative work for me and the results were very good. Almost as good as the Cibachrome. But as of late I have use the hybrid method. I scan them and upload them to an online printer. And for the most part I get really nice prints all the way up to 12X18. It is time consuming to scan at the highest resolution but it does work. I prefer slide for the tight grain and the usually more saturated colors. But the cost per roll has pushed me to print for the most part.
    "There is something about the mystery
    of what is on a roll of film that keeps
    me shooting, none of that digital
    instant gratification for me."

  9. #19

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    What is needed to print slides.
    The first thing that is needed is to be realistic. Yeah, I know. It cost little to have verbal wet dreams about doing this or that. Sure it would be fun to modify a Hammerli single shot 22 freestyle pistol that is capable of extraordinary results and to turn it into a 45 auto. Sure been there and done that if one is asking if I ever had ideas of doing some wonderful and allowing it to run out of my mouth and down my chin and across my lap.

    Here is what I believe would be helpful...actually pretty damned necessary to approach the best that R printing offers. I am assuming that one already has a darkroom and enlarger with at the very least a filter drawer.

    A film punch to cover the required sizes. Condit mfg, prior to leaving the field of battles to the computer and scanner made these. I have one that will fit sizes from 35mm thru 4x5. Graphic supply houses mostlikey still offer some brand or the other of them. These will punch holes into film to register allow for aligning masks.

    Pin glasses in each film size being used. This is a set of small pins set into glass that will match the holes from film punch. A transparency that has been punched could be put upon these to produce masks when film is used with it in the dark and developed.

    A good manual so that you can get a small inkling of WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE UNDERTAKING. THIS IS NOT CHILD'S PLAY. Robert Pace's book Masking for Photographic Processes is a good starting point. 10 years ago he sold copies of this book which he has self published for $46.00. It is a goldmine of information that will not impress on first sight. Mr Pace is in his 6th decade of being an America Icon at doing this and an all round very nice man. Please do not waste his time. If you are in contact with him Please...MOUTH SHUT...EARS OPEN when he is talking. He had for years produced a newsletter that costs $4/ issue the last time I knew of its price. If you can, buy a full set. He has written a book on printing Cibachrome and printing it to a high order of quality indeed. Last I heard $100.00 for a copy, it too being self published.

    SIT DOWN WITH THE INFORMATION WHEN YOU HAVE ACQUIRED IT. READ IT OVER AND OVER DURING THE NEXT TWO YEARS UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE EMBARKING UPON AND WITH WHAT VEHICLE ARE YOU GOING TO USE GET TO WHATEVER PORT YOU ARE GOING TO STORM.

    Not willing to do that? Hmmm? Want the 10 minute solution to becoming the new photographic lab hero? WELL THAT IS JUST TOO DAMNED BAD. AINNA GONNA HAPPEN.

    Want some good advice? Yeah? Stick with very high quality C printing.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #20
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    Our own JD callow still does Ciba/Ilfo. He might have some good insights. There are a few labs, Elevator for one, that still print as well. If you have never seen a good ciba, well, you just have to see it to believe it. I have one Callow print that knocks the breath out of me, and has a similar "wow" effect on everyone who sees it. They ask "did you shoot that?" and I have to say no, it's from my carazy colour hero man.

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