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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    "Optimized for digital" color papers...only legend?

    I want to do some color printing just because I'm worried that materials won't be available in the coming years. I understand that Kodak's paper is only available in rolls right now, whereas Fuji has some paper available in sheets (does anyone else make color paper?).

    On top of the Kodak paper being available in only rolls, I have heard that color paper in general is optimized for digital printing. But I don't understand what this means. What is different about a paper optimized for digital printing vs. enlarging? How do digital printing machines work? Don't they still use R G B light? Why wouldn't they just design the printing machines to work like a negative? How big of an issue is this supposed "digital optimization" for the darkroom worker? How does it affect film choice? Overall, how much worse is it now compared to the absolute heyday of color printing (which I'm guessing was the late 90s)?
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2
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    I printed the same image on both Supra Endura papers and posted the results here somewhere. The VC digital version showed a slightly different color balance and slightly more contrast. In Kodak's tech sheet for the VC, it states that neutral gray will print slightly cyan if the image is balanced for neutral skin tone when printed optically. Unless you are trying to print the same image on both papers and have them match, you do not need to worry about it much. Learn the characteristics of the new stuff and you will be fine.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

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  3. #3
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I have heard that color paper in general is optimized for digital printing. But I don't understand what this means. What is different about a paper optimized for digital printing vs. enlarging? How do digital printing machines work? Don't they still use R G B light?
    "Digital optimization" simply means that they can slack in some of the design rules and use that effort towards other goals.

    In optical enlarging, the curves for R, G, B must match in contrast and curve shape so neutral appears neutral in shadows, midtones and highlights. In a "digital" paper, the contrast (and curve shape) can be modified digitally, so this design parameter is not needed for paper. Also, it is quite irrelevant what the contrast is. It can be modified in printing.

    Thus, a paper that is "optimized for digital exposure only" -- or, not optimized for optical enlarging, may have non-optimal contrast, and some contrast mismatch in curves, causing color crossover. How bad this is -- the only way is to test. Some people say it's usable.

    Read the new Endura VC datasheet from Kodak. It says that in optical enlarging, contrast is high and neutrals appear cyan if balanced for skin tones.

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I printed the same image on both Supra Endura papers and posted the results here somewhere. The VC digital version showed a slightly different color balance and slightly more contrast.
    What is the VC digital version? Does VC mean variable contrast? Is there another non-digital version?
    f/22 and be there.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    As I understand it, most (all?) of the machines that print from digital files are set up to provide very short, high intensity exposures. The light sources used may also be more similar to electronic flash than incandescent or halogen light. So being "optimized for digital printing" actually means being optimized for the print times and light sources found in digital printers.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    In this context, "VC" does not stand for variable contrast, since RA-4 paper does not have that property. Usually in color materials, "VC" indicates Vivid Color, but that does not apply here either, since Ultra and Metallica Endura materials cover the higher contrast and saturation needs. I'm sure someone at Kodak could tell you what "VC" means in reference to this paper, but it does not mean what we are familiar with in black-and-white paper. An to answer the second part of your question, no, there is not a second version. The current VC paper replaced the standard Supra Endura paper, it did not get added along side of it.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Is KODAK PROFESSIONAL ULTRA ENDURA High Definition Paper available, and has anyone used it?

    The data sheets indicate that it is optimized for both digital and optical printing. It is only available in F (glossy) surface.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
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    Digital papers are optimized for high intensity short exposures. They are also optimized for printing via scanning the paper with the light in lines rather than a single overall exposure. To do this, the reciprocity and some other factors had to be changed with regard to this new method of exposure.

    It is indeed a new emulsion set.

    PE

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    The digital papers also don't have the different sensitivity for each of the three emulsions, they have the same sensitivity. So you need to use drastically different color filtering for optical exposure, since they don't compensate for the orange mask.

    They are also very wide gamut, such that the C, Y, and M dyes are very far out in the color space. That's because the wider the gamut of your paper, the wider selection of colors you can actually have it come out. This means that exposed optically, they wind up being high color saturation.

    The wide gamut is mostly important for labs taking in color images in Adobe RGB and other wide color spaces. If they only take in images in sRGB, the older papers with less gamut will do fine, since those color spaces can't really represent the wide gamut.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Shriver View Post
    The digital papers also don't have the different sensitivity for each of the three emulsions, they have the same sensitivity. So you need to use drastically different color filtering for optical exposure, since they don't compensate for the orange mask.

    They are also very wide gamut, such that the C, Y, and M dyes are very far out in the color space. That's because the wider the gamut of your paper, the wider selection of colors you can actually have it come out. This means that exposed optically, they wind up being high color saturation.

    The wide gamut is mostly important for labs taking in color images in Adobe RGB and other wide color spaces. If they only take in images in sRGB, the older papers with less gamut will do fine, since those color spaces can't really represent the wide gamut.
    John;

    I'm sorry, but your post is absolute nonsense to me. I cannot figure out a word of it at all.

    The paper has just about the same sensitivity and most other properties except for reciprocity and latent image keeping among others.

    BTW, I had lunch a year or so ago with the head of the project and he explained it all to me. Who explained this all to you?

    Again, sorry.

    PE

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