Thanks for all the views David and Steve. It's always good to hear from others - I'm certainly learning more about diversity of opinion on this website than photography!
I think I'm leaning more to David's position on ilfochromes, but that's my bias - I love the textural glossiness and richness inherent in the depth of an ilfochrome. Squirted ink on the scratchy surface of a rag, varnish or no varnish is okay - really. And I've only got a college education. I was just taken by what this pro' said about ilfochromes because I never really thought about it . I guess his clients preferred photographic prints made by traditional processes - ilfochrome being one distinguished one........over the home-made printer which more and more photographers are resorting to (even film-based ones). Commercial organisations who buy up photos for libraries etc aren't going to really care now. Are they?
"It's the artist that matters, and NOT the printing media."
By gum, when I read that. I happily agree with you but the fact you had to write such an obvious point makes it funny. I'll have to remember that for aspiring artists: Go fetch! You can do it ! Get the Andrex canvass out!"
Inkjet, C-print (Fuji Ca or Kodak endura), Cibachrome all the same image created by an expert and I'm buying.
Inkjet gets bounced from the running 1st -- it lacks the colour gamut, and intensity (especially in blacks reds and yellows).
The c-print and the ciba might be a tough call. If the c-print was on a flex material I might pick it. Great detail, wider latitude, wider gamut, but less intense colour and it would look like a ciba. If the C-print was on an matte or satin I would probably pick the ciba. The difference between these is a taste thing.
I have compared the three and continue to compare c-prints in all their forms with high end inkjets in its many variations. Inkjets are a good commercial tool, and it is wonderful to get a quality image on a nearly limitless variety of materials, but it is still a bit short.
The credibility of the claims made by the producers of inks as well as those of Wilhelm are thin. I have printed 100's of inkjet with UV/pigmented inks for backlit display, many 100's more for window display and many many 100's if not thousands for interior display. The manufacture gives them anywhere from 5 years to 150 depending on lamination and exposure. We Will guarantee them form a 1 to 20, based upon non-anecdotal evidence, experience and depending upon exposure and laminate.
Is the art buyer full of sh!t? Could be -- my eyes are brown. The proof of the pudding, when it comes to a 'print', is in the viewing.
Unless you are taking advantage of an inkjets strengths it fails at one to one comparisons.
Actually, this is wrong.
Metamerism is a totally different issue - and is not archival issue - but an ink / receiver (paper) compatibility problem. Metamerism can be eliminated - you just have to know what to do (use a good RIP and the correct ink/paper combination).
1. The rip has no effect on metamerism. The rip simply translate one language (tif, jpg, eps, etc.) into the printers page description language.
2. The couplers in the paper do effect the quality of the print, but will not remove metamerism. The couplers in the paper reduce dot gain, help to increase colour fastness and reduce drying time.
3. The pigments (the things that reflect the colour you see) used in the inks (especially blacks) that give the colours their resistance to fading have this 'special' reflective quality.
Putting aside value to collectors and archival consideration it is my opinion that when the prevailing consideration is purely aesthetic the preference of the artist trumps all other consideration. Many people prefer the high Dmax and wide range of densities seen in silver gelatin prints on glossy and semi-gloss papers, while others are much more drawn to the qualities of alternative prints on textured surface, which typically have a much narrower range of densities and lower Dmax. This is a purely subjective preference for one kind of media over another. It is ridiculous to assert that one media is better than another because of personal preference for a kind of look.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
The same is true of color prints. Some people love the glossy look, wide density range and very saturated colors of cibachrome prints. Prints made with the old three-color carbon and carbon processes are unique in that they have a kind of three-dimensional quality but unfortunately many color carbon prints made with the more recent Ultrastable process were placed on white mylar final supports and have the same place mat look of glossy cibachromes. Dye transfer printing offered much more control of color than any other process but in the end the look is not all that different from that of a c-print, and if displayed in the light, they are not that much more stable. Prints made with inkjet printers on fine art papers using pigmented inks in turn have an entirely different look. I have personally made c-prints, ciba/Ilfochormes, dye-transfers and three-color carbons and carbros, as well as color inkjet prints, and I have had some made on Fuji Crystal Archive so my prefererence is based on considerable experience in looking at prints made on different media
My personal opinion is that the most unique and beautiful of all color printing processes is three-color carbon, especially when the final print is made in the traditional way to maximize relief. After that I like the look, in this order, of other types of color prints.
2. Inkjet prints made with pigmented inks on fine art papers.
3. Fuji Crystal Archive
4. Dye Transfer Prints
5. Regular c-prints
6. Ciba and Ilfochromes
You can probably surmise from the above that I am relatively indifferent to the passing of Ilfochrome. The only good thing I have to say about the Ilfochrome look is that my disgust for it (Cibachrome) some twenty or more ago was the stimulus that initially got me involved in three-color carbon and later other types of alternative printing.
Metamerism, BTW, is not a defect of inkjet printers. It is a characteristic of virtually all prints made with pigments. You see it in color carbon and carbro prints as well as in inkjet prints made with pigmented inks.
Last edited by sanking; 09-24-2004 at 05:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
That's fascinating sanking. Thanks for enlightening about carbon colour prints.
You still haven't stated why you don't like cibachromes and rated them as 6th of 6 choices.
Are there any available samples of carbon colour prints generally available anywhere for viewing? It sounds like they're really worth seeing.
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It is a taste thing.
My point was to illustrate why one art buyer, me, would choose on type of print over another -- a tast thing.
If we are comparing colour prints, then we are talking about colour -- or not?
Inkjets have many strengths, the strongest being the ability to print on anything from silk to ceramic tile. The down side is colour and dmax.
Preferring a print on fine art paper is different than saying it produces superior colour prints.
Comparing color prints is not the same as comparing color. What is your understanding of a superior color print? One that has more saturated colors and Dmax? Not for me. My concept of the superior color printing process is the one that produces prints that I visually prefer to those made by any other process. Saturation and/or Dmax are technical issues that matter but they are not necessarily determinative.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
By extension, your logic would appear to be that the superior monochrome printing process is the one that produces prints with the highest Dmax. No doubt there are many who would agree with you on this, but I don't. I much prefer the look of a beautiful carbon or Pt./Pd. print on matte surface to most prints on silver gelatin papers, and the Dmax of silver prints is almost always higher than that of Pt./Pd. and usually higher than that of carbons.
It is a taste thing. The subject was why one over the other.
You would pass on the ciba for the inkjet.
I am glad that we both know what we like.
My logic may evade you, me or possibly none may be present at all.
Yes, that has been my point. What we prefer is a subjective issue.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
For the record, the original subject was not why one over the other, but simply that a friend said "they were phasing Ilfochrome out by the end of 2005."
Actually I thought your logic was fairly clear, i.e. that the superior process was the one that gave prints with the highest color gamut and Dmax. If that is not what you meant please accept my apologies for the misunderstanding.
I always find it interesing that when someone can express themselves in coherent terms for more than four sentences, it gets called a "rant." When, in reality, you're calling it a a rant in an attempt to dismiss a point of view you don't agree with.
Originally Posted by mobtown_4x5
I thought my posts were lending a different point of view - and at least I have made Ilfochromes for over 20 years for myself, museums, and other photographers. I've also printed C-prints, dye transfer prints and lithographs - I like print making of all types.
If you've bothered to read any of my previous posts, you might find out that what I really advocate is to do what is best for the image - whether that's a silver print, gum bichromate, Ilfochrome, C-print, etc. - or the dreaded inkjet print.
As for your friend, the gallery owner - he's going to be selling inkjet prints. When he finds an artist he likes (or finds out is popular = sells a lot), and the artist only makes inkjet prints - he'll be selling inkjet prints.
I make inkjet prints for a photographer who sells through several galleries, including one that has an on-line website - so someone is collecting that sh** as you so eloquently put it.