Yes, I can understand your interest in Ilfochromes. I've worked with the material for over 20 years. Specifically because of the unique glossy surface, and the semi-metallic look to some of the colors. As with any material, it has some shortcomings, but you accept that as part of the process when you make the choice of materials. I guess after working with the Ilfochromes for that long, I'm now looking at other options for my color images.
Originally Posted by Tom Smith
I think you will find that 90 percent or so of the transparencies will require a contrast mask. They're so easy to make that you shouldn't even give making them a second thought - just do it. Use 3-M 835 (? - comes in a blue box from the art store) graphic arts tape to fasten the mask to the transparency. The tape will not dry out and will not leave an adhesive residue, even if left for extended periods of time (I have some that have been taped together since about 1985).
Also, if you can still get DEZ additive (an Ilford product) - use 30ml in the 2 liters of P-30 developer. It helps reduce streaking (if you're using a CAP 40 processor) and makes the colors a bit cleaner.
"1.The rip has no effect on metamerism. The rip simply translate one language (tif, jpg, eps, etc.) into the printers page description language."
Originally Posted by mrcallow
Metamerism is a perceived color change when the print is viewed under different light sources. Gloss differential (sometimes called "bronzing") will not be affected by a RIP because it has to do with printing pigment inks on a gloss paper surface. A clear varnish overcoat is the only solution to gloss differential.
A RIP will affect metamerism. The RIP does not use the manufacturer's printer driver, but controls the inkjet head directly giving much more sophisticated ink control.
Metamerism is mostly associated with the yellow and magenta inks - NOT the black ink. The RIP provides far better ink control - way more control than any Epson driver even with custom paper profiles.
The best example of the ink control difference, is printing a B&W image with a RIP using the full color inkset. You can print a totally neutral, metamerism-free black and white photo using the entire color inkset. You can't even come close to a neutral B&W print with the Epson driver - never mind the metamerism problem.
Basically, Epson printer drivers aren't the best, and don't use the full capabilities of ink or the inkjet head. With a good RIP and Ultrachrome inks, you can reduce metamerism on a color print to the point where it is no worse than a standard wet darkroom color print viewed under different light sources.
Metamersim is a problem associated with all color pigments and dyes, and can affect color perception of any item (car, clothing, carpet, etc.) viewed under different light sources.
Ilfochromes also have metamerism problems associated with the dyes used in the print. When I print Ilfochromes, I do a "best color" color balancing routine using a daylight fluorescent source, warm white source, and tungsten source. When I can get the print to look acceptable (little color change) under all three sources then I know I have the best color balance for the print.
Different inks may suffer different reflective issues on different printers. If you are talking about one printer -- the epson 7600/9600 -- I could be very wrong. I suspect a truly bad rip or driver could affect metamerism. I stand corrected.
I use 3, 6 colour epsons. One with archival B/W, one w/ archival colour and one with dye colour, an 8/12 ink colorspan and a 6 colour HP designjet. I have 3 different rips (printer specific, ranging in cost from 2k to 9k) as well as manufacturer printer drivers, an untold variety of papers, fabrics and plastic print materials (all manufacter and ink specific).
The same printer/image using rip or not will suffer from metamerism on a variety of materials. Fabric and canvas being the only material that does not suffer from metamerism.
The dense areas, blacks, followed by dark blues are where I see metamerism on the prints I make as well as most uv/pigment inkjet output I have seen. Your experience may be different.
Finally, I don't mind metamerism that much. I took exception to your statements and as I said I stand corrected.
Yes, I agree with you that different inks and printers have different metamerism qualities. I print with an Epson 1280 using MIS pigment inks and have no metamerism problems with that combination.
I also have an Epson 9600 with the Ultrachrome inkset. I tested 9 different matte papers with differing results ranging from no percievable metamerism to a slight bit of metamerism. The metamerism differences seem to be paper color related (different color reflectivity), but may also be related to dot gain characteristics and some ink mixing. I did not profile the papers for the tests because I wanted to see the "worst case" characteristics of the papers - knowing that profiling the paper would only improve the performance and end results.
My final choice of paper was Moab Entrada natural (300 gsm) with Crane Museo heavyweight a close second for producing the best image (no metamerism, best color reproduction, and shadow detail).
Black and white is a whole different issue. The Epson printer driver is absolutely incapable of producing a neutral print on the 9600 using the full inkset. The Colorbyte Imageprint RIP totally solves that problem - including the metamerism in a full inkset black and white print.
With the Ultrachrome inks, the metamerism shift is always green/magenta under different lighting. Green under daylight, magenta under tungsten light. The green shift is from poor control of the yellow ink and the magenta shift is poor control of both magenta inks. The Imageprint RIP corrects that in two ways. The first is better control of the inkjet heads, and the second is through a better dithering algorithm.
A side benefit to the IP RIP is it also nearly eliminates the gloss differential problem using pigment inks on a glossy surface because of the better ink control and dithering.
My observations and tests are specific to the Epson 9600. People who use the HP printers seem to report little to no metamerism. I can't comment on that any further as I've never used the HP wide format printers. However, the FLAAR folks really flog the HP as "the" answer to wide format printing and as being superior to the Epson products. Then again, HP gives them free printers to use for a long as they want them, and Epson just ignores their pleas for free products.
Using the inkjet printer and a combination of film and digital technologies is certainly a learning experience (part of the fun for me). It has also allowed me to realize certain goals that I could not achieve without the benefit of this type of technology.
One example: in 1992 I shot a 5 frame panorama of the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in northern North Dakota at sunset. I thought long and hard over the years as to just how to make the images into a true expression of what I saw and experienced. Nothing I tried was totally what I wanted. Earlier this year, I put the 5 frames together using a panoramic stitching program and now have an image that I print 36 inches wide by 10.5 inches in height.
I finish the image by ripping the paper down to final size to have 1.5 inch white borders with a deckle edge. The image is framed like a lithograph or etching by floating it on a 1/8-inch thick matte board (slightly smaller than the print) that is attached to the primary matte board giving 2-inch borders on the top and sides and a 2.5-inch bottom border around the deckle edge.
Floating the print leaves the deckle edges exposed and generates a small drop shadow around the print when it is displayed. The final finished and framed print is everything that I hoped to achieve with that image - and I could not have achieved it without the aid of digital technology.
I'm sure someone will read this, and post yet another tantrum about this being a digital "rant," and to get off APUG as the site is dedicated to analog... blah, blah, bubbba blah. Before you do that, let me say that all I'm trying to do is have a civil exchange of ideas about creativity and image making. I'm not promoting one method as being superior over another. For me, life/fun is about learning and creative image making -- NOT processes or equipment.
If your photography revolves around processes rather than images - fine - I just no longer relate to that state of mind as it is so restrictive to creativity. Use whatever method you want - just open your mind a little to other possibilities, and you may learn something that will help you realize the full potential within some future image.