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  1. #11

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    I do think that if you have a good neg and don't require various cropping and contrast adjustments and don't care abut printing from transparencies, an analog machine (with a good operator) can produce excellent quality results. I do think that it is important to remember the primary purpose of a minilab machine though, decent prints in a short amount of time. From a business perspective, I can't imagine using anything but a digital machine. There are just too many options available from a digital machine like printing from slides, easier cropping, potential contrast adjustment, the ability to print borders (in whatever color you want, even with cropping), simultaneous burning to cd, and the list goes on. I do agree that there can be some minor issues with certain types of prints, but for the minilab's bread and butter, 4x6 prints, the digital machine is tough to beat from a business perspective and pretty damn good from an image quality perspective...

    Isaac
    See my adventures in Yemen here:
    www.isaharr.com

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague View Post
    I hate to break it to you, but the human eye is only capable of resolving around 300dpi anyway.
    My eyes as of now can't see much without glasses. But with a loupe I can clearly see the different.

  3. #13
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Dear Stephen,

    As far as the local Sydney parish pump goes:

    I was lazy enough to leave 2 rolls of 120 Fuji 400H in 6x4.5 format with a Springwood minilab, rather than take them to the recognised Sydney labs and he sub-contracted to I know not whom. As I understand it his supplier furnished him with a digital file in some format or other, which he printed.

    It was appalling, lumpy pixels even to my aged eyesight and cropped to 35mm format.

    Subsequently, and as the rolls were to some extent a test of a new camera, I asked Vision Graphics to make a full on photographic 8x10 print which was fine, and reassured me that I did still have some basic sense of composition.

    I don't shoot much colour, I handle my own B/W, I wouldn't deal with a non pro lab in the future with the occasional roll of colour.

    Regards - Ross

  4. #14

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    Oct 2006
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    The bottom line, to me, is that an optical printer requires more operator training and skill than a digital scan-n-print. If you have a skilled operator an optical mini-lab print can be superior, but how can you be assured that the machine is being operated by someone skilled in its operation and upkeep?

  5. #15

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    Nov 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    The bottom line, to me, is that an optical printer requires more operator training and skill than a digital scan-n-print. If you have a skilled operator an optical mini-lab print can be superior, but how can you be assured that the machine is being operated by someone skilled in its operation and upkeep?

    I disagree, I feel that it takes more training and experience to not only operate, but get the most out of a digital minilab. If nothing else, there are many more options, and the digital side has all sorts of potential problems. With an analog machine, you have to balance it and take car of the chemistry. The digital has that, plus all of the digital stuff. I do think that optical printing has the potential to be better, especially with enlargements, but the neg has to be good and the machine spot on. There's a little more "give" with the digital...

    Isaac
    See my adventures in Yemen here:
    www.isaharr.com

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