A great deal of the allure of Platinum/Palladium for me stems from it being a first-generation contact print emulsion-to-emulsion from a negative developed to suit. I never thought of taking smaller negatives and enlarging even using analog duplication techniques, because I knew I would lose one emulsion-to-base or two generations emulsion-to-emulsion quality. I wouldn't even personally like to contact to dupe for longer scale. I always intended to use a bigger camera to make a bigger negative and fit it to the medium. (Actually my real plan was to use PT/PD to salvage badly unintentionally overdeveloped negatives).
It is this feeling that makes me feel 4x5 is a tiny format, because it would make nice miniatures but not 8x10 prints.
So it's not an analog or digital issue for me.
As for when something becomes almost 100% indistinguishable from the real thing... it's like Sirius Cybernetics not entirely unlike tea. If I am going to pay premium for a PT/PD print and take it home, you bet I'm going to take my microscope out to look at it. How else would I know that, yes it really is better than traditional silver gelatin enlargement. I've already discovered that George Fiske's albumen prints are better. If it's not PT/PD but it just looks like it, I would want that to be disclosed, and I might walk on by the exhibit as a result. Now what happens when the pigment applied by printer really is PT/PD - say Jon Cone Editions makes it one day. And why not? Would I concede? What about simulated uranium toned prints? When they excite the Geiger counter will I change my position?
Well in that last case, I think I will take an inkjet print.
There will always be an unbridgeable difference between something that appears exactly like the real thing...
...and the real thing itself.
Things cannot simultaneously be the same and be different. The laws of Nature forbid it. And no amount of fancy attempts at reconciliation can change that simple fact. Two things are either the same - or they are not. Nature allows for no other alternatives.
A silver gelatin print from an inkjet negative will never be a silver gelatin print from a silver negative. And so also in reverse. They might look like the same thing. And how close they look the same before it's good enough to satisfy you is entirely up to you. But they will never be - they cannot be - exactly the same thing, as they were born of a different sequence of events. That differentiation may not be meaningful to you, but to others it may be crucial.
The sequence of events leading to the realization of an image is different on APUG than it is on DPUG. Not better. Not worse. But demonstrably and unavoidably different by the laws of Nature.
A thing is what it is. And it cannot be otherwise, no matter how hard we rationalize.
"The richness of the experience that occurs when one is exposed tangibly to a subject, material, or process is unmatchable in the abstract... Thus, when 'touch it,' 'taste it,' smell it' become the watchwords, the results are most often extraordinary. Equally extraordinary are the lengths to which people will go to avoid [that] experience."
— Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr., In Search of Excellence, 1982
I feel different about large prints. Here I appreciate the modern approaches being developed by the likes of Bob Carnie.
I like the way you put it.
I shoot both.
If I want maximum quality I shoot LF, either 8x10 or 4x5 with the best modern APO lenses I can find.
For digital, if I want best quality I shoot a Hasselblad 39-Megapixel back with Zeiss lenses.
Lesser digital is Nikon with modern lenses.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato
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I guess there is a sort of reconciliation, if you drop some serious cash on a printer (there are no cheap options for printing digi negs here as far I can see, it is $1000 and upwards and still some pizza wheel marks and expensive ink sets). And then you fiddle with the knobs (virtual ones, that is). To me, I just can't see myself waking up smiling at the thought of "Gee, I want to print a digital neg today!". I like the process, with the chemistry and papers and the reality.
But it is there and it is possible, if you have the cash and inclination. It is good for those who deem it good. I agree with Ken, no better or worse, just different ways. But I still think it is a good thing to keep APUG just APUG, there are a hundred sites that cater to digital and then there is DPUG if you have the urge to do something in-between.
Prints reveals truths that negative scans obscures.
I personally find the distinction between analogue and hybrid very "artificial" as I find the distinction between APUG and DPUG very unfortunate.
If I were the owner of this site I would have no hesitation in opening a "hybrid" section on this forum (on the same hierarchic level of "Darkroom" and "General discussions") and close DPUG altogether, or leaving it open for digital photography that is.
Scanning is something that is necessary to be discussed by film users at the very least.
At the moment DPUG is a moribund creature artificially kept alive by continuous reference made on APUG. On the other hand, APUG has many more users than DPUG, many of those able in hybrid techniques and willing to help. The hybrid conversation here would be as rich and instructing as the analogue conversation. This Berlin wall is unfortunate both for hybrid users (who don't find sufficient traces of life in DPUG and find censorship in APUG) and for analogue users, because a hybrid section here on APUG would bring, I am sure, many digital users to explore analogue techniques as well thereby expanding the user base, spreading the analogue gospel etc.
To those who don't want to read the "hybrid" word on this forum I just say that they can ignore - through the bespoke site function in General Settings - Forum to exclude from view - the hybrid section (or the scanning section. I would prefer a hybrid section). They wouldn't see the hybrid posts in the "New posts", the "Today posts", etc. Moderators would move any conversation turning to hybrid to the relevant Hybrid section where it would go on normally instead of cutting it short and inviting people to go to another forum, where they typically don't even have an account (but even if they had it by default, it would still be a nonsense IMO).
Considering the forum platform already gives users the possibility to totally and automatically ignore hybrid conversations I don't see why this topic should be banned from an analogue forum site.
Hybrid process is partly analogue. Nobody would say that someone who brings his negative to be printed at Wal-Mart is not an analogue user, or doesn't belong here (!) because he doesn't print his own negatives with an enlarger or because his final product is only partly analogue.
The site would have a massive increase in users, and would benefit the analogue photographic community as a whole more than it does now.
More in general, I think the future of analogue techniques relies solely on hybrid techniques. Sales of film without scanners would be dead since many years. Digital negative printing can actually greatly promote analogue darkroom techniques. I think analogue materials can survive only with the towing of the digital materials.
Hybrid is the branch where analogue is sitting.
Last edited by Diapositivo; 07-21-2012 at 05:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
There was a grey zone area earlier on, and well... it did not turn out well (personal opinion) due to threads not keeping to the subject and spilling over into other threads and areas, that did not have anything to do with digital and/or hybrid stuff.
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
I think 5000+ members on DPUG is pretty good. That forum has to find its own way. Promote it, be a member, contribute and it will continue to grow.
Prints reveals truths that negative scans obscures.
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
Couldn't have said it better myself.
When we had a hybrid section called "The Gray Area" the problems were that some users then wanted to extend that to discussion of straight digital photography, and many hybrid discussions did not stay contained within the hybrid area, so it wasn't possible for users simply to ignore that section.
DPUG.org was created as a separate site to solve both of these problems, allowing discussion of digital photography by photographers with an "APUG sensibility," and not restricting hybrid discussion in some artificial way. Traffic on DPUG is slow, but part of that is that it's pretty much "all business" and little chit-chat. Ask a serious question about a topic like making digital separations for gum printing, for instance, and you'll get serious answers from people who have done it.
APUG should be a safe place for discussion of analogue photography, where users can ask an analogue question and won't have to sift through digital answers. If someone wants to know how to print color with an enlarger, make an unsharp mask with film and layers of acetate, retouch a negative with pencil, coat their own film, make an enlarged negative using film, they should be able to find that discussion easily on APUG and shouldn't be discouraged in any way buy users who will say, "it's easier in Photoshop."