I print with a Frontier and a Fujimoto SHP5080 20 inch wide printer at work.. the Fujimoto has an LED array.. and that needs a uniformity test chart that needs scanning and running through the software at work, to correct the LED array so there are no lines in the print (uniform exposure), Frontier doesn't have that problem.
LEDs are not different colour-wise, all these printers are calibrated, and a Kodak and Fuji paper will essentially look the same if they have the same surface type (ie: it's all about the calibration), under optical enlarging they have completely different response (eg Fuji CAII Lustre paper will have a grey scale (prior to gamma curves being applied to each red, green and blue) on the test chart that isn't neutral but goes from cold one end to warm on the other, while Kodak does not etc).
The Fujimoto in particular uses both density and gamma correction curves for each colour channel to provide a neutral grey strip. Then you can also print and scan several Xrite colour charts with a Xrite densitometer if you wish to make an ICC profile. It also has the function to be matched to another printer.
In regards to printing this way instead of enlarging from the film.. because paper changes over time, you have to calibrate it a minimum of every 10 days on the Frontier, and then there is different aged paper stocks, different papers, etc, as well as chemistry condition. It's printed this way for consistency, it's both highly consistent, and high volume printing, neither of which.
You can even make this printer look the same as an enlarger output, if you photograph the (calibrated versions) of the test charts, and print them the same as how you like optically printing your images, they can be used as the sample reference to calibrate to.
Anyway, when comparing things like from the Frontier, RA-4 prints do indeed beat inkjet prints, because small inkjet prints come off low end printers. High end inkjet with multiple shades of the same ink colour, and high end inks is really good, though you still cant wash the print, but the paper white is generally whiter.
I've done a test with the Frontier, it's 300 dpi input, and on the paper, you can 300 dpi down to perfectly sharp razor edges down to 300 dpi.
Last edited by Athiril; 11-07-2012 at 10:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.