Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
Poisson - masks do not interfere with sharpness. Quite to the contrary. I even use masks when making
up precision dupes and internegs to print from. Without exaggeration, I think I can legitimately refer to
myself as one of the world's best Ciba printers, but so what - it's now an obsolete process. But the same masking skills can be adapted to other color media, including RA4 papers, albeit with a steep new
learning curve. And Paul - what in heaven's name makes you think any decent enlarging system has
"lens abberations"?
Scanners involve optical components too. And contrast & hue issues can also be
addressed by masking (and have been for decades). If many people prefer to do this kind of work via
scan & PS these days, that's fine with me; but this specifically being an analog forum, I'll advance the
argument that it can still be done in at least as high a quality level using solely darkroom means ...
and it's a helluva lot more fun!
As to my comment on aberrations, I stand corrected. For whatever reason I was thinking - or, more accurately, wasn't thinking - my mind wandered over to today's flat bed scanners. LED light sources, lots of sensors across the bar, no lens needed.

I can admire anyone who wants to spend untold hours in the darkroom doing thing "purely." But, I have neither the time nor inclination. OK, nor the skills.

When I started using scanners with all the controls and I found that I could do in seconds would might be hours in a wet darkroom, with a stock of paper grades - no such luxury in color - it was, and is, Nirvana. My philosophy, which some people here can't tolerate, is "Perfection is the enemy of good enough." The bottom line is, "What will the viewer react to?" I think that matters of having a full brightness range will usually trump almost any other visual/psychological criteria.