To gma and mrcallow
When we make prints on the lambda we do a proportional full image test, as well we encourage a inkjet glossy sample print for colour ,contrast ect.
If your print is too dark and blue, it is simply not the Lambda exposing units fault, rather the operator to client relationship. Think of a Lambda as a enlarger and how you would interact with a technician using a enlarger. Nothing is different when I print traditionally or digitally, in both cases I test and usually require a sample reference if I do not know the client well. I would suggest insisting on a better working relationnship with your Lambda operator.
You are correct , the fibre paper is indeed processed by hand as a traditional print would be done,. My darkroom is over 1500sq ft with miles of sink to handle large prints and as well small prints. Both traditional and digital are processed in the same room.Your comments on workflow is correct it is immense and a constant learning curve on the relationship of client and ourselves.
We are producing work from scanned originals(colourneg, transparancys , scala and black and white negative) as well from highend and low end, digital backs and 35mm digital cameras.
Regarding nothing looks like the transparancy. I beg to differ. the original scene is what I would refer to . Any capture whether its film neg or positive, or digital capture, has its failures and that is what we are always trying to correct for , and making the image closer to the original scene, that is in our minds eye. In fact my limited digital experience tells me that if you are capturing digitally with a phase back on a medium format back you will have a better chance of reproducing colour than if you capture on trans , process in local lab, and then print to your desired media.
re : not too much tweaking because you are about to go out of business if you don't move to next.
The beauty of the Lambda system is that you do not print unless the calibration is exacting, there are safe gaurds in place that are not permitting the machine to automatticaly run. A 21 step step wedge is read by the computer before we run. There fore we simutaniously work on a number of client work in different media , and we expect our clients to make the final call on colour density contrast , if they so desire. Nothing is run in panic and what you see today is ran the same tommorow or next day . The inboard densitiometer conrtols when you run. In a pinch the operator can overide the computer and fudge the run any way they want.
As you may guess we are not in a hurry with our clients work and we can have test sent to our clients , and wait for their replys.
This machine is a very precesion enlarger, and you"d freak if you saw the rules of operation, (cost,operation, and service contract) but with that said I still beleive it is a important and critical side of our operation. Worthy of its expense.
21century technology meets 19thcentury craft in a unique way.