Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes I Make The Right Call...

I actually once considered getting an inkjet printer, until I realized I would also need: a calibrator, paper that costs more than darkroom paper that actually contains silver, inks worth more than their weight in gold, and a learning curve well beyond my patience, credit, and software/hardware tolerance. And now I read how it hasn't quite been the home brew panacea one's been led to believe anyhow. In fact, it pretty much sounds every bit the nightmare for many of those much more in the know (and the money) than myself!

The one thing I wanted digital to do most was make printing an easier (and cheaper) process. When you can get a photo to come out the way it looks on screen simply by the push of a button, and have it display full print quality tonal values- then and only then will digital photography's potential be fully realized. I may well live to see the day- but I still won't be able to afford it...

4 comments:

mikepeters said...

I hear you on this one. I've sidestepped the whole inkjet quagmire by getting C-Prints made from my film scans and digital camera files for the past ten years while the printer companies experiment on paying customers.

If your monitor is calibrated it's a no-brainer. You upload files to your favorite lab, I use WHCC or Adorama as both use the paper I prefer, Kodak Endura, and a few days later, perfect prints show up matching what I had on my monitor. The lab gets to maintain the machine and make sure they have supplies in stock, not me.

I get full tonal values, and believable colors that match my expectations without having to worry about finding ink for my unit in stock somewhere in this hemisphere, or paper, which changes often and seemed to be perpetually out of stock whenever I needed it.

And, black and white looks great when printed this way too.

Stan B. said...

Looks like (photoshop) technology is light years ahead of the "boots on the ground." A change in priorities could provide a much needed balance...

Mark Page said...

personally I can't get my head around the idea of a digital C-Type! And they have a shorter life than a pigment print. I was sooo glad to get out of the dark room and all them smelly dirty and at least in the UK expensive chemicals. And all that terrible obsessive 'dust' worrying. A good well made inkjet can hold it's own against a colour C-type nowadays. B/W maybe a different story, for the momment.

Stan B. said...

While the idea of in house tweeking and commercial lab output is an appealing one (at least for now), it's definitely two steps forward and one step back if one must settle for C prints- unless they're for some one shot assignment, or one has an actual preference for them.

When I get some extra pocket change though, I'll check out how lab produced B&W's come out- still not quite The Digital Revolution I was led to believe...