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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Do You Print or use a lab?

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  #21  
Old 09-07-2002, 03:04 PM
thatmold
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printing.

well. i'll have to tell you you'll get the best results if you print on a lightget printer. though i understand not everyone can go out and buy a $100,000. printer. not to mention your basically making a full profit printing on your epson printers.. which dont do a bad job..

but. i'll have to tell you. we dont print inkjet anymore. it's all lightjet. if you dont know what that is.. it's not really a printer thats laying down any ink. its a printer that runs in a darkroom. and the print is basically exposed the same way a traditional photographic print it made. throught light.. lasers...

and goes through the whole photographic chemical process.
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2003, 12:47 AM
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BigAl BigAl is offline
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I brought this one back again in view of an earlier thread of mine. I'm finding I can't actually compete with the labs anymore. A postcard size print from a lab now costs R2.79 (SA money, the rand). 4x6 Epson paper costs me just under R3 per sheet. Then I need to add for the ink and my time...

What's worse, the labs don't actually care what the print looks like (eg A4 from a 40kB jpeg!!!). "You want it madam? Sure we can do it."

They also accept images directly off the most commonly used memory devices.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2003, 01:28 AM
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platscha@cs.com platscha@cs.com is offline
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phaser

I am very familar with the phaser, we use one at school, it gives absolutely beautiful prints even on regular typing paper BUT the longevity is very poor, I would not ever recommend for professional printing. It does not use ink but an emulsion that is melted onto the paper so you get fab results on any paper but this emulsion somewhat like melted crayon does not last for any period.
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  #24  
Old 02-05-2003, 09:21 AM
thatmold
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printing..

The CSI LightJet Digital Enlarger accepts 100 foot long rolls of photographic media in 30 inch, 40 inch and 50 inch widths. The LightJet 430 is capable of imaging a print 50 inches by 120 inches. The paper is fed from the roll into a drum where it is held flat. Three lasers simultaneously expose the paper to red, green and blue light, traveling on a track of compressed air and spinning to cover the 270 degree arc of photographic media. After imaging, the paper is off-loaded and processed in standard RA-4 chemistry. The resulting print is a hybrid – digital, in the sense that the information recorded was transmitted through computers to the enlarger, and traditional because, ultimately, silver covered photographic paper was exposed to light and processed in chemicals.

this is the kind of printing that people should be doing.. as an artist. photographer, digital media artist. i would never try and push off a desktop print as my final output print.

-matt
(scanning/restoration dept.)
http://www.portlandcolor.com
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2003, 05:27 AM
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Jenny Wood Jenny Wood is offline
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Re: printing..

"...this is the kind of printing that people should be doing..."

I would this kind of machine Matt--if I had the bucks! I currently use a lab for my prints. I have been wrestling with this colour management stuff since realizing a few weeks ago I should have been calibrating my monitor all along. After a heap of reading and questions to the lab I use, I hope to find a reliable ICC profile! My first lot of pictures through this lab was great; the second two lots (over a 4 month period) was different in colour--probably due to my lack of monitor calibration. This Agfa lab uses a a d-lab 2 printer. My idea is to get from them their ICC Adobe colour profile they use on their monitor(s). I will ask this question the next time I get in to their shop. I should view my monitor just like one of theirs in the shop--so the ICC colour profile is the same. Right? Anyone out there in Retouch Pro-Land feel free to comment!

Cheers,

Jenny

Last edited by Jenny Wood; 02-13-2003 at 06:02 AM.
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2003, 06:35 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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I think you would be better off, calibrating your own monitor, and using their printer profile. (They should provide you with that).
Once you have your profile, set up Photoshop to allow you to use that profile for proofing.
Vikki
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2003, 08:55 AM
thatmold
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you couldn't possibly use their monitor profile. all monitors are different, and you would have to calibrate your monitor on your own. creating your own icc profile. you should do that every so often.. whats that? i dont know. some places do it every month. every other month. every two weeks. im not sure how often your monitor really changes over time, but if it's a huge change every two weeks, you should probably get a new monitor..

i'ld say, like the person before me.. get the labs printer profile. although its still going to be tricky, because its not just about the printers profile. your trying to make it so that what you see on your screen is pretty damn close to the output print. which means the calibration of your monitor is pretty important.

i use an X-RiteColor Monitor Optimizer. this is an actual tool that you physically stick to your monitor screen, and it takes readings, of the color values. through a program, i use monico proof, it gives you step by step instructions... to create your profile..

i wouldn't rely on that adobe gamma thing, you get with your computer.

this is not a perfect world. and color management still has its problems..
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  #28  
Old 02-13-2003, 07:34 PM
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Jenny Wood Jenny Wood is offline
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To Print Or Not...

Thanks Vikki and thatmold for further thoughts on this topic.

This particular lab I currently use have not been forthcoming yet with their d-lab 2 printer profile--so I am going to ring Agfa Australia and see if I can get with the actual Agfa technician (who are separate from the lab) that calibrate their machine to give me a printer profile. I did find a monitor/printer profile download on the Agfa site last night but the profile information was in German--which I don't know.

Getting the right information from people is often tricky. Most people at the labs here haven't a clue about colour management--or at least their not letting on. They would rather have people just depositing their photos to be restored with them--not necessarily working with a freelance retoucher. They appear to be threatened when asked questions.

Although I feel reluctant to do more restoration work until I get this profile stuff figured out--I haven't given up as of yet!!

Cheers,

Jenny
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  #29  
Old 02-13-2003, 08:08 PM
thatmold
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"..Most people at the labs here haven't a clue about colour management--or at least their not letting on.."

thats probably it right there. i think, im not sure, but i think it's a pretty new thing for a lot of labs. i know it is with us. we've tried a couple different times to get color management to work out. but it's tough to get everyone on the same level. its a change in the workflow. and it doesn't work with everything..

how do i know..? thats exactly whats going on with me, and where i work.

do the resoration work yourself. dont listen to the labs about that. they overcharge. the labs should do a nice job on the color corrections. tell them exactly what you want. you give them specifics, and they will do it.

asking questions.. im not sure what type of questions your asking, but i can see where they would hesitate to answer things, if your trying to "learn", from them. thats what they have their own business for, because they can do it themselves. they want to make the money.
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  #30  
Old 02-13-2003, 09:38 PM
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Jenny Wood Jenny Wood is offline
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Hey ThatMold,

You're right about labs overcharging--and of course they want maximun profit. As for asking questions--I am on a steep learning curve and these lab people know that!

Up to last year in June I had never used any Adobe product (even though I've lusted for years wanting to do Photoshop). I do have a traditional Fine Arts degree (for what its worth) and while this knowledge has come in handy--the Photoshop stuff is still newish. I still have heaps to learn!

Cheers,

Jenny
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