How many still wet enlarging ?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by anthony_brookes|5, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. I find it now far to easy to scan ones negatives and produce an
    acceptable print using a PC and a half decent printer. I am not doing
    as much wet printing as I used to. However when I do switch on the
    V35 and see the print appearing in the dish it still gives a sense of
    achievement that no digital printing supplies. When the final article
    is viewed it is so much more pleasing than a digital print. Ease and
    conveninece is a numbing, dumbing down, process which it is difficult
    to resist. It really takes an effort now to take the trouble to
    produce wet prints, but they are so superior. It seems to me that
    digital prints are 'dead' whereas wet prints seem 'alive' Anyone else
    feel like this ? I am determined not to be dumbed down myself.
     
  2. Ditto, ditto, ditto. I'm not ready to give up my wet darkroom -- even though it's
    completely occupied my kitchen!
     
  3. Darkroom printing my B&W, and starting to like scanning and sending off to mpix.com for my color prints. I pretty much print on Ilford Pearl RC exclusively, and 5x7 is starting to become a favorite size for mass printing sessions, then 8x10 for the real nice shots.
     
  4. I used to think like you. But now I think my digital version are the best (Delta 400 in ultrafin plus, coolscan V, epson 2100). I have found a curves setting that gives me the dark-room look. Adjustment-layers has also helped a lot. Traditional is still faster for me.....
     
  5. I have been printing in a dark room since 1970. I do not plan to stop anytime soon. I have played around with DSLR's and computer printing and quite frankly, I found it boring. Sitting in front of my computer for hours on end is not my cup of tea, but that is just the way I feel. I have a friend that is into digital photography and gets excellent results and he would never think of going back to the wet side. To each his own, I suppose.
     
  6. I recently got back into printing again and I like it a lot. I also see a good number of young people at the public darkroom where I print learning how to do it the old fashioned way. Film is suffering, and will continue to suffer, from attrition but it's far from dead yet.

    Dennis
     
  7. I even recently had my darkroom remodeled. I love the whole process of mixing chemistry, loading film, and aligning my print on the easel. But the best part is playing my music really loud and rocking out in glow of amber lights. Mary
     
  8. I guess having a dedicated darkroom is a big advantage. There's a sink big enough for 4 16x20 trays, 2 print washers, a forced air film dryer, an Omega B-22XL enlarger that'll print 16x20's with a bit of cropping from either 35mm or 6x6 right on the baseboard, and a Kodak Precision Enlarger from the 1940's with about every carrier they made for it, including one that's perfect for my 2.25 x 3.5 inch Veriwide 100 negatives. Each enlarger has its own Time-O-Lite and the Gra-Lab timer is next to the sink and does double duty timing the film dryer. It's a great place to go hide and get away from everything. The smells are invigorating. There are dozens and dozens of boxes filled with negatives and the matching contact sheets to look through. Over 40 years' worth. My whole life from High school to the present.

    For me that's all the ease and convenience I need.
     
  9. some people insist on leica camera leica lens leica enlarger, but I thing digital dark room is much better to control. using digital to retouch the scanned negative is much easy than the traditional dark room practice. I send all my digital files to Adorama for B/W and color print, the digital B/W turn out much btter than Epsion printer prints.
     
  10. Just curious, but how many of you have a digital printer that can knock out 16"x24" prints at home? I've done it in my darkroom.
     
  11. We have use of an Epson 2100 which uses ink like a Subaru uses gas. When the print is finished the surface has a tacky feel for days. Quality is not bad but boy is it slow ! Give me Multgrade any day.
     
  12. who needs 16x24 prints? i just went to a ralph eugene meatyard show (excellent), 99% of the images were 8x10 or smaller....
     
  13. Just curious, but how many of you have a digital printer that can knock out 16"x24" prints at home? I've done it in my darkroom.
    Can do 36 inches by 300 feet, but as a previous post mentions wheter it comes in five or ten pound bags sh*t is still sh*t.
     
  14. maybe meatyard didn't have a sink as big as al's...

    on the other hand, while i haven't seen his show, i would be willing to bet if he had printed them 11 x 14, they would be just as impressive.
     
  15. Anthony

    I have just rebuilt a darkroom for negs up to 4 x 5 after years overseas. I have a Nikon Coolpix camera & film scanner and a flatbed 4 x 5 scanner, do wet darkroom prints and will start doing platinum/Palladium prints again soon.

    I will also grow my own food, milk the goats & make cheese and distill my own brandy, after matins every morning. LOL
    \Cheers
     
  16. Anthony,

    I want to install a wet darkroom, not get rid of one. I much prefer real black and white printing over digital work. I find it easier and generally gives better results. Also I am the kind of person who likes to go and set aside a few hours for printing rather than do it in dribs and drabs as the digital workflow encourages.
     
  17. Me too, DeVere 504 with LED HEAD, dedicated custom made (by me) sink (3 20x16 trays and a wash sink) plus all the other film goddies. I use my scanner to have a closer look at the neg (in positive) for 35mm as contacts don't do it for me, but 5x4 contacts are OK. Quicker than PS or the Gimp for dodging and burning. Don't do colour much (5 rolls a year tops, then it's only snaps from the minilab).
     
  18. My wife and I went to see the Meatyard show last weekend. We reached the same conclusion: they are boring and depressing. To her, this means that she is not interested in them. To me, this means they are GOOD ;-) We are glad that we don't live in those "boring places".

    And I promised my wife that I would never bring her and our future kids to shabby places to make "artistic pictures".

    BTW, I made my first darkroom prints on 8.5x11 Ilford MGIV RC yesterday!
     
  19. Hey Grant, consider the remote possibility that someday you might have a paying client who actually orders a print 16x20 or larger. It does happen, and you can make a lot more money selling large prints than small ones. Do they NEED them? That's not my call. I'm just the greedy bastard who wants the money!
     
  20. I had a V35 years ago, vanished in a divorce. Considered going wet again but digital won because of space limitations. Digital B&W has come a long way. Which is better? I dunno. A lot of skill is required
    for both. Look here www.paulroark.com I have a lot to learn/re-learn.

    However, there is something magic going on when the image appears in the tray!
     
  21. Anthony, if it were not for a film scanner and the ability to make prints without a traditional darkroom I would not have picked up the M cameras again. I don't have space to set up a darkroom even if I wanted to. Even if I DID have space I still wouldn't want to set up a wet darkroom! I'm glad I have the experience of printing in a wet darkroom because those skills have transferred to digital printing. I just find the wet printing process tedious, messy and smelly. But I can still remember the magic of it when I first started.

    I'm perfectly thrilled with the ability to make prints up to 13x19 on my Epson 1280, using the "Black-Only" method of printing with MIS Eboni pigment carbon ink. I'm running a continuous feed system, so at $18 for 4 ounce of ink it's dirt cheap to run, compared to cartridges.
    I've found that 11x17 is about as big as I want to go on my printer. Al, I don't think I made 16x24's even when I did have a darkroom. ;)

    I've compared prints I've made in the darkroom to the ones I made digitally, and come to the conclusion that they are just different animals. Anthony, what process are you using to make your digital prints?
     
  22. Other than promo things, I doubt if I'll ever leave the 'wet' darkroom. I admit that I'm very impressed by some of the color I've seen come out of inkjet printers, much less so than black and white. Now I know I'll take a hit from those out there who will claim otherwise...but I don't think the quality is where I want it to be yet, whether in capture or output. In my profession I deal on a regular basis with probably 100 working pro shooters...I'm depressed with how many say things like 'my D100 gives nearly as good an image as film', I don't use my DSLR for any publication process over 5X7', 'my inkjet prints are nearly as good as RA'...we've become a society where mediocrity is king.
     
  23. I've seen hundreds of shows over the years and there is no doubt in my mind that 24x16, all else being equal, is so much more satisfying than 8x10. As for Edmo's comment, has this turned into the nasty little teenager site?

    This is really one of the advantages, as yet, of the traditional darkroom - the sort of flexibility that Al talks about. I was at Oleg Klimov's show here in Amsterdam, last week where he showed mostly 24x16's, which worked very well. One of the images, though, was blown up to two metres high and looked amazing, considering it was from a 35mm neg,(Summicron 35, I think).

    He had a few 12x9's but they looked a little lost in the gallery space, and the detail doesn't attract the attention of the larger prints.
     
  24. Just curious, but how many of you have a digital printer that can knock out 16"x24" prints at home? I've done it in my darkroom.
    For prints that big, I use a LightJet at my local lab, and I've sold several 20x24's this month all digitally printed. Have a problem with that?
    Just curious, how many of you actually print color in your darkroom? How many of you consider B/W superior to color simply because you're too stupid to use a dichroic head and color paper?
    Next question, who here wastes their time enlarging that stupid 35mm format vs MF or LF?
    However when I do switch on the V35 and see the print appearing in the dish it still gives a sense of achievement that no digital printing supplies
    You stare over a tray of RA4 and watch a color print develop? Of, I forget, fine art printing is only B/W....I forgot.
     
  25. Whoa there Mr. Eaton! Did you eat something that upset your tummy? I'm quite familiar with large format. I even owned an 8x10 Deardorf at one time, and for close to 30 years owned a relatively complete set of glass for my 4x5 monorail camera that I used on a regular basis. I even had an Omega D-2V XL enlarger. Of course all the prints made back in the good old days are either B&W or badly faded! Medium format included a Century Graphic, Brooks Paubel Veriwide 100, a couple of Rollies, a couple of of Minolta Autocords, a 'blad 500CM kit, and a Galvin View kit with glass from 47mm to 180mm. Yeah, I can move around the standards of a comercial view to correct distortion or change the plane of focus as required.

    Sadly, though, this is the LEICA forum and I was talking about printing LEICA negatives. Remember those? Those itty bitty postage stamp sized things? And once in awhile some of us happen to take a photograph that somebody would like to get printed bigger what'll fit on 8x10 paper.
     
  26. Still printing by hand. I'm actually looking at buying a Saunders/LPL 4500 series VCCE
    enlarger and would love to have a permanent darkroom space.

    I have a Nikon SCS5000ED scanner that I use instead of making contact sheets and for
    digital output to the local Lightjet printer. I also have a Piezography setup, but I'm not
    exactly thrilled with it. Just don't like matte finish paper. It looks dead to me.

    I have yet to see a digital process that matches the beauty and richness of a good glossy
    fiber print.


    feli
     
  27. "Next question, who here wastes their time enlarging that stupid 35mm format vs MF or LF?"

    Uhhh... that would be me. The gallery that's showing my pics wanted 16x20. I went along with their expertise in such matters and I have to agree that the larger prints have more impact.

    I'm comfortable shooting with a Leica and I'm not about to switch to medium format for street photography. FWIW, and at the risk of saying anything complimentary about Leica products which might offend the sensibilities of those who are of the opinion that Leica equipment is all hype, some of the the folks at the darkroom (who have a great deal more printing experience than I do) were favorably surprised at the sharpness of my images taken with Leica Summicron lenses (35mm and 50mm) when enlarged to 16x20. Anyway, isn't sharpness just a bourgeoisie concept? ;>)

    Dennis

    Dennis
     
  28. I just got out of the darkroom, and I'll be heading back in after a break. Got about 30 rolls of film to proof and only a couple of weeks in town. (I'm betting I'll get only a third of them done.) As far as the "dead" vs. "alive" look, I still prefer my wet darkroom b&w over digital b&w prints I've made, but I'm far from an expert on making digital prints. I've got plenty of color inkjet prints that looks as good or better than custom wet prints.
    Just curious, how many of you actually print color in your darkroom? How many of you consider B/W superior to color simply because you're too stupid to use a dichroic head and color paper?
    I've done it before. Stopped doing it because it was a huge pain in the ass, not because it was too mentally challenging. If I'd had an automated print developer or other tools to ease the tedium, I might have done more. As is, I much prefer the digital route for custom color.
    Next question, who here wastes their time enlarging that stupid 35mm format vs MF or LF?
    I do, but I don't consider it a waste of time. I shoot, develop, and print medium and large format, too, but 35mm better suits a lot of my needs.
     
  29. I've gone digital, but I keep a Thermos full of noxious fumes nearby for inspiration.
     
  30. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    I think Scott may have gotten an invite message on his little cell phone to do a flash-mob on the Leica forum, but it looks like he was the only one to show up.
     
  31. Digital B&W can look quite good with CERTAIN types of shots. If you don't need a lot of
    Shadow detail for instance.

    I print B&W Digitally only if: I have to make 50 copies for my family (I scan the original
    print). The original format was Digital. Or if I have to Photoshop skin Blemishes or some
    other kind of retouching that I can't do in the darkroom.

    jmp
     
  32. "Just curious, but how many of you have a digital printer that can knock out 16"x24" prints at home? I've done it in my darkroom."

    I do. I have an Epson 9600. Next question.

    A worthless comment on printing - since size is limited only by the equipment in which you are willing to invest. So, Al - just what is your point?
     
  33. Anthony,
    Still wet enlarging on long column 1c up to 20"x 16'''s., but mostly
    doing 10" x 8" prints these days.
    I have a V35 but prefer the older enlarger.
     
  34. Usually, photographers who badmouth 35mm because it doesn't enlarge as
    well as MF or LF never learned how to interpret a really good print, and lack
    the talent to make a really good photograph in any format. They run around
    looking for inspiration in their equipment rather then their technique, and
    because larger film begets inherently sharper images they assume that their
    mediocre imagery is somehow transformed because it's on bigger film. It's a
    conceit of the untalented.

    For myself, the process of working with a small handheld camera, with superb
    optics and then printing on my V35 is simply unto itself. I love the process and
    the resultant look. Well executed silver gelatin prints have a depth to their
    surface and a luminance that is simply lacking in desktop inkjet. I do both by
    the way. I have the calibrated equipment and can capture with high end MF
    gear. And the inkjets look just marvelous. But they don't look the same as
    silver gelatin and why should they? Two different print processes completely.
    Each requiring practice and diligence to master.
     
  35. My point, I assumed, was self evident to most all the people who addressed the issue. It's relatively inexpensive to set up to do the occasional large print via wet process. Turn your enlarger around for floor projection and buy a few trays, perhaps used, BINGO!, you're good to go! How much did your printer cost? How many people here can justify the cost? Factor in the cost of periodic maintainance, the reality that the cost of ink and paper isn't all that much cheaper than wet process, and long beforethe trays wear out your printer is obsolete. I bought my trays used back in the 60's and they still work.

    Hey, if you want to do it that way I'm not about to stop you. There are places in town that can print photos on film that covers the side of a bus. At some point, size-wise, I'm not going to attempt it in my darkroom. At that point your printer won't cut it either.
     
  36. who here wastes their time enlarging that stupid 35mm format vs MF or LF?

    A shower of tears left little scotties face...they did not so understand. The tears turned to a little puddle which was stepped upon by an uncaring person wearing plastic boots. In the natural rhythm of the universe the puddle evaporated and eventually left a dying planet.

    A being sitting on the rim of the universe was touched by them. It created the small swarming things, which for want of a better word it called life. It wanted to feel the tears of the swarming things to understand that which it had called life.
     
  37. Demon........
    00AWKB-21021484.jpg
     
  38. Turn your enlarger around for floor projection and buy a few trays, perhaps used, BINGO!, you're good to go!
    Open up photoshop, hit print, lean back, have a sandwich and a beer...ya good to go. Open up another file, hit print, light up a Cohiba...good to go...never even have to stand up.
    Plus you get a lot, lot more control over an image in PS than in 'any' wet darkroom.
     
  39. "My point, I assumed, was self evident to most all the people who addressed the issue. It's relatively inexpensive to set up to do the occasional large print via wet process. Turn your enlarger around for floor projection and buy a few trays, perhaps used, BINGO!, you're good to go!"

    Yeah, sure Al. And they all have sinks large enough for the trays, and a washer large enough for the prints, too? Please, give me a break. I've actually processed mural paper in homemade 50-inch x 75-inch trays, and alternately in a homemade PVC processing tube. Either way - it's a pain in the butt - let's not pretend otherwise. If you're not setup to process the largest size print you want to make - the "occasional" usage rapidly becomes "zero" specifically because of the PITA factor.

    "How much did your printer cost? How many people here can justify the cost?"

    Don't care - not my problem. If you want to make big prints, on a regular basis, a 9600 is far cheaper than the dedicated darkroom alternatives - especially for color work. My printer is far cheaper than a roller transport processor for 50-inch color paper - guaranteed. It's smaller, doesn't require dedicated plumbing, and doesn't need 220 Vac power - again, don't try and play that game with me. Been there, done that, own all the T-shirts.

    "Factor in the cost of periodic maintainance, the reality that the cost of ink and paper isn't all that much cheaper than wet process, and long beforethe trays wear out your printer is obsolete. I bought my trays used back in the 60's and they still work."

    I rarely do B&W. The same factors for color processing make color processing equipment MORE expensive than my 9600. Nice that your trays still work - how impressive. Please make a 44-inch by 48-inch color print in your used trays - then get back to me on the practicality of digital color printing.

    "Hey, if you want to do it that way I'm not about to stop you."

    Thanks, you couldn't anyway.

    "There are places in town that can print photos on film that covers the side of a bus. At some point, size-wise, I'm not going to attempt it in my darkroom."

    My point exactly. That's where you switch to digital printing.


    "At that point your printer won't cut it either."

    You have absolutely NO idea what you're talking about. Please define "cut it." The guys who wrap buses with graphics use either HP, Roland, or Epson large format printers - anything they can do, I can do with the correct material and ink.

    Will a 9600 print look like a LightJet print of the same size? No, it will look different than a LightJet because the paper and output method is different. Will the LightJet print look better? No, it will only look different.

    Depending upon one's aesthetic requirements, the 9600 print may fullfill the requirement better, or the LightJet print may fullfill the requirement better - it's a personal choice.

    It's very obvious that your comments do not come from practical experience but from total conjecture.
     
  40. as usual
     
  41. I do both. I just got an incredible deal on a D5XL and Ilfospeed 500H head. It will be my
    first enlarger, though I am familiar with it from the rental darkroom that I normally print
    at. At this point, I get great color prints on my Epson 2200, but the black and white fiber
    prints I have made look much better to me. I have difficulty getting a neutral print, and the
    shadow detail is not that great. I imagine that if I got better at ICC profling and dedicated
    a printer to
    quadtone black and white, this might change, but I really like working in a wet darkroom.
    It is soothing to me. If I had to print a bunch of prints for a deadline, I probably would not
    enjoy it as much, but for my own purposes, I love it. I just play some nice music and get to
    work. I think there is certainly room for both. I was very skeptical about fine art inkjet
    work until I saw the work of Keith Fishman, a Santa Barbara photographer. He shoots on
    an M3 and scans on an Imacon, printing on an epson. The images have a different feel
    than most I have seen, but they are just as beautiful as anything I have seen out of the
    darkroom. To each his own, or both!
     
  42. Steve and Elmo illustrate my point exactly. Most working pros still use conventional means (both capture and output) for their 'personal work' if they indeed do any. Again, digital often in the working world is 'good enough'...it's just too bad, as I stated earlier that this has become our Mantra. Kicking back and lighting a Cohiba is far more important these days than going that extra mile to put out the absolute best quality you can manage. It's evident in everything today from cars to cloths, to photography. The idea that if the people looking at your work are satisfied with good enough...well that's all I'll do. Too bad.
     
  43. I've had 35mm slides scanned on an 800 Imacon and printed on an epson 9600 - Lovely - as good as Stuart implies. But that printer is a very big beast and very expensive. It might be worth it if you print large colour and want control over the whole process. But for those who like 35mm b&W printed large, like many here seem to, the 9600 seems to be the expensive, high-tech way to go - nothing wrong with that, but as Al says, the darkroom is a lot simpler and cheaper.

    For what it's worth Steve, you don't need to put the trays in a sink and you can wash RC paper anywhere - in the shower if you like - it's that simple.

    As for Scott, he really needs something on that other shoulder to balance that weighty chip out.
     
  44. I end up doing both, but black and white is superior in my darkroom. I have a focomat 1c, a Besler 45MCRX...with the small space I have now I only do 11x14 most of the time with a few 16x20' on ocassion. I scan with a Nikon 4000 and get great results for color and some colorized black and white that I like a lot, but a black and white print on glossy dried matte has a look I can't duplicate or come close to with the computer... now I can't really come close to some of the things I'm doing with the computer for a "sepia" print.
    00AWMS-21022284.jpg
     
  45. A photo, enjoyable to look at.
     
  46. Scanned film.
    00AWN6-21022384.jpg
     
  47. Choice of printing method has nothing to do with "good enough." I have a full black and white, and color darkroom. I have a D2V with a Beseler 45A colorhead, I have an Aristo cold light head, and the D2V condenser head. I also have a color roller transport processor. I have trays that go up to 20 x 24 inches, a 10-foot long processing sink, a 3-foot square washing sink with a dedicated print washer that will accomodate 20x24-inch prints. I have drying racks that are large enough for 20x24-inch prints.

    In the "lightroom" next to the darkroom, I have an Imacon 646 scanner and an Epson 9600. My current aesthetic, choice for my personal work is to shoot color film, scan with the 646, and print on the Epson 9600. I like the way the color prints look better than wet process photographic materials.

    I have the background, training, equipment, and years of experience to make what ever type of print I want. I also know the difference between "good enough" and "perfect" for what I want my work to look like.

    The idea that well done color inkjet prints from a high end printer are somehow inferior to a wet darkroom print just isn't true. Only the aesthetic is different because you're using ink on rag paper.

    After 30 years of printing on glossy color photo papers, the change is refreshing and fits my work better. I like being able to rip a deckle edge, and treat the print like a lithograph by floating it on the mount board so it casts a slight shadow around the print when displayed. Difficult to do with standard photo papers.
     
  48. "For what it's worth Steve, you don't need to put the trays in a sink and you can wash RC paper anywhere - in the shower if you like - it's that simple."

    Sure...whatever. The first time I had to wash prints in a bathtub was 1968 - it was stupid then and it's still a PITA way to handle materials today. Secondly, I can't stand RC paper. The glossy looks like garbage and, well...so do the other surfaces.

    But, I guess for some people, RC is "good enough." (extra large smiley face.)
     
  49. I just reworked my darkroom. New Omega/LPL enlarger, new LPL timer, Saunders 4-blade easel, new Versalab print washer, a couple of new larger capacity steel tanks and a lot of new 35mm and 120 reels. I also bought several packages of different brands of fiber based photo paper in 11x14 to try out. I've been processing in a chemical darkroom since 1973 except for a few idle years. I've printed color and I've scanned and printed with ink but they hold no interest for me. I like working in black and white. I like silver.
     
  50. "I have...I have...I have...etc." Yes Steve, you have a lot; the envy of many no doubt. You seem to have everything, except charm.

    For those of us that have neither the space nor the bank balance an enlarger and a small dark room seem to offer many possibilities.
     
  51. For me, making prints in the darkroom is a therapy. It's my way to improve myself, with minimum automation. It's me alone, in my world, no distraction.

    It's the time when I can really practice and interact with my photography and my mind is free from everything else. It's the time when I can listen to good music. It's the time when I can really create something special and original, something that has literally my touch, and that can't be send by email because it's phisical and personal, not virtual.

    It's dealing with the nature of our universe. It's handling the photograph, not pressing buttons. When you touch an original print you're touching its author. And that makes me a big difference.

    That's the way I feel about wet enlarging and that's why I do it.

    But feeling changes from individual to individual.
     
  52. for me A.never produced a print on a computer that has come anywhere near rivaling "wet print" and B. just love the darkroom and making prints the whole putting the final prints on the racks and waiting till next morning to be elated or dissapointined just love it. Trad for me!
     
  53. For those that knock digital prints I would suggest that you think back to how long it took you to learn how to print in the darkroom. If your experience was anything like mine, it took a quite a while before you were getting prints you were proud of. The same can be said of digital - if you think you are going to learn how to do it in an afternoon you are going to be disappointed.

    It takes skill and perseverance - the results, just like traditional printing can be excellent. I recently had to produce three copies of an exhibition (3 x 30 prints). I decided it would be more manageable doing them digitally. I would say, that the first set took me about the same time as I would have done wet printing, however the next two sets took much less time. Quality wise, I have had quite a bit of feedback commenting on how much people like the prints. One person even told me at an opening that 'those people shooting digital will never get this quality!'.

    If you think digital prints are inferior, I would look at your technique.
     
  54. Bob,
    Again, digital often in the working world is 'good enough'...
    Most working pros still use conventional means (both capture and output) for their 'personal work'

    Bob, it's very clear that you haven't been to any galleries or museums lately.
    ...than going that extra mile
    The time to go the extra mile is still there it just happens in PS which offers far greater control over an image than any amount of time standing over an easel.
    ps: it's edmo not elmo, nothing like an eye for detail.
     
  55. Re Al's comment on making 16x24 prints...

    My desktop printer does 13 x whatever. I can make a bunch of prints from one file which
    has perhaps a dozen or more ps edits (multiple local burning/dodging, contrast tweaks,
    etc) - and the last print will be identical to the first. And in color if desired. Can you do
    that Al?

    If I need to go 16x24 I'll ftp the file to WHCC where 1-off prints cost $18.25, metallic a
    little extra. No tax and free shipping. If I really wanted to, I could buy an Epson 4000
    desktop printer which is good for 17" wide. And all of these options support color. How
    do you do large color using wet process at home? At WHCC, I can go to 30x45, again with
    multiple prints that are identical. Can you?

    Printing large - such a silly metric. Edmo's first comment was spot-on.
     
  56. Ricardo -- eloquent personal statement.

    Edmo -- "elmo" would give you a red, furry feeling; might want to try it on for size before you you dismiss it?

    Back to topic: Isn't it clear that "fine art printing" is now done both traditionally and using modern digital equipment (for capture, image adjustment, and/or output)?

    And does "fine art printing" even have a universally accepted definition today -- by which I mean a definition other than "printing a photograph carefully on quality paper, so that it looks good and lasts a long time?"
     
  57. this is boreing
     
  58. It really depends on whether you like PS with lights off or no PS with lights off. I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. Whatever keeps you high I guess..
     
  59. I prefer looking at the monitor with the lights off.
     
  60. "And does "fine art printing" even have a universally accepted definition today..."

    And WTF does "fine art" even mean? I've never understood that designation, sounds like something cooked up by gallery owners. I guess it's got to be good; it is fine art after all...
     
  61. Add me to the (wet) darkroom diehards... Three years ago I was still doing RA4 color in it but now the scanners and the Epson 2200 have all but replaced the Nova processor; the output of the Epson on Ilford Gallerie Pearl paper is better than any wet color print I could make in 35 years of having learned the craft.

    On the other hand, wet Black and White printing is a real joy to me. I have a small (2x4m) but well outfitted dedicated darkroom with a 4x5 LPL enlarger with color head that I use now almost exclusively for variable contrast, a Nova Monochrome slot processor that allows me to go into the darkroom for two or three prints if I want, and a sink large enough for 16x20 trays. Usually, I no longer print larger than 11x14, I've found that there's only so much wall space and family and friends tend to appreciate more smaller prints.

    I can do a wet B&W RC print (usually Ilford MG-IV) faster than I can scan and print in the 2200. I've had for a few years a RH designs variable contrast enlarger meter (a ZoneMaster II) that lets me value a negative in less than two minutes and usually come with a perfect work print on the first try. Since most of my 35mm work now is street photography, I don't need to do extensive dodging and burnig. Thus cranking out a print from the moment I put the negative in the carrier to placing it in the washer is less than ten minutes.

    Needless to say, this is only for work prints. Doing a real exhibition quality print is what I really enjoy and this is a completely different ball game. As you know fiber prints require lengthy processing, archival washing and toning. However, I truly like going in the DR with a single negative or two and coming out three or four hours later having left three or four prints to dry in the rack.
     
  62. For those of you who are bragging about the fact that every computer generated print is exactly the same as every other one, keep in mind that in the traditional print making processes used by artists over the years, whether lithographs or one one of the intaglio methods such as etching or engraving, the plate is inked by hand and each print is put in the press one at a time. Some may be rejected. No two are ever exactly alike. Isn't it then strange that the 25 or perhaps 50 "imperfect" prints can then be signed and sold in galleries for hundreds or even thousands of dollars each while an edition of many thousands of "perfect" identical copies made by offset lithography might be called "posters" and bring a few dollars apiece at most?
     
  63. Excellent points, Al.

    BTW, is there a forum for nonconformists like us?
     
  64. ...whether lithographs or one one of the intaglio methods such as etching or engraving, ...
    And what does any of that have to do with the topic here?
     
  65. Jeesh, Al, why the obfuscation? What you mentioned is not strange at all. At least stay on-
    topic and address what was posed.
     
  66. You're too quick Ed...
     
  67. Jeesh, Brad. What obfuscation? One of the points brought up by the digital mavens was that you could make all those exactly identical copies after just one tweaking in Photoshop. I was merely commenting on the penchant that art collectors have for art work that reflects a bit of the artist's actually having put some effort into that particular piece that they're buying, something "hands on". Or did you have to consult Webster when I mentioned intaglio?
     
  68. I print in the wet darkroom. Usually I print full frame 8x12 image on 11x14 paper. However, sometimes I print full frame 12x18image on 16x20 paper. I'm talking about 35mm negs. Sometimes a specific image "wants to be printed large. Other images want to be printed small. Right now I have 3 12x18 prints hanging in a great restaurant near my home. Each print fills the wall and can be seen by every customer in the room without getting up from their seat. For the NYC crowd, especially Edmo, why are you so defensive about digital prints. You seem to need to champion their qualty. Why? As for value as in BUCKS spent for prints. Go to AIPAD in NYC in Febuary at the Hilton and see how many digital prints are for sale. There might be, but they won't be selling for 5000.00, average price for print at Aipad, nor will they be selling for 75,000.00 which many of the prints are priced. In fact Edmo, lets go together we will see alot of famous high quality prints and we can shoot during breaks.
     
  69. To edmo: By the way, my son and I look at your photos all the time. There are 2 abstract images I would like to print in my wet darkroom. They are the " curtain" shot and a wall shot that words can't describe:but it is a real Killer. I would really like the chance to see what I could do with those 2 negs. I'll get in touch via e=mail
     
  70. I think Tony may have gotten an invite message on his little cell phone to do some acid
    and post on the Leica forum, and it looks like his friends showed up high too.
     
  71. Or did you have to consult Webster when I mentioned intaglio?
    No (thanks for the insult, though), but perhaps you should look up obfuscation. We're talking about photography, not fine art lithography. Jeez, Al, get off that high horse. A few extra well-crafted New Years resolutions could really help you going forward...
     
  72. Digital vs Film: the Thread that wouldn't Die.

    Just for the record, the field I work in these days, which is documentary photography of violins, has almost completely gone over to digital. Open a new violin picture book, a lot or most of it's probably going to be totally digital. When precise, lifelike color and rendition is what it's all about, digital is the answer. If you can't get there digitally to your satisfaction, it's a poor workman who blames his tools, as they say.

    I worked in the darkroom professionally from about 1965 on, doing commercial work and professional printing, among other things, on and off, and gladly gave all my wet stuff away to a college photography student in about 2000. Don't miss it a bit. Not even a speck. I've been keeping my Leica stuff in the thought that I'd go back to it sometime, but for the life of me I can't remember why I thought that.

    I remember the same whining about the end of life as we know it when the original Kodachrome went off the market.
     
  73. A few extra well-crafted New Years resolutions could really help you going forward...​

    Doesn't help. He did the same thing last year, then continued trolling and when someone pointed it out he said he was waiting for the new year. :-() And then when the new year rolled around, well, he just broke the resolution.
     
  74. "I remember the same whining about the end of life as we know it when the original Kodachrome went off the market."

    Who's whining? Digital photohraphy is a wonderful technology that is immediate and versatile and, particul;arly with color photgraphy, makes excellent prints. However, there is not only a difference from film photography in the methodology, there is a difference in the look as well.

    Some of us, if you haven't figured it our yet, still prefer the old method. I can't figure out why, particularly on a forum that was originally devoted to the more traditional ways of making pictures, every time anyone posts anything favorable to the old methodology the digital crowd gets so defensive.

    Digital is the norm now. Digital sales now surpass film photography. Digital is conformity. Film is nonconformity. Are you so uncomfortable with nonconformity that you feel compelled to convert the world?

    Dennis
     
  75. John, defensive? Not being defensive.
    Why? Because it offers more control over the image than possible in a darkroom, plain and simple, just have to know your tools.
    Though comments like "...working photogs prefer...", "intaglio methods such as etching or engraving", c'mon WTF, you gotta be drilling me?
    Printing in the darkroom, no problems with that. If I had the space I'd have one again in a heartbeat.
    I'll go with you, you gonna buy me a print?
    "the curtain shot and a wall" beats me but yeah, you can print them.
     
  76. ...every time anyone posts anything favorable to the old methodology the digital crowd gets so defensive.
    That notion comes up a lot. Any examples?
     
  77. "That notion comes up a lot. Any examples?"

    Just my observation, Brad, and I'm not about to start a war by calling out names. But, if as you say, "that notion comes up a lot", then obviously I am not the only one who shares that observation. It's not pretty either...

    Dennis
     
  78. That's my point, Dennis. I believe that's a perception that is rarely supported by fact.
    There's this belief that if anyone challenges an assertion put forward here, he's an
    automatic "film basher," or part of the digital crowd. I think that in itself is a pretty
    reflexive (on this forum anyway) and defensive response.

    Who is the digital crowd, anyway, and what are they saying? To move the discussion along,
    I took exception with Al's claim about digital not being able to knock out 16x24 prints -
    something that's been done routinely (if someone needs that size) for quite awhile. Does
    that make me defensive because I pointed that out. Or is it Grant? Ed? Nope, they're into
    film.

    That's why when such claims are made I ask for examples.
     
  79. Brad, all Al asked was: "Just curious, but how many of you have a digital printer that can knock out 16"x24" prints at home? I've done it in my darkroom."

    And you took exception to that? Again, I'm not getting into a war by naming people but there are folks here who never miss an opportunity to make snide remarks about anything positive said about film in general and Leica equipment in particular. Obviously I'm not the only one who's noticed this either. How about if I trolled the Nikon and Canon forums, or the digital forum, and everytime someone made complimentary staements about their choice of equipment I posted how full of crap they were and how Leica can blow the doors off anything else? What's the point?

    Dennis
     
  80. i dont think als made a print in 10 years, so the points kinda mute, eh?
     
  81. "i dont think als made a print in 10 years, so the points kinda mute, eh?"

    Maybe you mean the point is moot, eh? Anyway what difference does it make how long it's been since Al has printed anything? Al has probabaly forgotten more about photography than most people here will ever know.

    Dennis
     
  82. no, i meant mute, whooosh...over ur head...as usual
     
  83. What, the point is silent? Yea, that is way over my head.
     
  84. How about if I trolled the Nikon and Canon forums, ...
    Who's trolling? Most have been on this forum for several years. Everyone has opinions, and fortunately they're not all monolithic in nature. A lot of silly stuff gets said here. Some of it's going to be challenged. That's what discussion and life are about. No one is bashing film or leica cameras - just some of the silly claims from some people.
     
  85. "A fool with a tool is still a fool."

    Utne Reader current issue has some compelling Vietnam images created by photographic negatives on plant leaves placed in the sun to create burned in images on the leaves. Neither digital or wet darkroom, just art, creativity, communication and beauty.

    What's better: a Porsche or a pick-up truck? Depends on what you want to do.

    So why bother arguing about better per se on digital or wet darkroom?
     
  86. Monolithic? LOL. That seems to describe the conformists moreso than the noncomformists.

    As far as some of the people being around here for years, that may be true but their interests have changed. This forum was fun when there was a commonality of interest. By that I don't mean uniformity in ideas at all. The common interest was Leica film photography. I imagine it's like a Porsche club that is suddenly overrun by Corvette owners. Personally I don't care whether digital is superior to film photography. It would be nice though to have a place to discuss film photography in general and Leica equipment in particular without inviting ugly remarks from people who have no interest in common with you except photography in general. It might be different if their remarks were at least polite...

    Dennis
     
  87. As far as some of the people being around here for years, that may be true but their interests have changed.
    Should those people with changed interests just go away then? It's a community and it's about what Tony describes as rangefinder style photography. Doesn't the LUG offer what you described?
     
  88. "Should those people with changed interests just go away then?"

    No but some of them could at least learn to be polite... Look at this thread. It wasn't obnoxious or inflammatory. The original poster simply wanted to know who still did wet printing.
     
  89. The original poster simply wanted to know who still did wet printing.
    True and at 11:27 the troll thread got a case of the runs.
     
  90. dennis has selective vision it seems
     
  91. Film basher...
     
  92. "dennis has selective vision it seems"

    Aaaah, Grant, another comment totally lacking in either intelligence or interesting content. Kinda like your photos. Just bullsh*t in a pseudo veneer of hipness.

    Good night all...

    Dennis
     
  93. im hip? kool!
     
  94. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

  95. well put Eric...

    anyhow.......Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD)..........Feb 12-15........Hilton, NYC......sounds cool. Which day John and Edmo........Saturday or Sunday (12th or 13th)?

    Ya know John, your prices of wet darkroom prints there might have more to do with the fact that artists that can command that type of price have been in photography a long time, and that most of their work has already been put out on wet darkroom materials....pre modern day digital printing technology....I mean, even Duggal is digital printing these days, so I can't imagine we are still talking "home tech" output from them. And whether home printing is state of the art or not, most of those prints for sale at that show were probably done by a commercial house. I think if we are to enter that realm of digatal and "analog" prints we would have to consider the utimate printing capabilities of both mediums (both hardware, software, and technician), not home tech stuff or "John Doe" at the healm. Not disputing what you imply, but that thought did run thru my head as I read what you wrote.....
     
  96. Grant, I'm in that darkroom several times a week developing film and printing "wet process" prints. I purchase 8x10 paper in 250 sheet boxes.

    I see nothing wrong with comparing the uniqueness of individually burned, dodged, and developed wet prints to hand inked and pulled graphic arts prints, whether intaglio or litho, because it seems that's becoming more and more the residual market for traditional photographic processes. It's a market that places a much higher value on the hand made product than on a mass run by a digital printer. Putting me down for bringing up that point is not going to affect the reality of the market place. It's the difference between buying an original Edward Weston print for several thousand dollars or buying a book of Edward Weston photographs, tearing out the pages and framing them.

    At this point, Ladies & Gentlemen, I'm bowing out of this thread. My heart felt thanks to Dennis and a few others for attempting to retain some civility here.
     
  97. My heart felt thanks to Dennis and a few others for attempting to retain some civility here.​

    Quoting ever-civil Dennis: "bullsh*t"
     
  98. The same brat pack as usual with their infantile mobbing techniques.

    The digital workflow sounds great, very convenient, once you've mastered it, no smells and easy repeatability. Once you've invested in the printer and inks your set to go. Printers are expensive, of course, don't last long, and the bigger print you want the more you have to pay. The ink is also expensive unless you bulk buy and do black only like Jim Arnold. All good stuff, I'm glad that it exists and I hope to try it at some point.

    But, if you have a darkroom, or have a yen for one and are only interested in B&W that also offers an extremely versatile, flexible and economical way of producing prints as good as they have ever been made and to a large size with little effort at home.

    Of course it's not for everyone, so why worry?
     
  99. It's the difference between buying an original Edward Weston print for several thousand dollars or buying a book of Edward Weston photographs, tearing out the pages and framing them.
    Al, if that's the case then someone should mention that to the likes of Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, Mike and Doug Starn, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney among many others and the institutions that exhibit their works.
     
  100. I spoke with Lillian bassman earlier this year. After decades of doing her own darkroom
    work, she's now made final 'prints' in Photoshop and prints digitally when needed. And
    she's delighted by it.
     
  101. Perhaps HCB had it right all along, let someone else worry
    about the freaking printing;*)
     
  102. A line got crossed on this website some time ago. Good-natured ribbing between film and digital users turned to polarized intolerance. It's petty and it's stupid because, contrary to some opinions, photography ain't hard. It doesn't require a lot of brain power, insight or technical knowledge. Being an excellent photographer doesn't prove superior intellect or qualify anyone for arrogance.

    I don't have time for this anymore.
     
  103. The same brat pack as usual with their infantile mobbing techniques.
    The unfortunate thing is, Robert, views you and others post about topics other than leica are not always accurate. And when, that's pointed out, you (and others) seem to feel the need to make rather childish remarks like the one above. A fine example of brat-pack mentality...
     
  104. Can an expert of digiprint and an expert of wet print send me
    their *hard* b+w print to compare by any chance?? I would pay
    shipping and all.
     
  105. "...views you and others post about topics other than leica are not always accurate."

    Believe it or not, Brad, I quite often agree with you about this. On the wedding forum the other day, an apparent newcomer asked a question about Auto focus vs. Manual focus and got the usual amount of misinformation from more than one respondent about AF 'hunting' and the photographer 'losing control' of the camera. But the best approach seems to be just to state the facts plainly, post a pic if it helps, and let the results speak for themselves. Cheers and Merry Xmas!
     
  106. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I've never read any pro digital user bash a film user. I have witnessed over and over again intelligent corrections attempted towards digital and often are inferred as an attack on film. More pointless is the film users opinion on digital that have never tried or walked the digital workflow. I find this amazing; to have an opinion on something one has never tried while arguing with people that have experience in both film and digital. And lost arguments end like this:

    "At this point, Ladies & Gentlemen, I'm bowing out of this thread. My heart felt thanks to Dennis and a few others for attempting to retain some civility here."-Al

    "The same brat pack as usual with their infantile mobbing techniques."-Robert

    Just an observation. It always was civil here Al. Name calling insults doesn't help any member or the group, Robert.

    "A line got crossed on this website some time ago. Good-natured ribbing between film and digital users turned to polarized intolerance."-Lee

    Yes indeed and perfectly worded Lee. Such ashame.

    Leslie, if you live in a large city, find a digital printing house that uses The Roland with third party dedicated grey inks.

    Pure thorough-bred photographers embrace and explore all creative tools. They get excited about new possibilities and use them. That's all I can say.
     
  107. any of you want to continue play with these toxic chemicals especially these for color printing?, do you want to dump these wastes around your house? maybe be one day you find you have had Leukemia due to these chemical, that will be too late for you. so forget about the wet darkroom, not worth it for the benefits you gained. Most of the mass photofinishers do not use inkinjet printer to finish your photos, their quality is limitted by your original scanned file.
     
  108. Come on boys. Don't you all realize it's the end product that counts, not how you get there!
     
  109. Eric--

    I wasn't in an argument. I was stating what I prefer to do and how some seem to be intolerant of it on this website.

    "More pointless is the film users opinion on digital that have never tried or walked the digital workflow."

    I don't need to punch myself in the eye with a sharp stick to know I don't like it.

    I don't like spinach. It's okay with me if you want to eat it. But don't try to shove it down my throat. I might bite you.
     
  110. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    I like digital photography and I'm becoming more comfortable with the digital process, especially using a digital camera along side a film-based one to verify lighting and exposure. But my day job is entirely with computers, has been for two and half decades, and being on them all day long is tiresome enough, much less using one at home. They're work to me. The traditional darkroom is a vacation away from computers. Relaxing, and I love the smell of dem chemicals. I don't need my relaxation time to be more versatile or productive.
     
  111. I have a darkroom but it just seems more efficient to get the digital file the way i want it and then upload it to someone for enlargements. I keep thinking I could use the space for something else but can't bring myself to dismantle the old darkroom. Most of what i have read here seems like the old "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" type thing. It is what you prefer and what you have time for that governs your choice.
     
  112. Oh dear Brad, it doesn't suit you when you try to reach above the monosyllabic illiteracy of your more ascerbic chums - you sound so prim.

    I for one really appreciate Al's approach. I enjoy many of his narratives and the temperance of his responses. I can't remember him resorting to the one-line point scoring of Grunt or Edmo.

    Another thing I like about him is that he continues to use older equipment, which by all accounts didn't cost him much and has paid for itself many times over. I like the way he extols the virtues of its reliability and longevity; and I like the way that he is still actively producing a lot of work using what many would consider out-dated equipment.

    I also like the way that this contrasts with the perpetual tendency of many to thirst after every new thing - whether it is the latest digital or the latest ink-jet printer. Of course these things can represent progress, interesting new workflows, efficiency in time or cleanliness, repeatability etc. etc. Yes, and for some people they are clearly the way forward. Yet they are also one more symptom of the disposable, wasteful, consumerist society we live in. Al carries on without it and good for him.

    All that really matters is that people produce interesting work, that is at least satisfying to them. Al harnesses old technology to that end, with the mentality that if it isn't bust then don't fix it, and makes a virtue of his frugal resourcefulness. He clearly enjoys what he can do with his old, simple equipment, and to be honest, some of the best work I've seen over the years has also been made on exactly the same sort of stuff.

    So whether you are a Scott Easton ranting against 35mm and B&W, or a Steve Swinehart (apt name) sneering at anyone still using this old junk, or a Grant or an Edmo, continually trying to be grunge smart (if only), it is only the end product that counts. The traditional darkroom can and has provided that in spades.
     
  113. Whatever, Robert - no time to read your tiny rant. Please give Al a juicy kiss for me
    though...
     
  114. Al ought to take a break from writing "narratives" and use the time to learn to operate a scanner.
     
  115. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Lee, you took my post the wrong way. i was agreeing with you...that it was such ashame the forum has gone from ribbing to nipping...
     
  116. wow, an astonishing lack of manners and a thread full of vitriol. i have only two comments.....1) grant...it is moot, not mute. 2) i want some of whatever allen herbert (3:59pm) is smoking/drinking.
     
  117. hee, hee....mute vs. moot! love it. guess that is what digi does to you after awhile. maybe everyone should hit the mute button (~__-)
     
  118. To Thomas Sullivan and Edm0: Saturday the 12th would be best. Sunday things wind down and people are packing up and sales have been made. Actually best day to go is fridaywhich I can't make. Lets do it I have gone many times and it is REALLY worth it. The show opens at 11;00am, I think. I will get in around 8:30 and shoot for a couple hours and would love to meet with you guys to shoot. I missed last year. I have never seen a digital print at the show from 1998 to 2002 notwithstanding that a minority of work is contemporary and new. Maybe this year will be different and we can talk to a couple of the galeery owners or reps about this issue. They are very friendly
     
  119. Aren't they digital enlargers which can print digital files onto traditional papers? I believe I saw it posted a few times in this forum. Digital jpegs on RC or fibre? Are these enlargers for sale? Ok personally I find PS gives me more flexibilty in altering contrast/tones and in a faster way with more reproduciblity as compared to the dark room. And cleaner. If I can continue to shoot film, scanned and adjust and then print onto traditional papers using wet techniques with the above digital enlargers, Im a happy man. Here's a pic shot on trix, but burned and dodged in PS to my liking. Within 10 secs in PS. I could still do this using wet techniques but it'll probably take quite a few tries to get it right. Im not good with the latest ink printers or what they are capable of. I will wait for the digital enlargers for the best of both worlds.
    00AXWK-21048584.jpg
     
  120. Came in late to this. I luv fiber based print. Don't consider RC printing to nearly as good and I also luv Digital B/W and color printing as well. Next Semester I will be doing fiber based work at school printing MF stuff. This last semester I scanned and used the Epson 2200. 1st off, it can take just as long to get final prints off of an inkjet as darkroom method. If you learn how and take the time, you can match the quality of dk rm printing on the inkjet. It will be a little different, but it can be of a very high level. Lastly, I really believe its true that you can do a lot more fine tuned adjusting of a print in Photoshop than you will ever be able to do in the dk rm, much finer control. But it took me about 3/4 weeks of inkjet printing nightly for hours to get my final projects finished, consisting of about 45images and yes it was worth it. I'm not sure inkjet printing saves you much time, at least on the first print:)
     
  121. Travis, yours for a mere 30,000 Euros!

    http://www.colex.com/digitalEnlarger.html
     
  122. Who cares a monkeys what anyone uses. Bottom line it's really about....guess.
     
  123. Eric--sorry I nipped at you.
     
  124. I thought Lee didn't "have time for this anymore" (sic)
     
  125. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    no worries Lee.
     

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