Exhibition quality prints from digital files

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Any recommendations for obtaining high quality prints from computer files of black and white images?

Besides making a new negative from the file, is there another way that will yeild an exhibition quality print?

-- john daley (jjdaley@well.com), January 27, 1999


Check out the Cone Editions web sipage te at http://www.cone-editions.com/conetech/dp_pr.htm. I haven't tried any of this, but their process sounds intriguing. They use an Iris printer with special inks and software. They also have information about using inkjet printers for blac-and-white work.

-- Darron Spohn (dspohn@clicknet.com), February 01, 1999.

Other than the negative route there are a couple of possibilities I can think of. First, dye-sublimation prints (I can get them done at a local professional lab for about $10 a piece) are tricky to tell from photos. They're printed on Kodak paper and have a glossy finish. Unfortunately I've only seen them up to 11x17". Another alternative may be to have the file output to film at an image setter. A Velox (greyscale) proof can be had for not a bad sum. The result would be the type of quality you would see in a magazine. You could up the resolution for a bit more quality. Something I have yet to try with this method is having the film output stochastically. Stochastic imaging uses randomly placed globs rather than the ordered different sized circles of a standard linescreen. I'm betting that this would better mimic photographic grain.

If anyone has any successes or failures I'd appreciate hearing about them.

-- Vergil Kanne (vkanne@geocities.com), February 03, 1999.

Have you seen a photo printed on a HP PHOTO SMART PRINTER? Wow, you cannot tell the difference between a real photo and the printed one. They us special ink/paper. The photos take about 6 minutes to dry on glossy paper and a about 2 minutes to dry on matte. Black and white photos come out great. (I think), but I'm not a professional. Vickie

-- Vickie Cole (vickie@staramusement.com), February 05, 1999.

Although I've got a good photo inkjet printer (Epson Stylus Photo EX) and have worked with large-format inkjets and low-end dye sub printers as well, I wouldn't call ANY of these 'exhibition quality' for traditional images (although I've exhibited some large-format inkjet prints of images that were intended to be seen as 'computer manipulated.')

For a conventional photographic look, the best solution I've seen so far seems to be to send the files to a service that has a Lightjet digital enlarger. This uses monochromatic lasers to image your files onto conventional photographic materials, combining some of the best features of digital and conventional imaging.

One place that has both a Lightjet and a Web site where you can read about it is Midwest Photo Company, www.mwphoto.com

-- Jim Williams (jlw@nospam.net), February 06, 1999.

Have a look at my article at the Focus Online magazine on the Epson 1200 (same principle applies to the 740 and 750) http://www.focus-online.com/ Also see extensive article on our website covering scanning. Photoshop and printer settings plus remarks about what and how to scan to get the right file information to achieve the quality in B+W you desire! http://www.photo-snowdonia.freeserve.co.uk Hope these help!

-- Brian SL Allen, HonFZPS,AHFAP (brian@photo-snowdonia.freeserve.co.uk), July 10, 1999.

The best real photo prints that I have gotten are made on a Fuji Pictograph machine for about $20. 8.5X11. Will not fade.

-- Francis Laping (flaping@fast.net), August 20, 1999.

The answer to high end printing from digital files is surely the Genesis system which uses colour photographic paper for output of (very large) Photoshop etc files (typically 30 meg +). I have seen colour samples which are "photographic" even at magnifying glass examination. No reason why mono and duo tones should not be equally impressive...

This is a commercial system obviously and I am writing from England but there may be similar elsewhere...

-- martin zukor (mzukor@hotmail.com), October 25, 1999.

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