Leica Monochrom Print Service
Old 04-15-2015   #1
mexipike
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Leica Monochrom Print Service

Does Leica still offer the print service? I just got a new to me Leica monochrom and registered in the owners area. In the benefits area I have the option to download Lightroom and Nik but I see no print service option.

I know that they did this service through Whitewall and now anyone can order prints through them, didn't know if maybe the Leica order system/service was different/better in any way.
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Old 04-15-2015   #2
Calzone
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Congrates on your new Monochrom.

I've owned mine for over 2 years, and only recently have I been printing with an Epson 3880 using Piezography with stunning results.

I also have been sending files to Digital Silver Imaging near Boston to get silver wet prints made on fiber paper. Some of my DSI prints are 24x36 on 30x40 paper, but if you have a clean file shot at a high shutter speed you can do a "Salgado" and print 60x72.

I have an 8x10 of a zoomed in crop from a 60x72 as a free sample. You can definately get great results, but know that the Monochrom is likely the most demanding digital camera. With perfect exposure the results are stunning, but then again the camera is unforgiving.

Over the years I found that using specifically Heliopan 2X yellow filters marked "Digital" tame or eliminate clipping to aid in making broad histograms with medium format tonality (big midrange). Thw filters maked "Digital" have both IR and UV filters built in that removes signals that deteriorates IQ. Also it seems that the 2X yellow filter (grade 5) hits the sweet spot of the Leica sensor.

Cal
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Old 04-15-2015   #3
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Thanks Calzone!
I usually medium format black and white and find this thing with my non-apo summicron 50 to be incredible!

Is this the filter you're talking about:Heliopan 39mm #5 Light-Yellow Glass Filter for Black and White Film http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l/prm/alsVwDtl

or this one:http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...w_8_Glass.html

I'll look into the lab you mentioned. So I'm guessing Leica no longer offers there service. Oh well, plenty of other options out there.
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Old 04-17-2015   #4
shiro_kuro
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I asked the very same question and here is the response from Leica....
"Thank you very much for your message.
The Whitewall for Leica print service was discontinued by 31. December 2013.
All products, that were available through that service, including baryte black-and-white prints, are still available directly at Whitewall.
This effects a change in the scope of delivery. The "Original Leica Monochrom Print", which was a promotion material for the Whitewall service, will no longer be included in the packaging.

We kindly ask for your understanding.
If you have further questions feel free to contact me."

Mit freundlichen Gruessen / kind regards

Also using the epson 3880 and I am very happy with the prints ....
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Old 04-17-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiro_kuro View Post
"The "Original Leica Monochrom Print", which was a promotion material for the Whitewall service, will no longer be included in the packaging."
Hmm, wonder if that print is now a valuable collectible?

I looked into the Whitwall service soon after I got my Monochrom. I believe and 8"x10" print was something like $80+shipping.
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Old 04-17-2015   #6
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I would highly recommend getting a good printer and print yourself.
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Old 04-17-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
Is this the filter you're talking about:Heliopan 39mm #5 Light-Yellow Glass Filter for Black and White Film http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l/prm/alsVwDtl
M,

It is the grade 5 filter. MAKE SURE IT IS MARKED "DIGITAL."

Using filters to tame the clipping and get rid of signal that does not contribute to IQ allows one to shoot more to the right. Also the mid-tones come out like in medium format. With good exposure 9 zone histograms (10 if you include paper white) is pretty easy to do. Use the clipping indicators set to 1% as a tool to nail exposure.

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Old 04-21-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
I would highly recommend getting a good printer and print yourself.
I may do just that, but as a long time film guy i prever the darkroom prints made on fiber based silver gelatin paper oVer ink. And, yes I have used various papers and all of the best Epson printers.

I have also experimented with making digital negatives on Pictorico films. I love the results with pt/pd but have been underwhelmed with the results on silver paper. Though they do have a version I haven't tried that I may like better.

With services like whitewall and digital silver I can get a fb silver print from my digital file.
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Old 04-21-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
M,

It is the grade 5 filter. MAKE SURE IT IS MARKED "DIGITAL."

Using filters to tame the clipping and get rid of signal that does not contribute to IQ allows one to shoot more to the right. Also the mid-tones come out like in medium format. With good exposure 9 zone histograms (10 if you include paper white) is pretty easy to do. Use the clipping indicators set to 1% as a tool to nail exposure.

Cal
Thanks Calzone, that exact filter marked DIGITAL just arrived today. I'll start playing with it. I can already see the possibilities of this camera, I think it has incredible dynamic cabality and sharpness.
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Old 04-22-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
I may do just that, but as a long time film guy i prever the darkroom prints made on fiber based silver gelatin paper oVer ink. And, yes I have used various papers and all of the best Epson printers.

I have also experimented with making digital negatives on Pictorico films. I love the results with pt/pd but have been underwhelmed with the results on silver paper. Though they do have a version I haven't tried that I may like better.

With services like whitewall and digital silver I can get a fb silver print from my digital file.
M,

Was your experience of making digital negatives using Piezography Method 3 and contact printing on Ilford fiber? If so please give more insight.

As far as ink jet printing goes, nothing like a wet print on fiber. I found that it was very helpful to be able to make a Peizography print to optimize the file before sending it to Digital Silver Imaging. Although a seperate medium the ink jet print as a proof proved to be valuable to the printer at DSI.

Understand that with Piezography that sharpness and detail is more cleary defined, but the wet print from DSI is smoother. I would not discount a Piezography inkjet print because the resolution is rather enhanced, but for really big prints I think there is a crossover where the wet print wins big due to the smoothness and transitions.

I use a 3880 so 17x22 is as big as I can print, but for larger prints I would spend the big dollars for DSI on fiber. To me the crazy amount of detail of a Piezography ink jet print gets lost if the print gets too large to hold at arms length.

Cal
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Old 04-23-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
M,

Was your experience of making digital negatives using Piezography Method 3 and contact printing on Ilford fiber? If so please give more insight.

I have never used the Piezography setup. My experience was using and epson 3880 and the stock inks and Pictorico OHP. I was experimenting with a very calibrated workflow, with the help of Austin Community College computer,hardware equipment and my darkroom. The idea being to print a step wedge on transparency, contact print that step wedge in the darkroom looking for a perfect white and black, then use a calibration device, in my case an eye1 to adjust the image so you can get consistent results.

I was able to achieve consistent tonal values but felt that the high resolving power of silver gelatin paper showed too much of a "digital" looking image. It felt like I could see pixels, which were really the ink droplets.

With platinum palladium process this is not an issue as the papers use reduce resolution enough where you can't tell.

I was using the standard pictorico ohp clear designed for use with epson 3880s but I wonder if something like this http://www.freestylephoto.biz/22816-...5x11-20-Sheets
with it's white base might solve of my problems.

My understanding is that with standard epson inks you can take advantage of using colored inks to build in contrast on an inkjet negative that will work well with black and white media. However, I would imagine that the piezography setup could work quite well!

If so it would provide a very excellent solution where one could in theory go seamlessly from an edited image on a screen to a darkroom printed image with only the additional cost of transparency and darkroom paper. (of course considering ownership of said printer and calibration devices.)

I do not own a quality printer and usually used ACCs but I'm not a student there right now so I may invest soon. What's the cheapest model you could use with Piezography?

John
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Old 04-23-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
I have never used the Piezography setup. My experience was using and epson 3880 and the stock inks and Pictorico OHP. I was experimenting with a very calibrated workflow, with the help of Austin Community College computer,hardware equipment and my darkroom. The idea being to print a step wedge on transparency, contact print that step wedge in the darkroom looking for a perfect white and black, then use a calibration device, in my case an eye1 to adjust the image so you can get consistent results.

I was able to achieve consistent tonal values but felt that the high resolving power of silver gelatin paper showed too much of a "digital" looking image. It felt like I could see pixels, which were really the ink droplets.

With platinum palladium process this is not an issue as the papers use reduce resolution enough where you can't tell.

I was using the standard pictorico ohp clear designed for use with epson 3880s but I wonder if something like this http://www.freestylephoto.biz/22816-...5x11-20-Sheets
with it's white base might solve of my problems.

My understanding is that with standard epson inks you can take advantage of using colored inks to build in contrast on an inkjet negative that will work well with black and white media. However, I would imagine that the piezography setup could work quite well!

If so it would provide a very excellent solution where one could in theory go seamlessly from an edited image on a screen to a darkroom printed image with only the additional cost of transparency and darkroom paper. (of course considering ownership of said printer and calibration devices.)

I do not own a quality printer and usually used ACCs but I'm not a student there right now so I may invest soon. What's the cheapest model you could use with Piezography?

John
John,

In many ways you are the one ahead of me.

As far as printers go the minimal I would go is a 3880 that now are undergoing being discontinued. I suggest a 3880 because of the paper handling of a Pro model over any desktop. Also the 3880 being able to make a 17 inch wide print really suits and complements the Monochrom. I print 13x19 with a tiny boarder as work prints, and intend on making exhibition prints at a full 13x19 on 17x22 paper. I like John Cone Type 5 paper which is 100% rag with a Baryta surface. This paper is optimized for Piezography so I went this route, and I am glad I did.

To make digital negatives all I have to do is change two ink carts out of my current inkset. Piezography digital negatives for silver printing utilizes the same Pictorico overhead transparency film to print a negative that is intended to be contact printed on Ilford fiber paper. Of couse one would need a vacuum frame to get large format results.

Piezography has mucho smooth tonality without the OEM (Epson) dither so the results are both smooth and detailed. I used my credit card to lay out a $250.00 deposit to see a Jone Cone portfolio to judge the inksets, and one of the prints was a 13x19 inch digital negative. I was very much impressed and saw the potential for fine art printing.

It seems that Jon Cone already has done all the heavy lifting for us, Leica made the Monochrom it seems especially for me, and using Piezography to get the most out of your MM is a match made in heaven. For digital negatives I can see and justify getting a 24 inch printer to make larger wet prints.

Since you are into alternative process, know that Jon Cone also has optimized two other systems: one for making Carbon prints; and another for Platinum/paladium. You basically have a choice. Just be carefull not to posion yourself doing alternative process. To me it seems silver printing with the Monochrom is the way I want to go.

Understand that I put together a split tone Piezograpghy inkset to print glossy. I used warm neutral for the shadows and selenium for the highlights. Realize that there is a true black so it is really a three way split tone. Originally I blended 50/50 warm neutral and selenium at shade 4 (middle) but the warmth was a bit too much to my liking. I advance the coolness by blending 25% selenium into shade three which previously was 100% warm neutral. Contrast somewhat controls the warmth by adding black and the cool selenium in the highlights adds this 3-D effect. The transitions are ultra smooth.

The printing of digital negatives to wet print I mentioned above requires serious studio space that at this time I do not have. I would agree with you that there is nothing like a wet print, but Piezography is currently a mature, seamless, well engineered product.

Keep this discussion going.

Cal
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Old 04-23-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
I may do just that, but as a long time film guy i prever the darkroom prints made on fiber based silver gelatin paper oVer ink. And, yes I have used various papers and all of the best Epson printers.

I have also experimented with making digital negatives on Pictorico films. I love the results with pt/pd but have been underwhelmed with the results on silver paper. Though they do have a version I haven't tried that I may like better.

With services like whitewall and digital silver I can get a fb silver print from my digital file.
I prefer silver gelatin also but I can't let go of the process. I can see a difference when others print my work. I am usually still making adjustments after looking at the prints. So for that reason I will print myself. My last exhibit a couple of my friends that are die hard silver print folks were amazed at the quality of my prints.
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Old 04-23-2015   #14
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When I was hanging my last solo show in February at an area arts center, two of the photographer 'artists in residence' came up to my work, stuck their noses against a few of them, and asked if they were darkroom prints.

All my Monochrom photos are printed on a 3880 using the UltraChrome Epson K3 inks. Like Cal, I too went down the Piezography road, but I turned back to Epson after a while. For all the trouble and expense and effort (and I'm sure how one classifies 'trouble', 'expense' and 'effort' varies from person to person), I personally did not notice a measurable difference between the two brands of inks (and I consider myself to be a pretty good printer). I even did side-by-side, 'which do you prefer' print tests with a couple of folks (who I consider to be fairly 'visual'), and each time they chose the Epson ink prints. Now, I'm not sure whether measurable differences would be noticed at prints larger than the 11"x16" prints that I am typically making, but for me and the type of work that I am doing, the Piezography wasn't worth it for me. Plus, there is occasion that I will have to make a colour print for a client, so it made sense to stick with the Epson inks. In the end, it likely comes down to personal preference.
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Old 04-24-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
When I was hanging my last solo show in February at an area arts center, two of the photographer 'artists in residence' came up to my work, stuck their noses against a few of them, and asked if they were darkroom prints.

All my Monochrom photos are printed on a 3880 using the UltraChrome Epson K3 inks. Like Cal, I too went down the Piezography road, but I turned back to Epson after a while. For all the trouble and expense and effort (and I'm sure how one classifies 'trouble', 'expense' and 'effort' varies from person to person), I personally did not notice a measurable difference between the two brands of inks (and I consider myself to be a pretty good printer). I even did side-by-side, 'which do you prefer' print tests with a couple of folks (who I consider to be fairly 'visual'), and each time they chose the Epson ink prints. Now, I'm not sure whether measurable differences would be noticed at prints larger than the 11"x16" prints that I am typically making, but for me and the type of work that I am doing, the Piezography wasn't worth it for me. Plus, there is occasion that I will have to make a colour print for a client, so it made sense to stick with the Epson inks. In the end, it likely comes down to personal preference.
Vince,

Thanks for sharing. I will add that about 2 1/2 years ago Piezography was a different beast. Things have surely evolved. Back 2 1/2 years ago making digital negatives using Piezography was kinda new. As you know in the digital world big advances happen in little time. Today's Piezography surely is different. Also I think the system is more thoughly intergrated today, and I have not experience any of the difficulties you mentioned in other posts.

I'm printing 13x19.

Cal
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Old 04-24-2015   #16
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I think I tried Piezo inks the beginning of last year. Even once I got things all sorted out and established my 'system', the results didn't seemingly blow me away, compared with the Epson inks. Here again, it might be due to the type of work I shoot, or a personal aesthetic preference.
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Old 04-30-2015   #17
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I bought a cheap epson 2400 printer and the piezography selenium kit, also some jon cone type 5. I think it will make the kind of prints I'm looking for. I may still build another system just for printing digi negs. Unfortunately I'm going to have to move soon so I like the idea of a print solution in between building my next darkroom.
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Old 10-11-2015   #18
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How is the new M246 in terms of getting outstanding prints? Is the sensor working well with the same type of yellow filter (heliopan #5) to achieve the best histogram distribution of tones?
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