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I have guilt, and an M9, and questions.
Old 02-02-2014   #1
Sanders McNew
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I have guilt, and an M9, and questions.

So, my wife whispered in my ear that I really should try a digital
camera. So I visited Ken Hansen and walked away with an M9.
Now my Rolleiflexes throw baleful glances every time I walk by.
This is my first foray into digital photography. I have guilt.

I mounted an early 5cm Tokyo Nikkor SC and shot it wide open
(ISO 1000) -- focus was a guess because the M9's rangefinder
doesn't seem to couple to the Nikkor at close distances. This is
the first image I made with the camera:


Been away so long I hardly knew the place. by sandersnyc, on Flickr

I have a lot to learn.

First questions:

1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?

2. What are people doing for printing digital B+W files these
days? The last time I tried inkjet printing (10 years ago) it was
a constant struggle with clogged jets and color shifts in the inks.
What works best these days?

Sanders
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Old 02-02-2014   #2
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Re: #2 - If Chris Crawford were still here, he'd link you to http://chriscrawfordphoto.com/technical/printing.php

Re: #1 - I have it on good authority that your lens will focus down to 90cm. If you send your M9 with the lens to Leica, advising they won't focus at minimum focus distance, they will calibrate both for you for free.
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Old 02-02-2014   #3
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There are a few folks here on the forum that can either talk you through the lens mod or do it themselves. Basically, the lens mount needs to be filed down a bit to allow the cam follower on the Leica M to travel a little more. You're not going to get the full range of the 5cm Nikkor's close focus, but you'll get the better part of a foot closer.

I don't think that Leica will operate on your 5cm Nikon lens but there are Leica technicians out there who will. DAG, Sherry K, Youxin Ye, Kindermann, and a few others.

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Old 02-02-2014   #4
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Great photo. I hope it's not of your wife when you told her what this cost. I was allowed to buy mine, M9-P. My teenage son was with me. Even he approved. Buyer's remorse, if there was any, did not survive the walk to the door of Van Bar with the box.
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Old 02-03-2014   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
I have yet to see a digital print that captures the magic of a fine analogue print... M9 should be very capable for web jpgs though, which seems to be how most images a viewed nowadays.
Maybe you should come to Baltimore to see some very fine digital prints:

Aloft1 by Vince.Lupo, on Flickr
Go ahead - stick your nose against them.

The M9 is VERY capable of producing quite fine prints - perhaps you haven't looked enough, or the prints you've seen are due to 'operator error'?

If I could recommend a digital printer, the Epson 3880 does a nice job. Things have definitely changed in the last 10 years.
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Old 02-03-2014   #6
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The look can be different - depends on the file you're printing from - but oftentimes no less 'magical' or 'fine'.
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Old 02-03-2014   #7
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I think this is more shocking news than Ralph Gibson....Sanders goes Digital!
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Old 02-03-2014   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny scarecrow View Post
The magic or otherwise is of course in the eye of the beholder. And a fine print is a fine print whether it is on inkjet paper or comes out of a darkroom. But I'm glad we agree that the look can be different, and I think that most times one will be as acceptable as the other.
Definitely can be different - however there have been times in which I've placed one of my darkroom prints alongside one of my digital prints, and darned if they don't look pretty close to each other. Admittedly it doesn't always happen, but sometimes it can be quite surprising.

I'm in the process of converting to the Piezography inks on my 3880, so I'll be really interested to see how different the look can be even within the use of different inks.

I think you'll really like printing from the M9 files - best of luck!
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Old 02-03-2014   #9
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I dunno Sanders. Looking at the picture you posted, I'd say you've got it figured out already. Don't feel guilt - at least not a lot of it. Times change, energies change, and yes - cameras change. Roll with it, but I agree with posts above, keep yer film cams. The M9 will become obsolete before your Rolleiflex does.
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Old 02-03-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black View Post
Re: #2 - If Chris Crawford were still here ...
Uh, yeah. I went looking for a post of his and it's nowhere to be found. What's up with that?

Has he been disappeared?
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Old 02-03-2014   #11
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Nice work, again, Sanders. And welcome to the world of the M9. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and I expect you'll be very satisfied with the flexibility of those M9 files. One suggestion - always capture in uncompressed RAW to maximize processing flexibility.

You might want to investigate the printing service that Leica offer to M Monochrom customers. I'm sure they would not refuse a file that originated as a M9 capture.

" Leica Monochrom prints - an exclusive service for M Monochrom customers

In collaboration with WhiteWall, the premium photo finishers, the Leica M Monochrom print service offers customers an opportunity to have exclusive black-and-white prints made from their images. With this service, digital images from the Leica M Monochrom can be printed on premium-quality baryte photographic papers. Thanks to development in the classical wet-chemical silver halide process, the prints are hardly distinguishable from their analogue counterparts printed from negatives." (from the bottom of this page)

Another option: I recently asked Peter Turnley about his prints from M9 and Monochrom files. His response explained that the images in the book that originated from digital capture were printed directly from digital files, but he also mentioned that his exhibition prints were printed from 4x5 internegs.

"Chris thanks so much for your interest in my book. The book represents 40 years of photographs. Approx.%60 were made with analog cameras and %40 with Leica M9 and then Monochrom. The book was printed using silver gelatin prints from analog, and directly from digital files from the M9 and Monochrom. The reproduction quality of the pages of the book is seamlessly homogenous-really outstanding. The book was printed by one of the best printing presses in the world, OGI in Hong Kong. I think you will find the quality of reproduction and the elegance of the book and slip case quite special. Exhibition prints and collector prints are another thing. My prints are made by Voya Mitrovic, one of the greatest printers in the history of photography. We took the digital files from the M9 and Monochrom, and had 4x5 internegatives made, so all of my exhibition and collector prints are traditional silver gelatin prints. I am having an exhibition of French Kiss at the Leica Gallery in Salzburg starting on Nov.21, and when I saw the silver gelatin prints from digital files, my breath was taken away-I have never seen a digital photograph on computer screen look like this-the tones are so rich and the blacks and highlights amazing. All very exciting and a real light of new hope and satisfaction for me for prints from digital photography!"

The reproduction in the book is very satisfying. I have not seen prints produced from the 4x5 inter-negatives, but I would expect they would be no less outstanding than other prints made by Voya. For those special images it might be worth looking into the process of having the interneg made, which you could of course print in your own darkroom.
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Old 02-03-2014   #12
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No2 ... for printing, after wasting a fortune on paper and ink-jet ink I found a lab that would put my files through their Agfa c-type printers as long as I do all the sizing and pre-press ... this place, although not that convenient for you sadly

I've hardly bothered wet printing since, personally I got better output within a few months than I got wet printing
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Old 02-03-2014   #13
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Only problem with the Whitewall prints is that they are VERY expensive!
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Old 02-03-2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?


Sanders
I think you can get 0.7m focusing by filing the mount to allow the camera follower to keep contact with the cam a little further.
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Old 02-03-2014   #15
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Congratulatios on this bold move, Sanders.
Try things out and see if you like it or not.
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Old 02-03-2014   #16
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I recently acquired the Canon Pixma Pro-1 for (A3+) printing, which contains 12 color LUCIA pigment inkset and includes 5 monochrome inks and a chroma optimizer. Five shades of black! I am very happy with the results, and reviewers told me that even after months of no use the machine shows no signs of clogging. It's a heavy beast though.

Pixma Pro-1 review

The beast:

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Old 02-03-2014   #17
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I'm a real fan of your photography Sanders ... interesting to see you transition to digital.

What prompted this change?
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Old 02-03-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
I recently acquired the Canon Pixma Pro-1 for (A3+) printing, which contains 12 color LUCIA pigment inkset and includes 5 monochrome inks and a chroma optimizer. Five shades of black! I am very happy with the results, and reviewers told me that even after months of no use the machine shows no signs of clogging. It's a heavy beast though.

Pixma Pro-1 review

The beast:

.... that's not a printer ... this is a printer

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Old 02-03-2014   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
.... that's not a printer ... this is a printer
Yes, bedrooms are overrated anyway... I'll get myself one of those and sleep on the couch.
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Old 02-03-2014   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black View Post
Re: #2 - If Chris Crawford were still here, he'd link you to http://chriscrawfordphoto.com/technical/printing.php

Re: #1 - I have it on good authority that your lens will focus down to 90cm. If you send your M9 with the lens to Leica, advising they won't focus at minimum focus distance, they will calibrate both for you for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris101 View Post
Uh, yeah. I went looking for a post of his and it's nowhere to be found. What's up with that?

Has he been disappeared?

yeah, what happened, and when? No more photos from Indiana? I really enjoyed his thread and his knowledge.
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Old 02-03-2014   #21
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Quote:
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.... that's not a printer ... this is a printer


I had issues getting mine into the house:



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Old 02-03-2014   #22
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Sorry to be off-topic, but what, exactly, did happen to Christ Crawford? Does anyone know? In the last few months it appears we have lost Chris Crawford and Dave Lackey, two prolific and very worthwhile members.
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Old 02-03-2014   #23
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Yes, bedrooms are overrated anyway... I'll get myself one of those and sleep on the couch.
........ one must suffer for their art
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Old 02-03-2014   #24
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I had issues getting mine into the house:



Is that the one you did the hog-roast in?
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Old 02-03-2014   #25
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Is that the one you did the hog-roast in?
No, that was the other one
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Old 02-03-2014   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
I have yet to see a digital print that captures the magic of a fine analogue print... M9 should be very capable for web jpgs though, which seems to be how most images a viewed nowadays.

p.s. The guit you feel is probably buyers remorse. That's a lot of cash you just dropped on a camera!
An M9 for jpgs! Surely you jest Mr. Ansel.

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Old 02-03-2014   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
So, my wife whispered in my ear that I really should try a digital
camera. So I visited Ken Hansen and walked away with an M9.
Now my Rolleiflexes throw baleful glances every time I walk by.
This is my first foray into digital photography. I have guilt.

I mounted an early 5cm Tokyo Nikkor SC and shot it wide open
(ISO 1000) -- focus was a guess because the M9's rangefinder
doesn't seem to couple to the Nikkor at close distances. This is
the first image I made with the camera:


Been away so long I hardly knew the place. by sandersnyc, on Flickr

I have a lot to learn.

First questions:

1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?

2. What are people doing for printing digital B+W files these
days? The last time I tried inkjet printing (10 years ago) it was
a constant struggle with clogged jets and color shifts in the inks.
What works best these days?

Sanders
Like your portrait as is, Sanders.

1- no idea.. never used Nikkor RF lenses with Leicas.

2- 10 years ago was a long time ago. To me, the watershed in B&W printing happened in 2005 when Epson introduced the K3 pigment ink set (including multiple blacks for monochrome printing) and the 2400 printer. Within a couple of years, some terrific papers emerged with profiles that work beautifully with this printer and its successors.

I'm still using an R2400 that is so far past its "due by" date it's not funny. Printing to Epson Exhibition Fiber, Hahnemühle Bamboo, Epson Hot Press Natural, Epson Velvet Fine Art, and a few other very nice papers it continues to produce better prints than I (personally) was ever capable of making in the darkroom. It's made all of the exhibition prints and other prints I've sold since 2005, and no one has ever commented negatively on the quality of the prints. When the old crock finally expires, I'll replace it with a 3880. :-)

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Old 02-03-2014   #28
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1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?
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Old 02-03-2014   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Meaby View Post
I think this is more shocking news than Ralph Gibson....Sanders goes Digital!
Well, not quite. Um, not yet. But I do feel guilt. :-)

It's funny -- I was frustrated that I couldn't focus the camera down
to the lens's minimum focal distance. In a film world, that would be
a problem. But then I thought I might as well guess. The worst that
happens is I get it wrong, move forward or back a couple of inches,
and try again.

It's going to take a lot of thinking to overcome my film habits with
this camera, and develop new ones appropriate to the M9. The reality
is that Melanie is going to expropriate the M9 (in fact, has already
done so) so my exposure will likely be fleeting.
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Old 02-03-2014   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
So, my wife whispered in my ear that I really should try a digital
camera. So I visited Ken Hansen and walked away with an M9.
Now my Rolleiflexes throw baleful glances every time I walk by.
This is my first foray into digital photography. I have guilt.

I mounted an early 5cm Tokyo Nikkor SC and shot it wide open
(ISO 1000) -- focus was a guess because the M9's rangefinder
doesn't seem to couple to the Nikkor at close distances. This is
the first image I made with the camera:


Been away so long I hardly knew the place. by sandersnyc, on Flickr

I have a lot to learn.

First questions:

1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?

2. What are people doing for printing digital B+W files these
days? The last time I tried inkjet printing (10 years ago) it was
a constant struggle with clogged jets and color shifts in the inks.
What works best these days?

Sanders
I find that the Epson 3880 does a very good job printing black and white. There is a whole range of options as you dive into it. Printing with the Epson UC original inks on matt paper (I particularly like the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag), switching to K7 inks and even creating digital negatives and doing contact printing with Platinum | Palladium. This last option a very rewarding approach that mixes in my opinion the nest of two worlds. I hope you enjoy this journey and strike a balance that suit you well.
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Old 02-03-2014   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinchohs View Post
I find that the Epson 3880 does a very good job printing black and white. There is a whole range of options as you dive into it. Printing with the Epson UC original inks on matt paper (I particularly like the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag), switching to K7 inks and even creating digital negatives and doing contact printing with Platinum | Palladium. This last option a very rewarding approach that mixes in my opinion the nest of two worlds. I hope you enjoy this journey and strike a balance that suit you well.
I went to B+H and looked at the current generation of inkjets. The
salesman said the Canon ink jets were less prone to clogging -- I
had a look at B+W prints from the Pro 10 and Pro 100 printers on
Hannemuhle Photo Rag and was very much impressed with the
results. Canon is practically giving away the Pro 1 but it is a dye-
based machine and the word is dye prints are not great for B+W
work. The Pro 100 is pricey BUT I gather the ink cartridges are
a lot bigger so the price per print should go down over time.

Unless I end up back in Epson Land.
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Old 02-03-2014   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
I went to B+H and looked at the current generation of inkjets. The
salesman said the Canon ink jets were less prone to clogging -- I
had a look at B+W prints from the Pro 10 and Pro 100 printers on
Hannemuhle Photo Rag and was very much impressed with the
results. Canon is practically giving away the Pro 1 but it is a dye-
based machine and the word is dye prints are not great for B+W
work. The Pro 100 is pricey BUT I gather the ink cartridges are
a lot bigger so the price per print should go down over time.

Unless I end up back in Epson Land.
In my experience, particularly if at some point you might navigate the alternative black and white, Epson is the way to go. I would suggest you explore as well QTR (Quadtone Rip), a low cost rip optimized for black and white printing with UC and alternative inks. Enjoy.
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Old 02-03-2014   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinchohs View Post
In my experience, particularly if at some point you might navigate the alternative black and white, Epson is the way to go. I would suggest you explore as well QTR (Quadtone Rip), a low cost rip optimized for black and white printing with UC and alternative inks. Enjoy.
Ten years ago, I went deep into the world of digital B+W printing --
used QTR, had a large-carriage Epson 7600, a 2200, alternate inksets,
the works. In the end I sold it all and went back to the darkroom. In
no particular order:

1. The machines used insane amounts of ink in cleaning cycles.
2. I spent more time maintaining the printers than printing.
3. The surface of the prints were terribly fragile.
4. The prints lacked the sense of depth I liked so much in a
darkroom print, where the image was in the emulsion.
5. Color shifts, and that bronzy look of the print surface when
light caught it off-center.
6. The software (and the overall process) was immature, kludgy.

Having said all of that, I thought the B+W prints from the Canons on
Hannemuhle Photo Rag looked pretty impressive. I have no small
amount of skepticism that my results would look anything like what
Canon puts out for public consumption, but still the prints looked
far better than what I could have made ten years ago. And I assume
that the technology has matured to the point that printers like Messrs.
Roark and Cone and Harrington aren't such pioneers out on the edge
any more. But I could be wrong.

Sanders
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Old 02-03-2014   #34
jippiejee
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Canon is practically giving away the Pro 1 but it is a dye-based machine and the word is dye prints are not great for B+W work.

That's not what I read when picking my pro-1 recently:

"The Pixma Pro-1 uses Canon's Lucia inks which, unlike more traditional photo printing ink systems, are pigment-based rather than dye-based." Larger tanks too.
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Old 02-03-2014   #35
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Good Greif, as Charlie Brown would say... You have a couple of very very exciting and rewarding years ahead of you.

You are right...10 years ago, in the infancy of digital printing, BW was much harder to accomplish than color. Today, with modern printers and some incredible new papers, you can make a BETTER print digitally than was ever possible in the darkroom (no hate mail please, this guy needs encouragement and I'm not far off in any event).

Onward !!! Off to your new adventures... Get Lightroom and Silver Efex pro with a good printer like and Epson 3000 for up to 13x19 or an Epson 4900 for put to 17 x 60 prints. Canon makes very competitive printers as well.

I promise you that you will lay awake at night with excitement once you start your digital BW adventures

Good for your wife, too!!!

Tom
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Old 02-03-2014   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
That's not what I read when picking my pro-1 recently:

"The Pixma Pro-1 uses Canon's Lucia inks which, unlike more traditional photo printing ink systems, are pigment-based rather than dye-based." Larger tanks too.
You are right -- I am mistaken. I was speaking of the Canon Pro-100,
which after rebate is basically a giveaway, but it uses dye inks which I
gather are not so good for printing in B+W.

How do you like your Pro-1?
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Old 02-03-2014   #37
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How do you like your Pro-1?
I really love its output. Black and white as well as color. Never seen self-made prints like these, might also have to do with the chroma optimizer layer printed on top of each print.
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focus under 1m?
Old 02-03-2014   #38
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focus under 1m?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
1. Is there a way to couple the M9 RF to the Nikkor so that it
can be focused at distances under 1m?
Try to crop instead, that's why you have a Leica M9
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Old 02-03-2014   #39
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Sorry to be off-topic, but what, exactly, did happen to Christ Crawford? Does anyone know? In the last few months it appears we have lost Chris Crawford and Dave Lackey, two prolific and very worthwhile members.
+1. What happened to Chris and Dave? Chris' posts have all vanished, along with entire threads that he would have started. Haven't checked Dave yet, but is this the same? What have I missed?
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Old 02-03-2014   #40
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I remember Chris to have replied to the 'Is inkjet printing the work of the devil?' post only two days ago.
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