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Old 02-03-2014   #41
Sanders McNew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushwick1234 View Post
Try to crop instead, that's why you have a Leica M9
You know, that's why I love this group.

All these years, I've been printing full-frame. But maybe that doesn't
matter so much in digitography. Of course it meant something to me
in FilmWorld, only as a self-imposed rule. Maybe the rule should mean
less to me now. Or maybe not. ARRRRGH! Change is a bitch.
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Old 02-03-2014   #42
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Hi Sanders,
I am an infrequent poster here but I've been doing digital B&W since the get go, at first with Iris printers and Cone materials, then the progression of Epsons. I did this professionally and operated as a service for other photographers. Before that I was a commercial and fine art darkroom printer for color and B&W, practiced and calibrated to the Zone system, the whole enchilada.... I also did a lot of pre-press and 4/c litho print work as a designer.

Last Fall I realized that my photos and their audience exist entirely online and that a computer display is the ultimate photographic display media. A monitor has a much greater range than any paper-based medium, analog or inkjet. Digital displays gives us deep blacks, brilliant whites, an infinite range of grey tones and subtle colors, and punch and power ~ all superior to any paper-based media. Images can be zoomed in for study (and that is so much more satisfying than straining to look at some paper print under glass with reading glasses).

I put my last "art" printer on the curb and sold the remaining inks and papers on Craigslist and haven't looked back. It has been liberating not to have to deal with printing anymore and I do not miss it one bit. It is so much more exciting to make pictures. When I edit, I find that making a large jpg for display requires all of the skill and experience I can muster because a computer display shows everything and is less forgiving than paper.

Raising your print prices allows you to use a variety of excellent artisan vendors for print making when you need to produce an old-fashioned paper print. And I can afford to make a few nicer prints for framed display around the home... it is far more affordable than maintaining a printer that gets infrequent use. I have no intention of printing for gallery shows that are not pre-paid, and if someone wants a small print for reference, then the little office printer will make a decent rough (even if they are purple, which prevents them from becoming precious). I will also use Shutterfly, Blurb, MILK, and other online POD type services based on price/efficiency.

Booksmart Studios in Rochester has a range of fine ink jets and papers, plus skilled artists to do professional ink jets when I need them: http://www.booksmartstudio.com

Elevator Digital in Toronto (closer to me) will make digital Durst Lambda prints on silver paper that are excellent: http://www.elevatordigital.ca

Really, how many prints do you need? I have closets and shelves full of print boxes that go years between even being glanced at. When I look at large images on a Retina iPad I can see the image better.

Why print at all?

As for the Leica question, when I have gone through my Leica phases and purchased exotic/unreasonable older lenses, I eventually came to the determination that an inexpensive but new Voightlander lens was the best all around "user" lens that suffered from none of the mechanical limitations or wear that I was getting from old Leica glass that cost several times more. And when the VC lens started to wear and develop a wobble or get coating marks, I could simply pass it on and buy another new one, good for a few more years of trouble free service. Frankly, and I must be ignorant or half blind, but I could never see the subtle differences in bokeh or signature that so many photographers on the internet allude to. To me, shooting a lens wide open at /1.4 was all the bokeh I needed, the design or brand didn't matter.

Good luck with the guilt, cheers for your family, and your photos look great... on my screen ;-p
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Old 02-03-2014   #43
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Nice portrait!

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
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Old 02-03-2014   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
+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?

Dave quietly left RFF several months ago.
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Old 02-03-2014   #45
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Hi Sanders,

About the lens: That's a fine choice that you've hit upon right at the outset – the classic Nikkor will resonate with your Rollei style.

One of the nice things about the classic Nikkors – especially for a shot like the portrait of Melanie – is that they were optimized for best close focus at f1.4. The bokeh cn be almost Rollei-like. But they sometimes produce more higlight flare than you might want want. That's led me to make more use of 50mm Sonnar-C on M9 (the newer copies and some old ones being optimized for f1.5). But this lens too has a close-focus distance of .9m.

I'd be cautious, however, about going up to ISO 1000, if you can avoid it – noise starts to increase at 640.

Regarding contemporary BW inkjet printing, the real Ansel would probably write a second volume of The Print if he belonged to this generation. Folks who lament digital printing just haven't seen enough contemporary fine-art inkjet prints.

Most folks use the Epon 3880 (or larger) printers that were mentioned above – 'the' solid way to start. Earlier Epsons had much trouble, as you mentioned, with print-head clogging, and at that point some of us switched to Canon iPF wide-format printers. These use a Photoshop plug-in to print at 600 native ppi directly from the file, without going through a printer driver. Standard procedure with these machines is to print in RGB, using the 3 shades of gray/black plus .01 gamma point of red for warmth. But it's still best to start with the Epson. They no longer clog consistently, and more friends can help you get the settings right.

As to papers that produce quality rivaling gelatin-silver, until quite recently this was a dilemma. The finest surface for BW printing from the standpoint of appearance is Harman (by Hahnemuehle) Gloss Baryta Warmtone – its paper base and surface texture look just like the classic Portriga Rapid 111 of 40 years ago, and baryta even smells like darkroom paper.

The difficulty was that the surface was so fragile that even an intense stare would damage it. But it was out of stock for a while and has come back with a modified coating that's more durable (according Hahnemuehle USA's technician). In general, you can work-print on Epson Luster and then make fine prints on this substrate. IMO it would be a rich and deep medium for your distinctive style. Though I've never seen one of your prints, I've long admired the web scans of your work.

Welcome to the M9 digital tribe, but don't sell any Rolleis – you can make fine BW inkjet prints from high-res scans too. ("Never sell your film camera" – Mary Ellen Mark.)

Kirk
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Old 02-04-2014   #46
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Hi Sanders
No need to feel guilty! The M9 is a great tool, and of course your Rolleiflex cameras won't have to be sitting still. I went the other way from using digital to a Rollei, use them both equally-have fun!

Printing is a tougher one. I, like you love darkroom printing, that said I have been printing digital since the early 1990's which a huge variety of machines.
If I can recommend a paper it would be Fotospeed Platinum which has the feel of real photo paper I will send you a sample of a B&W image printed on it and Epson K3 ink if you wish.
A link: http://www.fotospeed.com/Platinum-Ba...products/2013/
The K3 inks won't show the bronzing you remembered with the 2200 the K3 2400 inks mentioned are much better, they can suffer from metermeric failure though so when judged on a bench with D65 lighting the look neutral, when looked at under room lighting they have a magenta tinge-this has caused me issues especially with the HP Vivera inks.

At the moment I have four printers an Epson R2400 HP Designjet 90, Hp Designjet 130 and soon to be delivered one of the Canon 12 ink.
I'd be happy to send you some samples when I get the Canon up and profiled.

C type printers are good for proof work and occasional shots for albums, not IMO for exhibition work I find they have a much smaller gamut than most inkjet papers.
I've owned several Frontier and AgfaD-Labs the latter being my favourite but alas the Agfa Prestige and Sensatis (Gold type) papers are long gone leaving us with the translucent Fuji with even smaller gamut.

Only you will be able to judge if the look is one you'll like, I wet print my B&W because to me they seem to have more depth, the blacks coming from inside the paper, laying down more ink makes for deeper blacks but you have to be careful-they are both good just different.

I'm sure you will do well with the M9, talent and quality will always shine through-whatever the media/medium.

Regards as always
Mark Antony
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Old 02-04-2014   #47
Sanders McNew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo_Smith View Post
I wet print my B&W because to me they seem to have more depth, the blacks coming from inside the paper, laying down more ink makes for deeper blacks but you have to be careful.
Your point, in the end, was what drove me back to the darkroom ten
years ago -- the sense of depth in the image, rising in the emulsion.
The B+H sample print for the Canon Pro-1 printer, on Hannemuhle
Photo Rag, seemed to have some of the luminosity that I had found
lacking ten years ago. But I have no confidence that I will be able to
make prints from any machine that match the makers' test prints.

Your remark about laying down more ink raises another concern with
inkjet prints. Ten years ago, the surface of inkjet prints was really
fragile -- ink could flake off, you really had to handle them with kid
gloves -- at least, that's my recollection with B+W prints from the
Epson printers onto matte papers of the day. Is this still an issue?
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Old 02-04-2014   #48
Dave Jenkins
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Quote:
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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.
Dave told me that he withdrew because of what he considered personal attacks by other posters on this forum. He is going through a very rough patch in his life because of his wife's serious health issues and didn't really need that kind of static.

I e-mailed Chris to ask what happened, but haven't heard from him. Again, I apologize for diverting this thread.
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Old 02-04-2014   #49
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Re: printing
As others have said, you can edit a picture in PS, SOFT PRINT IT with a profile supplied by your lab, adjust, send them the file, and get a silver gelatin print out of it, although the maximum resolution will be limited by the machine - unlike in the analogue process, where it is only limited by your negative and enlarger chain. I think the bigger size prints will look better than traditionally enlarged ones.
Alternatively, you can buy a competent inkjet printer- Epson 3880 or above are all excellent. I prefer to use them in Advanced B&W mode, as this results in better shadow detail, from my experience. In order to obtain the WYSIWYG result, you have to calibrate your screen, do some test prints, and tweak the ABW settings to the point, that you will see on screen the same tonality you will get on prints. As paper, my preferred one is Ilford Gallerie Fibre Silk, but there are many good ones around.
Re lenses - you are probably doing the right thing by using an older lens with digital - this will trim down the sharpness and micro contrast a bit. Personally, I find digital better suited to colour photography.
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Old 02-04-2014   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SausalitoDog View Post
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

That would be the Epson R3000, not the Epson 3000. Big difference.

HFL
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Old 02-04-2014   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post


Regarding contemporary BW inkjet printing, the real Ansel would probably write a second volume of The Print if he belonged to this generation.


Kirk
Jeff Schewe writes a very good contemporary version inspired by Ansel's books. "The Digital Print" by Jeff Schewe is worth reading to bring you up to date.

I for one was an analog only shooter, and I jumped the boat ama bought a Leica Monochrom, and this surprised a lot of my friends. My contention is to keep all my analog cameras and never scan.

Consider that currently Epson Pro printers like the 3880 can be used with Jon Cone inks using the Quadtone RIP to eliminate the"dithering" used in the Epson OEM driver. This gets rid of the airbrush effect and raises resolution. Know that Piezography has risen to the level where making digital negatives for contact printing is possible. Also consider that a re-make of Kodak AZO is available if you want a long tonal range, a paper favored by large format shooters for contact printing.

If you get a chance go see the "War Photography" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, where 600 images are presented. Take note of the vintage analog photography that is represented as enlarged ink jet prints (not the entire show, but a few examples out of the many). My forensics suggest that it is likely wet prints were perhaps scanned on a drum scanner and Piezography Selenium inksets were used. I saw no digital artifact, and if it were not for the placarding that indicated ink jet prints I wouldn't of known they were ink jet prints, BTW these were large prints.

I own a Epson 3880, but one of the more advanced/more costly printers that have ten ink slots would have been a major upgrade to where I could print and make digital negatives without having to change out two carts. In other words ten slots is enough to run a K7 Selenium inkset for both matte and glossy and in addition the added slots needed to make digital negatives so that ink isn't waisted. I'm talking no compromise here. Eventually the workflow is soft-proof, make an inkjet proof, make a digital negative, and then contact print.

Cal
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Old 02-04-2014   #52
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War Photography at the Brooklyn Museum just closed.

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Old 02-09-2014   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
Your point, in the end, was what drove me back to the darkroom ten
years ago -- the sense of depth in the image, rising in the emulsion.
The B+H sample print for the Canon Pro-1 printer, on Hannemuhle
Photo Rag, seemed to have some of the luminosity that I had found
lacking ten years ago. But I have no confidence that I will be able to
make prints from any machine that match the makers' test prints.

Your remark about laying down more ink raises another concern with
inkjet prints. Ten years ago, the surface of inkjet prints was really
fragile -- ink could flake off, you really had to handle them with kid
gloves -- at least, that's my recollection with B+W prints from the
Epson printers onto matte papers of the day. Is this still an issue?
I do a large amount of ink printing more than wet based at this time, at its best it is very good; different to a fibre based paper but good– some of the glossy papers look similar to multigrade IMO.
I haven't noticed ink flaking off, not even 10-15 years ago so I've no idea about that. What I do notice is bronzing or other surface effects on very glossy papers even to this day whatever ink-set.
The best papers are very good the Photo Rag ones feel quite like the real deal, the one you mentioned I use as it has a lustre surface like the Ilford pearl finish on RC papers.

We took delivery of a Canon iPF5100 last week, so far I'm impressed I've only just managed to profile the main papers we use, so far so good and it seems twice the speed of the HP even on best quality.

I guess you'd like to move forward on this, with your M9 you're going to need a good printer. I know your work fairly well and I'm sure you'll turn out the normal excellent output.

If I were you I'd find somewhere that will print a file, possibly even one of a scan that you have printed conventionally. Take the wet print and try to match it, they will look different–the technology is and the decision will be yours.

I wouldn't want to push my preferences on you, I went through what you are thinking of a few years back and found the Fotospeed paper to be as close as to make me mostly satisfied-I still wet print though...

Good luck.
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Old 02-09-2014   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
Your point, in the end, was what drove me back to the darkroom ten
years ago -- the sense of depth in the image, rising in the emulsion.
The B+H sample print for the Canon Pro-1 printer, on Hannemuhle
Photo Rag, seemed to have some of the luminosity that I had found
lacking ten years ago. But I have no confidence that I will be able to
make prints from any machine that match the makers' test prints.

Your remark about laying down more ink raises another concern with
inkjet prints. Ten years ago, the surface of inkjet prints was really
fragile -- ink could flake off, you really had to handle them with kid
gloves -- at least, that's my recollection with B+W prints from the
Epson printers onto matte papers of the day. Is this still an issue?
Printing has come a long way since then. Especially the various Baryta papers yield results that will satisfy the vast majority of wet darkroom printers, provided you use one of the better printers available.
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