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by Ed Okie on Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:32 pm
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Is the visual results from Inkjet printing readily apparent - the difference from normal photographic prints? Or is the mystique of Inkjet and it's other fancy-sounding Giclee name (French for "spitting"), "better" is instilled in the brain because it costs 3-4X more?
I've used Miller's Pro Lab for years, very satisfied with the work for large wall/gallery prints. Millers no longer offers inkjet printing, apparently not much demand... or little difference between.
Epson recently sent a sample pack of 11 x 16 prints from their high-end machines, $3,000 and up. Don't buy is the clear message gleaned from users on this website unless you make prints at least once per week, clogged heads.
Epson's sampler pak: One image in color on matte paper was very impressive, the inks jump off the paper, approaching a 3D quality. Other color samples on semi-gloss and metallic paper nothing particularly special. Two black & whites on gloss looked everyday ordinary, detail lost in shadow areas. Yet one sample in black & white on matte paper - was exceptional.
Possibly excellence of a few examples achieved through tweaking a specific image that worked well for the sample purpose, not indicative of everyday printing?
Related question is image-file submissions, requirements of various labs... it varies all over the map, none consistent. Jpeg only, or AdobeRGB is okay, one accepting ProPhoto color space. Dpi-level advised... all over the map, from 200 dpi to 300. I recall reading a comment from forum print expert Royce Howland that he could see the difference in 300 vs 360 dpi prints. Incredible I thought! But why aren't the labs advising 360 submissions?
Where to go for quality inkjet printing? WHCC, H&H, AspenCreek Photo are a few names mentioned. All left an impression that a casual approach exists on inkjet printing, i.e., we offer it.
The underlying question: is the 3x-4x extra cost noticeably better? 16 x 20 viewed from 6' away, inkjet vs photo-dye print side-by-side, discernibly different?
 

by aolander on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:19 pm
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I guess no one knows.  It must be like judging wine. :)

http://www.futurity.org/wine-economics-1279602-2/
Alan Olander
Minnesota
 

by bradmangas on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:20 pm
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I have attempted to answer the questions you have raised about inkjet vs lab prints on my website. For many years my goal has been to help  educate the buying public on these differences. Many of today's photographers, many well know professional photographers claim they offer "Fine Art Prints" when the fact of the matter is they don't. These leads me to believe even many photographers do not know the difference. Which is really a shame. Not only are they misleading the public but they have a false sense themselves about what they offer.

It is a little to lengthy I believe to repeat here so if you are interested you can read my statement that I have for all customers and potential customers to read about what I do and why.

http://www.bradmangasphoto.com/prints
 

by Royce Howland on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:21 am
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Oh, quite a few people here would have a lot to say. But it's a bunch of questions that have a bunch of answers, and depends a bunch on the images in question, the photographer's taste & style, and the purposes to which prints would be put by whomever ends up with them. It also depends on many things related to the skill of who made the prints and how they were made.

I could answer the original question -- "Is the visual results from Inkjet printing readily apparent - the difference from normal photographic prints?" -- in a simple way, by saying "yes". :) But that's not terribly useful. To answer more would take a lot more words. Another way I could answer is to say that right now I'm busy making scores if not hundreds of prints that are slated to be exhibited in museums, galleries, shops, cafes, etc. during the month of February for Calgary's Exposure Photography Festival. The shop where I'm the GM and one of the primary print techs is a high-end boutique photography printing operation. We are 100% inkjet digital print process, currently using Epson large format photo printers.

There are many factors at play. Many of them favour inkjet prints. But not all of them do; some favour other types of prints such as chromogenic prints from systems like the Lightjet, Lambda and Chromira. When I get through the next week or two of driving deadlines, I'll have time to comment more...
Royce Howland
 

by Bill Chambers on Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:32 pm
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Royce Howland wrote:
The shop where I'm the GM and one of the primary print techs is a high-end boutique photography printing operation. We are 100% inkjet digital print process, currently using Epson large format photo printers.


Royce,  would you mind sharing your business information with us?  Do they have a website we would visit along with a price list, delivery info, etc., specifically, do you ship to the US or strictly Canada?

Many thanks,
Bill Chambers
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade; when it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's.
Unattributed

Please visit my web site, Enchanted Light Photography.
Bill Chambers
Gulf Breeze, Florida
 

by Royce Howland on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:45 pm
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Bill, our web site is www.resolvephoto.ca. Most info can be found there; for other stuff not addressed on the site, feel free to contact us at the shop. We can get results where we need to via courier. :)
Royce Howland
 

by Ed Okie on Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:00 pm
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Royce, thanks for posting the business name... a question I always wanted to ask, was always reluctant to ask:  do you accept "outside" work?
  A most impressive print shop, very specialized services and beyond expectations. Well designed and written website. Definitely "not a factory," but that of genuine personal service by real people, not machine driven.
  Frankly, in the past two months I scouted a dozen different print-services across the nation... came up with none that offered the depth and facilities apparently available at Resolve Photo.
  InkJet intrigue evolved when corporate-Epson sent me large print samples (coming from their high-end machines). Two images in particular displayed a 3D quality - almost haunting, one in color, one in B&W. The other four large glossy print samples - nothing special. The eye-catching samplers: both printed on textured matte paper, Legacy Etching;  Exhibition Watercolor Paper Textured for the B&W.  Years of old-school wet-lab work, I well knew that matte paper and a stunning image was a descriptive that didn't belong in the same sentence. Possibly new-age inkjets (with craftsmanship) can deliver, without falling into exaggerated coloration... look nice initially, but after a few months "the Wow!" wears thin.
  Particularly striking when asking various labs a basic question: the type of image-file Color Space accepted, I'm seeking high-end work, I use a 32" 4K NEC SpectraView Monitor.
  The most common answer: generic sRGB. Many if not most won't even accept Adobe sRGB 1998, or they do accept it, but down-convert to RGB.
  The other jaw-dropper was the recommended dpi for image file submissions: 300 dpi reasonably common, 200 is okay, one as low as 100 dpi. All over the place! Not an encouraging sign.
  Queried one photo lab asking if they offer color-calibration services, initial setup test strips or whatever might be involved... I'm willing  to pay, not looking for free.
  Response: "No we don't offer any test-strip or calibration services; just order a bunch of small 4x6 prints and see how they look..."  Groan....
  Clearly, most photo businesses have moved away from Inkjet Printing, the 3X-4X added cost undoubtedly scares away most customers, or at least their needs, it's a business reality.  An equally clear indication of, "Welcome to the cellphone era!"
  Inkjet printing touts longevity over photo-chemistry prints, at least it was valid years ago, pigment over dye. Whether the lifespan is 100 or 200 years, somewhat a moot point; more critical is how vulnerable the inkjet surface might be; chemistry prints are reasonably sturdy. Placed under glass - dreadful!
 I'm interested in finding out if an Inkjet print is noticeably better than a standard chemistry photo print - does it justify the cost? One of the most poignant comments you made months ago: "I can see the difference between 300 dpi output, vs 360 dpi output." Maybe this guy does know what he's talking about... or is it a car-salesman in disquise?
Always impressive and appreciated is your in-depth writing, clarity, hands-on experiences with equipment as mentioned on Naturescapes. Genuine information without the BS.
 

by Ed Okie on Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:37 am
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okie wrote:
 ... Particularly striking when asking various labs a basic question: the type of image-file Color Space accepted, I'm seeking high-end work, I use a 32" 4K NEC SpectraView Monitor.
  The most common answer: generic sRGB. Many if not most won't even accept Adobe sRGB 1998, or they do accept it, but down-convert to RGB...



   Point of clarity and a slight typo, the two Color Spaces referenced, the technical names:  sRGB IEC 61966-2.1,  and the larger gamut: Adobe RGB(1998).
   To help everyone's understanding of a - very - confusing subject:
   sRGB is "the standard" of most photofinishers. Designed in 1996 by Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, sRGB has the smallest spectrum of colors as displayed on monitors and by printers.
   Adobe RGB was designed in 1998, created to fill the needs of the graphic arts sector looking for a way to duplicate the spectrum of colors created by the CMYK press-printing process. Adobe RGB offers a wider range of colors available than sRGB, notably more Greens and somewhat Blues.
   ProPhoto RGB (which is the default (unchangeable) ColorSpace when Adobe LightRoom is opened), ProPhoto RGB was created by Kodak in 2003. It has one of the largest color gamuts available. Designed by photo experts for photography - it duplicates most of the humanly visible colors that occur in the real world surpassing Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces.
   Catch-22: depends on the given monitor, TV set, or cellphone screen. The monitor's capability (expensive computer monitors invariably have a wider color display) combined with the video-card attached . . .  the two determines what can be actually seen on the monitor.
   Exporting a LightRoom image file as either a sRGB color space Jpeg, or as an Adobe RGB Jpeg... I can see the difference; Reds are always a problematic color, Greens too, but I'm viewing the image on a NEC SpectraView 4K monitor which - is - capable of rendering AdobeRGB's wider color spectrum.
   The color-tangle further exacerbated by - depends on what software you're using to view the image. (one might assume Window-10's Photo Viewer is "the go-to" viewing software, but it is inaccurate, exaggerates colors appreciably)
   I remain curious with today's Inkjet-printer technology, final differences when the print-image file is derived from either sRGB, AdobeRGB, or ProPhotoRGB. 
   Likewise the difference between InkJet and traditional Photo-chemistry prints?
   The color-issue further tangled by cost, typically 3X-4X more for Inkjet prints (plus relatively few sources of quality inkjet printing  available.)
 

by bradmangas on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:56 pm
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Always a good idea to get facts from known and recognized experts in the field.

Renée Besta is a frequent contributor to the Breathing Colors blog and podcast. Lots of good information can be had there. I would recommend starting with this two part article which I believe was on the podcast as well. Check out Renée's website under Education for much more information.

http://www.breathingcolor.com/blog/guide-to-digital-printing-part-1/

http://renmarphoto.com/publications-and-podcasts/
 

by Bill Chambers on Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:40 am
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Royce Howland wrote:
Bill, our web site is http://www.resolvephoto.ca. Most info can be found there; for other stuff not addressed on the site, feel free to contact us at the shop. We can get results where we need to via courier. :)

Thanks so much Royce!
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade; when it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's.
Unattributed

Please visit my web site, Enchanted Light Photography.
Bill Chambers
Gulf Breeze, Florida
 

by Ed Okie on Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:22 am
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bradmangas wrote:
Always a good idea to get facts from known and recognized experts in the field.


Brad, in concept it's a great idea, "facts from known and recognized experts."
   Reality strikes back: It seems that every source queried or read claims "expertise," always the best go-to place "because we've been in business X-years," or variations of a similar theme "all of us are photographers, too."
   Akin to suggesting everyone past a decade or half-century of experience . . . is an expert; I'm an expert!
   One website read yesterday offered advice about print longevity, why inkjet-printing is best, "C-prints" are third-rate. Also included a lengthy commentary about how to get the most out of your computer system and software. It readily appeared that Apple is the answer, hardware and software. Should I also follow her inkjet advice?
   Bias built in on one subject - possibly applies to other subjects?
   Presenting advice without a listed published date is often a minefield of outdated information. Especially in the inkjet industry and inks used - apparently in a flux of continual change. Improvements, or that of one-ups-man-ship?
   Strikingly, standards for image-file submissions vary appreciably, have little consistency - "you send it, we'll print it." Print results take on a hold-your-breath approach.
   Craftsmanship is certainly hard to define. Add to the terminology jargon: Color Spaces, Color Profiles, Soft Proofing, software differences, dpi, ppi... the eyes start to glaze over!
 

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