Re: For those who are interested in making digital negatives using pigmented inksets

From: Jeffrey D. Mathias ^lt;>
Date: 01/02/04-06:01:23 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Jonathan Borden wrote:
> 1) is the upshot that digital negatives produce visibly worse/different
> results from conventional negatives?

The only difference I find of importance is the ability to distinguish
subtle tonality. In other aspects, I consider them similar.

> 2) the contrast of the digital prints seems higher and in particular the
> shadow detail seems less. Is this the case when viewed "not on the web"?
> Would a curves adjustment help?

With the work I do, all comparison and evaluation is done with Pt/Pd
prints. Short of publishing a very expensive book, a monitor seems
reasonable to get the ideas across and sometimes works well.
Fortunately, I continue to learn to make better web images. Some in my
guide are not the best and need updating.

> 3) That is to say, can one use photoshop techniques to improve upon the
> conventional negative and thus overcome some of the inherent
> difficulties with using a digitally reproduced negative?

The point for me is to get my view of the original image through the
camera and film and into a Pt/Pd print. This might include scanning the
film and making a digital negative only if the end result is achieved.

As to comments from Sandy King.
> I was wondering why you described sandwiching the negatives together at
> your website. Now I understand that this is because you are not getting
> adequate density with your dye-based HP printer. This information
> obviously raises a number of questions about the sharpness issues in the
> test comparisons you made.

The resolution lines were on a single piece of material.
I tried the sandwich method in order to try to produce more tones.
And as well to reduce the amount of ink on each substrate. Best to be
careful not to use to much ink at once to get the needed density.
I also tried exposing three negatives of what amounts to different gamma
in registration similar to what Dan Burkholder has done, also trying to
produce more tones. Both methods have failed to address the issue of
number of tones for subtle discrimination and posterization. I am at
the point of waiting for a printer that puts down 16-bit depth ink on a
transparent substrate. Oh, and that is ink that controls the
transmission of blue and UV light for Pt/Pd printing. Seems most inks
are designed to reflect.

To address Mark Nelson:
> When you look at the printed lines on Pictorico or whatever substrate,
> the ink lines and the lines of clear spaces in between are of equal
> proportion?

Yes. Whenever I update, I'll include a scan of the transparency.

Jeffrey D. Mathias
Received on Fri Jan 2 18:01:46 2004

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