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

From: Sandy King ^lt;>
Date: 01/03/04-03:13:07 PM Z
Message-id: <a0602042dbc1cdc05d628@[]>

Jeffrey Mathias wrote:

>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

I agree with this, and you can prove it for yourself by printing a
gradient from a digital negative. Even with a 16 bit scan you will
not get a perfectly smooth transition of tones. However, from my
perspective the fact that one can make so many other tonal
corrections with a digital file far outweigh the very slight loss of
transition in subtle tonalities.

>>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

Although I have no intention of giving up printing ULF negatives I am
at the point where I find it possible to significantly improve on
final output from many of my negatives by scanning the original
negative and correcting in Photoshop. With carbon printing on very
smooth surfaces some slight loss of image sharpness may result, but
with processes on water color and drawing papers, including Pt/Pd and
kallitype, I can see absolutely no loss of quality in comparing print
output from an in-camera negative and digital negative, assuming 16
bit scans and limiting size of output to 360dpi at the print size.

And even if one disagrees with the premise of the preceding paragraph
all of us have problem negatives that are difficult or impossible to
print as is. In these cases scanning and correcting the problem can
result in a negative that prints beautifully.

>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.

Pigmented inks can already put down plenty of ink for 16 bit depth on
transparent substrates for Pt/Pd printing, IMHO. I know this for an
absolute fact since I have been making palladium prints this way for
well over a year. If you must have dye inks for some reason I think
you still have to wait.

Sandy King
Received on Sat Jan 3 15:15:39 2004

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