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Thread: Printing Medium format images

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    Printing Medium format images

    Just wondering where people send their medium format images for printing. Am I wrong in assuming that if I get a wider color gamut printer etc I will get to see the full advantages of medium format in print? Thanks

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Large color gamut only means you can show more saturation, most natural images don't have that saturated colors to require very wide gamut, and mf won't gain more than any other.

    I usually send away for digital C print, simply because results are predictable and repeatable. Pigment ink is "best" but harder to find a good printing service.
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I print myself on an standard Epson wide-format printer.

    I don't ever remember hearing that MF has a wider gamut than 135 or other smaller formats. How you prep the file for printing has a lot more to do with print quality than what camera format you use, assuming you have enough data for the print size you want to make.

    Jeff Schewe has an excellent (and relatively current) book called The Digital Print. I suggest you read that before going too far down a specific printer and/or printing path.

    Dave
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I also print medium format on an Epson large format printer. No matter if I print 35mm or MFD, I am always amazed by the finished print. However, the way Hasselblad handles colors make them even more special

    Greg

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    My Epson 7900 is for sale in the buy and sell if anyone interested
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    thanks everyone for the info. I will look for the Schewe book. My limited understanding of printing makes me think it is a whole art unto itself and I don't know that I am ready to print my own work yet.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I do all my own printing whether from 35mm or the IQ160 and am currently using an Epson 9900.

    The way I see it - printing can be an art in itself and if done correctly will furnish outstanding images. If you've taken the time to shoot the image then process it why not take the extra step and print it yourself so you keep total control throughout the entire process? Most of what I do is on canvas however I offer paper as well and searching for the "perfect" media while taking time was just another step in perfecting the art.

    Printing at times can be difficult yet the rewards are there.

    Don

    My clients might not be all that interested in what camera I used to capture the image but they are pleased when they learn I had total control cradle to grave. We tell them on a canvas print we leave a little DNA with each print as we shoot the image, processed it, printed and stretched it all in house.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by flyrcairplanes View Post
    ....My limited understanding of printing makes me think it is a whole art unto itself ....
    That's a pretty fair assessment IMHO. Printing does require some background knowledge and a bit of understanding of the workflow and what makes an "acceptable" fine art print on various substrates. It's not as easy as simply "pushing the button" which is the same mentality that the general public also thinks that is all professional photographer does with a camera.

    But I do think that the learning curve is very manageable and not difficult. Once you spend a few days with Guy's Epson 7900, you'll be ready to go!


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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    just bought "The digital Print". Will get through it and then see where to go next. Thanks again everyone

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    You shouldn't expect to master printing easily. Actually everywhere I think I know what I'm doing I screw it up.

    Don't know which post processing software program you're using however they all should offer some sort of limited training/tips on printing. Likewise whichever printer you decide to buy will also have tips available from the manufacture. You might also look into Lynda.com for on-line training that includes both processing and printing.

    Good printing isn't done overnight. You must have a properly calibrated monitor to begin with. Follow that up with profile(s) for the various media you'll be printing on. Once you have these first 2-the rest should fall in place. Just as learning C1, Photoshop or Lightroom wasn't accomplished overnight neither is printing. Actually I think printing will be easier than what you might think it is.

    This place is also a great resource of information.

    Don
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I always print my own images, just as I used to do all my own darkroom work. It's all about control!

    The most important ingredient IMHO is a first class profiling system. I use Eye 1 for my display and for making paper profiles.

    Although I use C1 for Raw processing, I prefer to print from PS where I can use Pixel Genius's sharpening algorithms and Canon's 16 bit plug-in. (I use a Canon Image Prograf printer.)

    But even then, there is art involved! For large, complex images I will make a small version first as a proof and then cook the final version to taste.

    I remember what a thrill it was to watch an image appear in the developing tray in my darkroom days. Now I experience the same anticipation watching the paper emerge from the printer!
    Bill CB

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I would suggest that anyone doing their own printing take a long look at Colorbyte software, Imageprint. I just sold my Epson 7900, and will be downsizing my printer, but that software is excellent.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    You might also take a look at Qimage. I used it briefly a couple years ago and just came back to it a short while ago and really like it. Ken has used Qimage for many years then again he's the only person I know that has 4-large format printers.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Goetz View Post
    I would suggest that anyone doing their own printing take a long look at Colorbyte software, Imageprint. I just sold my Epson 7900, and will be downsizing my printer, but that software is excellent.
    +1
    Stanley

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Goetz View Post
    I would suggest that anyone doing their own printing take a long look at Colorbyte software, Imageprint. I just sold my Epson 7900, and will be downsizing my printer, but that software is excellent.
    I second this, Colourbyte Imageprint (sorry I refuse to spell colour wrong) is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I spent a lot of money on other rips that were just plain hard work and Image print was a revelation. I have not printed from Photoshop in years.

    Kind regards,
    Jason.
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    You might also take a look at Qimage. I used it briefly a couple years ago and just came back to it a short while ago and really like it. Ken has used Qimage for many years then again he's the only person I know that has 4-large format printers.
    Just a heads up, but Qimage is (currently) only on PC, if you have a Mac then there aren't really any alternatives other than using a virtual machine.

    Of course, I don't do any large-scale batch printing anymore, but when I did QI was a life-saver.

    Quote Originally Posted by photo570 View Post
    I second this, Colourbyte Imageprint (sorry I refuse to spell colour wrong) is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I spent a lot of money on other rips that were just plain hard work and Image print was a revelation. I have not printed from Photoshop in years.
    I've heard many good things about it, but just can't get over the price for 44" printers... maybe someday. (I also refuse to spell Kolor wrong :B)

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    To me it seems like if you want the best quality you either need to spend a lot of time with your own pigment ink printer and paper of choice, or you order digital C prints.

    I as an amateur still print too small volume to justify owning a high end ink printer, and then I find C print to be a very good alternative. These are huge machines fully automated, they don't need much love or care from the operators to get good consistent results. The disadvantage is that you have only look to play with, the glossy photographic look. You can't print on semigloss, canvas, etc. If you're not owning your own printer I think it's quite good though, it becomes too complex to manage different looks when you have a roundtrip time of a day or two for your prints.

    What I do when I make a print is that I compare to a previous TIFF-file I have left from an old print which has similar color and look to the new one I'm doing, so I get a sense of how contrasty the file should be etc to get the look I want. Then I order post-card-sized prints, with the full image, and some details of target size to test that sharpening works out properly. Then I do adjustments, and order a second post-card-sized print. Usually after that I'm good and can print full-size. In rare cases colors are difficult to get just right (even with everything calibrated, the print can give a different feel to a color), and then I order several small prints with different minor guessed color adjustments, so I can pick out the good one afterwards.

    It's not a very fast process in terms of round-trip times to the printing lab, but otherwise it works fine, ie when I'm done I feel I have a high end result. At least as high end as I'm capable of.

    I have ordered inkjet prints too, but I've had quality issues (poorly maintained printer), and it's a much steeper learning process to get to know how the particular ink and paper behaves, so it's difficult to reach "as good as it can get" with that, while for C-prints it's certainly doable.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    As I have stated before on this forum IMHO a very important component of Photography as an art form is to produce the image on paper.
    Printing images is an art form in itself; I often find that the image that my camera produces differs from the image that I want to express.
    Because of technical reasons that are too complex to recite here, the image almost always looks different on paper than it does on a screen.
    I find that having a printer at my disposal (in my case it is an Epson 7880) is an important component of the final product
    Stanley

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    .... I find C print to be a very good alternative. These are huge machines fully automated, they don't need much love or care from the operators to get good consistent results. ...
    From what I've seen, these "wet lab" machines do require a bit more than a modicum of maintenance, attention, or calibration to keep operating and producing a high volume of prints with consistent quality. In that regard, it is no different than a fine art inkjet printer, just with different workflow and pre-printing dance maneuvers. I've also seen varying results depending on who is the lab tech/operator on the machine. Some don't know much and leave everything "automated," while others don't mind getting into the print a bit more and making small adjustments in attempts to improve the print. What makes it "easier" is that someone else is doing the work (or headache depending on how you look at it) for you.

    I actually enjoy the process, including juggling the different printing workflows for color prints on my 9900 and preparing B&W prints on my K7 piezography printer. There's something to be said about the satisfaction of watching that final print come out of the printer that you made from start to finish.


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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I remember the first print I ever developed in a wet darkroom; it was a black and white. There's a certain thrill of watching the image you took then processed as it came to life. Fast-forward to today's digital darkroom and I still feel the same thrill. As in the older wet darkroom the sense of accomplishment and "thrill" still occurs as the first print image is coming off the printer.

    Printing yourself is expensive especially if you don't do it that much. Then again farming the image out to a lab can become expensive (I can't speak from actual experience as I've never done it). The lab costs (I think) can be thought of the time needed to actual get the print back, shipping the image to you or if the lab is local the cost of getting it. And then the cost of the print itself. The main problem I have with farming an image to a lab is that I took all this time to perfect the image; capturing it, processing it using a calibrated monitor and then I'm going to send the file to a third-person to have it printed? Just seems like I'm loosing the control I wanted to have in the first place.

    I like to have total control over what I print. There's times that I'm uncertain what media I want to print on and in a matter of minutes and printing several test strips I can see which works the best and proceed which that media. If I farmed it out to a lab I wouldn't have that much control. Likewise I tend to tweak the settings a bit by adding a touch more ink and drying time to the image. I guess I could request that of a lab however will a lab tech have the same sense of ownership as the person who captured the image and took the time to process it? One of the major reasons for shooting RAW is the amount of control I have; otherwise you might as well just shoot Jpeg and take it to Wal-Mart.

    The above argument is very subjective and works only for those who print a lot. By a lot I mean several times a week or per month. I used to print for others however all that did was help defray the cost of the machine and cause more work for myself. If you have a person or lab that does fine work and the tech knows and cares about what their doing then stick with them. Otherwise if you want that extra bit of control and don't mind a learning curve then think about printing yourself.

    Don Libby
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    There are many types of machines, and possibly not all are as good. I'm however quite sure more can go wrong with the ink jets due to all sorts of configurations they can have. I can only say that I've had much more luck with C prints than with inkjet prints when ordering from a lab. C prints seems to be on the way out though, Durst Lambda which is the make I'm using is not making any new machines, and I'm not sure how many other active manufacturers there are.

    Concerning following through a print from start to finish I agree it's satisfying, I don't really see that the way of letting someone else load the printer, clean and calibrate the print heads and press the print button is less satisfying though. When you send to a lab it doesn't mean that you don't do test prints and tune the result to fit the medium. What I do lack from inkjet is the ability to choose various papers though, on the other hand C prints have a photographic look that I have not seen any inkjet produce. Instead of worrying about I can't print on canvas I have spent some extra time making the best out of the look C prints provide.

    If I did have my own inkjet printer I'd probably get nerdy with that and print on different papers depending on subject etc, but actually to be honest I think there is tendency in the photographic community to go overkill on printing, creating more angst than joy. If one doesn't see economy in having an own printer I don't think it's necessary to make high end results, you need to know what medium you work with though and cooperate with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    From what I've seen, these "wet lab" machines do require a bit more than a modicum of maintenance

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I am a medium format digital photographer, and I also run a printing service. This means I am a bit biased in favor of letting someone who does it full time deal with it, but as I see it you only have two good options: 1. Invest the large sum of time and money into getting a state of the art inkjet setup and learning how to use it to the best effectiveness. Or, 2. Find a good printer and build up a relationship with them. They will get to know you and your work and learn how to meet your needs.

    Getting really good prints is much more than just the technology involved...it is really more about experience and communication. As I said, I am biased, but I think a good printer (person, not machine) is a great asset because they are used to printing for all different clients and are working with the machines day in and day out. They will likely have a much broader experience in the possibilities of the different machines and media than it is generally possible to gain just printing for oneself. It is certainly possible to print exceptional work oneself too, but it requires a lot of time to build up the experience, and quite a substantial investment in equipment and materials. Additionally, these printers are mostly made to be run...if you are not using them a lot, they tend to be quite finicky (clogs etc) and they certainly take up a lot of space! If you make a ton of prints and sell them, then it may be the best route for you, but if you are doing it as a hobby or selling occasionally, it is probably more in your interest to let a professional deal with it. The prices for good large prints can be quite high, but you can still get a lot of them for the price of a wide format printer and all the maintenance costs and materials needed.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    So those of you who are in the U.S. who do not print your own images who do you use and what questions do you ask to make sure you are getting the best quality images?

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    This means I am a bit biased in favor of letting someone who does it full time deal with it
    Just as I'm sure your printing service is excellent and I'd love to use it, I'm sure that it's really hard to find one that is as obsessive with image quality as the typical MF photographer is. Most printing services just print.

    The thing is that most printing services rarely get the type of customer that really is obsessive with image quality. By asking some basic questions you learn from any fine art printing book one usually discover that they are not really familiar with fine art printing challenges.

    Although I do think there is a good inkjet printing service somewhere in Sweden I've given up on finding it, and instead I go for the (in my experience) predictable C print. When I've asked others I've discovered that many are very satisfied with serivces I've been unsatisfied with so I realize that it's a bit about me too, being a very demanding customer.

    I use a local service for framing though. They're supposed to be the best around, and they're nice to work with, but still I've needed to get back to get things fixed afterwards,
    slightly misaligned prints, dust behind the glass and things like that, and in the communication with them it's quite clear that my obsessive desire for the best quality is not really what they are used to. Still I think they make a better job than I would do in my dusty home with my not-so-skilled hands.

    Anyway, finding a printing service and a framing service that is aware and makes a job with the same considerations you see in a fine art printing book is in my experience very very difficult. It's almost as difficult as finding a MF dealer around here that has used a technical camera

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Torger

    Where in Sweden are you? I'm in the North and I'm obsessed with print quality, I have recently bought a IPF6400 and it is incredible, I used a Z3100 for a couple of years and getting back in to printing is fantastic. You'd be welcome to come with some images and we can see what is possible, quality of final output is not an issue as far as I'm concerned. I'd be happy to print for you if we can produce what you want, you'd be using someone who wants the best possible from his own images.

    Mat

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Thanks for the offer very tempting. I'm in Luleć, so I think I'm quite close to you. I'm not printing much for the time being though, but I'll keep it in mind! I'm getting more and more images I think is worth printing

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by flyrcairplanes View Post
    So those of you who are in the U.S. who do not print your own images who do you use and what questions do you ask to make sure you are getting the best quality images?
    Before I had my own larger format printers (24 & 44in Z3200 & 3880), I used to take advantage of Costco's printing services and the profiles created for their Noritsu & Fuji Frontier printers by Dry Creek Photo. The prices for reasonable sized prints was such that it was affordable to use 12x18's for proofing and tweaking (via soft proofing) so that the resulting Fuji Crystal Archive prints were truly very acceptable to me, although it would be highly dependent upon the Costco store maintenance and profile age/accuracy. To be honest, it was cheaper than printing at home even on an Epson 2200 or 3800. I haven't tried their larger print sizes that are available from the large Epsons.

    I haven't used them for quite a while but generally if you followed the comprehensive instructions on the Dry Creek Photo web site then I never had any issues with dealing with the Costco folks.

    As mentioned by others though, nothing quite matches the immediacy of doing your own printing and reviewing the results. Personally, I can't say that I find it cost effective but I do prefer the control. I also found the investment in a GTI proofing PDV stand worthwhile, especially for testing smaller prints alongside my monitor. (Easy to pick up cheap used too).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Lulea is pretty close to me, good to know there are photographers in the area, we should meet up! I don't have my Alpa and P1 anymore but I'm still really in to MF.

    Print offer is genuine, I'm printing for myself and would be happy to print for one or two others based on it being a very personal experience based on getting the most from the print.

    Mat

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I'm gonna check out "The Digital Print" as well, thanks for the advice. I would like to get a large format printer and do my own printing in the future but I can't justify the cost at all at the moment. I have also realized that printing itself is an art form and I just don't have the time to devote to it at the moment. I have been outsourcing to labs that print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper and while they don't always match what I see on my screens (Apple 27" Thunderbolt display and NEC PA272), they look good enough. I've developed a good relationship with a local lab in Atlanta (PPR Prints) for my own prints and just got some prints back from Aspen Creek Photo that i like that seem to match what I get from PPR. For some reason I like the prints on the Fuji paper more than other papers that other labs use (Kodak, etc). Big fan of Fuji Pearl as well...those prints always get a "woah" from potential buyers. If you decide to outsource, there are a lot of labs that will print proofs for you for free or a reduced cost for your first order, so you can always send out a bunch and compare the results.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by flyrcairplanes View Post
    Just wondering where people send their medium format images for printing. Am I wrong in assuming that if I get a wider color gamut printer etc I will get to see the full advantages of medium format in print? Thanks
    Though today's print technology doesn't offer entire gamut available in your MF file, the question is what is maximum gamut you can print today.

    Here is an article you may be interested in:

    Joseph Holmes - News: Epson 11880

    If one can't afford or doesn't have a space for big printer or print volume doesn't justify purchase of big printer, out sourcing is only option.

    Print Master Charles Cramer have acknowledged excellent profile / print quality of Costco. However, paper choices will be limited. Also, prefect print for a given image doesn't happen in one go. Hence making a trip to Costco for every round of printing is time consuming.

    Many Pros gets their print done from West Coast Imaging... they can send you proof before final large size printing and you can discuss your taste / requirements with a live person.

    Another similar service provider is Picture Elements.

    Did I mention about our forum member Ken Doo [kdphotography]? This guy is very passionate about fine art print making and will take care of your MF printing needs. Try him out or join us for "CI in Carmel" in 2015 (if it happens in Carmel)!

    Subrata
    Last edited by subrata1965; 14th May 2014 at 18:12.
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Funny I have my Epson 7900 printer on the buy and sell and not even a low ball offer. So much for printing yourself. I don't understand it at all. Not even a PM on it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Guy, in my experience when I picked up my 24 & 44in HPs was that large printers are tough to sell used unless you happen to be local and have a suitable transportation option. Shipping is a killer. I was lucky enough to pick up my printers from folks either near my office in San Francisco so that I could fill an SUV and drive it home, or in Seattle which was 'only' a 300 mile round trip and the 44in printer just fitted in my LR. Both sellers needed the space for a new printer (or spouse had dictated that the printer wasn't acceptable in the dining room - yup, really ??) and so were very keen to see them go.

    Heck, I'd buy the 7900 myself if it were local or easy to ship.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I did put in I will drive it 300 miles. How far is Vancouver. LOL


    I smell a ROAD TRIP coming. LOL



    Alright Im out of here going to go shoot a gig. This is unique BLUE Palm trees. Shooting two night scenes today and a field of them in the morning for a client. Now I'm downright excited about this. Should be fun
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Guy, We ended up donating our older 9800 to a local school last year when we upgraded to the 9900. The fire dept showed to pick it up for the school.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    Though today's print technology doesn't offer entire gamut available in your MF file, the question is what is maximum gamut you can print today.

    Here is an article you may be interested in:

    Joseph Holmes - News: Epson 11880

    If one can't afford or doesn't have a space for big printer or print volume doesn't justify purchase of big printer, out sourcing is only option.

    Print Master Charles Crammer have acknowledged excellent profile / print quality of Costco. However, paper choices will be limited. Also, prefect print for a given image doesn't happen in one go. Hence making a trip to Costco for every round of printing is time consuming.

    Many Pros gets their print done from West Coast Imaging... they can send you proof before final large size printing and you can discuss your taste / requirements with a live person.

    Another similar service provider is Picture Elements.

    Did I mention about our forum member Ken Doo [kdphotography]? This guy is very passionate about fine art print making and will take care of your MF printing needs. Try him out or join us for "CI in Carmel" in 2015 (if it happens in Carmel)!

    Subrata
    Thanks for the different names. I am getting through my copy of the digital print and learning a lot. I have been to Ken's site and I didn't notice that he did that type of work. I have used costco in the past for my dslr work and like the results but I have always wondered what one of my medium format shots printed by a professional would look like. That is good to know that Ken does this. I didn't get from his website that he does any "non commercial" work.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    What's sad to me is how many people now feel a digital image, displayed on the web is a photograph when in actuality it's anything but. I have been a photographer for over 35 years, and consider myself one of the early adopters to digital, since before 2000, I was scanning slides as I grew tired of the Cibrachrome process. To me the printed photograph, is the final product on paper, canvas, metal etc. I know, I am old school.

    I also believe that a big part of the process of learning photography, is the creation of a print. Before the web, if you did not have a print, you did not have a photograph. The learning curve of taking what you have on the screen and making a print from it that resembles what looks like on the screen is 1/2 of the modern digital photographic process. Before digital, and in film days, this was done in the darkroom, either under red lights and B&W or total darkness and color process. The later is what drove me to digital.

    The book "The Digital Print" has been referenced many times, and I agree it's a good place to start.

    Some may feel that the "expense" of an inkjet is too much, the paper, the ink etc. To me the cost is part of getting to the final product, a print. In older days, it was the cost of chemicals, trays, paper, an enlarger, or scanner or both.

    Starting off with a 7900 @ 24 inches or 9900 @44 inches may be a lot more than most need, where as the cost of a 4900 may be just what is needed as the 17" limit can get a lot printing done. Canon also has many great printers in the 17" lineup or close to it.

    Everyone has their own opinion on this, but back to the OP, I hope you do take the time to learn the printing process for your current work. By either taking a class or two or by purchase of a printer and learning as you go. I feel you will get a much more positive feeling by seeing a final "paper" print and the fact that you took that image from either a scanned film negative or slide, or a digital capture to paper.

    Paul
    Paul Caldwell
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I agree Paul - and I think prints may survive long after our computer files get corrupted or deleted or we die and our successors trash 'em!
    Bill
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I did put in I will drive it 300 miles. How far is Vancouver. LOL


    I smell a ROAD TRIP coming. LOL



    Alright Im out of here going to go shoot a gig. This is unique BLUE Palm trees. Shooting two night scenes today and a field of them in the morning for a client. Now I'm downright excited about this. Should be fun
    I know a local MF photographer (who is also a member of GetDPI) wanted to get rid of his Epson 7800 or similar size for FREE with lots of inks left, but there was no taker. I didn't know when he made the offer. Since there was no taker, he again got fired up and started making large prints. :-)

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    What's sad to me is how many people now feel a digital image, displayed on the web is a photograph when in actuality it's anything but. I have been a photographer for over 35 years, and consider myself one of the early adopters to digital, since before 2000, I was scanning slides as I grew tired of the Cibrachrome process. To me the printed photograph, is the final product on paper, canvas, metal etc. I know, I am old school.

    I also believe that a big part of the process of learning photography, is the creation of a print. Before the web, if you did not have a print, you did not have a photograph. The learning curve of taking what you have on the screen and making a print from it that resembles what looks like on the screen is 1/2 of the modern digital photographic process. Before digital, and in film days, this was done in the darkroom, either under red lights and B&W or total darkness and color process. The later is what drove me to digital.

    The book "The Digital Print" has been referenced many times, and I agree it's a good place to start.

    Some may feel that the "expense" of an inkjet is too much, the paper, the ink etc. To me the cost is part of getting to the final product, a print. In older days, it was the cost of chemicals, trays, paper, an enlarger, or scanner or both.

    Starting off with a 7900 @ 24 inches or 9900 @44 inches may be a lot more than most need, where as the cost of a 4900 may be just what is needed as the 17" limit can get a lot printing done. Canon also has many great printers in the 17" lineup or close to it.

    Everyone has their own opinion on this, but back to the OP, I hope you do take the time to learn the printing process for your current work. By either taking a class or two or by purchase of a printer and learning as you go. I feel you will get a much more positive feeling by seeing a final "paper" print and the fact that you took that image from either a scanned film negative or slide, or a digital capture to paper.

    Paul
    That's what I do. I have Epson 4800 which can print up to 17".

    If I need bigger print, I will go to Ken Doo.

    Taking an intensive fine art print making class from Charles Cramer was pleasure. I'm glad he is local. I'm looking forward for his alumni print making class next year!

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    +1 on Charles Cramer's printing workshops. Very, very worthwhile. The photoshop finishing techniques and print development approach is excellent. I really learnt a lot and have been contemplating returning for one of his alumni workshop too.

    Highly recommended - if you can get in that is. Small group sessions only so that he and Rex Naden can work closely with you to help learn how to tune your images to prints.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post

    Everyone has their own opinion on this, but back to the OP, I hope you do take the time to learn the printing process for your current work. By either taking a class or two or by purchase of a printer and learning as you go. I feel you will get a much more positive feeling by seeing a final "paper" print and the fact that you took that image from either a scanned film negative or slide, or a digital capture to paper.

    Paul
    thanks Paul. I do hope to print my own work at some point. As I learn about the process one important element is what type of system has a long "shelf life". I don't print on a daily basis and I don't want to have to throw away expensive unused inks or dyes when I have a prolonged period without a lot of printing.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Guy your 7900 is tempting. Unfortunately all my cash is caught up in travel for the rest of the year and no one wants to buy the studio lighting I've been trying to offload locally. It's been a buyers market for anything photo related for awhile now.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by flyrcairplanes View Post
    thanks Paul. I do hope to print my own work at some point. As I learn about the process one important element is what type of system has a long "shelf life". I don't print on a daily basis and I don't want to have to throw away expensive unused inks or dyes when I have a prolonged period without a lot of printing.
    From my experience, the Epson's prefer daily use even the newer models. I leave mine one all the time except when a thunderstorm is expected. If I don't have a series of prints scheduled, I will run a pattern that I picked up from Wayne Fox, who posts on this forum quite a bit. He has a multicolored test print that exercises all the nozzles.

    The Canon line up handle clogs differently in that they map out the clog and allow the user to replace the head.

    Also +1 on the Charles Cramer classs, he had stopped doing them for a while, I am glad to see he is back with a schedule. However Jeff Shewe has put a lot of time into the Digital Print, and to his credit it's written in a very user friendly format, a ton a great help in that book.

    Paul

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by tcdeveau View Post
    Guy your 7900 is tempting. Unfortunately all my cash is caught up in travel for the rest of the year and no one wants to buy the studio lighting I've been trying to offload locally. It's been a buyers market for anything photo related for awhile now.
    What kind of lights and your location. You can PM me
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Maintaining constant humidity ~40-60% is ideal---and I've found that this is a much more important consideration for Epson printers than realized. I've had zero issues with my 9900 and K7 converted 9890, as well as an old 4800 that I'm trying my best to kill as an excuse to get a new printer, but she won't die or clog.

    Guy's Epson 7900 is a good deal from a known source---and also a good printer candidate for conversion to a B&W K7 piezography printer.

    ken

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    I just run a clean heads monthly and it stays in good shape. The Epsons seem to do okay sitting around at least mine has not had any real problems but I have had to clean the heads twice sometimes from sitting. I'm also in a very dry climate which may not be the best environment although my office does have AC.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I always print my own images, just as I used to do all my own darkroom work. It's all about control!

    The most important ingredient IMHO is a first class profiling system. I use Eye 1 for my display and for making paper profiles.

    Although I use C1 for Raw processing, I prefer to print from PS where I can use Pixel Genius's sharpening algorithms and Canon's 16 bit plug-in. (I use a Canon Image Prograf printer.)

    But even then, there is art involved! For large, complex images I will make a small version first as a proof and then cook the final version to taste.

    I remember what a thrill it was to watch an image appear in the developing tray in my darkroom days. Now I experience the same anticipation watching the paper emerge from the printer!
    Well said and I too following quite closely the steps you outlined. The art of printing in my opinion takes as much careful set up and preparation as it does when preparing to carefully to photographically a landscape. I won't repeat the excellent advice given by other in this thread but take your time and work with small sized images first till you achieve the results that you're hoping to obtain. Materials such as paper and ink can get expensive, so work on a smaller scale until you're ready to print larger.

    Like photography, a combination of good reading material in the art of ink jet printing combined with actual hands on experience and experimentation with your printer and materials of choice, will facilitate your learning curve.

    Out of all the RIPS I've worked with, Colorbyte Imageprint is by far the most intuitive versatile RIP I've used.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Ken and I live in two totally separate environments him along the coast and I'm in the desert. We think it becomes humid anytime after 8% (Guy can relate to this). Totally agree with Ken on the humidity. I keep the studio set at around 40% and have had no problems with the 9900 (the 9800 and older 4000 were more forgiving).

    Guys printer is a steal. If I had more room and needed a smaller print format I'd gobble it up.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    Geez dont rub it in Don, heading out now to go shoot more Blue Palm trees in the field. Bringing a towel with me, gonna need it. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Printing Medium format images

    You might be shooting Blue Palms but I'll be shooting raptors this morning....
    Don Libby
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