Response to Digital Darkroom Needs : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

First off, I want to thank all of you for your responses, it was most interesting and helpful. This is what I'm actually thinking of doing. I'm thinking about getting a used older Mac (we all know that the newest and fastest computer is old news by the time you open it and set it up) with alot of memory with good hard drive space along with a flatbed scanner (maybe a Epson 1600U) and using it only for only 4x5 scans, printing it out to a Epson printer, (maybe 1270 or the new 2000P) and good big 21" monitor. This is the important point, using it only for printing and scanning in the darkroom. I'm sure there's alot of people out there thinking along the same lines as I am. I'm open to comments or sugguestions. Thanks in advance.

-- John Miller (, August 21, 2000


John, just be sure your digital darkroom does not compromise your LF chromes! For example, using a scanner with a low Dmax, and Drange can reduce the beauty of the chrome by compromising highlights and shadows. I would say, the printing aspect is much more cost effective these days.... a printer under $1,000 now can produce prints as nice as a darkroom... however a, $1,000 scanner will produce very inferior results compared to an expensive drum scanner. So be sure you are working in the range you are comfortable wiht... be sure you know your max. enlargment you will make before outsourcing, then test some out before you buy... If you are not going to have very large files and plan not to use photoshop extensivly, I think the used Mac is a good idea...

-- Bill Glickman (, August 22, 2000.

Sometimes a neg or tran needs to be scanned separately for highlights and shadows. It's a lot of work merging the two files and so on.

-- David Stein (, August 22, 2000.

If you are printing black and white exclusively, I suggest you get an Epson 3000 printer or Epson 1160 and get the Cone Piezography software and quadtone inks. In addition, you should get Genuine Fractals software--the cheaper version if you only do black and white, or the more expensive version if you do color and black and white. Good luck.

-- Mark Lipton (, August 22, 2000.

With regards to Genuine Fractals, I would recommend downloading an evaluation copy before going out and buying a copy. I did this and could see no benefits compared to increasing the size of the file directly through Photoshop.

I subscribe to a scanning mailing list and a while ago there was a lot of discussion with regards to the capabilities of the Epson 1600 scanner. Results were inconsistent which is most likely due to quality control problems in the manufacturing process. Suggest you get one from somewhere you can return it if you are not happy. You may need to go through several but you should be able to end up with one that gives high quality results.

-- Edward Hattersley (, August 22, 2000.

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