4x5 chrome>Drum scan>Film recorder neg quality

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I have free access to an Imacon scanner which makes superb color files from chromes, not color neg film. I want the best color landscape & architectural 20x24 color prints possible.

Regarding color, contrast and sharpness, which would give the most satisfactory results:

1) Shoot Velvia, scan, output via hi-res film recorder to 4x5 neg and print...

2) Shoot Velvia and print to Ilfochrome directly ...

3) Shoot color neg and print directly.

If 3, what daylight film(s) would you suggest?

Anyone done #1?

-- Al Seyle (aseyle@gte.net), September 06, 2000


The fewer steps the better - this eliminates #1 and leaves us with the eternal debate, "which is better, slide film or print film?". Unless your taste craves ultra high contrast and colors without any subleties, I'd choose negative film. Try Fuji Reala. Just one man's opinion ;-)

-- Andreas Carl (andreas@physio.unr.edu), September 07, 2000.

I agree. Investigate other posibilities than Velvia. It's not the only slide film you know. There are others with much subtler colour, and with contrast ranges that don't test the scanner and printing paper to the limit.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), September 07, 2000.

How 'bout shooting your slide film of choice. Then,

1) hi-res drum scan 2) retouch image if/as necessary 3) have file output to a LightJet at virtually any size you want

I use West Coast Imaging in California. They are currently having a special: for $175 you get a hi-res scan and either a 20x30 or 24x30 LightJet. Offer ends Sept. 30, 2000.

You have to see these LightJets to believe them.

-- Richard Coda (rcoda@pctype.com), September 07, 2000.

I have ALWAYS been under the premis of shooting a negative if I needed a print and a chrome for publications unless otherwise stated. Kodak has there Pro 100 negative film which is nice, Fuji has their pro version also. Fuji has always been know for their color saturation so it really comes down to the look your going for. We're waiting to get an Imacon after going to a great demo so I would say try scanning a neg again and try different perameters as far as scanning a neg! Cibachromes are beautiful but if your going for stellar results, get into Dye Transfers... Cheers

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), September 07, 2000.

i have always been a dyed-in-the-wool "print straight from the negatives" person, but i have recently changed my mind. i just had to do some 4x5 CTs for some HABS/HAER work, and some color neg work for an FHWA project. the hand prints from both those projects were less than satisfactory to me, so i had the lab scan the CTs and negs using their new imacon flextight precision #2 scanner at 300dpi. from there they were imported into photoshop, and sent to a fuji frontier digital printer and onto fuji crystal archive paper - holy moly! the resulting prints were among the best color prints i have ever seen, far better than the hand prints made by the same lab. total control over color balance, exposure, etc. henceforth, this will be the process i will use for all color work.

-- jnorman (jnorman@teleport.com), September 08, 2000.

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