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Re: filmscanners: Repro house skirmishing (long)

What is PQPP?

Mike M.

Dave King wrote:

> Dan Margulis has a mailing list called Color Theory at Egroups with
> interesting threads on this topic, but I doubt it will help solve the
> problem.  Time will do that, as the trend is inevitable with digital
> capture coming like a freight train.
> Meanwhile the question is what's the best repro print to send along
> with the CD, hoping still they've pulled their heads out by now and
> use the file (correctly) anyway.  1200 prints can work I think, but
> they should be at least 2x the final size to avoid screening
> interference problems (you'd do the same with an analog C print
> though), and the color anomalies can be reduced to insignificance with
> oem dyes, PQPP, Profiler Pro and a DTP-41 to make the profiles.  It's
> an expensive time consuming pain, but I think it will get you the
> quality you're after.
> I'm setting up an 1160 at the moment I hope to replace the 1200 with
> for this sort of thing, my initial tests of the oem driver with oem
> ink and PQPP are promising.  It appears to be considerably more linear
> all through the shadow range, and nearly indistinguishable everywhere
> else from the 1200.  Not finished testing yet, but if the profiles and
> prints are better than the 1200 is capable of (driver is the problem
> really), I'll stick 3rd party dyes in a CIS and test again, hoping I
> can use that instead of oem.  If not I'll go back to oem dye.
> The only alternative is service bureau light jet or Fujix, but I'd
> rather be able to make the repro prints myself.
> Dave
> > OK, here's a legitimate target for spite and bile, and it's
> decidedly ON topic.
> > I have said some very bad words in their direction already, as I
> just don't
> > know what to do about this.
> >
> > My main use for scanning is so I can shoot col.neg. in uncontrolled
> conditions,
> > then scan it and tart it up later on screen. This is an extension of
> what I
> > have been doing with B&W in the darkroom for years.
> >
> > However I end up with a digital image. That is when the trouble
> starts, because
> > although the client(s) can cope, and the designers can cope, the
> goddam repro
> > houses are stuck in 1985 and have no intention of changing to
> accomodate
> > photographer-supplied scans which will rob them of their bread and
> butter.
> >
> > This last week I have had 2 separate disasters because of this.
> >
> > The first was a set of live interview shots of an elusive MD,
> horrible room,
> > rotten light. I shot it on CN, no problem. I explained this to the
> > commissioning magazine and asked if they could cope with dig. They
> said yes, I
> > shot it... and then they changed their minds and asked for prints. I
> got a
> > bunch of prints done by my lab, and sure enough, they were not very
> nice. Sent
> > 'em off to client, but with a sample scan to prove the point. Client
> phones
> > back, gosh, yes, the scan is miles better, stuff the repro house
> they will just
> > have to cope, send us 8 scans.
> >
> > I do this overnight (the whole job is now up against deadlines),
> send in bill,
> > and 2weeks later client phones whingeing about the cost. Why have I
> charged
> > 15GBP/scan? He seems to have expected them to be 'free', since they
> are when
> > done by their repro house. If he'd known he would have asked for the
> negs and
> > had the repro house do it. Well, yes, except it was about 4hrs work
> for me,
> > plus CD etc, and besides, what the repro house would do would be
> 'straight'
> > reprography whereas what I am doing is interpretive. Client too
> thick to see
> > the difference, now in my bargepole file.
> >
> > The underlying problem (apart from the client - who had 2 weeks
> previous been
> > telling me how he had just spent 14,000GBP converting his Ferrari to
> run on
> > unleaded) is that many repro houses involved in UK magazine
> production are
> > determined to hang on to scanning, and the standard contract now
> bundles
> > scanning with everything else for a fixed cost.
> >
> > It has other advantages for them too: they don't need to invest or
> train to
> > cope with photographer-supplied scans. They can just stick their
> heads in the
> > sand and lock me (us) out of a very useful *photographic* technique.
> >
> > Like I say, I have another client who often messes about getting
> negs hand
> > printed at vast expense to work around the obduracy of the repro
> house they
> > actually pay tons of money too. He has his own reasons, reluctance
> to learn and
> > fear of horrible mistakes.
> >
> > And that was the second nightmare, a truly horrible mistake. Yet
> another
> > client, whom I've been around this loop with previously - see my
> sorry tale
> > about this at my website. They just relaunched a title, and, asked
> to produce a
> > cover and inside shots during the usual 5min session in the rain,
> asked if dig
> > was OK. Yes, said the designer - it's not First Impressions doing
> the repro any
> > more. Did the job, did the scans, sent 'em off. Designer happy,
> client happy.
> >
> > I got a copy on Thursday. Absolutely dreadful. God only knows how it
> got signed
> > off and went to print like that. It's so embarassingly terrible I am
> ashamed to
> > mention it - no saturation and just underwater/vile. What I supplied
> was a
> > tagged TIF which looked great to everyone on calibrated screens.
> What came off
> > the press was excrementally awful.
> >
> > This client is mortified and embarassed too, but instead of
> bollocking the
> > repro house (First Impressions, avoid at all costs), they have said
> they think
> > they had better have prints next time.
> >
> > Meanwhile I have other clients who have no trouble at all with this
> stuff. What
> > the hell is wrong with the repro industry, and what can I possibly
> do about it?
> > It no longer seems like leading edge tech, is standard practice in
> newsprint,
> > yet magazines in UK are stuck in a timewarp because of it. In 4-5
> yrs, there
> > has been hardly any movement IME.
> >
> > So the next question is : where can I get really good R-type or
> similar prints
> > made from digital files, in London, often overnight? I'm not happy
> with my own
> > Epson 1200 output (good though it is, there are spectral anomalies,
> and I don't
> > know if the dither pattern will interact badly with a fine halftone
> dot
> > screen). I can't find anywhere - I have tried dye sub (too soft) and
> a local
> > co. who have a posh Noritsu dig printer which outputs onto proper
> paper, but
> > that manages to posterise skin tones - an admitted deficiency of the
> printer
> > according to the lab, not my scans.
> >
> > It's all very, very frustrating:(
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Tony Sleep
> > http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film
> scanner info &
> > comparisons


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