Do modern printing machines add saturation?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by selmerdave, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just got back some rolls of Portra 400 NC that seem rather saturated. I generally have found that 400NC is pleasantly (realistically) unsaturated relative to the current fashion of extreme saturation a la Velvia and the digital equivalent. These were printed by my usual lab that I've been using for a few years, although their results are becoming increasingly inconsistent. I also got a roll of B&W 120 back with 4x6 prints (!). I called to complain about that and they said that's what they usually do (LOL). Not what they've done for me in the past, anyway I'll get them to redo those and that will likely be my last time there.

    Anyway, my main question is whether it is common now for digital printers (the only kind) to increase the saturation.

    Dave
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    you should tell them to make no adjustments when they print, or get scans of them instead and print them after you do the color correction yourself.

    They get scanned anyway in the printing process..
     
  3. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I always get scans when I have my stuff developed because I like to do all of my color correction myself then print from the digital file.
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not only do digital printing systems have that annoying tendency to mess with contrast, saturation and sharpness, but there is also a choice of paper saturation and contrast. Even a 'neutral' scan of colour negative film is usually the scanning software's (or operator's) idea of what is 'neutral'. It's a different matter with reversal film, for which you can get a truly neutral scan that is usable.

    If you get files from the lab that are anything other than the Raw scanner files or DGN files then they have been manipulated in some way, and you may have lost some potential for further correction. This is rather like the Raw/JPEG debate but without the Bayer dematrixing issue because scanner Raw files are already RGB.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    in short,

    develop only, scan yourself.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The older, experienced lab techs have gotten tired of working without a future (most mom and pop labs have or are going under). They hired a bunch of kids who barely know what film is, but they can handle digital, and they'll work for cheap. The age of good film service on every other corner is over. Start looking nationally for a lab you can mail your film to, or do it yourself.

    Here's where I started sending my color film to (before I gave up the resistance, and found digital love! :) )

    http://www.douglasphoto.com/
     
  7. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    This place is a pro photo lab in the photo district of Manhattan, and I have at times gotten some very good results there before. I think they hire a lot of photography students, though, and perhaps that has something to do with the inconsistency problems. It does raise a red flag when they tell me that they normally print from 6x6cm negatives on arbitrarily-cropped 4x6, and that more than anything probably will mean the end of my dealings with them - that's just bad business. I was curious if the saturated prints thing was becoming an epidemic of fashion, sounds from the responses that while it is possible it is not necessarily widespread. My scanner is okay but prints from a lab are still going to be better than what I can do with my scanner and printer, and for that matter I don't have MF scanning capability so I still have a need for a lab.

    These kinds of things to make me want to go back to shooting more slide film than print, although it seems all the good slide films are mainly slow which for indoor shooting is of limited value.

    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Dave
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Dave,

    Some of the previously excellent labs in the photo district have gone downhill because of the lack of business - too many labs and not enough film to develop. I'm not sure that E-6 is doing any better than C-41 - in fact it might be the other way round.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

adding saturation to film

,

digital printer looks over saturated

,

digital printing saturation

,

photo printers saturation

,

photo printing services don't add saturation

,

photos printed no saturation

,

picture saturation machine?

,

printing for saturation

,

printing saturation

,

what is saturation in printing