Home vs Lab

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by monkeykoder, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Who does their printing at home and who does their printing at a lab. If you print at home what printer do you use and how is it set up (or if you do darkroom what film enlarger and chemicals?), if you print at a lab what lab and do you give any special instructions?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Development:
    * Color film is done at the lab.
    * Black and white is done at home (when time permits). If i'm lazy and undeveloped rolls build up, I'll send them as one large batch the lab.
    * Digital is done at home processed via a combination of Capture 1, Lightroom, and (to a limited extent) Photoshop CS

    Printing:
    * Black and white is usually done on an enlarger: Beseler 23C (which needs work at the moment). I often run it through Epson 700 scanner and work digitally.
    * Color negative is done at the lab or also through the Epson 700 scan
    * Bulk printing of digital files are done through MPIX.com (no color correction).
    * If I want full control over an enlarged print from digital, I work it and print via an Epson 2200 using Ilford ink jet papers and Epson ink sets.
    * If a B&W negative is processed in my darkroom, it is usually with Tmax 400 film and chemicals using Ilford RC papers.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I'm too much of a perfectionist to be satisfied with at-home printing options in my price range. Sure, I could afford the 9880 but not also the Bowhaus RIP, black-only ink set, and museum rag paper.

    I have the local pro lab do everything that's not bw darkroom printing, and keep very close tabs on them.
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    I've been using www.mpix.com for c prints for the last few years. I calibrate my monitors every two weeks, and the only special instructions I need to give is "no corrections".

    I'm shutting my darkroom down, but when it was up and running I used a Beseler 23c and an Omega DII with an assortment of Schneider and Nikkor lenses. I used a typical liquid phenidone developer (mixed 1:9) and Diafine as film developers, Kodak Dektol for paper dev, water for stop, TF-4 fixer, and Kodak Hypoclear. I mainly used Ilford FB, glossy,multigrade paper.

    When I get an ink jet printer it will be an Epson.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Seems to be happening a lot now. I've considered it since I'm in search of a replacement enlarger and buying they used is a PITA because of shipping costs. I just can't bring my self to do it though... I enjoy and miss the hours I spent working in a darkroom.
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Colour film gets developed at a lab, usually.
    B&W I do myself.

    I do all my own scanning (Nikon 5000 for 35 mm, 8000, 9000 for MF; Minolta Elite 5400 x2 for 35 mm; Imacon 949 for 4x5; Microtek M1 Pro for 8x10; and recently Screen Cezanne for 4x5 and 8x10 - waiting to be moved into new work room).

    I do all printing up to 16x20 at home:
    Epson 1400, Epson inks, Epson software (mostly for CD and DVD printing)
    Epson 3800, Epson Inks, Epson software, colour
    Epson 3800, Piezography inks modified for gloss, Studioprint, B&W (still tweaking this after switching to it recently)

    Larger than that I have done at a lab, always 'pre-flighted' (ie I do all the colour correction etc).

    I use an Eye-One with Profilemaker 5, SpectraShop, BabelColor and ColorThink Pro software.

    I used to use Bowhaus IJC/OPM for B&W printing, but they don't support the 3800 yet*.

    My darkroom got left behind in the UK, and was all sold/given away last year. I've been playing around with digital negs on the 1400, and may do more of that when the new Lodima paper is available. I am very happy with my inkjet printing, though it has taken a lot of effort, time and money to get where I am now.

    Best,
    Helen

    *Edit: Writing this made me think about checking for news - 3800 support has been promised for a long time. It has been available since 18th August for OS X and the XP version is on its way - so I'll be using it with the 3800.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  7. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    I can't afford the kind of printer and ink set I would want for doing my on prints at home, so I go to an AMAZING pro lab I found about a half hour away. They do fantastic work, and have reduced rates for "photographers".
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do all my B&W at home (film development and prints). I have an old Omega D5XL with a variety of Schneider and Nikkor lenses. With this enlarger, I can print up to 4x5 negatives, so I'm covered in all formats. For straight B&W prints I tend to use Ilford MGIV the most. For hand coloring, bromoil, or lith printing I have several different papers on hand. For film and print developing, I keep a variety of chemistry around, but tend to reach for Ilford or Kodak products a lot.

    Color film is sent to a lab and I print color at home with an Epson 2200. It's getting some age on it now, but still makes terrific color prints. I use nothing but Epson papers. B&W was never the strong suit for this printer - awful, in fact - hence the darkroom; which is more enjoyable for me, anyway.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. I spent an awful lot of time trying to improve the B&W output from the 2200. Here's a description of the last system I used with the 2200 before replacing it: link.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every lab i've ever tried has been disappointing to me, with the exception of one, which is in my hometown in N.C. so that takes it out of my current options. So I do it all myself and have been much happier.

    I make contrast and color adjustments in photoshop and print on a Canon ip5000 printer. I am planning to upgrade to something else soon though, but not because of print quality. The Canon makes excellent, traditional photo quality prints, but the problem is it doesn't have archival inks, so they fade after a few months. (color anyway, b&w seems fine) I have a pic on my wall here at work that looks like it was taken in the 70's, but it's only about a year old...

    I would love to have a traditional darkroom for b&w prints, but living in a small apartment in L.A. makes that too difficult.
     
  11. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Color film is done at lab.
    Black and white film at home
    Digital at home Photoshop CS2

    Printing all done at lab: Costco, Mpix, Adorama or local pro lab
    Scan negatives at home with Nikon Coolscan V ED 35-mm or Epson 4180 MF and flats
     
  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    • Who does their printing at home?
      Me, I do, I do... :lovey:


    • Who does their printing at a lab?
      I used to, yes.


    • If you print at home what printer do you use and how is it set up?
      Canon MX 850 ~ $300

      It's a 5 ink cartridge printer so solidish colors sometimes band a little bit but I would rather put up with having to select troubled areas and adding 1% noise in PS to cure it rather than spending almost 2x the cost in ink per print and waiting nearly twice as long for a print to finish.

      As far as set up I use my eye which works wonderfully! I set the print dialogue color handling to Printer Manages Color and the rendering intent to Relative Colorimetric. I initially import all RAW images as Pro Photo and then use the "Convert To Profile" to do the sRGB for web display.

      I use and stock Fine Art Museum Etching, Photo Paper Pro Platinum, Fine Art Premium Matte, and Photo Paper Plus Glossy Double Sided paper types which I get in bulk from Canon directly. But I don't see much visual difference in off-brand papers. Mostly it's just supposed to be about how long they hold their color. Pro Platinum is supposed to last 100 years or something if stored in a photo album on a typical open faced shelf in the typical US home. ;)


    • If you do darkroom what film enlarger and chemicals?
      I think most of the chemicals were Ilford or Kodak or something. It's been awhile since I had a dark-room set up. My last enlarger was made by Minolta and I don't remember the model designation... I think it just said "Minolta Color Enlarger II" or something like that on the head. I would have to dig it out of the closet to know for sure and I think it's under 12 Amiga computers and about 20 Power Macs. :D


    • If you print at a lab what lab and do you give any special instructions?
      Whether or not to push the film if I shot it differently than it's rating and I might specify to do +1 or -1 on the CYM controls if I know the film is tint bias.

      For digital prints I get it the way I like it on my home printer and then make them match print to that. So far I've only used lab printing when printing poster or other very large sizes. I can match everything a lab can do right here at home and I have dynamic control over the process. And since I mostly don't print larger than A4 I'm good right here in the home office.
     

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