Optical vs digital enlargement

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nealjpage, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I've seen some discussion about this on the pages in the past, but my question is slightly different. Say I take some color negs down to the local photo lab to have enlargements made. They tell me they're digital enlagements. How is this done? Are the negs scanned, then blown up in photoshop, then printed with a printer onto glossy paper? Or are they projected to some sort of lens that puts it on photo paper and then processed the normal way? I only do my own black and whites, so I have no idea how this new-fangled color-digital process works.:confused:
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    It depends on the equipment they are using. There are a lot of different options.

    Most labs these days have a printing machine that takes negs and files. The negs are scanned in-machine, and the prints are made from the files. The prints are standard color process prints (printed by exposing light sensitive paper, and processing in chemistry), just like before digital.

    But there may be a size limit. For instance the local lab I use can only do prints up to 12"x18" this way. Larger than that and they go to inkjet prints. The online service I use can do up to 20"x30" prints before they go to inkjet.
     

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