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Author Topic: A Short, Revisionist History of Digital Ink (Giclée and Inkjet) Printing  (Read 14789 times)
teddillard
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« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2011, 02:35:23 PM »
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Google: 08_Ink-Jet.pdf

and here

http://www.printhead911.com/inkjet-history/

Great links, Ernst, I finally had a chance to pour through them...  thanks!
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Ted Dillard
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« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2011, 05:03:58 PM »
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I mean, how can you stop at digital cameras, without including Color Management...  Adobe's huge part in the process, for that matter?

No, you don't quite get it. Until there were reasonably priced digital cameras only pros did digital capture or high rez scans from film because of the price of cameras ($25K +) or really good scanners ($10K+). Pros didn't complain about expensive output devices...my 1 page dye sub printer cost $10K.

However, when cameras became high enough rez (prolly the first Canon and Nikon not made by Kodak) to make really nice page size prints, that's when inkjet printers for the desktop took off. You got all these new users with all these digital images...how are you gonna print them?

It's called a "golden convergence" when two separate technologies combine to create an all new (and often unexpected) advancement of technology and demand.

Color management was really just a byproduct.

Adobe has indeed contributed (particularly Thomas Koll for developing both Photoshop and Camera Raw) but to be honest, it's really more serendipity on Adobe's part. They keep being in the right place at the right time with the right product. I don't call it luck, but more like good karma...
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teddillard
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« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »
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No, you don't quite get it. Until there were reasonably priced digital cameras only pros did digital capture or high rez scans from film because of the price of cameras ($25K +) or really good scanners ($10K+). Pros didn't complain about expensive output devices...my 1 page dye sub printer cost $10K.

However, when cameras became high enough rez (prolly the first Canon and Nikon not made by Kodak) to make really nice page size prints, that's when inkjet printers for the desktop took off. You got all these new users with all these digital images...how are you gonna print them?

It's called a "golden convergence" when two separate technologies combine to create an all new (and often unexpected) advancement of technology and demand.

Color management was really just a byproduct.

Adobe has indeed contributed (particularly Thomas Koll for developing both Photoshop and Camera Raw) but to be honest, it's really more serendipity on Adobe's part. They keep being in the right place at the right time with the right product. I don't call it luck, but more like good karma...

heh...  well, we certainly do see it from completely different perspectives.  

As far as the digital camera thing goes, I saw a lot more people scanning film with good, relatively cheap desktop scanners and printing from that, than even owning, nevermind printing from digital cameras in the mid-to-late '90s.  Camera sales over scanner sales that I saw, personally, only started taking over in the early and mid '00s.  People were buying scanners and printers to print their film images...  I just don't see a correlation you're trying to make.

As far as Adobe goes, I can't imagine any of this happening without Photoshop, and arguably first.  ..and Color Management working, especially where printing is concerned? That was a huge, huge thing.

But honestly, any one of these subjects is worth talking a good look at in terms of it's own timeline before you can fit it all together, no?  How can you understand how it all fits together if you don't understand how each part developed?  Which is why I'm finding the information about the inkjet/giclee (and other printing methods) development in the '80s so interesting - something I really had no awareness of at the time.

I do understand your point about converging and enabling technologies, I actually understand quite a bit more about that than you give me credit for, and have given it a fair amount of study in various disciplines, although I don't happen to see it the way you do in this case.

Again...  the fascinating part of revisiting these details - the different perspectives.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 07:05:24 PM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2011, 07:09:21 PM »
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Camera sales over scanner sales that I saw, personally, only started taking over in the early and mid '00s. 

Scanner sales pre 2000 was a drop in the bucket compared to post 2001 digital camera sales. Canon quit counting actual camera sales and reverted to "tons shipped". They (Canon) knew the weight of a "box of camera" and stated sales in tons instead of the number of units sold.

Really...to get a page sized scan prior to 2001 was not a simple process. It was really after flatbed scanners could do reasonable scans of medium and small format film that "photographers" started getting scanners and scanning film to make prints.

But that is a relatively recent advancement. Prior to say, 1999 or 2000, "film scanners" that could do good film scans were still expensive.

When the cost of digital cameras started competing directly with film scanners is when "photographers" started looking for "photographic" type prints from digital cameras. That really didn't happen until after the cost of digital cameras started falling. That's when the convergence started happening...
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teddillard
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« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2011, 07:08:06 AM »
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Scanner sales pre 2000 was a drop in the bucket compared to post 2001 digital camera sales. Canon quit counting actual camera sales and reverted to "tons shipped". They (Canon) knew the weight of a "box of camera" and stated sales in tons instead of the number of units sold.

Really...to get a page sized scan prior to 2001 was not a simple process. It was really after flatbed scanners could do reasonable scans of medium and small format film that "photographers" started getting scanners and scanning film to make prints.

But that is a relatively recent advancement. Prior to say, 1999 or 2000, "film scanners" that could do good film scans were still expensive.

When the cost of digital cameras started competing directly with film scanners is when "photographers" started looking for "photographic" type prints from digital cameras. That really didn't happen until after the cost of digital cameras started falling. That's when the convergence started happening...

Right...  I agree.  But it doesn't negate my point- clearly the explosion happened in the early 2000 timeframe and by then scanners and film were falling away, and the printers were booming...  but before that people were using scanners before cameras for acquiring images to print. That certainly helped things start coming together...  speaking to your earlier point, actually.

I'm trying to remember when I got my first Nikon LS2000, I just found it boxed up in the cellar.  It had to be around '96...  (edit- looks like it was released in late '97) and I used it for scanning and printing my portfolio, as well as some prints I was selling (as "fine art").  Before then I'd been using a service that had a Leaf 4x5 scanner.  - AND making prints on my Epson...  Smiley   I can remember talking to the lab at that time about how spendy the Leaf was...  and how slow it was as well.  That's when I started to understand there was what the industry called "good" as you do above, and "good enough" which was what I needed for my book and website...  wish I could remember how much the Nikon cost me.

What with essentially the demise of any film scanners other than the (Imacon) Hasselblads, (the Creo iQsmart was just discontinued last year...) that would be a pretty interesting subject to look into time-line-wise as well...    

By the way...  for a really interesting read on how various technological developments converge, take a look at "Bicycle: The History" Whether you're particularly interested in bikes or not, it's a great analogy for any type of developing technology.  It was not until several almost completely unrelated parts came together, particularly the roller chain, tube steel, pneumatic tires as well as public interest (bicycles in one form or another had several waves of intense popularity throughout the 1800s, only to die out as the novelty wore off...)  it wasn't until all these "enabling" technologies came together in a two-wheel, chain-drive lightweight and affordable machine that they had the staying power to become a viable product.

...don't even get me going on batteries.   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 07:54:01 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
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« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2011, 08:03:25 AM »
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The history is the history...and some of us were directly involved. So, be careful how you characterize what the history was. Some old timers will dis-remember what you claim as "history"...

...reminded of the parable of the blind wise men and the elephant.  

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen


And hell, as an oldtimer messef, I don't trust what I remember... nevermind anyone else of my vintage.  Now where are my glasses...   Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 08:05:29 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
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« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2011, 05:09:07 AM »
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In searching for historical data on some technologies you may find usefull the following links:

http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/hpjindex.html

http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/dtj/past.htm

http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/tandem/index.html

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teddillard
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« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2011, 10:33:12 AM »
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...just when I thought I'd got my reading done and was ready to take a stab at a MASTER TIMELINE!   Cheesy

But thanks! 
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Ted Dillard
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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2011, 09:54:17 AM »
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huh.  Check it out, the HP Computer Museum: http://www.hpmuseum.net/divisions.php?did=4

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Ted Dillard
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« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2011, 10:34:17 AM »
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OK, it's a work in progress, but have a look:
http://www.parrotcolor.com/store/blog/?p=637

I still have some holes, and have to verify stuff, along with crediting sources, but my boss wants me to actually get some work done.  Imagine.  Smiley

If you see something that seems wrong, let me know... 

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Ted Dillard
Dan Wells
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« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2011, 09:42:14 PM »
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Only brief mentions in here of the original HP PaintJets of the late 1980s, and none at all of the early 90s DeskJets... Any of these things produced prints that faded if you looked at them cross-eyed, but they were instrumental in bringing early near-photo-quality color printing to the masses. When an IRIS cost $126,000, a PaintJet was $895, and within a few years a DeskJet was $295. At first, they were three-color, and couldn't print a true black, but four-color models came along fairly quickly, followed by six and eight-color models. An eight-color PhotoSmart (at some point, they started calling multicolor DeskJet models PhotoSmart) 7960 from 2003 still makes a respectable, if ephemeral, print, as do various dye-based Epsons and Canons of the same era. The first pigment printers that could match these dye printers for gamut were the Epson 4880/Canon iPF5000/DesignJet Z3100 generation. Of course, the best current pigment printers far exceed anything any dye printer could ever do (for that matter, I can't think of ANY color printing process of any time that can match an iPF8300 or an Epson 7900).

                                    -Dan
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2011, 04:10:42 AM »
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Of course, the best current pigment printers far exceed anything any dye printer could ever do (for that matter, I can't think of ANY color printing process of any time that can match an iPF8300 or an Epson 7900).

                                    -Dan

Right, on gamut and on preserving that gamut in time. Sometimes I think few realise how much has been improved in prints since we abandoned analogue-chromogene processes. Black and white was a harder nut to crack and may still not achieve the centuries of longevity of archival analogue prints but for the rest there is little to complain about and a lot to praise.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +250 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm


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