Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Durst Lambda Compared to Inkjet: Does One Have a Fundamental IQ Edge?  (Read 5782 times)
mcmorrison
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 152


« on: January 08, 2013, 04:08:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Hello,

I am wondering how lightjet prints, mostly from Durst Lambdas, compare to Ultrachrome or Lucia prints in terms of gamut, DMax, resolution, and overall image quality.

Obviously, there is a much larger range of media available for inkjets, and I understand that all of this depends heavily on the quality of the profile and the chosen media. But my question is, in the hands of a skilled operator with good profiles using a similar media, is the potential image quality of one significantly greater than the other? Or is it mostly a matter of a plus here, a minus there, take your pick?

My sense is that the lighjets, generally, have more gamut in the blues, and less in the reds; are comparable in terms of DMax, though probably a little less than the best ink/media combinations on inkjet; and have comparable detail resolution when printed at 400 ppi.

If there are more or less fundamental limitations of one over the other in terms of image quality, what might these be?

Thanks!

Michael Morrison
Logged
Scott Martin
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1312


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 04:34:08 PM »
ReplyReply

Inkjet generally has the better gamut but "Silver Halide" let's call it, has really nice surface qualities that inkjet can't match without a clear overcoat. Gamut isn't everything - bigger isn't necessarily better. Gotta make comparison prints and judge for yourself. Silver halide metallic papers are especially fun.

Interestingly enough, the gamut of different silver halide papers really doesn't vary that much like we're used to seeing with inkjet papers. I have a generic silver halide profile that I often give to clients for soft proofing. For soft proofing purposes, the one profile works universally regardless of what lab, paper or chemistry one is using.

As for resolution and detail, silver halide simply can't resolve super fine detail like inkjet prints can. Some of the latest Noritsu machines expose up to 720ppi (con tone) but the effective resolving power of the papers stops somewhere between 240 and 300ppi, IMO. Print sharpening for silver halide printing is radically different and stronger than sharpening for inkjet. Regardless of this fact, silver halide can be incredibly gorgious. Again it's hard to say one is better than the other - they are simply different - and each with qualities worth appreciating.

I'll email some silver halide profiles for you to play with and come up with your own conclusions. But making your own side-by-side sample prints would be the most educational.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:43:21 PM by Onsight » Logged

ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7932


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 04:46:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I have very limited experience with Lambda prinst. I normally print inkjet up to A2 and send larger prints to Lambda. I have made small Lambda prints for evaluation. Let's put it this way, a 70x100 cm Lambda print glossy paper is much more impressive than A2 inkjet on semiblank paper.

From what I can tell, here are the differences:

- On Lambda the image is inbedded in the emulsion, pigment inkjet puts the image on the surface.
- Lambda tends to have a regular line pattern while inkjet has a random pattern
- Lambda is continous tone while inkjet is dithered
- Inkjet has wider gamut than Lambda
- Inkjet may have wider DR

I took some Lambda prints and inkjet prints to our photo club. I sort of preferred the Lambda prints while my friends at the club preferred my inkjet prints. The major difference was that the prints in the lab had better shadow detail, and that may be more related to color profiles than to the printing process. I use a ColorMunki Photo for profiling and I suspect the pro lab I use has a much more expensive tool that samples thousands of patches.

That said, the Lambda prints I made were dead ringers for my Inkjets, with surface structure and separation of near black detail being the major giveaways. The wider color gamut of the inkjet could be seen on color samples but not really on real word subjects.

Best regards
Erik





Hello,

I am wondering how lightjet prints, mostly from Durst Lambdas, compare to Ultrachrome or Lucia prints in terms of gamut, DMax, resolution, and overall image quality.

Obviously, there is a much larger range of media available for inkjets, and I understand that all of this depends heavily on the quality of the profile and the chosen media. But my question is, in the hands of a skilled operator with good profiles using a similar media, is the potential image quality of one significantly greater than the other? Or is it mostly a matter of a plus here, a minus there, take your pick?

My sense is that the lighjets, generally, have more gamut in the blues, and less in the reds; are comparable in terms of DMax, though probably a little less than the best ink/media combinations on inkjet; and have comparable detail resolution when printed at 400 ppi.

If there are more or less fundamental limitations of one over the other in terms of image quality, what might these be?

Thanks!

Michael Morrison
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 12:39:34 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Scott Martin
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1312


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 04:51:55 PM »
ReplyReply

..a  Lambda print glossy paper is much more impressive than A2 inkjet on semiblank paper.

A good point I forgot to mention. Silver halide has a real advantage in glossy and near glossy surfaces. There's no gloss differential, bronzing or ink-on-the-surface qualities. Inkjet inksets that include a gloss optimizer (GO) come closer than those without. I think we'll see more GO in the future. Metallic papers are another area where silver halide is unique. Naturally inkjet has the advantage in the non glossy surfaces...
Logged

tim wolcott
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 08:38:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Really.  I've developed papers for inkjet that don't have the gloss differential.  I will take that challenge anytime.  You will never equal the quality that I have developed with inkjet.  Beside the normal advantage of Dmax.  Inkjet has a multitude of papers and surfaces including surfaces that match Lambda. 

 Inkjet has no chemicals or heavy metals and lasts at least a century longer.

But I believe most of this has been addressed before in other articles.  There has not been a process that can equal even our Evercolor nor inkjet pigment since we invented it.  Tim Wolcott
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 09:23:14 PM by tim wolcott » Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7932


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 09:40:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

Can you recommend a paper with no gloss differential on Epson and will match Lambda? I have just tried a few papers and I don't really have problems with gloss differential, but I have some on my prints.

Best regards
Erik

Really.  I've developed papers for inkjet that don't have the gloss differential.  I will take that challenge anytime.  You will never equal the quality that I have developed with inkjet.  Beside the normal advantage of Dmax.  Inkjet has a multitude of papers and surfaces including surfaces that match Lambda.  

 Inkjet has no chemicals or heavy metals and lasts at least a century longer.

But I believe most of this has been addressed before in other articles.  There has not been a process that can equal even our Evercolor nor inkjet pigment since we invented it.  Tim Wolcott
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 09:43:04 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

tim wolcott
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 10:21:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Eric, I knew this would be the next question ask to me.  But I have been creating pigment inkjet, papers and coatings from the very first print.  I spend a tremendous amount of money to make the papers and get them coated the way I want them to look.  If you have ever been in my gallery you would see why I take this to the very end.  Its not that I want to, but I feel that I have too to get my exhibition prints to look and appear the way photographs should look.  My issue is that I have no intention of selling my papers and coatings since I do not have the money nor do I want to open a company to sell what I have invented.  It costs 2 million to create a company to do this. 

I do realize that many would love to have it, but I have tried to work a deal out with several paper companies who wanted to give me a pittance for my knowledge and over 21 years of making pigment prints. 

But I only use what I have control over the final product.

"Celebrating 175 years in Photography"
Logged
Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5533


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 10:32:44 PM »
ReplyReply

"Celebrating 175 years in Photography"

Yeah, ya know, that ""Celebrating 175 years in Photography" topic doesn't fly too well in a Google search...
Logged
tim wolcott
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 10:48:52 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm talking about my Family.  175 years.
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7932


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 11:44:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Tim,

So you say that you have developed coatings without gloss differential, but commercially available paper do have some with commercially available inks?

Best regards
Erik

Eric, I knew this would be the next question ask to me.  But I have been creating pigment inkjet, papers and coatings from the very first print.  I spend a tremendous amount of money to make the papers and get them coated the way I want them to look.  If you have ever been in my gallery you would see why I take this to the very end.  Its not that I want to, but I feel that I have too to get my exhibition prints to look and appear the way photographs should look.  My issue is that I have no intention of selling my papers and coatings since I do not have the money nor do I want to open a company to sell what I have invented.  It costs 2 million to create a company to do this. 

I do realize that many would love to have it, but I have tried to work a deal out with several paper companies who wanted to give me a pittance for my knowledge and over 21 years of making pigment prints. 

But I only use what I have control over the final product.

"Celebrating 175 years in Photography"
Logged

Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5533


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 11:50:37 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm talking about my Family.  175 years.

Sorry, ain't finding it via Google: "Celebrating 175 years in Photography".

If I can't find it via Google, does it exist?

Not sure uness you've got something else to search for.
Logged
tim wolcott
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 12:08:43 AM »
ReplyReply

Since your interested type in Alexander Wolcott.  He was developing the camera in 1838 and shooting, then in 1839 got the first patent. 
Logged
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2890


« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 02:45:35 AM »
ReplyReply

There is an interesting note in a FujiFilm research article that describes how they got rid of bronzing in a newly developed dye ink set. My bet is that it resulted in the Epson Claria inks also used in the dry minilab models that have Epson technology inside. Adding an aggregation controller for a sensitizing dye borrowed from silver halide technology did the trick. In the same article they describe bronzing and add the observation that some aspects of that phenomenon are still not known. Claria etc inks are called dye inks but basically their structure show some pigment particle properties. If the ink, whether pigment or dye, can totally be embedded within the inkjet coating on the paper then bronzing is controlled. A gloss enhancer is more a remedy for a not optimal case than the best solution. Dye inks have an advantage, they penetrate the coatings better. Inkjet coatings vary and it is hard to predict which paper is more compatible (on bronzing, gloss differential) with the inks in your printer though one could expect OEM papers to fit better.

ff_rd054_007_en.pdf
Development of High Durability Cyan and Magenta Dyes for Ink Jet Printing System

Edit, Observed by Paul Roark too I think; some ink mediums used to mix DIY gloss quad ink sets starting from HP Vivera pigment PK show better gloss surfaces than others. In my case a third party gloss enhancer mixed with the HP PK gave less bronzing (little in fact) on RC gloss papers than the HP Vivera grey inks when used straight without GE. I can not tell whether other properties like fade resistance are compromised with that ink medium.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 03:18:30 AM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
elliot_n
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 169


« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 08:25:13 AM »
ReplyReply

Its not that I want to, but I feel that I have too to get my exhibition prints to look and appear the way photographs should look.

This is why digital c-types remain popular with art photographers, in spite of failing in almost all metrics against inkjets (dmax, sharpness, longevity etc) - digital c-types look like photographs.
Logged
tim wolcott
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 12:56:31 PM »
ReplyReply

The reason why C-type prints are popular is because most photographers don't know how to print, and that they don't really don't care about the ethics of selling their clients a photograph that has value to it and hire a lab to make prints because they are lazy.  I have said it many times, look at the lawsuits,

Read the article why C-Print fade.  Sorry don't have the link.  Have to run.

If every photographer knew how to print then Jeff and Michaels printing video would not sell.  But there is a reason why it was made because there is a need!!!!!!

Tim Wolcott
Logged
Wayne Fox
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2931



WWW
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 02:01:02 PM »
ReplyReply

I am wondering how lightjet prints, mostly from Durst Lambdas, compare to Ultrachrome or Lucia prints in terms of gamut, DMax, resolution, and overall image quality.
just some irrelevant information ... Lightjet is a printer, not the printing technology or results of creating chromgenic prints using traditional silver halide materials. There are several similar printers ... Lightjets, Lambda's, Chromira's, Noritusu's. the basic technology has been around for a long time (I bought my first printer of this type in the mid 90's) so at this point they are all quite good and produce very similar results. It's mostly about the paper which contains the dyes, so their isn't much of a difference as to which device actually exposed and produced them.  Some places use the term more generically as you did (a lightjet print from a Lambda), but most just call them silver halide or traditional photo prints.

 As has been mentioned, while inkjet gamut exceeds chromogenic printing, the end results are not as dramatic and in some cases they are visually more stunning.  Many notable landscape photographers use chromogenic prints instead of inkjet, such as Peter Lik, Rodney Lough, Michael Fatali (although many of his are printed with an enlarger)

The main downsides to the prints has been mentioned, they are not nearly as long lasting as good inkjet prints in regards to fading.

Really.  I've developed papers for inkjet that don't have the gloss differential.  I will take that challenge anytime.  
It's more than just gloss differential, it's also about the way the ink lays down on the paper and the resulting surface, as well as how the light works with the translucent dyes on the photo paper in the emulsion vs the semi translucent dyes of ink on top of the paper.

 Both are great, I use and can print both. But is no inkjet paper that can come close to the pure mirror like surface of a Ilford or Fuji Flex print and no inkjet metallic paper that is as good as Kodak Metallic.  Some dye based inkjet prints come close, I've never seen any pigment based printers that do.

I'm not saying they're not good, but side by side the differences are obvious.

Logged

MirekElsner
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 75


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 11:04:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Lambda prints on silver based papers and the character of print is more or less given by the substrate and the chemical processing. These prints are usually on the glossy side which adds certain punch to the colors. Lambda can be printed on Ilfochrome of Fuji Supergloss with exceptional brilliance and deep blacks. The paper is limited by the fact that the colors are created only by yellow, magenta and cyan and because the dyes must be created during the processing and have certain other limitations (with the exception of Ilfochrome).

Pigment inkjet prints are usually printed on less glossy surfaces and miss the brilliance of glossy chemical prints. Technically, however, they have larger gamut, deeper Dmax (not sure how the Dmax compares to Ilfochrome, though) and even the white is probably whiter with inkjet papers with OBA. Inkjet prints are created with more than just YMC inks and the ability to recreate specific color accurately is better. These prints tend to show gloss differential when viewed under extreme angles. Some papers are better than others, in that respect.

There are also dye ink printers, which are less popular due to lower lightfastness, but they can print on glossy surfaces and achieve similar look as chemical prints.

So they are different. Which is better depends on who you ask and whether you prefer glossy or not.
Logged
mcmorrison
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 152


« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 02:16:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Hello!

Thank you Scott, Erik, Wayne, and Mirek for your thoughts on this; they are most helpful in giving me a sense of how these processes compare.

Wayne: I was, in ignorance, using "lightjet" generically, and have edited my vocabulary accordingly! Thanks for straightening me out! :-)

Many thanks,

Michael
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad