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Thread: Getting black and white images printed

  1. #1
    GlenM's Avatar
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    Getting black and white images printed

    Hi,
    I have been asked by a family member for a 10x8 print of one of my mono photos.
    My printer is not the best for photo quality, and especially for mono.

    So, I'm planning on having the image printed. Ilford seem to have a good name for mono imaging, any opinions or experience?

    Also, should I do any extra PP to the image before sending; extra sharpening, contrast enhancement etc? I'm worried that what looks like the correct brightness and contrast on screen may not be correct when printed?

    Advice welcome

    Thanks
    Glen

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Hi Glen,

    The golden rule with sending any prints to external printers is to ensure it's in an sRGB colourspace first. In Photoshop simply select Edit -> convert to profile, and choose sRGB as the destination space.

    In terms of sharpening, it's going to depend on a number of things, but as a rule of thumb, err on the side of looking slightly over-sharpened on your screen when displayed at approx the same size as you'll be printing it.

    In terms of the print matching the screen - forget it - it never happens. I'm serious about that; B&W is a bit more forgiving in that you don't have to worry about colour shifts as you go from additive colour on the monitor to subtractive colour on paper, but there's still a big dynamic range difference between the two mediums. At a minimum, check your histogram and make sure that you're using the full tonal range.

    Having just said all that, the printers will manually adjust your image for better or worse anyway (hopefully for better!). For something as small & cheap as an 10 x 8, I'd say "just do it" -- not too much to lose if it isn't right, and chances are it'll be OK if you follow the above advice.

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Thanks Colin,
    I have added some extra sharpening, and checked the histogram and it looks just about OK.

    As you say, Ilford charge less than 5 for a 10x8, so I'll give it a try, then re-adjust if necessary when I get the print back.

    I'll let you know how it comes out

    Cheers
    Glen

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Now, me lad, if you want the absolute highest quality available in the world for B&W, archivally set for 200 years and verified by the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, contact Jon Cone at www.inkjetmall.com However, be prepared to pay substatially more than what Ilford charges. Best bet with Inkjet is to buy a printer system and do it yourself and cut the cost down significantly (including the cost of the printer, right about $500-$800 US). These are carbon based inks printed on a special coated 300-310 gsm Hannamuhle paper, matte or gloss. It is as sweet a print as you will ever see.

  5. #5
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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Chris, I'll take a look at your link later once I'm back from work.
    I'm not sure my wife would want yet more IT equipment around the house, and I'm not sure my photos are good enough to an justify a 200 year life expectancy anyway!

    Thanks
    Glen

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Glen

    On the basis that you are in the UK, I would personally recommend you have a look at this link.

    I assure you I have no direct financial interest. But he is doing my stuff and it's gorgeous. I've just had 4 prints back done on A3 paper and I love them. He's as good as his word in terms of coming back to you with advice and suggestions once he gets the file and in relation to advising what paper would work best for each image.

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    I suspect they are using pretty much the same setup, the quadtone RIP is the standard for this type of printing...and, given th elocale, etc., I'd certainly give that a first shot.

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Another alternative is to have a print of your digital image created by a wet photographic process. I have not used Digital Silver Imaging, but their process is to laser expose Ilford photographic paper and then chemically process the paper to create the archival print. When I looked into their process, I found they had this video tour showing how it's done:


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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    I concur with Donald.
    I have one of Martin's own prints as a result of winning a competition on his b & w forum. It is superb and has pride of place on my office wall.

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Thanks all,
    I sent the photo off to Ilford to be printed. I believe they use the same process as described on ther video posted by Steaphany.

    For the next time, I will look into Donald and Mike's suggestions. Judging by the website and your recommendations, the quality and care looks great.

    Much as I would love my own printing kit, I can't justify the cost or space (and my wife wouldn't be happy either), so for now, I'll just have any decent photos printed for me.

    Glen

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    I recently had Eric at DSI scan one of my 8x10 negatives and make a 20x24 print. The results were, to put in mildly, fabulous. So much so that the print has already sold in several different sizes-one as large as 30x40!

    However, another question: I have just purchased a Leica M Monochrome and want to print a few of the images via DSI. Being confused about some features of digital photography leads me to ask: If the "image" is black and white can the file still be in the RGB space?

    Elliot

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    Re: Getting black and white images printed

    Quote Originally Posted by Mahler View Post
    If the "image" is black and white can the file still be in the RGB space?

    Elliot
    Yes - it's simply a map where 0-0-0 = black and 255-255-255 equals white.

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