Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/09/30

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Subject: [Leica] re: how easy/expensive is digital
From: Henning Wulff <>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 20:30:09 -0700
References: <>

At 8:53 PM -0400 9/30/02, Kyle Cassidy wrote:
>  >From experience, digital isn't that much of a time saver...unless you >have
>[snip]  It is a significant time sink having to print, as it takes >about
>one minute per 4x6 print, and...the time to get the
>>image into PS, and set-up the printer etc.  Changing inks, head
>>cleaning...the list goes on.  Anyone who believes they are, in the long
>>run, going to save time isn't being realistic.
>i can only speak from my own experience but this hasn't been the case at
>all. digital printing IS indeed slow (1 minute per image seems a fair
>estimate) HOWEVER, that's significantly faster than printing b&w in my
>darkroom, which is a SERIOUS pain in the ass and takes a whole evening. (how
>long does it take to make 1 4x5 b&w if you include mixing chemicals, pouring
>trays, test exposure, print, fix, wash, dry, cleanup, i don't even want to
>think about it) the way i do digital printing is this: open up all the
>images i want to print in photoshop. add borders (i think this looks nice)
>send them to the printer. go to lunch. come back, they're done.
>>Well, it costs about $1 per print from a digital I'm not
>>seeing the significant money savings.  For me to buy the film, develop >nd
>get double 4x6 prints from a 36 roll costs me about $17.  The same >hing
>from  digital would cost me $72...
>we could be at cross scales here, but i never print 36 exposures from a
>digital "roll" of film. i'm lucky if i get one image out of 36 that i want
>to print. so rather than paying $17 to print 36 photos i usually print 1 or
>2. (or none, sometimes i just email/post/ftp) and if it's $1 a print, that's
>money saved.
>and talk about saving time when making multiple copies of your portfolio!
>i also have a multi-meg PDF file of my portfolio which i can dump to CD and
>mail out.
>digital's nice. it's not as fun as my m6 but i hate the process between
>pushing the shutter and seeing the result. and i hate the darkroom. and i
>hate developing film. and i hate spending money to have someone else develop
>it. mostly all i'm paying for now is $5 DVD's to store the images on....
>that's just me though, speaking anticdotally. your mileage may vary.

My local 1hr photofinisher (who is actually quite good, and has 
ruined 0 films out of about 300 so far, as compared with one 'pro' 
lab in the city, which has mangled about 1 in 10 in some form or 
another) prints 4x6's from digital for $.50Cdn (about 30 cents US) on 
Fuji Crystal Archive. I give her a compact flash card with the files 
I want printed, and get them in 30 minutes. Nothing she does takes 
her an hour.

So I take 400 pictures on a digital P&S. I download all to the 
computer via PC card adapter (about a minute), decide which ones I 
want prints of, for whoever and now delete the rest off the PC cards. 
Then, when I go do something else, drop off the CF card at the 
quickie photofinisher and come by on the way home and pick up prints. 
Maybe 30 different shots; maybe one of most, and 10 of the good one 
with my cousin's smiling baby. $25 Cdn, and very little hassle. 
Cheaper than film & prints. Not good enough for an 8x10 for any level 
of 'photographer', but good enough for a 4x6 for almost anyone.

This stuff is getting useful, especially at this level.

- -- 
    *            Henning J. Wulff
   /|\      Wulff Photography & Design
  |[ ]|
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In reply to: Message from Kyle Cassidy <> ([Leica] re: how easy/expensive is digital)