Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/11/11

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Subject: [Leica] RE: Digital FIBER Prints
From: richard-lists at (Richard)
Date: Fri Nov 11 23:38:10 2005
References: <> <>

Probably old news to some, but Paul Butzi apparently 
is moving to digital printing big time and he has an article on his site 
about going off the "Silver Standard" with Inkjet printing....

At 03:29 PM 11/11/2005, Mark wrote:

>I got to typing here. I type more than I shoot. Like Ansel.
>The predominate idea in darkroom black and white serious printing for a half
>a century had been as we are saying Glossy ferrotype (F) paper dried down to
>a golden semi gloss almost mat naturally.
>NOT ferrotyped to look like a real glossy as glass surface which the paper
>was you'd think primarily intended for..
>Something Bauhaus about Ferrotype though maybe they did it. On very cold
>black paper maybe.
>How much longer it took them to come out with that prebath to make such
>ferrotyping a much more a sure even bet and not the crapshoot it was quite a
>while A huge amount of paper was not recycled because of little
>imperfections in the obnoxious gloss.
>In my college darkroom there was a big ferrotype drum thing constantly
>revolving in the darkroom lobby with that pre ferrotype solution right next
>to it and a squeegee glass with squeegee.. You had the option of putting the
>print NOT facing the drum but the semi contaminated canvas and this would
>really give you a not gloss service but not dried down either. And you'd get
>that flavor from the contaminated  canvas baked for freshness. Often you'd
>get an imprint of the canvas on the surface of the fried print if you were
>sloppy with your squeegee. I remember all this amazing.
>Ilford GALLERY was the first paper to save us from the silver scam scandal
>in the late 70's when all the papers went down the tubes silver wise with
>the exception of Agfa Portriga which was unfashionably warm which we'd try
>to counter chemically. And slow.  And cost just a little bit more. But
>silver rich making we thought for a rich black.
>They other companies realized after Gallery people would pay a few more
>bucks or more for some non chinsey paper and it became by the end of the
>80's a Renaissance of black and white paper paper options. I bet better then
>the 50's with those papers made by Dupont and all those companies you'd not
>think. Betty Crocker.
>Knock knock Varigram!
>RC papers may be as archival as fiber right now.
>But the feel is not there in your hands and the SURFACE is not there.
>They vainly try to duplicate fiber dry down with some fine texture
>imprinting embossing and it's just not the same thing. Its a different
>thing. Like Apples and Asparagus.
>Pearl is the RC version of our beloved fiber dry down fiber. For Ilford.
>Which I think dominates the smarter market.
>I hung a show once behind glass as typical and I last minute made some RC
>prints for some of them the idea being I'd make them wait a week while I
>reprinted it with fiber if anyone bought a print.
>Or they'd exhume my casket and yell at me. That was the glossy RC stuff.
>Which I hate even more than the Pearl II. But behind the glass no one knew.
>Gloss behind glass. Who knew!?!
>It was Ilford Multigrade so it was the exact same emulsion as the fiber.
>Even the subtle print color matched up.  And the plastic pages in a
>portfolio sure hides any objectionable surface as well as feel.
>Mat doesn't not even come into the picture in darkroom work it dries down a
>grade softer and at least on stop or more darker. It's blackest black is a
>grey card. But otherwise just fine. They don't even use it for hand coloring
>like it says on the box.
>Mat and Art both are not with us having gone over the top into a hail of
>machine fire. But live on in practically every other of the dozen
>"alternate" photo processes including inkjet. Which are not "alternate" to
>the people who use them.
>Soon it will be silver gelatin which will be called a viable alternate to
>inkjet. In case you need a strangely high degree of detail which you see
>with a loupe.
>It may sound bad and have a bad ring to it but inkjet is a very big deal in
>the development of photographic processes. A plural. It's an explosion. I'm
>in on it. Like the invention of the silver gelatin process itself which came
>32 years after photography was invented with the first Daguerreotype.
>1839 minus 1871.
>Which happens to be the amount of time I've been printing myself. And which
>seems like a long time.
>Why are we still using the silver gelatin process?
>Its well known to not match the more major modern Platinum Print.
>It's a scandal!
>Taking the easy way out with this high tech enlarger filter garbage.
>Mark Rabiner
>Portland Oregon
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

// richard (This email is for mailing lists. To reach me directly, please 
use richard at 

Replies: Reply from jonathan at (Jonathan Borden) ([Leica] RE: Digital FIBER Prints)
In reply to: Message from puff11 at (Norm Aubin) ([Leica] RE: Digital FIBER Prints)
Message from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] RE: Digital FIBER Prints)