Well sports fans . . . Qualex will *never* process another roll of my
C-41! They have unleashed a new printing process called "Perfect Touch"
which scans the negatives and makes digital prints from them.
Semi-rant follows about an utterly clueless Kodak:
I saw the three sets of example prints they gave the photo staff at the
local Meijer store to show people how great this new process is. All three
were classic severe direct sun backlighting with subject (or at least their
faces) in complete shade. They looked worse than terrible! I get less
"grain" from Fuji Press 1600 printed optically and suspect they are using
marginal resolution in the scans. Color gradation across of skintones
across smooth skin was, well, simply not there. It was noticeably
harsh. I suspect over-sharpening in combination with lack of sufficient
scan resolution. In addition they are touting "more vibrant color" which
translated to too much punched up saturation in their samples. One set
showed a scene on brightly lit snow with the subject(s) facing away from
the sun. At least the "before" sample (unmodified one) showed some texture
in the snow. The "after" print that had been butchered by PerfectTouch
blew out the snow to pure white and left ZERO detail in it.
There's a reason I use Portra NC occasionally, and it's NOT for punched up
over-saturated Disney-Color. Furthermore, I don't WANT anyone imposing
THEIR electronic "dodging and burning" to manipulate print density in
regions of my prints to create what they think somehow looks better . . .
THANK YOU VERY MUCH. If I want dodging and buring, I'LL specify what it
should be by ordering a custom print from a custom lab. I'm very
suspicious this whole thing runs by a computer algorithm that does not
consider what someone might do with high contrast in lighitng for specific
So . . . if you've been using Kodak Premium Processing, Kodak Picture
Processing, Qualex or Kodalux for C-41, BEWARE: your prints will not look
like they used to. If you feel compelled to try their new "IMPerfectTouch"
I strongly suggest running a scratch roll through first. I suppose what
they're doing might please someone, but I'm not going to subject my imagery
to something that would make it look like their samples!!!
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