In a message dated 10/23/2002 John Lind writes:
<< I don't (and won't) have film scanned for prints, only for web use. All
the prints I have made are done optically and I intend to keep it that way.
Unless you set up your own traditional optical enlarger color lab, you may
not have much choice soon. Two well known pro labs in my area that once did
Cibachromes and Ilfochromes no longer do any traditional custom Type-R
printing at all. Both only offer "type-R" service via digital files on
digital enlargers (one uses a Noritsu on Kodak professional paper, the other
a Lightjet on Fuji crystal archive paper). I realize you're talking negative
film, but from what I understand this is the way it is going. The print
quality is stunning. In the case of Calypso (about 35 miles from me--they
used to do Cibachrome, now 100% Lightjet) the print quality may even exceed
Cibachromes. I'm pretty sure my local lab still does custom printing from
negs, but most of their professional customers are opting for the digital
enlarger process now.
There are a growing number fine art photography labs who do all their output
with digital enlargers (or inkjet Iris printers). Nash Editions and West
Coast Imaging immediately come to mind.
There's nothing inherently wrong with scanning film for prints. Done well at
the high end the results are incredible and more controllable than
traditional processes. Done at the low end, well, the results are the
garbage you describe.
It is getting more difficult to use film already, especially E6. On my
recent trip to shoot the Audi Club National event in Virginia I was unable
to find any lab nearby where I was staying that did E6 at all. Even my lab
here at home who claim to do "2 hour E6" call it a "rush" now when I want it
same day, and dropped all weekend E6 runs.
Even those of us who do wish to continue to shoot film for the foreseeable
future are being impacted by the digital revolution. I'm not 100% happy
about it, but trying to evolve with it as best I can. Kinda sucks doesn't
Motor Sport Visions Photography
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