I've been reading the (excellent) book by Mark Cleghorn 'Wedding Photography'.
At one point he says: "..my reprints are relatively expensive; but they are album quality, not a cheaper quality like an inkjet print..."
What does he mean here by "album quality"?
Is there any other way to print digital images than via an inkjet? Even my colour lab just uses a high-quality inkjet as far as I know.
Is he talking about some kind of 4 colour lithographic printing? Surely not? What would a high end album producer do?
#1. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 0mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 05-Jun-13 12:11 PM
When was the book originally written?
10 to 15 yers ago, inkjets weren't so great. A multipurpose ink jet printer is not great for photos. But a modern, photo inkjet printer is very good, and may labs use professional inkjets/
Might just be old information. Or a little bit of a superiority complex showing through.
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#2. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 1Wed 05-Jun-13 12:24 PM
You may be right about the little bit of a superiority complex..
The links he gives to recommended suppliers are all for inkjet papers and inks. So like you say maybe he just means a home user multi-purpose inkjet versus a pro inkjet using high quality paper.
Still; does anyone know, is there another way? Would a high quality wedding album producer use a good dedicated inkjet or some other means?
#3. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 2JimKing Registered since 10th May 2013Wed 05-Jun-13 12:50 PM
Don't some labs use wet color process that is identical to the "old days". The only difference is the exposure is done by projecting a digital image on the paper. I think by scanning not the whole image at once.
#4. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 3Wed 05-Jun-13 01:24 PM
Well in the "old day" I guess a wedding album print was produced by exposing photographic paper with a projection of the image. (I know zero about colour printing but assuming it is even a little like b/w it must be something like this).
So; does anyone do that with digital files; use some kind of projection onto photographic paper?
#5. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 0
The author's comments certainly do not reflect my own experiences. The term "album quality" does not mean much to me, as it does not describe quality parameters in specifics. I'll assume that album quality is something above snap shot quality?
In my opinion current photo inkjet printer technology (particularly the professional level printers using pigment inks) can consistently produce outstanding prints. The level of detail that can be produced is better than anything from even 5-7 years ago. With the inksets being expanded to up to 12 colors in some printers, color accuracy is also excellent, and in the portrait world it is even better as printer manufacturers have invested a lot of research into coming up with inks and print algorithms to produce really good skin tones. Couple this with the wide variety of inkjet photo and fine art papers the sky is literally the limit.
When it comes to landscape/nature photography I think the edge (while small) still goes to the continuous tone lightjet/chromira chemical process coupled with Fuji Chrystal Archive media. The one drawback to this process is the longevity ratings barely reach into 60 years while inkjet under certain display conditions approach 200 years.
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#6. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 0
There was a time when high-end ink jet printers were called giclee printers to distinguish them from desktop inkjets, whose images would start fading after a couple of months. This would be my guess as to the origin of his statement.
#8. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 7kmh Nikonian since 04th May 2008Thu 06-Jun-13 05:25 PM
What you refer to as the "old day" process of exposing photographic paper and developing it is still what most printmakers do today (Adoramapix, Costco, WHCC...) . They typically use either Kodak or Fuji paper. The quality of these photographic prints is very high and the longevity is around 50 years or more, as Ernesto points out.
Prints made with high-end inkjet printers have a wider color gamut than photographic prints, a disappointing fact that I stumbled upon when I was having my prints made at a lab. Check out the diagram at the bottom of this page sRGB-AdobeRGB (click on "high-end inkjet" to see its gamut). There is a lot to learn from this diagram.
#9. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 8Fri 07-Jun-13 05:20 AM | edited Fri 07-Jun-13 05:21 AM by Kropotkin
I don't need persuading about the quality of photographic prints (made from film). I still prefer them.
I should have said, this photographer shoots digital. And he talks about "album quality" prints as opposed to an inkjet. So I'm wondering what he means. I can't believe he uses a process to expose his digital files onto photographic paper as if he were developing from film.
Like a previous poster said; he doesn't explain what he means by "album quality" so it doesn't really mean anything. Perhaps that it just what he tells his customers.
#10. "RE: Better than inkjet?" | In response to Reply # 9OldCodger Registered since 15th Oct 2011Fri 07-Jun-13 04:09 PM
I have recently been scanning some old wet process negatives and wish that they had been digital from the start. The water marks, chemical marks and general mess that was left by the lab is driving me nuts. The mottling that afflicts many of them is another issue, is it grain is it poor processing is it ...? So, in short do I crave a past age - no!
As for the original query about ink-jet vs Album quality, I can only suggest that he is being very superior about the £ 20 say US$ 30 general purpose ink jet printer of a few years ago, compared with the modern high quality photo-printers available from many sources. Perhaps few home printers will meet the very highest possible quality, but mid range and upwards printers certainly best even half way so-so commercial wet process stuff from a few years back.