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Old 28-05-08
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Re: How happy am I with DIY photo printing?

Hi Ian,
Well, I am the DIY guy, having been driven into the darkroom in the early 60s, by bad prints and have enjoyed both sides of photography, color and B&W (as well as some weird stuff). It would be interesting to compare costs between a home based color darkroom and todays inkjet printing. At least today we don't have the shelf life of chemicals and paper and the grief of discovering that something got contaminated and you didn't know it.
One thing that I seldom see mentioned is the making of several generations of prints to fine tune the final results. It seems like everyone wants the first print to be perfect out of the printer. It seldom was in the old damp days. Making that perfect print at home was done over several days, because of the dry down time and life processes getting in the way and if chemicals changed or temperatures drifted, it got more involve. A new pack of paper was recalibration time.
Something that I picked up from a Leica forum thread is that a 28" X 42" world class digital print by someone like David Adomson in the Wash DC area would cost around $400 to $450. That certainly changed my economic thinking about my hobby. My color enlarger, now unused cost twice what my photo printer cost, all about the price of one world class print.
Bob
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