Yes, the new driver cures most of the faults I detected before. I must say
that using some pretty awful 3m transparency film the negs are marvelous! I
rushed in and made a quick Ziatype and lo and behold, not too bad. Some
grittiness in the midtones which I am ascribing to the sandpaper like stuff
on the 3M film. I haven't worked out any transfer corrections in Photoshop
yet so the image is pretty garish in terms of tonal quality. All in all
with some fine tuning, I'd say the Epson 800 will make negs as good as one
can get from a bureau and possibly even better. We're hearing about a
1200x1200 8 color printer from Canon coming out soon. This is only 30% more
res. As for the 8 colors, I don't know if that is an issue if you are
turning off the color and only using the B&W head.
I worked with negs made from the Alps that Sil Horwitz had back last March
and these are much better in my opinion for negs. There was visible
artifacts in the Alps negs that aren't in the Epson.
>Chris: I have been working with the Epson inkjet and negatives also. I
>bought the ESC800 in March, and had mixed results, mostly unsatisfactory,
>until a few weeks ago. The problem was banding. A trip back to Epson for
>repair, working with tech support, innumerable cleaning cycles, etc...all a
>giant waste of time. Toward the end of November (1997) Epson released a new
>print driver for the ESC800 and the problems ceased. The new driver has
>super-microweave, like the Photo. I have been printing negatives, for
>palladium prints, on Burlington transparency film, billed as being
>"low-haze" and "for 1440 dpi inkjets."
>The negatives are pretty amazing. For the subject matter I prefer, I can
>tell little or no difference in the prints, as compared to a traditional
>enlarged negative. I should point out most of my photos are scanned from
>35mm, particularly 35mm PolaPan instant, ultrawide pinhole, or Holga.
>These will not contain the last word in tonal range compared, e.g., to an
>8x10 in-camera negative. For me, however, the combination works.
>I don't do anything special, just scan in to Photoshop 4, and work until I
>get the negative contrast that looks right on the tube, for printing
>without any chlorate added (solution A only).
>I also bought Dan Burkholder's book and tried that process, but was unable
>to make it work for me. Plus, it was a giant pain sending the work out to
>a prepress. It has been my experience generally that letting any step out
>of your control is a problem. Please keep me posted on how this goes.
> --Ken Carney
Bostick & Sullivan
PO Box 16639, Santa Fe
505-474-0890 FAX 505-474-2857