Larry Watson (email@example.com)
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 18:10:00 -0800
I don't want to dispute FotoDave as he has his finger on the
throbbing pulse of the graphics industry, and may very well
be right in his dire prediction. He has all those trade mags
he reads. Of course, they pay people to sit around and think
up this kind of stuff. Slow news day. The computer trade mags
are wrong about 80% of the time.
My admittedly less informed view is that direct to plate is
primarily a 4 color, hi-end kinda thing. Their are very few
out in the field. Imagesetting is relatively cheap. Their are
tons of them out in the field. They aren't going to go away
for awhile. Each technology may find its own niche.
My experience is that the big printers that can afford the
direct to plate equipment aren't interested in selling fast
turnaround plate burning jobs to small printers. They have
to keep that plate burner feeding those presses and the small
shop can't sit around waiting.
Unless direct to plate equipment costs comes down to be competitive
with imagesetter costs, this trend is going to take longer than
3 years it seems to me. If that magic machine comes on the market
tomorrow, then all bets are off, but I haven't heard of it yet.
Dave, what do the mags say? Do they predict a huge drop in prices
for these things? It probably won't be long.
Of course with all those cheap imagesetters on the market
perhaps they will become affordable to artists and other sorts of
poor beggers. Who will keep buying that film to feed them.
(Which is the point here isn't it).
And besides, maybe you could coat up some Arches, turn up the
resolution dial, hit invert, and run your stuff through the direct
to plate burner. I donno, maybe its a cool thing.
>How does this affect us alt. process printer? I guess you can look at it
>positively or negatively. As I said, in 3 years, most imagesetters will
>probably be gone (the direct-to-plate equipment manufacturers will market
>agressively against film output). You can probably buy used imagesetter
>cheap, but you will have to maintain the obsolete equipment yourself. Kodak
>or other film manufacturers will not make imagesetter film anymore, but
>interestingly, I think the ordinary camera film or graphics-art film will
>remain since if you need film, you can't go through imagesetter route
>anymore. There might be less option for camera films, but some will remain.
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