Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Dye based negative vs Pigment based negative

Over the last few days I have been testing the difference between Dye based ink jet digital negatives (Epson 1290) and Pigment based digital negatives (Epson 3800) when printing with platinum/palladium.

The above shows the two prints side by side, the print on the left I used a pigment based inks to create the negative, dye based on the right.(click on the print to see larger version) The difference is quite obvious and I would be interested to hear which print people prefer.

My initial findings show that the dye based negative seems to be blocking a lot more UV light than the pigment based negative and resulting in a significantly more contrasty print. The print has more ‘punch’ to it. I like it, as it has a certain luminosity to it, however I am not arriving at the print I expected when I finished editing the negative in PS.

The pigment based negatives on the other hand gives a good rendition of what I see in P.S but lacks the luminosity of the dye based negative print. I need to find some half way point between the two prints and believe I have two options to achieve this.

Either adjust the curve in PS for the pigment based negative or try and boost contrast through the platinum/palladium chemistry (i.e more drops of ferric oxalate #2) I prefer the former option to the later as this will add more grain to the final print. I will try both options and post the result.

1 comment:

margery said...

This is very helpful. Do you have further advice/comments on making digital negs? Do you use one of the existing 'systems' or do it one by one with your own curves? Any further news re dye based vs pigment based inks? I will be tryng to make dig negs on an Epson R260 with Claria inks which I believe are dye based. Thanks for your response.