Epson Tag

The next chapter of the Shut-Away Saga involves finances. If yours are dire you might think of skipping the week, but bear with us. There is light and loose change at the end of the tunnel. How much is this going to cost? Well, reading this column costs you nothing - and boy, do you get value for money. But if you are going to look at the digitising business it will cost something. You'll have to look at the cost of scanners, cameras, lenses, and ancillary supplies. or consider Plan C. Ancillaries first - FVE fluid is about $25 a bottle - surgical spirits or IPA about the same, I should say. Swisspers are about $ 5 for a big pack.The slide files are under a dollar apiece if you get a pack of 100. We'll assume you have a laptop or desktop, and some hard drive storage already, so you've already paid out for that. If you opt for Plan A - the scanner - you'll be confronted with a cost of about $ 999 for the Epson V 800. More if...

I'm still here and not breaking the rules. The idea of digitising my ageing slide collection gains traction. And as we said before, there are lots of ways to do this; I mentioned Plan A - the use of a dedicated Epson flatbed scanner - Plan B - the use of a home-made slide copier and digital camera - and PlanC - hand the slides in to Camera Electronic and let us get them digitised for you. I've considered the thing from several aspects; time, trouble, and expense. We are likely to be spending  a great deal of each of these in the next few months on other things, but let's keep to the digitising right now. I experimented agains a stop clock today to see what sort of time would be required to do the thing. I looked out two identical sets of slides kept in those old sticky PVC sheets, set up a cleaning station, and started the clock. In Plan A  the slides were swabbed with FVE cleaner, cleaned off with Swisspers cotton buds, and loaded into the Epson 12-shot...

Being the old guy in charge of the film and book desk was a good deal at Photo Live events - I got a chance to scoot off occasionally and look at the other exhibits. Now you'd think that I might have seen everything before in the shop, but remember that there are representatives of firms that I don't normally get to meet and they've brought the newest of their offerings. So even I can be wowed by things. Before I go, a word about the Analog Line - the film business. To the surprise of many and the delight of others, film sales are tootling right along very well. There were enquiries and sales all day from our stock box and a half dozen people seeking film and developing information. Of course, for a lot of this I referred them to Fitzgerald's Photo Laboratory - the third stand down - but I was delighted to talk to the two ladies who enquired about normal grain and plate grain films. They knew what they wanted to do and pretty much how...

Don't keep hunting for the pickled herring - this is a post about inkjet printing papers. The title is because there are so many papers available - it can be like a photographic smorgasbord. To be certain you have got the right one for your needs you need to try them all. And I do mean all. Even if you don't really know what sort of paper you need - after all, you never know whether you like something at the smorgasbord until you taste it. You need to follow certain rules: a. Get good images to print. Learn to shoot and process a good wide-ranging image in whichever editing program you use. Even if your normal run of pictures are contrastless misty swirls or black cats in coal holes, make up a set of standard ones as well. You never can tell when your style will change and you'll want people to actually see what it is you have photographed. You can standardise on X-Rite colour panels or a test chart if you wish but be wary of becoming the photographer with the...

The heading image of this column is as dull a picture as you could want - a silver and black box on a cardboard carton. It has none of the snap and pizazz of a new camera or lens - none of the technical wizardry of a new studio strobe light. It's not even hand-stitched or bespoke. And you can get it right now instead of pre-ordering it or subscribing to Kickstarter...

We've sold Hahnemühle paper for years at Camera Electronic but oddly enough have rarely used it in our shop printers. The reasons are simple - economics and operational expedience - Hahnemühle paper is expensive in comparison with standard Ilford inkjet material and the small-scale signage that the Stirling Street shop has needed could be done with A4 Galerie Smooth Pearl. Plus the Epson printers that we have used in the shop to crank out the signs have suitable profiles inside them for the Ilford product. The fact that we use the Epson paper profiles for the Ilford Galerie is neither here nor there - a similar description in the printing menu of Photoshop Elements  gets a very similar result, and you don't need to be Picasso to make a " Buy More Stuff " sign in black and white with Gill Sans lettering...

No apologies for the inches, children. It is what the adults use to measure photographic surfaces. Even if we do give in to buying inkjet paper in A4, A3 and A2 sizes, we still get boxes of 6 x 4 and 5 x 7 from Ilford. And we measure print sizes in 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 10, 12, and 20 x 24 as well - it must put the wind up to the bureaucrats in the EU standards Department something chronic. We also measure one of the standard sizes in the industry for sheet film as 4 x 5 inches. Europeans tried for years to make this into 10 x 12 centimetres but it never really took off - people still think of 5 x 4 or 4 x 5. 20 square inches of sensitive emulsion to put into the new Ilford Obscure pinhole camera - for good or ill. There is a 10-sheet box of it included with the kit - Ilford Delta 100 - a tabular grain film of excellent tonality. Note: you can also get Ilford HP 5...

If " Missing Link " sounds a little dramatic, consider the way that your work colleagues show you the pictures of the weddings, sports carnivals, and car shows that they attend. They pull out a $ 1000 device with a sctratched or broken glass screen on the front and a little symbol of half a battery flashing on and off. They frantically tap away at it and then swipe their fingers left, right, up, and down trying to make a 3 1/2 inch by 5 inch picture appear. Like as not, if it actually is found, it will have enough Instagram filters on it to look like an 1880 cabinet card, but you may not be able to see this before the little battery symbol winks out and the screen goes black. Then you can watch your colleague sitting in their car for half an hour until the phone charges up again. In the meantime, you can look at an album of prints...

 Hahnemühle are historic papermakers from Dassel in Lower Saxony. With a lot of small creeks ( " bachs " ) running through the place and forests nearby, it has proved to be a good location to make woodpulp and paper - they've apparently been doing it since 1584.Currently there is a wide selection of papers that have been turned to the inkjet printing application from the company. Camera Electronic have had them for years and supplied some very special surfaces in large flat sheets. As well, there are rolls avaiable for the larger inkjet printers.The Hahnemühle sample books have always been amazing things - exotic surfaces and extremely well-printed images that make you jealous. As well, they produuce a number of sampler packs to let people assess the things for themselves...