Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Lightjet Printing from Nikon D1x and Kodak DCS 760

Experience report by Uwe Steinmueller (03/01/2002)

 

 
Printing photos in larger formats is for me the real proof of digital camera quality. As you might know we have here in Santa Clara with Calypso Imaging a high quality lab which produces LightJet prints. This was covered in an earlier article.
 
This time Calypso produced 20x30" (actually 28" wide) prints from Nikon D1x and Kodak DCS 760 files. You all know that print quality cannot be shown on the web (not even with scans). Now all visitors to the Bay Area have a chance to view these sample prints at Calypso (both prints will be displayed soon in Calypso's lobby. Up until then you can ask for it). It is also a demonstration of the different capabilities of these two 6MP class cameras. As expected printing at this size is no problem with files from both cameras. On the other hand the image characteristics are very different.
 

Alviso, Bay Area
DCS 760 + IR filter + AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8-2.8@35mm
1/160 sec - f/9, ISO 80

 
 
 

Bodie, Eastern Sierra
D1x + AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8-2.8@28mm
1/320 sec - f/10, ISO 125

 
 
We would like to invite all readers who can view these prints to send us their feedback as we like to publish your findings here on this page.
 
Here is a news group for discussing "Printing Insights" articles.
 
Reader's Comments
 
Andy Biggs (8-7-2001)
 

I stopped by Calypso Imaging to view your LightJet prints. Wow. Being a former owner of a D1, I know that I never could have made prints like the D1x can. Here are some observations:

The detail resolved by the Kodak DCS 760 is definitely noticeable. Also, the color from the 760 seems to be somewhat more saturated than that of the D1x. I saw very few items on the output that indicated it was from a digital source. I normally shoot Velvia on my 4x5" or 35mm gear, and I have learned to live with a limited range of 4 to 4.5 stops of light, before my highlights get blown out. Your 760 print really tells me much about the range of the camera. From the low light values under the boat, to the white hightlights on the top of the boat. Good choice of subjet on this one to show off the capabilities of the imager.

On to the D1x. Given an identical subject would have been much easier to draw comparisons from, but these two images certainly showed what each camera can do. I did notice on the Bodie print from the D1x that the 760 definitely has the resolution edge. However, the color from the D1x is remarkable, yet not saturated. I am not sure how much Photoshop work had been done on the saturation, but I definitely liked the colors. Not your grandfather's D1. No way, no how.

Perhaps a print at this size, with highly detailed subject matter, is the limit. I suspect a slightly smaller print would hide some of the D1x's resolution limits, but overall, these are two fine prints.

Time to put in my order for a D1x. Anybody want some 4x5 gear?

 
 
 

Calyso just printed this D1x photo in 27" wide on Fuji Crystal Archive matte paper. The photo is now on display in Calypso's lobby. The RAW file was converted with the upcoming Bibble 3.0 and then upsampled with Genuine Fractals to 200 DPI.

Bettina and I think we can be proud of this photo and it looks great at 27" wide.

We would like to invite all readers who can view this print to send us their feedback as we like to publish your findings here on this page.

 
 
Here is a news group for discussing "Printing Insights" articles.
 
 
 
 

For Comments post in our News Group

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