Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Notable: New 55 Film Kickstarter Campaign, Bob Crowley

In Black and White Photography, Hardware on April 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm


Due to the ubiquity of the internet and digital age, many people have departed the realm of analogue photography for its more modern counterpart. But the tangible and nostalgic feel of an instant film camera, not to mention its aesthetic and technical qualities, is still yearned for by many at one time or another. Bob Crowley of New55 Film has endeavored to bring something new to the 4×5 film format, but he needs help to bring it to market. Consequently, he has turned to every ambitious, shallow-pocketed entrepreneur’s friend Kickstarter for help. 

New55 FILM is a new instant 4×5 film that produces a superb negative, and a positive print too….Although New55 FILM is based on a similar single-shot architecture as old Polaroid type 55, New55 FILM will trade upon its own unique tonal character and evince different features in performance.

As a New55 FILM backer you will be making history.  But you will also be constructing the future of Post-Digital professional darkroomless analog photography.  Here, we — a group of artists (from every continent) — will take up the means of production.  Where large-scale industrial capacity has failed to adapt to the major technological and behavioral shifts from the rise of digital photography, a small-scale factory that is modular, scalable, and humane in its flexibility will begin manufacturing an important and necessary photographic material — New55 FILM.  We now have the opportunity and the responsibility to make it happen.


 Crowley’s highly ambitious undertaking has a great deal of moving parts to fund, so he’s asking for a $400,000 investment.   At the time of this posting, he has currently found support to the tune of approximately $50,000; the Kickstarter campaign ends May 5th. Investing hard-earned money aside, it’s well worth the time to at least delve further into New55’s project. 
For More Information on New 55 and it’s fundraiser: New55 Blog and New55 Kickstarter



Notable: Just A Toy? Holga Offers A Unique Path To Imaging

In Black and White Photography, Camera, Hardware, Photographer on March 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm


Does every image need to be “picture perfect”? A whole sub culture of toy camera fanatics say “no”!  Read about one participant in this world of leaking light and pin holes:

Although the black box with the lousy lens is dismissed by some as a distortion-prone, light-leaking toy, it is also beloved by Mr. Kitchens, who has embraced the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi: finding beauty amid everyday flaws. He has used a slightly modified Holga to take pictures of decaying, abandoned buildings.

“We are so used to seeing well-exposed, perfectly focused images,” he said. “The Holga was my first exposure to having things not in perfect focus or exposure, or with light leaks and other flaws. That fit in with what I was looking for in photography.”

Read the whole story in today’s NY Times: Lens

  • My Holga (

Favorites: Best Fine Art Photo Papers II for Epson 3880 (ABW)

In Article, Black and White Photography, Hardware on July 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm

In an article by Dan Havlik he tests and describes the results from some major fine art paper manufacturers. For those of you using our favorite printer, the Epson 3880, you will not need special profiles if printing in the Advanced Black and White (ABW) mode.

Digital images come and go but a well-made photo print will stand the test of time. Don’t believe us? How many computer monitors displaying digital images do you see hanging in galleries and museums these days? No, not many. So while photo portfolios may be getting more digitized thanks to the popularity of iPads, tablet computers, et. al., there’s still a place on the wall for a print. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite inkjet paper out there right now for making frame-worthy photo prints at home or in the studio.

Take a look at the article: PDN Online

For our Epson papers overview: BWGallerist

Review: Epson 3880 (ABW), Black and White Photography Magazine

In Article, Hardware, Photographer on May 13, 2010 at 7:28 am

Epson 3880

The latest issue of Black and White Photography Magazine (UK) is out with a major review of our favorite Black and White printer.

The reviewer, David Illman, is a noted wet process photographer with limited exposure to digital printing. His knowledge of photography is clearly impressive but his introduction to the digital world is a little loose with his tentative comments on the need for monitor profiling and the usefulness of the ABW (Advanced Black and White) feature.

That being said his conclusion is worth noting:

I will be honest, I did not want to like this printer. I wanted to be able to say the black & white prints were poor. But I am astounded by the 3880’s performance; the colour and the black and white prints are beautiful. The whole package works: the inks, paper and the printer.

Surprisingly we cannot find a website for the magazine but subscription information is available online at: GMC Group Magazines

The magazine is available at Barnes & Noble.

Favorites: Best Fine Art Paper for Black and White Photos

In Article, Black and White Photography, Hardware on April 23, 2010 at 8:21 am


One of the most popular set of articles we have published address the Epson 3880 printer and the best approaches to optimizing prints for Black and White photos. We have previously recommended particular papers from Epson that have the advantage of manufacturer compatibility “built in “ to the paper “substrate” design.

A new article (May/June 2010), in Digital Photo Pro, provides a survey of other manufacturers of fine art papers that you may want to test:

  • Canson
  • Hahnemühle
  • Ilford
  • Inkpress
  • Legion (Moab)
  • Red River
  • Museo

Making the very best print is an art. This article is about some of the materials, namely papers, that are available to you in your quest to make that print. There are simply too many papers to go into any kind of detail on each, so we have put together a brief roundup of the manufacturers with an overview of their product lines. Of course, the printer manufacturers all make their own papers, as well. Canon, Epson and Hewlett-Packard each has broad lines with several papers that are suitable forprofessional photographers. One of the potential advantages of using the printer company’s paper is the peace of mind that comes from knowing the paper will be compatible with your printer. Sometimes, though, you want to get outside of the box and try something completely different.

In addition there is an introduction to an editioning tool provided by ARTtrust that is worth reading.

For more information: Digital Photo Pro

Favorites: Epson 3880 Advanced Black and White Printing

In Black and White Photography, Hardware, Software on March 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Epson 3880

As we have previously noted our favorite digital printer for Black and White fine art prints under 22” width is the: Epson 3880.

One issue has been the lack of ICC profiling for the Advanced Black and White (ABW) mode of printing.

Now you can experiment with new ABW ICC profiles from Eric Chan who previously developed a suite of 3800 profiles. Pick from several papers and give them a try. We found them to require some lighter tone adjustment, on our test paper, but we look forward to your results.

I have begun building ABW profiles for the newer Epson Stylus Pro 3880 model (which uses the UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink set, and has a newer screening method and different driver behavior). These profiles should produce good results on a 3880, but in general will not perform well with other printer models (e.g., R2880, 3800, 4880, etc.). Different models use different inks and/or different screening methods. It doesn’t hurt to try these profiles with other models, but please be aware that the tonality may be significantly off (e.g., your prints may come out way too light or way too dark).

For more information: Eric Chan

Favorites: Best Epson Paper for Epson 3880 Advanced Black & White (ABW) Prints

In Black and White Photography, Hardware, Photographer on February 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper - 13x19" - 20 Sheets

We continue to receive multiple queries regarding the Epson 3880 ink jet printer. A  number of the questions center on recommendations for which paper to use for fine art Black and White prints. It is important to remember that the 3880 does not take rolls, and has a cut sheet maximum dimension of 17” by 22”.

Currently we  can recommend 3 Epson papers:

All work well with ABW settings (remember there are no ICC profiles from Epson for ABW) and each have good D-Max results with shadow detail and acceptable ISO ratings. Only Ultra Premium Luster paper can be auto fed, others are manual.

Prices and availability vary, so please check multiple vendors.

In the future we will address non-Epson paper manufacturers.

A pair of Epson Cold and Hot press (textured and smooth) fine art papers, called “Signature Worthy”,  have recently been released by Epson and are reviewed here: PDN Epson Paper review

Favorites: The Art of Printing On Your Epson Printer

In Black and White Photography, Books, Hardware, Photographer on February 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

We have had a great response to our recommendation of the Epson 3880 printer for Black and White printing.

If you are considering this new printer or have another Epson Pro printer, we think you will benefit from “The Art of Printing On Your Epson Printer”. We have used the book and find it very informative.

Written by Michael Freeman, the book covers printing and other printing related topics in a fine art context.

“The Art of Printing Photos on Your Epson Printer” is a comprehensive guide to the techniques of fine-art photographic printing and the first book to focus on both the technical and creative aspects together. It gives in-depth coverage of all the latest advances in printer paper and ink technology — and how to make the most of them — and even offers practical advice on producing and selling fine-art photographic prints.

For availability see: The Art of Printing Photos on Your Epson Printer

Favorites: Best Printer for Black and White – Epson 3880

In Black and White Photography, Hardware on February 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

Epson 3880

We often get asked for recommendations on equipment and will respond with a list of candidates. When it comes to the current state of printers in the sweet spot of 17” X 22” formats there is a current leader: The Epson 3880.

With the previously introduced Advanced Black and White  (ABW) printer driver combined with UltraChrome K3 ink and an auto switchable glossy/matte mode, this model is the best for Black and White enthusiasts.


  • Industry-leading pigment ink technology: Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink for intense blues and violets
  • Professional control – Advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode to easily create neutral or toned black- and white prints from color or monochrome images
  • Precision print head technology – Advanced MicroPiezo AMC, one-inch wide print head with ink-repelling coating for accurate dot placement
  • Optimal black density – auto-switching Matte and Photo Black ink for a high Dmax and superior contrast on glossy, matte and fine art papers
  • Advanced image quality architecture – smoother color transitions and outstanding highlight and shadow detail with AccuPhoto HD2 screening algorithms
  • Broad media support – create prints up to 17" x 22" on media types including semimatte paper, fiber paper, fine art media or art boards up to 1.5 mm thick

HP and Canon also have very good printers but utilize a different technology for ink application that is lagging Epson in detail capture and contrast control.

The ABW mode does not support ICC profiling but allows for a great deal of fine tuning. Photoshop soft proofing is not supported except through special workarounds.

Nonetheless, the images are excellent and relatively easy to produce with fine art level results.

For a good 3880 printing workflow developed for the earlier 3800 model see:Eric Chan