Are scan/prints as good as old style enlargments/prints

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Jim
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#1
I was looking af some old photos from the 80s/90s earlier and they are amazingly sharp. The colours are really accurate and look really good. They're 6x4s and look much better than the sharp, well exposed 7x5s I have had done. I cant put my finger on what it is, but they just look better. They are prints of my dad's who has been dead some 20+ years so I've no way of finding out film etc. I remember he always shot Kodak (possibly gold) with Olympus gear. He was a much more accomplished photographer than me, especially film, but would it make a lot of difference dropping size to 6x4?

I could be guilty of peeping at quality, but they look totally different somehow. Maybe I just need more practice with film.
 
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Chris
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#2
I just had a wet print done that I'd previously printed from a scan (but only on a 5-ink consumer printer, not a proper photo printer). I'm staggered at how different the two prints look, and how much I prefer the wet print. First big difference... it's really black and white (and grey), no colour cast at all, unlike my scan/print (but I know that's not a fair comparison!)
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
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#3
It may depend on the materials. In the thread on wet printing I stated that I can produce better digital prints than I could in the darkroom. Since this is a question based on 80s materials, I'll add a slight retraction in that I've never produced better prints than the Cibachrome ones I made from Kodachrome slides. The sharpness, clarity and sheer colourfulness are breathtaking.

If you read Ctein's book Post Exposure, you'll find that once upon a time Kodak changed their printing papers to ones with less inherent sharpness, and people noticed it. Without knowing exactly what process was used for old and new prints, I can't give an informed opinion, but if there is a noticeable difference, it could come down to modern materials just as much as the skill of printer.
 
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Forkbeard
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#5
How were your Dad's 6x4's printed ? I'm going to guess at a mini-lab like everyone else in the 80s ?
How were your 7x5's printed ?

Size shouldn't make a difference, 35mm is fine at A4 and A3 print size and possibly beyond.
Other than a few boxes of Kodachrome slides, as far as I know most of them weren't printed anywhere special, as you say just the local lab. I have mine printed/developed at Harrison Cameras in Sheffield.
 
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#6
Other than a few boxes of Kodachrome slides, as far as I know most of them weren't printed anywhere special, as you say just the local lab. I have mine printed/developed at Harrison Cameras in Sheffield.
Blimey - are Harrisons still going? I'm guessing it's the same family run shop that I used as a student in the 1980s. Was it Ron Harrison in those days or am I having a senior moment?
 
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Forkbeard
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#7
Blimey - are Harrisons still going? I'm guessing it's the same family run shop that I used as a student in the 1980s. Was it Ron Harrison in those days or am I having a senior moment?
Ron sounds right. And yeah, I believe it's still the same family who owns it.
 
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