the left, a dye sub print from Kodak.
On the right, a laser print from Apple laser, but circa 1995.
Close-up of color laser of that era shows problems of an unfulfilled
technology at that early time period.
dye sub has maintained its lead in quality, due to the continuous
tone and attractive finish. 300 dpi in dye sub equals 1440
dpi on ink jet. Dye sub has dropped in price a bit, but not
as dramatically as price drops (and quality jumps) of color
laser and ink jet.
thank the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku), Osaka, Japan,
for the Kodak dye sub printer for use while I was a Visiting
Professor in Japan in 1996. As a consultant in digital imaging
they asked what equipment would be best, and I indicated Kodak
dye sub. They bought two right away.
object is a peccary head, used as the support of a tetrapodal
dish. To see the royal tomb of Calakmul where this was excavated
by the project of Dr William Folan, go to www.maya-art-books.org,
and do a search for Calakmul.
recently as four years ago color laser technology was at its
beginning. Color was poor and it took forever to print a single
page. Today color lasers are
as quick as a black-and-white, and the 600 dpi color equals
that of 740 dpi ink jet. The new generation of color laser
can go to 1200 dpi, though 600 is plenty for even demanding
snapshot of a dye sub image. Color and definition are outstanding.
The brand name of Kodak is generally considered a leader, and
it was Kodak that I recommended at that time. The museum also
had a Seiko dye sub, though it was outfitted for thermal wax
transfer mode, which is a bit more economical, and a bit less
dye sub on the left and Seiko wax transfer on the right. Both
are outstanding. Kodak (at that time) were about $5 for media
and material; wax transfer was perhaps $3 per print, letter
The most fantastically impressive quality is the Fuji Pictography,
tabloid size and better than you can get out of most professional
All the images here were scanned from 4x5" transparencies
on a Kodak photo CD workstation, which tended to make things
a bit yellow.
up view of Kodak dye sub quality, and this was 4 years ago.
Dye sub technology, however, has not changed that much, since
the market forces are focusing research and development in
the ink jet and color laser sectors.
is from the Carlos Pellicer Regional Museum
of Anthropology, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. This is
a ceramic effigy, possibly an incense burner or a sacred container.
It pictures one of the long-snouted deities.
transfer, Seiko, is good quality, but if you have a wax transfer
and a dye sub held in your hand then you can notice that the
dye sublimation technique is clearly superior. I would imaging
that in dye sub mode that the Seiko would have produced dye
sub just as well as the Kodak, and that Kodak wax transfer
would also be not as fancy as Kodak dye sub.
up view of a large tubular ceramic effigy vessel discovered
by INAH excavations at Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.
scanning cameras such as the Dicomed Studio Pro,
Dicomed Field Pro, or the Better Light systems can take
just about any mix or match of lighting. This is one major
advantage of professional studio photography that is not always
brought out. With film it would be fatal to have sunlight
streaming into a set with tungsten lamps. Fluorescent lighting
is death to picture quality with most film.
But there is a special kind of fluorescent tube that is ideal,
namely SRGB, used by Videssence. We tried out these tubes.
They come in "daylight" and "tungsten"
flavors. Both worked well by themselves, or mixed with actual
tungsten, as well as mixed with daylight coming in the studio
These lamps last forever, as opposed to tungsten hot lights.
Another advantage of fluorescent lamps is that they are cool.
The artifacts, and photographer, appreciate this. Your digital
system will also appreciate the lack of heat.
of the TV stations across the USA use Videssence, from CNN to
our own WBCC-TV here at Brevard Community College. But Videssence
lights can also be transported. They come in carrying cases,
and the fluorescent lamps are not as brittle as tungsten lamps.
confuse these sophisticated photographic tungsten lamps with
the lowly fluorescent fixtures in public institutions. SRGB
lamps are ideal for photography in general and digital photography
out the Videssence web site, www.videssence.com
at: (800) 579-7577 (650) 579-7577
or fax (650) 579-7579 (fax)
Best Boys series is new.
such as this monster were actually made to cover major international
sporting events, such as the Olympics. Birdwatching is another
use for a lens of this caliber. But I use this Leica 280mm
APO lens to photograph details of Maya temples and palaces.
Some of the pyramids are out in the jungles. They are fragile,
so you can't get too close. Or the details are too high to
reach with a normal lens.
The quality of this class of Leica
lens is what maintains the international reputation of
good place to get Leica equipment is at Stan Tamarkin. He
now has a camera store in New York.