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Photography Question 
Daniel G. King

Making Prints from Slides

Is it possible to make a quality print from a slide? I asked the folks at Wolf Photo and was told that they did not get good results. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

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10/18/2006 1:28:12 PM

Michael H. Cothran   In short, it depends what you're willing to pay. Slide film is inherently contrasty, and the conventional printing process (positive to positive) adds further to the contrast. If you are just looking for cheap 4x6 prints, then Wolf is correct. Even if they were to make copy negs for you, they would still be very contrasty. For small prints, you'd be better off having inexpensive scans made of each slide, and then have Wolf print your 4x6's or whatever from these scans.
If, on the other hand, you are considering larger, "fine art" prints from slides, then you can get beautiful results by having a quality scan produced from your slide (minimum 4000 ppi), and then have a commerical lab make a laser-light print for you onto Fuji Crystal Archive paper. The quality is superb (providing you have a quality slide to begin with).

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10/18/2006 3:13:43 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  It also depends on the size you'd like to go with it and what size you're starting out with. Taking a 35mm transparency and going larger than, say, 11x14 is iffy. It's best to do what's called a 4x5 internegative (which can be done quite well and aren't all that expensive). Then you could essentially go to transit bus-size prints without much of a problem.
They're a lab in Chicago, a great, large lab that's been around since about 1968. Check out the prices, call them, ask for Alice, tell her I sent ya and if you want to see prints worthy of your finest work, they'll do it, first time around, no b.s., no excuses, no ups and no extras other than what you want, like archival mounting, etc :>)

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10/18/2006 7:43:18 PM

Scott Clark   Yes, it is possible to get a very good print from a 35mm slide. If you are looking for a print in the 11x and smaller size, then look for a lab that has a Fuji Frontier digital printer. The prints from a printer like this are amazing. If you are looking for a larger print than 11x, I would recommend getting a high quality scan and having a digital print made using either a high quality archival inkjet printer or a laser light print made onto traditional photo paper.

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10/24/2006 8:39:09 AM

Robert F. Walker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/24/2004
I had slides put on CD, then you can make your own print from your computer.

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10/24/2006 9:23:18 AM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Daniel,

Most photo labs have been forced to upgrade their printer from a machine that only accepts film to an advance printer that also accepts digital files. These modern printers accept conventional film but do not directly print from film. Instead, they scan film and create a digital file. The size of the file produced is an operator function. Most however are set to a low value due to productivity concerns. If a digital file is presented instead of film, the scanning process is negated. As for a file derived from film, once the file is used it is saved for a time and then discarded unless you chose to purchase a CD.

The majority of work presented to a lab will be conventional color negative film and files from digital cameras. As a result most lab personnel donít even know their printer is capable of scanning a slide and printing same. This is true because most labs donít own a film developing machine that can handle slide film (E-6 process).

That being said, there are numerous labs that can print your slides. Professional labs might choose to use reversal color paper that accepts exposure direct from a slide. These prints do tend to contrastry for some tastes however some think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

A serious professional lab can expose your slides to internegatvie film. A specialty film designed to allow superior prints from slides. The resulting negative is yours to keep and is accepted by printers loaded with conventional negative color paper.

You can get all the services you are asking for at a super duper professional lab. The price tag will be steeper than the local one-hour shop.

Alan Marcus

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10/24/2006 4:39:42 PM

Roger L. Kinney   Daniel,

I understand what most of the previous responders are talking about and many labs have moved away from slides and have gone to scans. There are two places in Denver, CO that can still give you excellent prints from your slides and I have sent prints 13 x 19 and larger than are fine. They are The Slider Printer, and Reed Photo. I heard The Slide Printer may have changed their name but oone of the Wolf camera stores or Reed Photo will be aable to give you a number to contact them. Good Luck,

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10/24/2006 11:26:18 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Daniel,

If you don't have "zillions" to print, why not do it yourself?

Once you digitize your slide, adjustments are now up to personal taste via any good image editing program.
While this method is quite time consuming, it's cheap and effective.
You also have the added benefit of archiving your slides to hard drive, DVD or whatever.


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10/25/2006 3:55:28 AM

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