Light Jet Print

Jet printing

LightJet is often used to describe a digitally produced chromogenic print. The Jet-Print light is the individually printed mat that is perfect for heavily frequented areas and guarantees a striking effect. LightJet Print is the highest quality digital direct photography process currently available. LightJet photo printing on Fuji Flex High Gloss features an ultra-smooth surface that delivers high-gloss, pin-sharp prints.

Inkjet vs. Lightjet Comparative Rating

These articles were published in autumn 1999, before the publication of the Epson 870 and 1270 series. Launched in midwinter 2000, they revolutionised photo print for their archive colours and paper. Please see my Epson 1270 Reader Reviews for the latest information on archiving digitally.

All the above about the Epson 1270 now holds true for the new Epson' 2000P, 7500 and 9500 generations of pigment-based archive recorders. In my Epson 2000P reviews, I discuss this toner cartridge and provide a link to the other two. To further reflect on this topic, a year later, see my paper titled Handmade, The Inkjet Print as Objet D'Art.

Ink jet inks have come a long way in recent years. However, several hundred thousand dollars commercially available dot-matrix machines, such as the Cymbolic Sciences International LightJet 5000, which is probably the best fanfold machine on the planet, have to print better. The Epson Photo 1200 is in the other nook, once again probably the best ink jet for consumers currently on the scene - at least from November 99.

I recently took the decision during the preparation of some of my presentations to see for myself how the state of the technology is comparing in each area. With the Epson 1200, I was able to achieve the highest possible print on 13X19 "Pictorico Hi-Gloss Film with off-the-shelf Epson ink - the highest possible print ratio I currently know. It has been flattened to 360dpi because my testing has shown that the print engine can't use higher resolution images - they just delay the print out.

LightJet 5000 print was made for me by Colourgenics, a Toronto based customs laboratory. Printing was done on 20X24 paper at ? (the smallest format they print) and Fuji Crystal archiveaper was used. Wilhelm Research classifies this work as having a lifespan of about 60 years before it fades noticeably, twice as long as that of Ilfochrome (Cibachrome), one of the long-time archive shamans.

Preparing a laboratory data set, I just took the same data set I had used for Epson printing and reduced it to exactly 305 dpi at 100% resize, the needed LightJet solution. First of all, it must be said that both pressures are outstanding. The LightJet print shows the aspen sheets in bright red in the back as slightly more bright than the Epson.

Next critically, did the Epson print look different than the LightJet in respect of seeming dissolution, point legibility or other artefacts? Although the LightJet print is a real photo print with continual hue and the Epson Photo 1200 is a dot-based ink jet, there is no discernible contrast to the naked at any viewing angle.

This very large magnification was achieved by scans of the real print at 1000 dpi on an Agfa Duoscan. Basically, there is no noticeable differences between these printing methods. How much does each print charge? Pictorico paper's $3. 95/leaf. Imagine that about $2 value of ink was used, so call the $6 fee. (All displayed rates are in US dollars).

LightJet printing is about $55, almost tenfold more. But things are not weighed so poorly against the LightJet from a financial point of view. 22X28? printing is only a few bucks more at about $59. Four different11X14? pictures can be placed on such a print, which reduces the price per print to less than $15.

As this special laboratory can produce print ings up to a 48×969696? format, you can calculate for yourself how cost-effective such bulk print on a pro/print can be. The lesson I have learnt is that there is no need not to give preference to my ink jet printers over even the highest value commercially available print unless I need print outs greater than 13X19 (Super A3/B) and the print is produced for exhibitions and sales where permanent archiving is required.

There will be virtually no need to use a customized laboratory in the coming few weeks as businesses evolve and enhance the archive durability of their printing ink and paper. Today's consumers degree scanner and printer really supply the goods. Note: I have just completed (November 10, 1999) the first results of my long-term archiving testing.

Hi-Gloss developed very badly. Whilst an Epson 1200 print on Epson Hi-Gloss movie actually produces a print with superb picture fidelity, the fact that it seems to have faded at such a fast speed makes it really less suitable for some uses than would otherwise be the case.

Therefore, LightJet printouts made on large sheets of economic print are currently the best choice. My own personal knowledge is that there is no better way to produce details and rich colors on Pictorico Hi-Gloss film than with Pictorico inks. Therefore, I will still use it for proving and all other apps where its archiving features are not a problem.

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