by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2008
The speed at which the market changes is rapid and ruthless. This is the empty, central processing site of Max Spielmann. Not very long ago it processed film from all over the country and some foreign countries as well. Then the public decided that they wanted to collect their prints as they finished their shopping, not wait for the Post Office to lose them, charge more because they were a funny shape, deliver them by late afternoon as 'first post' a day late, etc. When it was operating, the film ran as an unbroken strip the length of the building and forklift trucks were used to bring the tons of paper to the start of the line. More than anything though, this building is a mausoleum to film.
The Indigo 5500 showing seven colour stations.
Indigo Performance Audit
We subjected the Indigo 3050 6- colour system to the same colour audit procedure that we use on other printing systems. The test print was very clean and neutral and successive prints were indistinguishable. There was slight evidence of banding on the large areas of solid grey. The average error across the Macbeth Chart was 10.1Lab ΔE/4.7ΔE2000. The Dmax was 1.56. Metamerism was higher than the latest generations of inkjet at 3.5 ΔE Lab (D65 to Tungsten A at 50% grey) Highlight and shadow detail was excellent, just holding 252 RGB points in the highlights and differentiating to 15 RGB points in the shadows.
The skin tones were clean, if a little desaturated. The lightness error component of the skin tones was the lowest while the saturation was down by about 10% on optimum.
Overall the error signature was on a par with offset litho onto the same type of paper substrate. The gamut and Dmax are behind the best inkjet-on gloss paper results. Despite any concerns we may have from the colour science standpoint, the punters are paying money for prints made with Indigo technology and that is what really matters.
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