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Cymbolic Sciences LightJet continuous tone printer Print E-mail

There are some things that even a 1200 or 1400 dpi inkjet printer cannot do. They can simulate or come close to continuous tone, but there are special wide format printers that achieve continuous tone naturally. The LightJet printer from Cymbolic Sciences is one of several such printers. It exposes photographic paper with laser light. There is no ink, and no printhead going back and forth, hence no banding, no grainy dot pattern.

If you want true continuous tone to reproduce your photographs and win awards for print quality, then you need a print from a Cymbolic Sciences LightJet printer. If you want true continuous tone to reproduce your photographs and win awards for print quality, then you need a print from a Cymbolic Sciences LightJet printer.

This is not exactly a portable printer nor something you buy to put in an average office. But many service bureaus in large cities have access to a LightJet.

As soon as an opportunity presents itself we will have some of our archaeology images printed on a LightJet printer so we can show you the quality.

The apparent tone resolution is equivalent to 4,000 dpi. So beware of exaggerated claims by Epson or Roland that their printers are as good as the quality from a $150,000 LightJet printer. A LightJet uses a three-laser light source to achieve its quality. Besides, if you want the quality of a Cibachrome print, if you can't afford a LightJet or Durst Lambda, then you need to consider a ColorSpan. If its $26,000 and need for a full time technician/operator is too much, then consider alternatives that cost less, are user-friendly, and can be used by any first-time user.

We did a test to compare Roland, Hewlett-Packard, Epson, with a Cymbolic Sciences LightJet print. We asked the jury which was the continuous tone printer? We asked the jury which image looked best to them?

In all cases every member of the jury picked the print which was made by Cymbolic Sciences. None of the inkjet prints was rated as even close (unfortunately we did not have a Colorspan image at that time to make a comparison with that printer's output).

The LightJet would be especially apt for GIS prints which require high accuracy. For example, we got a complaint that Encad printers could not produce true dimensions repeatedly when precise overlap compatibility was needed. Another user said his Encad skewed his prints as the media fed through the system. Here is where a LightJet would be superior. For information e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Durst Lambda offers comparable top quality. In the USA they are distributed by Kodak and serviced by Dice-Durst. The ZBE Chromira is a less expensive and slightly lesser digital photo image. We prefer the LightJet or Lambda.

For fine art prints, however, you don't want the smooth continuous tone of any of these digital printers. giclée prints tend to be on rough surfaces such as canvas or watercolor paper. But if you are a photo studio, then the top image quality is the LightJet or Lambda, then ColorSpan, then Roland, I-Jet and Hewlett-Packard. Encad is more for signs and posters, not fine art.

Cruse Scanner at BGSU
Reprographic digital photo
Cruse Scanner arriving at BGSU (bowling Green State University). Contact: Mike Lind, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (for years the sales and installation outlet for this company) and/or Kurt Ernst, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (managing director of USA office of Cruse GmbH of Germany).
Reprographic digital photography system that scans large objects that won't fit on top of an ordinary flatbed scanner.



Last Updated Nov. 15, 2002.
Previously updated Aug. 12, 2001.

 
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