All my life dye transfer has been the top color photo printing process. And for a long time I’ve been privileged to be a friend of one of the very few people who ever did dye transfer printing.
Kodak discontinued the materials in 1994, and Ctein finally closed down his darkroom in 2013. There have been a couple of print sales along the way, too. This one is probably the absolutely final one. This is selling off all the prints remaining in inventory.
Here’s the official press release on it. Note that the first URL given is the top level of The Online Photographer; you’ll need to check “Recent articles” in the left column to find the print sale post when it goes up on Black Friday.
Expert West Coast Photographic Printmaker to Liquidate His Entire Inventory of Rare and Prized Color Prints
San Francisco area photographer and master printmaker Ctein is offering his entire lifetime archive of rare traditional dye transfer prints for sale. The sale will take place on The Online Photographer website (https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/) starting at noon Pacific Standard Time on November 29th, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and continue for seven days only.
Ctein (his only name—pronounced “kuh-TINE”) is selling full-sized 16×20-inch dye transfers for only $650 per print on a first-come, first-served basis. More than 250 images will be offered. Interested readers can view these in advance at http://ctein.com/2019TOPDyeSale.htm.
Ctein, among the best-known and most accomplished of the dye transfer printers, worked in the medium for 40 years until he closed his darkroom in 2013. Now, connoisseurs can own a beautiful, genuine dye transfer print for their own collections.
Dye transfer, widely acknowledged to be the Rolls-Royce of traditional color printing methods back in the era of film photography, was extremely difficult to master and expensive and time-consuming to practice. Dye transfer prints have a distinctive beauty and purity of color. They have a greater color gamut and deeper maximum black than even inkjet prints, and were among the most permanent of all color processes.
Such prints were always rare and always expensive, and master printers in the medium have always been few and far between. By 1994, when Kodak finally discontinued making the materials, most of the active dye transfer printers in the US could fit in a single living room. Now a scant handful are left.
For more information, please contact Ctein at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer at email@example.com.