Silver Halide

Silver halide has been used for many decades to make film prints. While it is no longer the only viable method for creating great photos from digital cameras, it remains the standard against which all the other technologies are compared. Unless you have your own darkroom (or are using a Polaroid instant printer), the only way you can get silver halide prints is from a commercial photo lab or minilab, drug store, online print service, or other retail operation. Silver halide still has some major advantages over digital printers. By definition, it offers true photo-realistic continuous tone, with usually a great gamut (range of colors and tones) and more accurate colors. Unlike some inkjet prints, silver halide photos are waterfast—the colors do not run when the print gets wet. Last, but certainly not least, professionally produced, archival-quality silver halide prints tend to be longer lived (that is, the colors do not change or fade) than other technologies. All these reasons help explain why most museums and galleries prefer silver halide prints. One added bonus: silver halide is initially less expensive to the consumer (you don't have to buy a printer) and easy (because someone else is doing all the work).

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