Magnum's Square Print sales - Easy way to collect and invest or money grab?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Garyh I will take some photos under an objective for you after work today. Chromogenic prints are still cheaper and faster (at a given quality point) to produce today, magnum may well be taking advantage of this (6" roll printing out all day)
     
  2. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What is an archival scan? How does that differ from a regular scan?
     
  3. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

    Messages:
    1,723
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Knobbley Mountain
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Agreed.
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,815
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Geelong & Richmond AUS
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Groups:
    Archival scan -> taken from Magnum's vast trove of these for print reproduction, such as for these anniversary prints. No difference to a scan by any other name.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,385
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not archival - archive.
    As in creating a digital copy of the image in order to store, preserve and make it easy to distribute it widely.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,604
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  7. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here are some from phone, 60X through protective sleeving if you must know and signature for comparison. Make of it what you will.

    IMG_20171103_091958.jpg IMG_20171103_092027.jpg IMG_20171103_092051.jpg
     
  8. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's actually pretty easy to figure out what they are printed on. Read the Specs & Shipping page for each photograph! Here is the Spec for the Dennis Stock photograph:

    • Format: Digital C-Print
    • Size: 6 x 6 in (15.24 x 15.24 cm)
    • Image Size: 5.5 in (14 cm) on the longest side
    • Printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Matte paper
    • Estate Stamped

    The spec is the same for all of them, except for dimensions.
     
  9. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland, US
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, they’ve been very clear about the process and materials.
     
  10. billbretz

    billbretz Member

    Messages:
    259
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe and absolutely.

    If you want to flip a print you can make money. eBay sellers have already doubled or more their investment in < 1 year, sometime months on some of these. Perhaps they are taking advantage of folks who don't understand the economics or the recent availability. Now, if every buyer, or even a slightly larger percentage, did this you'd find the "investment" quite poor at this time. Over time I'd guess the $100 would be better off in an index fund.

    As to money grab: Magnum isn't doing this out of charity. If it weren't a money machine on some scale they would not be in their what, I don't know, fifth round of these? And Nat Geo, VII have followed in same vein (or Magnum is following one of them?).

    But as others have noted, 'invest' in what you enjoy. If/when time comes to sell you may enjoy some return.
     
  11. tezzasmall

    tezzasmall Subscriber

    Messages:
    259
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Location:
    Southend on Sea Essex UK
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    I've just checked the FAQ and this is what is said about the prints in general:
    • What does museum quality mean?
      All prints are archival quality and are approved by the photographer. We work closely with our photographers to ensure that all editions are presented according to their intentions. To be precise, these are digital C-Prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Matte paper.
    Terry S
     
  12. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If museum quality means archival quality, why don't they just say archival quality, and leave the museum designation out of it. I am sure a museum would rather have a silver gelatin print from a black and white negative than a machine-made C-print from a scan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  13. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Amazing thread. Wilhelm rated the Fuji paper as having a lifetime of 40 to 218 years, depending on storage and lighting. How long do you want a $100 print (an excellent one at that) to last? Just buy it to enjoy looking at it. They really are very nice.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,697
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These may be inkjet prints from scanned silver gelatin print. It's for viewing but not necessarily for collecting.
     
  16. Richard Man

    Richard Man Subscriber

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You may be sure, but if you actually talk to museums, they don't care. They get arts done in all sort of materials, and they just need to know how best to preserve that particular set of materials.
     
  17. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Again, these are Fuji Crystal Archive (silver halide) prints, not inkjet.
     
  18. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Please actually go to a Museum. MCA Australia only has one set of silver prints in its permanent collection last time I checked.

    https://www.mca.com.au/collection/artist/maynard-ricky/
     
  19. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why would you think I haven't been to a museum. I recently saw the Diane Arbus exhibit at the SFMOMA, the Danny Lyon exhibit at the De Young, and a Photography Department retrospective at the Art Institute. None of the prints were machine made C-prints from scans.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  20. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Because they are generally about art & culture, not how prints are made :smile:
     
  21. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,697
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I stand corrected :smile:.
     
  22. ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Plannutt Oith
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Poisson Du Jour (#9) and hoffy (#21) pretty much summed it up for me. I'm fortunate enough to have a small and greatly cherished collection of ORIGINAL prints by several famed 20th century photographers - notably HCB and one recently acquired beautiful enlargement by Minor White, which came my way at little more than what Magnum intends for us to pay for their 'Jig Lees'.

    As PDJ wrote, gicles are good keepsakes, but for serious collectibles, they aren't for me. I derive much pleasure from holding an original fiber base print as a small work of art made by hand, even if that hand wasn't that of the photographer. For several decades Magnum had the almost exclusive services of one of the finest master printers in Europe and I assume the HCB prints I have (were made by him) who knew how to print with the very special 'glow' many older enlargements show, which is sadly lacking in most modern computer-made prints.

    Weekend markets in Australia (and likely everywhere else) are a magnet for wannabee photographers trying to flog their images (mostly very ordinary or obviously derived from work they see online, books and magazines) for at times ridiculously prices. The come-on term "rare" is used far too much and from what I'm often told in conversations with these sellers, few sell enough prints to cover their costs. While I'm all for encouraging new/young talent, I also want images on my walls that reflect the inner vision and view of the photographer and not something copied from the largely hokum efforts I see in photo magazines or in web sites.

    That said, I shoot partly for clients (mostly in media publishing) and largely for my pleasure. As an amateur of long standing, I would be pleased to sell of my images to private collectors for A$100, hand printed on quarter plate (6.5 x 8.5" paper) with a choice of glossy or pearl (I detest matte finishes and haven't used them since 1980). With the work involved in making darkroom prints by hand, I have always been reluctant to print larger than this size, which seems to suit everyone I provide prints to. I would also promise to not charge A$31 for delivery...

    PDJ is fortunate to get the prices he has listed for his photography. I've not seen his work first hand, but he seems capable and someone in Australia who would be worth following and buying from. Alas, not for A$740. Far too much for my modest budget. On the other hand a print exchange...
     
  23. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Since you posted this the day after the sale ended, I guess that helps you make the decision as well. As far as the continued fantasy that the Magnum prints are giclée, this is bordering on humorous. Does anyone actually read an entire thread? Does the fact that the prints are on silver halide color paper have any meaning to you? I'm pretty sure that this would indicate exposure to light, not ink.
     
  24. Richard Man

    Richard Man Subscriber

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Seeing "vintage" prints from older photographers would of course skew toward seeing silver gelatin prints, but the fact remains that if one were to actually talk to the museum curators, they absolutely do not care the current artists are making *gash* "digital" prints.

    Now anyone can still have a preference toward darkroom prints. Heck, while I have not made a darkroom print for a while (I do think that Pt/Pd is in my future), I personally do prefer darkroom B&W prints myself, when it comes to collecting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  25. ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Plannutt Oith
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ho ho, yes, so I did, didn't I? And so it did, didn't it? I must admit, I hadn't thought of this, so.

    Quotable as it was the most insightful comment in your thread overall. Thank you for sharing it with us. Have a nice day now!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  26. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,555
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    MiltON.ONtario
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Different reasons. For some it is monetary value - look, I have Magnum print. For another it is affordable way to have the print from photographer they like.

    Personally, every time I receive Magnum photos as weekly email link, most of the time I'm finding it non worth of the paying for the print. And often not worth of the looking at the screen.

    But I have HCB books....