I thought the problems I’ve been having with printing transparencies was about over. A sample print came out fine, and after making one final adjustment to a transfer curve, I was all ready to finally start printing transparencies.
Well, I was wrong. Even though my sample print did not show banding, my 13 X 19 transparency did. Ever frustrated, I spent several hours online doing research. Based on what learned, I cleaned the print pads, and tried a different paper path. I still got banding. Maybe slightly narrower bands, but they are still there.
As a test, I tried a 13 X 19 full-color print on archival inkjet paper. It came out beautifully. It’s only 13 X 19 transparencies that show banding. I was about to take my printer in to be serviced, but I doubt that they’ll find anything wrong with it.
So now I’m stuck. I’ve got two things to try. One is ordering some expensive inkjet transparency film. It’s a brand that I see mentioned often on the photo tech forums I’ve been visiting. If it works, great. If not, I’m out even more money and am no farther ahead.
I’m also going to try reworking one of my images a little. One thing I was reading online suggested that very smooth areas like photos of skies are more likely to not reproduce as well on transparency film. Banding wasn’t explicitly mentioned, but it’s worth trying. The image I’ve been having trouble with has a large patch of clear sky in it. I’m going to add some visual noise to the sky area to see if it hides the banding. I don’t have high hopes of this working. Several days ago I printed a negative that didn’t have large smooth areas, and still saw banding in the resulting print. But at this point, I’m willing to try anything.