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Stars of Magic

Posted: August 22nd, 2017, 9:13 pm
by Tom Gilbert
Looking for Meir's hardbound version of Stars of Magic.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 22nd, 2017, 9:22 pm
by Richard Kaufman
You'd be better off buying a Tannen printing from Gabe Fajuri or Andy Greget. I'm sure they have them.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 10:14 am
by Fredrick
Hi, Tom

I have a Robbins 3rd Edition 1997 in excellent condition that I am happy to let go of for $25.00 - shipped free media mail if you're interested.

Fredrick

Fredrick Turner
PO Box 2415
Bremerton Wa 98310
Fredrick at blarg.net
206 304 1088

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 11:51 am
by Richard Kaufman
Sorry: the Robbins reprints are terrible. The photos were not rescreened.
The original Tannen's edition is still the best.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 3:08 pm
by Fredrick
Agreed; however it was the edition readily available 20 years ago after Tannen's sold the book line to Robbins.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 3:18 pm
by Tom Gilbert
I have a rough and tumble Tannen's version that I bought new yeeaarrrs ago. But I've heard the Yedid release was best. No?

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 5:08 pm
by erdnasephile
Hi, all:

I don't want my comments to affect anyone's sale, but when I compared the photos in my Tannens hardcover with the Yedid hardcover. While some of the photos in the Yedid version looked a little better, overall, I honestly didn't see huge magnitudes of difference.

OTOH, I acquired a few of the original issues recently and all of those photos are as clear as a bell, without the reproduction exposure issues that are present even in the Tannen's version.

I'm ignorant about the process of reproducing photos like these for print. Why were some of the photos in the reprints so overexposed? Was it limitations of the technology of the day? Was rescreening really expensive/difficult? With today's tech, is it possible to print a version where the photos look as clear as in the original printings?

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 6:00 pm
by Richard Kaufman
An original glossy photo has to be turned into a series of dots in order to be printed. This is called a grayscale half-tone. There are different levels of screening, from lesser amounts of dots (for newspapers) to higher amounts of dots (for books and magazines printed on a glossy enamel stock).

The original Stars of Magic pamphlets are first generation halftones made from the original photographs. The Tannen editions required the already-printed photographs from the pamphlets to be rescreened (in other words, screened a second time). Robbins reprinted the books without rescreening the photos, so essentially they were black and white abortions with no gray tones at all.

Meir had to rescreen the Tannen version of the photos (in other words, rescreening a screened photo). For this reason the original Tannen book has to have clearer photos because it is a first generation rescreen. Meir's edition is a second generation rescreen, and thus cannot be as clear as the second generation.

Rescreening a photo is done by blurring it slightly so the original dot pattern does not create a moire pattern.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 6:45 pm
by Jack Shalom
Photoshop magic no help here? No customized plug-in for this kind of thing? Just asking.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 6:59 pm
by lybrary
Good scan software has various de-screen modes which can properly scan such photos. Alternatively one can oversample, meaning scan with a much higher resolution, and then use an averaging algorithm to get back to the resolution you want to have.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:04 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
Is there a preservation effort on the original negatives etc?

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:10 pm
by lybrary
I don't think the negatives exist.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:16 pm
by erdnasephile
Thanks, Richard--your explanation was really clear for a novice like me and made total sense!

Am I correct in assuming that people don't have those issues with digital photos, since you just import those into whatever publishing software the publisher is using so they will always look pristine?

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:44 pm
by Richard Kaufman
None of those issues exist when publishing books now. You send pdfs of the pages to the printer.

Rescreening photos is not something that can be done automatically for the best result: it requires a lot of experience.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 8:00 pm
by lybrary
Fundamentally the same problem exists with digital photos, because they are also simply an array of dots. However, the raster (resolution) is so high that it rarely causes problems. But with periodic patterns in the photo one can still get moire effects once printed from digital photos. The real issue is a mismatch of rasterization. If you take a 800dpi photo and want to reprint it at 600dpi you could run into moire pattern problems in some cases if the photos are not properly processed.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 9:06 pm
by erdnasephile
Another question, if I may please:

Even with modern tech, we still see books where the photos that appear over/under exposed when printed. Is this something that typically occurs as a result of a design error when constructing those original pdf proofs or a problem in the printing process?

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 9:45 pm
by Richard Kaufman
There can be a dozen reasons why photos, or parts of the photos, appear over or under exposed on the page.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 10:51 pm
by Kevin Connolly
I THINK I have an original set of these when they were first bound. I also THINK they came in two different covers.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 23rd, 2017, 10:59 pm
by erdnasephile
Yes, I've seen both red and black covers on the originals as well.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 24th, 2017, 8:42 am
by I.M. Magician
I was told years ago that the binder came in three colors. The red binder is the most commonly found one. I have also seen a blue one but do not recall ever seeing a black one.

Not only do the originals have the best quality photos but they can be opened flat for easy reading and following.

Isn't it true that each entry sold way back then for around $5 each? If so, that was expensive for those times. If you add up the total cost of a complete set at $5 each, the total cost would be around $150 if I am not mistaken. Did they also charge for the binder? I assume they did and wonder what they charged for that.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 24th, 2017, 11:50 am
by Richard Kaufman
The Tannen book also opens flat because it has a sewn binding. I have one that I bought as a kid and it lays open flat as a pancake and has hundreds of times over the years.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 25th, 2017, 1:20 pm
by Kevin Connolly
From what I have heard, the black binder is the rarest.

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 27th, 2017, 1:33 am
by Herb
If anyone is interested in buying a copy of the Tannen's version, I have one for sale:

http://www.herbsmagic.com/store/p288/St ... Magic.html

While at the site, there are other magic books to check out too.

Herb

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 28th, 2017, 1:03 am
by Rick Ruhl

Re: Stars of Magic

Posted: August 28th, 2017, 11:51 am
by erdnasephile
This is not my auction, but looks like a good deal at this time:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stars-Of-Magic- ... Sw9ENZoFpp