I personally don't think our backglasses are too dark. I spoke to Kevin and Stu about this and I'll get to that in a second. From my experience with these new glasses I see that at least in my own pins that I swapped glasses into, my old translites were faded a bit and the blacks were never black to begin with. Translites have no blocking layers so the light passes uniformly through them making the blacks not even close to black when back lit. That's the biggest difference I see. In my case I absolutely love the glasses as one of my translites was faded a lot more than I realized. I guess the biggest issue you will have is that we always try to use an NOS sample and then color match to that sample, which will not have faded much so that will almost certainly be darker than your existing translite anyway.
Kevin figures a lot of the issue is that on a translite there can be no black and now blacks are black, not 80% grey.
Stu's take is more technical but I've added that too;
People are comparing our Printed Backglasses to the Original Translite BEHIND Glass.
I can Not properly "color correct" the scans comparing it to the artwork Behind Glass.
I have to color correct to the Actual translite ( No Glass ).
When looking at a Translite Behind Glass it is very "diffused" and lightens up by 18-20%!
Blacks on a Translite are, like Kevin mentioned, are about 80-85% Grey, not Black.
I happen to have right now 2 different F-14 Translites here in my studio, 1 is NOS and the other is Used.
So I did a little exercise and placed the Used one WITH Glass on top of the NOS version WITHOUT Glass and photographed
them together. HUGE Difference in what you see in the photograph! Now every camera is different as is every lighting
situation, so a customers comparison will be different, however, Take a look at the differences in this photo....
1: Oranges in the "Explosion" are very rich in Color & Tonal Value on the "Translite NO Glass" compared to the one With Glass.
2: Look at the differences in the Deep Blues ( Bottom Right ).
3: Look at the Orange in the Plane ( Upper Right Corner ).
4: Look at the F-14 Logo RED Colors
4: Here's the best one: Look at the Black Explosion Clouds ( specifically the Lower 1 by the Plane's Wing ).
A Translite Behind Glass will Never look the same as a translite Without Glass ( which is what I have to color correct to ).
People also NEED to Understand that we are NOT Working From The ORIGINAL ARTWORK like the originals were made from.
There will Always be some differences, but we do the best we can, and we are always trying to improve our techniques.
Our Backglasses (since they are Printed) will always appear Richer in Tonal Value than a Translite. Our Backglasses look
more like a Translite that is Not Behind Glass ( the True Artwork ) because that's what I have to Color Correct to.
So I guess the long and short is that they will never look exactly like your old translite.... but that's really the idea. Adding mirroring and attempting to restore the original unfaded and saturated look of a brand new original translite makes them into something more than just a copy of a translite and a lot more than just a copy of some old faded one.
MikeF-14 Translites (resized).jpgTZ Translite vs Glass (resized).jpg