Thanks, that's exactly the information I needed.dragsamou wrote: ↑Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:20 amAll the scans are from Collector's Edition. As I have merged the 2 subsections into one: Collector's & International Edition Box Set Cards. In order to illustrate the 2 different backs, I have simply added the International Edition back on the front of sealed Collector's Edition packs 4, 5, 6. Are you telling me that they are not from the same print run, and that there's differences between the 2 beside the back, as I have never heard about this before ?
Magic cards are printed with four colors, each color being on a different printing plate.
How well those four colors align with each other is called registration.
The press is checked and adjusted to get the registration suitable for printing. Think of it like focusing a camera to get a clear image.
The same printing plates were used for Beta, Beta Proofs, & both Collectors Edition sets.
However, the plates were removed from the press after Beta, and reinstalled for the later print run. As a result, the later print run does not have the exact same Registration as Beta.
Registration can minutely shift during a print run. With a long enough operating time, things can get a little out of adjustment.
Shifted registration during a print run becomes more likely the longer the print run is.
Registration affects the entire printed surface, but it's easiest to spot differences in the casting cost. The casting cost is located inside a circle, so you can see whether the casting cost is centered within that circle, or shifted up/down/right/left/whatever.
Over approximately the past year and a half, there has been an emerging study of the registration on very small print run sets like Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, & Collectors Edition.
The theory is that in a very small print run, your less likely to have registration shift, and the cards are more likely to be exactly identical to each other.
For Example, let's look at the Alpha print run of 1100 sheets of Rares. Dave Howell has said that the press can print about 3 sheets per second at full speed. This means that IF the press had been operating at full speed, the entire print run of Alpha Rares would have taken a little over 6 minutes to print. There would have been a couple hours setup time, but this 6 minutes probably isn't even enough time to get the press up to full speed. Still, you can see how a brief print run is less likely to have a machinery error.
I did try to disprove this theory, but have been unable to complete that task so far.
It's still a bit hazy how large a print run can get before you start seeing registration shift within the print run. This definitely doesn't work with Revised cards, and I don't think it works with Beta Commons. I suspect to find issues with Unlimited Rares, but haven't yet. So far, it's worked pretty well for Alpha & Beta.
Your scans of Collectors Edition cards will be useful for the continuing study of Registration. It will allow the comparison of any other card, to the Collectors Edition version. Some people claim to have found minor differences between CE & IE registration, but I haven't seen any photo proof yet. If any difference is found, it would be evidence of registration shift within the print run, because CE & IE are from the same print run.
What makes this information useful, is that it serves as a red flag for identifying rebacked Collectors Edition, or Beta that's been clipped to look like Alpha. This is something that you can look at in a picture of the card, without having the card in your hands for personal inspection. This can help to warn you of potential problems before you buy a card online.
Because pictures help people to understand the issue, here is an Image comparing the registration of Black Lotus from various printings.
Notice how the 0 is positioned differently inside the colorless casting cost circle.