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Author Topic: Epson Advanced B & W printing  (Read 6123 times)
Stephenaweiss
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« on: March 12, 2006, 06:17:28 PM »
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I have read several people say they have had good results with the new epson advanced bw interface for the x800 series of printers, as good as imageprint

BUT: epson provides almost no guide to how to use their color management window for b&w

Has anyone written on this?
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 12:11:55 AM »
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Actually, I have found that a good profile is so good (and neutral) that I can print my B&W images using it, just like I would  print a color image.  The benefit is I get to make the image tone tweaks in PS on my actual image and don't have to rely on the guessing game with Epson's driver and the generic B&W image they have in the driver.  So to answer your question, I don't even bother using it any more.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 07:10:35 AM »
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Actually, I have found that a good profile is so good (and neutral) that I can print my B&W images using it, just like I would  print a color image.  The benefit is I get to make the image tone tweaks in PS on my actual image and don't have to rely on the guessing game with Epson's driver and the generic B&W image they have in the driver.  So to answer your question, I don't even bother using it any more.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60177\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Jack,

Which hardware/software tools are you using the build your profiles?  Just curious ...

Thanks,
Eric
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006, 07:39:38 AM »
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Hi Eric:

I use the Gretag Eye-One Photo with the latest Eye-One-Match software.
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colourperfect
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006, 08:47:46 AM »
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I think Eye-one match has just be upgraded to ver 3.6 with the color engine from PMP 5.05

Ian

http://www.colourperfect.co.uk
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drew
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006, 11:03:22 AM »
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Completely agree with Jack. I use an X-rite Pulse with Monaco's Pulse Color Elite to make my profiles. Seems quite similar to Gretag's Eye One Photo.
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2006, 02:56:09 PM »
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I think strongly that the Advanced B&W mode is generally superior to an ICC based approach in the event that you want a generally neutral (or slightly warm/cool) B&W print. Since the Advanced B&W mode uses almost no yellow ink and only a tiny amount of cyan and magenta (no lt cyan or lt magenta) there is virtually no hue drift between black and white. While the linearization og the /8 series is better, you still have the problem that ICC profiles are designed for color reproduction, not dead neutral B&W.

The other aspect is that due to the longevity of the carbon black pigments used in the K3, using primarily the 3 blacks instead of a color mix will GREATLY add to the logevity of prints made via the Advanced B&W mode. Depending on the paper, Wilhelm has prelim tests that indicate up to 300 years for prints made using Advanced B&W mode.

If you want cross-curve type toning and dead neutral B&W isn't an issue, then yes, a really good profile will work well using color management. But if you want the best, most neutral B&W, you need to work with the Advanced B&W mode in the K3 ink printers.

I wrote a pretty lengthy article in the fall issue of Digital Photo Pro that discusses color>B&W and using the Advanced B&W mode....see if you can get a back issue.
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Stephenaweiss
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2006, 10:30:58 PM »
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I think strongly that the Advanced B&W mode is generally superior to an ICC based approach in the event that you want a generally neutral (or slightly warm/cool) B&W print. Since the Advanced B&W mode uses almost no yellow ink and only a tiny amount of cyan and magenta (no lt cyan or lt magenta) there is virtually no hue drift between black and white. While the linearization og the /8 series is better, you still have the problem that ICC profiles are designed for color reproduction, not dead neutral B&W.

The other aspect is that due to the longevity of the carbon black pigments used in the K3, using primarily the 3 blacks instead of a color mix will GREATLY add to the logevity of prints made via the Advanced B&W mode. Depending on the paper, Wilhelm has prelim tests that indicate up to 300 years for prints made using Advanced B&W mode.



I wrote a pretty lengthy article in the fall issue of Digital Photo Pro that discusses color>B&W and using the Advanced B&W mode....see if you can get a back issue.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Very interesting points. It puzzles me that epson has not made any of the work flow issues available, for example, I think you are stuck looking at the woman's face with each change to judge it, then finding out what you have acheived only through test prints, hope to be able to order the article, I have emailed them, s
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2006, 12:42:43 PM »
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If you want cross-curve type toning and dead neutral B&W isn't an issue, then yes, a really good profile will work well using color management. But if you want the best, most neutral B&W, you need to work with the Advanced B&W mode in the K3 ink printers.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I don't doubt what you say, but I've found that getting results that consistently match what I see on screen is just more difficult with ABW. I get the tonality where I want it in Photoshop, I don't want to have to go through that process again by test-printing with ABW and wasting ink and paper. Plus I usually add a bit of warmth to the shadow tones to get the look I want, and while ABW seems to offer this capability the results don't match what I can get from editing in Photoshop and printing with an ICC profile.
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2006, 02:17:20 PM »
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I don't doubt what you say, but I've found that getting results that consistently match what I see on screen is just more difficult with ABW.

It all depends on how you use it...if your images are being accurately displayed via an accurate display profile, using a Advanced B&W tonality of "Dark" will generally match the tone responce curve of Adobe RGB images (or gray gamma of 2.2). I don't use the Advanced B&W mode adjustment controls at all except to tweak the color a bit. I find a +6 and -3 color produces a very slight warm neutral on luster papers while watercolor papers need a +3 -3 because the papers are already a bit warmer.

If you have access to either Monaco Profiler or GM ProfileMaker you can create your own Advacned B&W mode soft proof profiles to predict the results of both the panchromatic responce of color as well as the tone responce curve. Brce Fraser and I developed several profiles we've tested for use in the Epson Print Academy-unfortunately they are only available for academy attendees. Bruce may be writting an article in the near future outlining the proceedure.
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Stephenaweiss
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2006, 02:51:09 PM »
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Brce Fraser and I developed several profiles we've tested for use in the Epson Print Academy-unfortunately they are only available for academy attendees.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60302\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I will be doing track 2 epson academy in SFO in May, will you be there? Will I get this info then?

I just had a most unsatisfying conversation with the supervisor at Epson support. I was trying to explain this issue, and the need for a WYSIWYG interface. He said that there is no one to talk to at Epson, nothing he can do, and it has come up before. He said my call goes into a log, but no one reads it. What is going on at Epson with customer support. Now with the 12 ink HP's etc, there will be real competition, thanks, sorry for the emotion, stephen
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2006, 03:06:39 PM »
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Yes, I'll be there and yes, you'll get the soft proofing info. Bruce Fraser will be there as well.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2006, 03:33:30 PM »
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Jeff:

I'll concede your point on the extended longevity of the all carbon black versus the 8-color black.  However I have compared several prints printed out both ways and there is simply no significant difference in neutrality, hue drift from black to white, nor any difference in the absolute black value achieved in either.  

Moreover, once you "tint" the image in the Epson B&W driver, you are introducing the three base colored pigments anyway (granted, it may only be a small amount of Y, but it's there nonetheless), which only leaves the two light's out of the equation...
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Schewe
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2006, 05:57:35 PM »
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Well, I made measurements between Advanced B&W (ABW) mode prints and neutral B&W prints using icc profiles on both an R2400 and 479/800 printers. The Advanced B&W mode prints are dead neutral between black and white while the "through the icc" prints had a slight hue drift from black to white. Not NEARLY as much as the previous version of UltraChrome and 2200/4000.79/600 printers. I guess it depends on what your expectations are. I'm interested in dead neutral-just like silver gelatin prints...

As far as the tinting, just like ImagePrint proved by eliminating yellow in their B&W mode, Advanced B&W mode uses effectively no yellow ink unless you drive the color tint WAY to the yellow/warm, which I would never do. With the numbers of +6, -3 or +3, -3 there is no yellow ink used. The blacks are warm enough to cover the slight warmth of slight tints.

The other thing I would point out is that from a workflow point of view, if I can use a single RGB archive file for both color and B&W (using the abilities of the Advanced B&W mode to convert to B&W) then it cuts down the proliferation of image file iterations I need to keep track of. Using the ABW mode proofing profiles Bruce and I have created, I can use adjustment layers to tweak the panchromatic results of the ABW mode of the driver.

The 3 black inks of the UltraChrome K3 inks and the ABW mode of the driver is a huge leap if you want optimal B&W digital prints. You can do whatever you want...for my use, the Advanced B&W mode has allowed me to finally produce digital B&W that meets or exceeds silver prints in every respect except for the limitations of the current gloss papers failing to match fiber based  darkroom paper. But I have hopes of that changing in the future...
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Stephenaweiss
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2006, 07:05:22 PM »
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Jeff, not to sound like a suck up or anything, but I find these discussions very helpful and I appreciate all the time everyone is putting in to this discussion.

Question: have you done ABW on matte finished papers? Are you happy with it? What matte surface/paper do you like best?


The reason I ask is that from a financial point of view, and convenience point of view, I am trying to stay with Matte Black since much of my large color landscapes are on Epson's Ultrasmooth Fine Art paper which I love. I do not have the space or resources for a second printer dedicated to photo black. I am hoping to stay with a matte surface with my ABW.

thanks, am really looking forward to the Epson Academy (OK that was a bit of a suck up)... stephen
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Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2006, 10:20:46 PM »
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Well, I did an entire report on the K3 inks (in a 2400 but relevant to any K3 ink printer) on PhotoshopNews, see: Epson R2400 and Ultrachrome K3 Ink Report

this was from last summer, but nothing I've learned since alters what I wrote then...
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2006, 02:32:01 PM »
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It all depends on how you use it...if your images are being accurately displayed via an accurate display profile, using a Advanced B&W tonality of "Dark" will generally match the tone responce curve of Adobe RGB images (or gray gamma of 2.2).
My display is calibrated/profiled. However my working space is ProPhoto RGB (which I believe is gamma 1.Cool, so how would this impact ABW printing if at all?

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If you have access to either Monaco Profiler or GM ProfileMaker you can create your own Advacned B&W mode soft proof profiles to predict the results of both the panchromatic responce of color as well as the tone responce curve.
Any chance you could provide more information about this, or maybe a link to an article? Sounds like something I'd be interested in...
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HamSammich
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2006, 11:54:14 PM »
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Well, I did an entire report on the K3 inks (in a 2400 but relevant to any K3 ink printer) on PhotoshopNews, see: Epson R2400 and Ultrachrome K3 Ink Report

this was from last summer, but nothing I've learned since alters what I wrote then...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60349\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


One question from a DesignJet 30 user who's looking into the 2400 for black-and-white: In ABW mode, how do you configure for various papers, if not through a profile?

 Say, for example, I'd like to use the new Crane's Silver, and not one of the papers Epson supports?

On the DesignJet or any other printer in ICC mode, you simply print a target and make a profile. How does it work for ABW?
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Stephenaweiss
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2006, 12:23:36 AM »
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One question from a DesignJet 30 user who's looking into the 2400 for black-and-white: In ABW mode, how do you configure for various papers, if not through a profile?

 Say, for example, I'd like to use the new Crane's Silver, and not one of the papers Epson supports?

On the DesignJet or any other printer in ICC mode, you simply print a target and make a profile. How does it work for ABW?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60552\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


So far I select the paper profile in the drop down dialogue...and download it if  I don't have it, s
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scho37
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2006, 08:51:29 AM »
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It all depends on how you use it...if your images are being accurately displayed via an accurate display profile, using a Advanced B&W tonality of "Dark" will generally match the tone responce curve of Adobe RGB images (or gray gamma of 2.2). I don't use the Advanced B&W mode adjustment controls at all except to tweak the color a bit. I find a +6 and -3 color produces a very slight warm neutral on luster papers while watercolor papers need a +3 -3 because the papers are already a bit warmer.

If you have access to either Monaco Profiler or GM ProfileMaker you can create your own Advacned B&W mode soft proof profiles to predict the results of both the panchromatic responce of color as well as the tone responce curve. Brce Fraser and I developed several profiles we've tested for use in the Epson Print Academy-unfortunately they are only available for academy attendees. Bruce may be writting an article in the near future outlining the proceedure.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60302\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You can very easily make your own icc profiles to use with Advanced BW mode, both as a print space profile and for soft proofing.  Greatly enhances the already excellent BW output by improving linearity.  Just get Roy Harrington's Create-icc module in the QTR download.  Simply scan a gray step wedge with your spectrophotometer drop the scan data file onto Create-icc and out comes a ready to use icc profile.
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