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Author Topic: Quadtone RIP  (Read 5986 times)
st326
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« on: August 27, 2006, 12:09:11 AM »
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Earlier today I downloaded Quadtone RIP and had a bit of a play, using it in place of the Epson R2400 driver. It's a bit basic and stripped down, and requires considerable application of the force in setting up, but I managed to put together a profile by eye and by guesswork which used photo black, light black and light light black together in a tritone-like configuration. The results looked slightly warm, as though they were lightly toned silver prints, but even at my very first attempt I managed to get a far nicer tonal scale than the Epson driver.

I've attached a (very low res) version of my test image. I printed on Epson Premium Glossy and on a Kodak glossy paper (I forget the name -- I don't have it to hand where I'm typing this). With the Epson driver, in retrospect all of the prints look like they have a bit too much ink piled up on them -- this was particularly noticeable with the Kodak paper. The Epson version obviously used quite a bit of light magenta and light cyan to tone the image more neutrally (as evidenced by just how fast the printer gets through those inks! Ouch!). I was quite careful in setting up the profile to limit the maximum amounts of ink used by each of the three basic colours, and I think this must have helped, because in the Quadtone RIP prints there is no sign of excess ink pile up in the shadow areas -- my first attempt print had a nicely long tonal scale, excellent detail and quite a glowing/luminous look to it.

The Epson results were good, but this is better. I think this software will probably find its way into my workflow, but I'm obviously going to need more fiddling and tweaking to get things exactly right.  

Do other people here use Quadtone? What kind of configuration are you using? Are you correcting for the warm tone, or going with it?

For reference, the image was shot in Yosemite valley (the mountain in the background is El Capitain) with a Cambo Legend 4x5, 150mm Nikkor W at about f22 (which was a mistake, because I lost a bit of sharpness as a consequence I think), Better Light Super 6K scanning back at 8000x6000.
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picnic
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2006, 09:16:02 AM »
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Do other people here use Quadtone? What kind of configuration are you using? Are you correcting for the warm tone, or going with it?

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I do use QTR--but with a 2200.  In fact, I've been researching whether to buy the 2400 in hopes of getting better mono prints without a RIP.  

I tried to follow how you set it up.  I use it with the curves provided for the various papers and blend those.  Therefore I can get totally neutral to quite cool to quite warm prints.  Most of the papers I use already have curves (profiles) available.  Perhaps what you download for the 2400 is different.  When I use QTR I choose the image file, then the 'blends' from the dropdown menus, the gamma setting and ink (for shadows);.  I have done a lot of wedge strips on the papers I use so I can refer back to them for the toning I prefer.  

Have you tried the QTR forum?  You can get a lot of information there
[a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QuadtoneRIP/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QuadtoneRIP/[/url] or the black and white printing forum
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/

Diane
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2006, 09:21:18 AM »
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I've been using Quadtone RIP with its GUI front end with my Epson 7600. I have to confess that I just let the RIP do its own thing without fiddling with curves, because I've gotten such consistently superb results with the default settings. I use the standard Ultrachrome inks with matte black because I also use the same printer for my color prints. After experimenting a bit, I generally use a mix in the GUI interface of 70% cool selenium and 30% warm neutral on Hahnemuhle photo rag paper. I do bump up the shadow ink limit just a bit to compensate for the weaker blacks on rag paper; I may fooling myself, but this seems to maintain shadow detail and the nice smooth tonality of the RIP while deepening the blacks just a bit.
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tbonanno
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2006, 12:07:06 PM »
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Keep playing with QTR.  I LOVE it.. Used it with my Epson 4000s and with the R2400.  Infinite adjustments.  Just a lot of trial and error sometimes to get what you want, but worth the effort.  Play with the ink limit and gamma adjustment sliders as they can make a real difference.  Not sure what papers you're using, but some of the glossy, satin type definitely need some serious tweaking to minimize the warmth.  As far as I'm concerned, QTR is the best B&W tool out there and the only RIP you'd ever need for B&W.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I no longer have any wide format Epsons except R2400.. am working with the new Canon IPF5000.. and there is no QTR for the Canon ... bummer.  Good luck.

Tony
« Last Edit: August 27, 2006, 12:07:40 PM by tbonanno » Logged

Tony Bonanno Photography
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http://www.bonannophoto.com
st326
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 12:36:10 AM »
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Keep playing with QTR.  I LOVE it.. Used it with my Epson 4000s and with the R2400.  Infinite adjustments.  Just a lot of trial and error sometimes to get what you want, but worth the effort.  Play with the ink limit and gamma adjustment sliders as they can make a real difference.  Not sure what papers you're using, but some of the glossy, satin type definitely need some serious tweaking to minimize the warmth.  As far as I'm concerned, QTR is the best B&W tool out there and the only RIP you'd ever need for B&W.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I no longer have any wide format Epsons except R2400.. am working with the new Canon IPF5000.. and there is no QTR for the Canon ... bummer.  Good luck.

Tony
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74655\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks!

Yes, QTR seems to be right for what I'm doing. I must admit I weighed straight in and made my own profile because I didn't bother to read the documentation (hmmm...) Actually, I'm glad I did, because I've ended up with a better feel for what goes on under the hood so to speak.

Paper wise (to answer an earlier poster) I'm still experimenting. I've had very good results with Epson's own premium glossy, but I'm open to suggestions. What I'd like is something similar, though maybe slightly less glossy, and with a less plasticky feel, but with as good black density and good archival qualities. Any suggestions gratefully appreciated! I quite like the surface of Kodak's glossy paper, but the actual paper base itself is beyond horrible and out the other side -- it feels sticky to the touch, and the ink takes ages to dry (particularly using the Epson driver, which overdoes the amount of ink quite a bit in my opinion).

I suppose I have a tendency to associate matte papers with more pastelly colour images, subtle tones and no great density. My own images have always tended to be B&W and relatively punchy -- I used to push process FP4 and Tri-X to ridiculously inappropriate ISO ratings, then print the result on as high contrast paper as I could get my hands on, which resulted in lots of grain acting like a halftone screen. I'm a bit less extreme than that with digital (my 4x5 Better Light work has basically no visible grain anyway), but I still like my blacks black and my whites white, if you see what I mean!
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KenS
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 07:37:01 PM »
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Earlier today I downloaded Quadtone RIP and had a bit of a play, using it in place of the Epson R2400 driver.

I used to use QTR with my Epson 4000.  Results were okay in my opinion but I sometimes had problems with banding and the gloss differential on glossy and luster papers was problematic.

I now use an Epson 7800 and the Advanced B/W mode.  I am much happier with this combination than QTR.  I have great control over the print tone, no banding problems and I get a very close match between my printed images and the image on my Sony Monitor.   Both deep shadows and highlights as well as overall contrast match well between monitor and print. I am wondering why you are not using Advanced B/W mode on your 2400?

Ken
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tbonanno
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 07:59:48 PM »
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Thanks!

Yes, QTR seems to be right for what I'm doing. I must admit I weighed straight in and made my own profile because I didn't bother to read the documentation (hmmm...) Actually, I'm glad I did, because I've ended up with a better feel for what goes on under the hood so to speak.

, but I still like my blacks black and my whites white, if you see what I mean!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=74819\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sounds like you may be getting the most out of QTR already.. just the paper problems   .   I've not found any glossy that works well for me.. maybe Kirkland (from Costco of all places.. which I suspect is similar to Ilford Gallerie Smooth Gloss).  Do you use "luster papers" ?  I was surprised to find that the new Kodak Professional Inkjet Luster (introduced last winter) looked as good as it did.  I actually started using it as my preferred "photo" paper in 100ft rolls.  It has noticeably less bronzing and gloss differential on the 4000.  Admittedly, I was printing color.  Most of my B&W is on cotton papers.  By the way, Red River Paper has a new cotton paper called Dourian Art.  I understand from a reliable source that it is a OEM version of H. PhotoRag 308, just a little lighter weight.  I intend to try some of it.

Tony
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 08:00:43 PM by tbonanno » Logged

Tony Bonanno Photography
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.bonannophoto.com
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