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Author Topic: 'state of the art' B&W inks/printer?  (Read 5343 times)
FrankG
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« on: February 17, 2009, 09:06:52 AM »
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I am looking for the best possible Black & White quality attainable from a 2200 (or I'll consider an upgrade).

Currently I use the epson uc inkset and have been trying out the QTR rip & a few papers but primarily Moab Entrada Bright (as opposed to Natural for the extra bit of punch I seem to get from a whiter base).

I must say that without having other inksets to compare to, I think the quality is really good, but as an experienced old-time darkroom printer, I know it could be still better.

I originally opted for the UC & QTR because I wanted to be able to use the same printer for both col and B&W. And I wanted a low hassle solution.

Now I am interested in the more recently introduced baryta papers like Ilford Gold Fibre Silk which are more reminiscent of the old darkroom fibre papers, but because the paper has a 'semi gloss' surface sheen, with my current UC/2200 setup I am getting 'gloss differential' or 'bronzing' or whatever that 'solarised' appearance is called when you angle the print to the light (particularly a top/back light).

With the help of some ddg group members I have just tried some Premier PrintShield and it helps a great deal, but it's a bit of a pain to spray (especially indoors in these cold northern climes).
I don't know if a different inkset would be all I need?

I am willing to dedicate the 2200 (or upgrade) to get the "ultimate" B&W quality. So many people have their favourite brands that they are loyal to, that it's hard to find a definitive review - MIS, Cone, Epson, HP,....

Thank you for any input,
Frank
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 09:10:22 AM »
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Just get a newer Epson, say a 2880 and use the Advanced B&W. Print a B&W on Exhibition Fiber and I think you'll be quite pleased. You'll get a better color printer too and will not be screwing with 3rd party inks which can be a nightmare and void the warranty plus, who knows their archival properties (unless Henry has looked em over). KISS.
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Andrew Rodney
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Roscolo
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 10:05:14 AM »
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I've said it before. The first printer I've used that could make B&W print indistinguishable from what I produced in the darkroom (actually better with digital control of the image) is the HP z3100. And that B&W quality is why I purchased the printer.

21 months later, I'm printing, selling and getting more B&W prints into shows than ever before. YMMV

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Bruce Watson
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 10:28:42 AM »
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Quote from: FrankG
I am looking for the best possible Black & White quality attainable from a 2200 (or I'll consider an upgrade).
Consider the Cone K7 inks. State of the art for B&W inkjet; if you want the best this is it. But you won't be able to do color. You will however be able to use your QTR experience because it requires QTR to drive it.
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natas
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 02:33:59 PM »
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I run a Epson 1400 with MIS's ut14 inkset. They are much cheaper then the cone inks and just as good.
http://inksupply.com/qn.cfm

They make 3 different ink sets for the 2200. Be sure to read up on the difference between the 3. For me I would go with ut3D.
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FrankG
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 12:39:14 PM »
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Thanks for all the info.

For those using the Epson Advanced B&W driver in a 2880 or 3800 etc, do you tell PS to handle the color and assign a profile or do you tell the printer to handle the 'color'
....if using the Epson B&W advanced mode printer driver, doesn't that mean the printer is handling the 'color', and you are not using any icc profile/s for the various papers (epson, harman, epson, ilford, hahnemuhle) etc ?
Frank
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digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 01:03:45 PM »
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Quote from: FrankG
For those using the Epson Advanced B&W driver in a 2880 or 3800 etc, do you tell PS to handle the color and assign a profile or do you tell the printer to handle the 'color'
....if using the Epson B&W advanced mode printer driver, doesn't that mean the printer is handling the 'color', and you are not using any icc profile/s for the various papers (epson, harman, epson, ilford, hahnemuhle) etc ?
Frank

Under OS X Leopard, there's a bug... you need to select Let Photoshop Manage Color and select Adobe RGB (1998) as the output color space (that's what the driver expects). If you use No Color Management on some of the newer drivers under Leopard, after clicking Print in the Epson driver, nothing happens (the data gets spooled but no print).
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 01:23:19 PM »
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I use let Printer to handle the color, but i can't remember if i chose that to tell Photoshop to handle the color and in all cases i get the color great, no problem so far, only i got wrong color when i choose ICC profiles of the same paper for the same printer i use, seems with my calibrated monitor it is better to use my own settings over another settings, i use Epson 3800
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FrankG
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 01:28:39 PM »
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Thanks for sharing - if were to get this setup I'd have been really confused when confronted by this bug
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 01:33:12 PM »
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Quote from: FrankG
Thanks for sharing - if were to get this setup I'd have been really confused when confronted by this bug

Again, its only under Leopard with CS4 (I should have pointed the later out). And yes, as mentioned above, Let Printer Manage Color will work too.

Previous to this bug, you'd select "No Color Management" in Photoshop's print dialog. So its not a big deal, just a different setting.
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Andrew Rodney
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FrankG
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 03:16:28 PM »
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When one lets the printer driver do the managing you usually have to select the paper type to let the printer know how much ink to lay down.
This is often in a dropdown menu (I'm not sure of how the Advanced B&W mode dialog looks & works).
What does one do in a scenario where you're using something other than an epson product, like the range of baryta papers from ilford, harmon, hahnemuhle etc ?
Just choose the closest match ?
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colinm
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 05:15:44 PM »
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Generally the paper manufacturer will suggest a paper type (particularly if they're offering profiles for your printer).

Otherwise, yeah, trial and error starting with what seems like the best match.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 05:16:09 PM by colinm » Logged

Colin
FrankG
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 10:57:00 AM »
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Is the Bug being fixed with an update ?

"Under OS X Leopard, there's a bug... you need to select Let Photoshop Manage Color and select Adobe RGB (1998) as the output color space (that's what the driver expects). If you use No Color Management on some of the newer drivers under Leopard, after clicking Print in the Epson driver, nothing happens (the data gets spooled but no print)."
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 01:37:54 PM »
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Quote from: FrankG
Is the Bug being fixed with an update ?

Who's bug is it? Apple, Adobe or Epson? No one's saying who's bug it is.
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Andrew Rodney
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deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 01:02:16 PM »
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I second the positive opinions about Cones K7 and the  HP Vivera inks for black and white imaging.

I would have to agree that  the Z3100s use of neutral gray pigments, which allow smooth monochrome printing to be possible on gloss fiber papers or matte rag papers, WITHOUT having to use light magenta or cyan color inks in the mix, is superior to Epson K3. They also are designed to fade overtime at the same rate and not color shift in different parts of the tonal scale.  These HP inks also have less gloss differential issues and bronzing issues. I find the Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta to be the best paper out there of this kind, with Ilford Gallerie Gold to be second and Innova Satin third. And, I used to use the Innova Ultrasmooth, what is essentially what the Epson Exhibition Fine Art  is.  Of course people who work for Epson will tell you differently. They always do and they always will.  They want to dominate the printer, ink, AND media market as well as the PR market.

Secondly Jon Cone's K7 carbon based pigments of 6 or 7 channels, all the same hue of beautiful monochrome, are superior to the Epson K3 in tonality, by a long shot. And, far more subtle in the high-end especially, than  HP Vivera or Canon Lucia or K3, vivid or not. The K7 heavy carbon load makes them unsuitable for gloss fiber work in my opinion but that is not their market, or their focus. The K7 matte rag prints are more three dimensional than anything I've ever used via inkjet, and are truly outstanding. Cone deserves an international award of excellence, and often receives precious little well deserved praise from people who should know better.  Only someone who doesn't use K7 regularly and/or works for Epson would suggest that they clog or would void the warranty of your printer. I have had the Neutral tone set and the Carbon Sepia set installed in three different printers for 3 years and they don't clog, ever. Epson  K3 and Ultrachrome  are the worst cloggers of all time and an industry disgrace. Truly.  What a waste the Epson inks were in having to deal with all those perpetual head cleanings.  I probably spent at least a grand or more on wasted inks from doing all those head cleanings , not to mention the lost time in doing hourly nozzle tests.

Oh, by the way DO check out Henry Wilhelm's website regarding the sad state of permanency with Epson K3 inks on the Hahnemuhle papers that was recently posted. There is nothing wrong with the Hahnemuhle papers, they are fantastic and test great with the Vivera inks and many other inks. Just Epson's lack of k3 permanency is of real concern here. Of course Epson and their reps will tell you not to use ANY fine papers other than their own. What would you expect them to say, they want it all. They will not receive it from me.

john






Quote from: Roscolo
I've said it before. The first printer I've used that could make B&W print indistinguishable from what I produced in the darkroom (actually better with digital control of the image) is the HP z3100. And that B&W quality is why I purchased the printer.

21 months later, I'm printing, selling and getting more B&W prints into shows than ever before. YMMV
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 09:52:56 PM by deanwork » Logged
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