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Author Topic: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890  (Read 10866 times)
jsch
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« on: July 23, 2011, 05:50:13 PM »
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Hi,

I'm searching for advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890, links - books, everything is welcome.

With my custom profiles (Eye-One Pro) I still get color cast issues. I did a research and the best I could find is this article about the 4800 series: http://gerryeskinstudio.com/ABW_sept08_paper/index.html
Does this info also apply to the 9880 and 9890?

Thank you
Best,
Johannes
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2011, 07:10:10 PM »
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See Eric Chan's FAQ on the Epson 3800.  There is a whole section on B/W printing using the Epson ABW driver.  He also makes profiles for this driver a B/W target set.  I've used them on both the Epson 2880 and 3880 (my current printer) and have never had any color cast to the prints at all.  I assume the larger Epson printers will behave the same way using this print driver.  You don't say whether you are printing via this route or not.
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gromit
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2011, 07:21:10 PM »
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Does this info also apply to the 9880 and 9890?

I can't speak for Windows, but ABW is broken in Photoshop CS5 and/or Mac OS X 10.6 (and presumably Lion). I've kept a copy of Photoshop CS3 and 10.5 solely for this reason and do all my B&W printing through this. If you're on these older versions you can download a copy of QuadToneRIP and build a linearization profile to go with your tuned ABW settings. You then use this profile for soft-proofing as well as linearizing the output (to the best of the paper's capabilities).

Compare the results below of printing on Epson Hot Press Natural (on a 9900) firstly through a colour profile (HPN) then through ABW and a linearization profile (HPNBW).
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Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2011, 08:23:39 PM »
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You will learn a lot from Eric's blog a great read.  I am still debating which method is better Epson ABW or quadtone rip for 7800 and 9880.



Paul Caldwell

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Paul Caldwell
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aaronchan
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 04:31:15 AM »
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You can download ColorBase from Epson UK website and linearize the printer first.

Let say if you use Luster paper or any paper that will use Luster as the media type, then you will have to use Epson luster paper to re-linearize the printer.

It works for me very well on my previous 4880 and 9880.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 08:32:49 AM »
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You will learn a lot from Eric's blog a great read.  I am still debating which method is better Epson ABW or quadtone rip for 7800 and 9880.



Paul Caldwell


I've tested both and visually they are identical.  When you do actual measurements there is a slight difference but it's within experimental error of measurement.  I made OTR profiles using a 51 step B/W patch set generated and read withing ArgyllCMS using an i1 Pro.
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Dano Steinhardt
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 09:15:36 AM »
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I can't speak for Windows, but ABW is broken in Photoshop CS5 and/or Mac OS X 10.6

In my tests, ABW works with CS5 + OS X when the rendering intent is set to Relative Colorimetric.

Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manger, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 12:35:44 PM »
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I can't speak for Windows, but ABW is broken in Photoshop CS5 and/or Mac OS X 10.6 (and presumably Lion).

Working fine for me. What settings are you using in terms of the image’s embedded profile, what you select in Photoshop’s Print dialog?
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Andrew Rodney
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davidh202
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 01:02:29 PM »
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Rob Sheppards Epson Complete Guide to  Digital Printing
http://www.amazon.com/Epson-Complete-Guide-Digital-Printing/dp/1454702451/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_4
has a section on Epsons ABW Feature.Maybe not as advanced as you'd like but usefull non the less.
It has been available for a long time now despite the not yet released disclaimer on this page
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 01:05:48 PM by davidh202 » Logged
jsch
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 02:58:47 PM »
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Thank you all. I think I start with ColorBase and give QuadToneRip and ABW a try.

Best,
Johannes
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Dano Steinhardt
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 08:29:31 PM »
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Rob Sheppards Epson Complete Guide to  Digital Printing
has a section on Epsons ABW Feature.

It's a great book for those not looking for something super-advanced. 

When I provided input to Rob Sheppard on the original content a few years ago, the recommendation for ABW was to select "No Color Management".  In that scenario rendering intents were greyed out.  As noted in an earlier post, starting with CS4 and today with CS5 on OS X, select "Printer Manages Colors" to access ABW and be sure the rendering intent is set to "Relative Colorimetric".

I believe the last revision of the book was published before the release of CS4.

In addition, many find the default of "Darker" to be too dark and "Dark" is a better starting point.

Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manager, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.
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gromit
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 10:57:23 PM »
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Working fine for me. What settings are you using in terms of the image’s embedded profile, what you select in Photoshop’s Print dialog?

I'm using a colour managed workflow (Photoshop Manages Color) ... the same as espoused by Eric Chan on his 3800 pages. The image profile (specifically its gamma) isn't relevant as the linearization profile will translate, plus correct any deviations from non-linearity. This method also permits soft-proofing.

Unfortunately it produces incorrect results with CS5 and/or 10.6 on a Mac. I don't have a 3800 but suspect anyone using Eric's profiles will be seeing too light or dark results. As most are painfully aware, Apple have been mucking around with the printing subsystem for some time and unfortunately it's necessary to retest after each CS/OS release.

The following is the method I use to evaluate B&W (and colour) output for linearity, gray-balance/neutrality, shadow detail etc:

Download the QuadToneRIP package (www.quadtonerip.com). From this we don't need the driver, just some of the bits in the package. Open the Step-51-gray.tif or Step-51-random.tif stepwedge and assign the included
"QTR - Gray Lab" profile (this is necessary as we're going to graph the output with L* on the vertical axis). Print and measure with MeasureTool (or equivalent) and drag the measurement file onto QTR-Linearize-Data.app (or QTR-Create-ICC.app) and view the results. If you're serious about B&W this will tell you everything you need to know, how your driver settings are performing. If anyone is interested in doing this, post the output file here and I will tell you how to interpret the results, what to look for etc.
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gromit
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 11:03:52 PM »
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As noted in an earlier post, starting with CS4 and today with CS5 on OS X, select "Printer Manages Colors" to access ABW and be sure the rendering intent is set to "Relative Colorimetric".

I'm sorry Dano but this method isn't satisfactory as it's outside of a colour managed workflow, doesn't permit linearization nor soft-proofing. The fact that the default driver values for Epson's own papers don't produce the correct results should sound warning bells that it's broken.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 11:50:17 PM by gromit » Logged
Dano Steinhardt
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 07:42:09 AM »
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it's outside of a colour managed workflow, doesn't permit linearization nor soft-proofing.

Correct, but ABW was never a true colour managed workflow, even in CS3.

(Though Eric Chan did some remarkable profiles for ABW that worked for many)

Today, one can get excellent BW output through a traditional icc workflow or the ABW.

That was not the case just a few years ago.

One thing to consider with ABW is that it will produce prints with increased lightfastness.

Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manager, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.

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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 08:38:36 AM »
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Even being a color geek, I’m with Dano on this one. Yes, you don’t use a true ICC workflow with ABW, its a black box. There are some advantages and disadvantages to using either a true ICC workflow or ABW. But ABW works under 10.6 and CS5! It works really well. It uses less ink, the prints are more archival. No you can’t soft proof. No, you can’t control the toning using anyone but Mr. Gorman’s image preview. But you’ll get far more neutral output with the advantages expressed above with ABW than an ICC profile. Pick the route that works best for the task at hand. But again, ABW is not broken in Photoshop CS5 and/or Mac OS X 10.6, at least on my end with a 3880.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 08:50:39 AM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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deanwork
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2011, 09:05:46 AM »
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And a much better option, and has always been so, is to use a well linearized curve out of QTR. The sooner Epson opens up the 9900 to QTR the better off they will be.

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jsch
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2011, 11:28:48 AM »
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Hi,

now I have installed QuadToneRip and did some tests with my old Epson 4000 at home (the 9880 and 9890 are in the studio). On matte paper the b&w on this printer looks quite nice. BTW I use PS4 for printing at the moment. The next step will be custom profiles. I know about the issues with colormanagement and 10.5 and CS 4/5.

Sorry for my ignorance with b&w printing. The last years I only printed in color in a color managed environment. Everything worked fine. Now with b&w things are kind of new to me.

One question for you experts: If I print in LR3 is it right to choose the Print Settings on the left and the Profile "QTR_RGB_Matte_Paper" because the "QTR_Grey_Matte_Paper" doesn't show in LR3 or is it a bad idea to print b&w with QTR in LR3?

One remark: The lack of a grey engine in LR bothers me for quite a while now. I can export in a grey "colorspace" in ACR but not in LR. That is a joke.

Thank you.
Best,
Johannes
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Paul2660
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2011, 12:16:26 PM »
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I believe if you are using a custom QTR curve, generated by QTR, you will have to print from QTR.  As I understand the
generation of an icc profile, it's only to allow you to soft proof your custom QTR curve.   I don't think that LR3 will print
the image correctly even if you have generated the icc profile.  But you might try it and see what you get.  In CS5 and CS3
after you create the icc profile with the dedicated tool, they load into windows at the very bottom of all the icc profiles. 

spool==drivers==color

Paul Caldwell
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2011, 01:55:50 PM »
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I believe if you are using a custom QTR curve, generated by QTR, you will have to print from QTR.  As I understand the
generation of an icc profile, it's only to allow you to soft proof your custom QTR curve.   I don't think that LR3 will print
the image correctly even if you have generated the icc profile.  But you might try it and see what you get.  In CS5 and CS3
after you create the icc profile with the dedicated tool, they load into windows at the very bottom of all the icc profiles. 

spool==drivers==color

Paul Caldwell

I don't think this is correct.  The profiles work the same way color profiles work.  I did the experiment and printed a 21 step gray scale out with and without profile and there is a measurable difference.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 02:24:53 PM »
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I believe if you are using a custom QTR curve, generated by QTR, you will have to print from QTR.  As I understand the
generation of an icc profile, it's only to allow you to soft proof your custom QTR curve.   I don't think that LR3 will print
the image correctly even if you have generated the icc profile.  But you might try it and see what you get.  In CS5 and CS3
after you create the icc profile with the dedicated tool, they load into windows at the very bottom of all the icc profiles. 

spool==drivers==color

Paul Caldwell


That is not correct. The Greyscale or RGB QTR profiles can be used in the software you print from (Photoshop on a MAC and QTR as the driver) and the tone range in QTR is influenced by them. Not the color which is purely described by the QTR ink settings. The color however can be visualised on your screen through the softproof part of the QTR profile. The QTR profile is in fact just a tone curve encapsulated in an "ICC" hull + some a b data for the softproof.

QTR is not used like a normal printer driver on Windows so the process is different there but the profiles can still be used. For example a profile (Gamma 2.2) to profile (QTR profile) conversion in Photoshop will do the same and the resulting file can be loaded in QTR to print, QTR does not know color management but Photoshop did the job in this case.

Another approach is to use QTR created profiles in applications with CM but not using QTR to drive the printer. For example Qimage + the RGB variant of QTR profiles to drive a HP Z3100 in "ABW" mode. QTR profile created with a target that was printed on the same route so without QTR as the driver.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

New: Spectral plots of +250 inkjet papers:

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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