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Author Topic: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890  (Read 10681 times)
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 02:48:49 PM »
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Maybe you guys need to dive deeper into the exact workflow with profiles such as Eric’s, or QTR, driver versions etc. I’ve done the testing here, I’m confident that ABW works properly and identically on CS4 and CS5. Dano said the same. Onsight said the same. More than a few users of ABW are saying the same by not complaining its broken. Based on the history of print drivers and Apple OS’s, its quite possible something is up but its sounding like a very, very rare condition and in the two I’ve heard of thus far, they are deviating from the recommended process of using ABW. 
It's not up to me since I have a Win7 computer and it works fine with or without profile, either printing via CS5 or LR.  I'm bowing out of this discussion since I see no further point to raising any issues and will leave it up to Mac users who are having problems to work it out on their own.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2011, 02:53:51 PM »
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I don't fine ABW problematic to use on my Mac.  I print through Lightroom print module and tone my images to 25/50 and a few other settings in the toning options in ABW. Neutral prints are great too tho most of the time I tone slightly.  I have a 9880 and 7900 printers. Used to use Imageprint but find I prefer ABW better. Eleanor
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jsch
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« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2011, 03:16:55 PM »
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I didn't want to start a fire.

What I learned so far is something unexpected: My good old epson 4000 can make fine b&w prints on matte paper.

And something known - with new effects: What I found with my 9880 and 9890 is that clogging is the main problem with b&w printing. If a color nozzle is clogged, I see a print with a tint. The tint is subtle and in the beginning I couldn't identify the problem right.

ABW is nice and I give it a chance (without clogged nozzles).

Thank you all,
Johannes
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2011, 04:42:51 PM »
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Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

Terry.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2011, 06:41:55 PM »
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Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

Terry.
Nope, it works fine on 3rd party papers which are the only kind I use on my 3880 (both matte and gloss give fine results and I've confirmed the B/W ramp with an i1 Pro).
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gromit
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« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2011, 07:00:35 PM »
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Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

You're probably aware that in Epson's world there are only Epson papers. It is however possible to accommodate third-party papers but it does require some work. It generally takes me a few days to develop media presets for a new third-party paper, waiting for step wedges to dry etc. Just to show you how involved it can get, the last few output tests I attached were for Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo. Note the uniformity of toning (a and b values) throughout the range ... at least the best I could do. This was achieved with the following settings:

Media Type: Textured Fine Art Paper
Color Density: +7%
Tone: Darkest
Horizontal: -2
Vertical: -10

Finally the output was linearized with a profile for a target of L*=50 with the same value in. Now many here I doubt would be bothered to go this far, or find the controls that QTR offers more to their liking. It all comes down to how particular you are ... and I gather from the preceding discussion that many aren't.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 08:12:41 PM by gromit » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2011, 07:25:47 PM »
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You're probably aware that in Epson's world there are only Epson papers.

I’m aware that in many Epson printer dialogs, there are Epson media settings for their papers. I don’t have a newer generation Epson but I was under the impression that they provide a means of making a custom media setting?

I do have a Canon printer that is recent enough to provide a tool to produce custom media settings and I’m not impressed that the work involved was all that useful.

That said, I’ve built literally hundreds of profiles for Epson printers for customers using 3rd party papers, using the standard Epson media settings and so far, its worked out pretty well.

Quote
It generally takes me a few days to develop media presets for a new third-party paper, waiting for step wedges to dry etc. Just to show you how involved it can get, the last few output tests I attached were for Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo. Note the uniforming of toning (a and b values throughout the range) ... at least the best I could do. This was achieved with the following settings:

With or without a custom media setting, the driver’s linearity leaves a bit to be desired. That said, I suspect thousands if not more Epson customers are printing with canned media settings, 3rd party papers and ABW and producing results they are more than pleased with. Customers like Alan.

There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there.
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Andrew Rodney
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gromit
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« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2011, 07:31:59 PM »
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There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there.

Maybe there should be. For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2011, 07:55:02 PM »
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Maybe there should be.
Ah, OK they are not unhappy, you are, so they should be too?

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For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.

Nothing stops them from using 3rd party papers! The points I made was, its possible, people use them, people find the media settings work reasonably well and don’t complain (but you think they should). Now maybe most of these users don’t have the standards you do, that’s fine. You appear to want to dink around for a day making custom settings, that’s great. So all the other Epson users who don’t are then what, wankers?

This kind of goes back to the QTR vs, using the ABW as designed. You want to use QTR, great. Not going down that path isn’t the same as saying ABW is broken in CS5. Its a trade off.
Some folks are quite willing to spend a lot of money on a 3rd party driver like ImagePrint. But that doesn’t mean those that don’t are foolish or are unhappy with their output. While I’m a fan of IP for some of the stuff it does, its also a buggy little sucker that at times makes we want to strangle its little neck! And I suspect this bug issue with CS5 you report will make you want to strangle QTR or some other area’s little neck because again, when used as directed, ABW works just fine (for many, many users).
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Andrew Rodney
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gromit
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« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2011, 08:10:00 PM »
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You want to use QTR, great.

I don't use QTR (the driver). Apart from the fact that it doesn't work on the 7900/9900 I have, I found I could achieve comparable results with tweaks to ABW settings (sans split-toning as mentioned above).

And yes, adequate support for the papers I choose to use is a major consideration in any future printer purchase.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2011, 08:11:33 PM »
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And yes, adequate support for the papers I choose to use is a major consideration in any future printer purchase.

Do not the newer Epson’s provide this? Provide the means to create custom media settings?
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Andrew Rodney
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gromit
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« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2011, 08:22:06 PM »
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Do not the newer Epson’s provide this?

No. The papers I use will generally take more ink than the media presets allow. They just aren't linearized for this. Not that the output isn't satisfactory (even excellent) but they could be better still. It's like any tool, the more you use it, the more you learn what it can and can't do, what its limitations are.

Actually, a more correct answer is that there are custom presets but these only allow for paper thickness, drying time, stepping adjustments etc ... not ink loading or linearization which must be modeled on an existing media preset (and LUT). As such they're not that useful.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 09:45:57 PM by gromit » Logged
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2011, 07:30:19 AM »
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No. The papers I use will generally take more ink than the media presets allow. They just aren't linearized for this. Not that the output isn't satisfactory (even excellent) but they could be better still. It's like any tool, the more you use it, the more you learn what it can and can't do, what its limitations are.

Actually, a more correct answer is that there are custom presets but these only allow for paper thickness, drying time, stepping adjustments etc ... not ink loading or linearization which must be modeled on an existing media preset (and LUT). As such they're not that useful.
I thought they did address ink loading.  I seem to remember an article by Mark Dubavoy a while back saying that he never uses the Epson presets since they don't allow enough ink on the paper for the brands he prints on (this can be done on the 3880 by changing the color density slider).  When Jeff Schewe and Michael R were requesting input for the new Camera to Print video, this is one of the issues I requested that they address.  We will see if they did so.  Of course all of this takes a fair amount of work to determine what is optimal for you.
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cybis
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« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2011, 04:43:48 PM »
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Maybe there should be. For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.

Gromit, is there a way to solve toning crossovers on Epson pro printer with Epson ABW and third party non OBA papers? With colorbase maybe?
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gromit
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« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2011, 05:47:43 PM »
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Gromit, is there a way to solve toning crossovers on Epson pro printer with Epson ABW and third party non OBA papers? With colorbase maybe?

ABW knows the whitepoint coordinates of each media type selected and attempts a linear progression from paper white to neutral black. If your paper has a different whitepoint, the progression will be wrong. You need to adjust with the Horizontal and Vertical controls (the Color Toning presets are likely to be too coarse). Horizontal/Vertical are L*a*b* coordinates so if you need more yellow output, increase the Vertical setting. With time you'll be able to figure out how much of the respective adjustments you need. These are still fairly blunt tools but you should be able to achieve the results you're after. If not, start again with a different media type. The eye is more sensitive to toning shifts in the top of the range (say L* 40 and above) so don't worry if the shadows aren't perfect. The QTR-Linearize-Data plots are ideal for all this.

ColorBase isn't relevant here.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 07:33:57 PM by gromit » Logged
cybis
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« Reply #55 on: July 28, 2011, 06:01:07 PM »
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ABW knows the whitepoint coordinates of each media type selected and attempts a linear progression from paper white to neutral black. If your paper has a different whitepoint, the progression will be wrong. You need to adjust with the Horizontal and Vertical controls (the Color Toning presets are likely to be too coarse). Horizontal/Vertical are L*a*b* coordinates so if you need more yellow output, increase the Vertical setting. With time you'll be able to figure out how much of the respective adjustments you need. These are still fairly blunt tools but you should be able to achieve the results you're after. If not, start again with a different media type. The eye is more sensitive to tonal shifts in the top of the range (say L* 40 and above) so don't worry if the shadows aren't perfect. The QTR-Linearize-Data plots are ideal for all this.

ColorBase isn't relevant here.

Thanks. That's pretty much the way I'm currently doing things. I haven't played around with colorbase yet but was curious if there was more to it there.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2011, 06:05:45 PM »
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I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

 ......"That said, I suspect thousands if not more Epson customers are printing with canned media settings, 3rd party papers and ABW and producing results they are more than pleased with. Customers like Alan.

There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there. "
[/quote]
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 06:08:00 PM by eleanorbrown » Logged

gromit
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« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2011, 06:12:41 PM »
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I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

Compare the results on the same paper (Hot Press Natural) firstly using a colour profile then ABW in the third post in this thread. Look at the tonal smoothness, shadow separation and Dmax.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2011, 07:00:42 PM »
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With all due respect, I can't make sense of lists of numbers...I look at prints in hand....that's probably my "artist" side...I try not to get real techie but just do what works for me. eleanor



Compare the results on the same paper (Hot Press Natural) firstly using a colour profile then ABW in the third post in this thread. Look at the tonal smoothness, shadow separation and Dmax.
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cybis
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« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2011, 07:05:12 PM »
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I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

That's also what I thought until I printed some circular stepped gradients (found here: Graham Preston).
In my experience, printing B&W on Epson printer in color mode with canned profile produces good results, but inferior to ABW as far as linearity of color tone goes (not sure I'm using the correct vocabulary here). That's clearly visible to the naked eyes using those circular gradients. ABW isn't perfect either, but much better. And the difference isn't just visible in test patterns but also in real world prints.
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