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Author Topic: Difference between Photo (PK) and Matte (MK) black inks?  (Read 4920 times)
JayWPage
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« on: May 30, 2014, 10:21:38 AM »
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As a relatively new owner of an Epson 3880 who is enjoying learning to print, I have a question about Photo (PK) and Matte (MK) black inks? What actually is different about them?

I know that PK black is used on glossy/pearl/luster prepared surfaces and the MK is used on matte surfaced papers, but what is actually different about the inks? The matte papers carry a heavier load of ink so presumably the MK ink must have to be able to soak in more before drying, and conversely the PK ink probably drys faster on luster surfaces? Does that suggest that different solvents are used or different amounts of the same solvent in their formulations? What is the solvent/carrier fluid/adhesive used to stick the pigment particles to the paper? I'm sure that the "black" color is carbon, but the PK ink looks darker. Is that due largely to higher reflectance or is the composition of the black pigment in PK inks different.

Also from a health prospective, does anyone know if pigment printers should be used in well ventilated locations so the solvents from these inks can disperse quickly.
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 12:28:35 PM »
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The main difference is the reflectivity of the inks.

Photo K is designed to have a gloss that will be similar to the gloss of photo paper to help mitigate gloss differential. For matte paper, the Matte K ink has an actual matte finish to help improved D-Max (Photo K on matte paper looses D-Max).
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JayWPage
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 02:13:48 PM »
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Does the different reflectivity of the black inks have any bearing on the output sharpening that should be applied, or is that strictly a function of the surface of the paper?
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 07:10:52 PM »
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No...but the actual media does...glossy media can show more high frequency image textures that matte (watercolor) can't. So the two medias need different sharpening. But it doesn't involve the ink.
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jannatul18
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 04:52:17 AM »
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Matte Black (MK) ink is designed for Matte Papers and Photo Black (PK) ink is designed for glossy papers. The difference between these two black ink types is simple; MK prints a very dull, flat black, while PK prints a highly glossy, shiny black.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 03:14:09 PM »
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And you can use PK ink on a matte paper with acceptable results. In fact Bill Atkinson made several excellent 11880 Epson profiles for PK ink on both matte canvas and paper that were excellent. I used them on my 9880.

However matte ink on glossy or satin paper does not lend itself to a good print.

I believe the Atkinson 11880 profiles will work on the 3880 if they are still online.

Paul
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 03:16:46 PM by Paul2660 » Logged

Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
Photography > http://photosofarkansas.com
Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
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