Best inkjet printer for black and white ?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by gaschurman, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. I'm planning to buy a printer that can print up to 13x19, I believe
    options are between epson 2200 or canon i9900, I mostly print black
    and white in ilford gallerie pearl paper.

    what are your recommendations, experiences ?
    thanks !

  2. Using a color dye inkset is not the best way to print b&w. There are several problems that have been noted by users. Only HP seem to have made a breakthru printing b&w with dye inks.

    For neutral b&w prints with the Epson 2200 and the original Ultrachrome color pigment inkset (UC) you will need a raster image processor (RIP) such as ImagePrint. Do a Google search. This RIP will reduce the yellow ink output for neutral b&w prints. Of course, ImagePrint will also help you with color printing.

    Or, you can replace the Epson UC inkset with the UltraTones (UT7) inkset from This is a greyscale carbon pigment inkset (no color inks) that will produce long lasting b&w prints. You will not be able to print any color prints, as there is no color in the UT7 inkset.

    No Canon or HP printers can use carbon or color pigments inkset.
  3. Get the 2200 with ImagePrint.
  4. Get the 2200 and print Black Only using Eboni black ink from MIS Associates. Using different papers you can have cool, neutral and warm results. Simple, easy, cheap and results that have a luminance and "pop" unlike any other B&W inkjet process I've seen (and I've seen quite a few). More info here:
  5. Epson 1280, without a question. The prints look the same as a 2200 (I have about 50 of each from others and a ton of my own. Even experts have printed the same file on both printers and tell no difference), no need for RIP or any special software, and about 60% the price. They use the same b&w pigment inks as a 2200. Same paper. And it prints 13x19. Oh, the carts are easier to refill and CFS units are cheaper.

    The only reason to buy a 2200 or 9900 would be if you must pay more money and suffer some inconveniences to feel that you have the "latest" even if there is no difference in print quality.

    None of them print b&w well with the manufacturers color inks. I swear by the MIS b&w inks

    Save the money on the printer. Spend it on film, ink and paper. You'll have better prints.
  6. Let me second Richard Sintchak's comment about printing with the MIS Eboni black ink only. I print the same way.

    I have some of Richard's prints. They are incredible. But the reason his prints look better than mine is because he's a better photographer and printer than I, not because he has a 2200 and I have a 1280. Richard's great prints on his old 1160 proved to me that it's not the model printer but the person printing.
  7. Thanks for all the answers, so now, with standard inks and standard software (phtooshop, canon, epson, etc) what would be the better approach ?

    I understand that printing with MIS inks and RIP software is the best and looks like a PRO, but I really don't have time for that, what would be the best results using standard resources ?

    thanks very much !

  8. Gustavo, did you read my link for BO printing above? It requires NO extra software, no RIPS, and only the purchase of a single different black ink cart than the Epson one, otherwise you still use all the other Epson OEM ink carts. It truly is the simplest, cheapest and easiest way to darn good, no-magenta-or-green-cast, B&W printing. Go read that link! :)
  9. Hi Richard, yes I did read that link, maybe I'm confused .. I understand even using only MIS cartdriges you still have to play with photoshop courves to get different results. this is the extract of the link :
    thanks. Gustavo.

    ULTRATONE 7 (UT7) FOR EPSON 2200, 7600 & 9600 7 COLOR PRINTERS

    Roark Configuration- This is for use with Windows or Mac and the Epson driver. There are 7 inks in the set. They will print from full sepia to cool using Photoshop adjustment curves or from warm to neutral using just the Epson sliders on the print driver. They will work in the 2200, 7600, and 9600 Epson printers. The workflow for the 2200 is released, the 7600/9600 workflow is under development (as of 5/22/04). The Roark Configuration inks and cartridges all start with UT7 as the first 3 digits of the part number. If you don't see this, you may have the other configuration.

    Bowhaus/QTR Configuration - We have Ultratone B&W inks specifically formulated to work with Bowhaus Inkjet Control and PrintMaker or with the Quadtone RIP software. Both of these applications are for Mac only. Bowhaus works with OS9 and Quadtone RIP works with OSX. These inks can not be used with the Epson driver. The set of 7 inks is a variable tone set that prints from full sepia to cool and anywhere in between. Both Photo Black and Eboni black are in the printer at the same time. The software controls which one is being used, while the other is shut off.
  10. Gustavo, Richard & I are printing with the Eboni black ink ONLY while you are referring to using all the inks. The other inks do not get used in the Black Only technique that works so well. Read the excellent series of four articles on Clayton Jones website BTW, Clayton and yet another friend were the ones that printed the same files on a 2200 and 1280 and concluded they could not tell a difference in the prints.

    Your concern about using curves in Photoshop could send a signal that you're not familiar with that program. Having a solid working knowledge of PS is absolutely essential to digital b&w printing. And, there is a somewhat steep learning curve.
  11. Gustavo, as Bob points out, you are getting confused with the fact of using one MIS ink that my suggested method implies using all MIS inks with curves and such. Not the case. Read the link within my posting, not the MIS site itself. It's only a matter of using that one black ink from MIS instead of the Epson OEM ink. And printing using black-only setting on the print driver instead of all colors. See my link to Clayton's site for more detailed discussion.
  12. Gustavo;

    You asked what was best for Black and White.....As many have said, it is not likely to be a "standard product". Consumer inkjets are made for----well--consumers. And they print color. Getting shades of gray with color inks will always be difficult.

    Buy a 1280 and put in some MIS cartridges---they would argue that this constitutes a standard product.
  13. "I understand that printing with MIS inks and RIP software is the best... ! Gustavo."

    You dont need RIP software with the MIS inksets. The RIP mentionned above is for the Epson 2200 with its original Epson inkset.
  14. You realize that by putting 3rd party inks in your Epson, you toss your warranty out the
    window should the inks hose the heads?
  15. Andrew, you just do not tell them. I had a couple 1160's that ran into connection problems (which had nothing to do with the MIS ink I was using) and I simply called customer service, they sent out a replacement with a UPS label for shipping back, I replaced the Epson OEM carts back into the printer before shipping it back, and done. Twice with two different 1160's I did that. No problem. I'm sure one could do that with the 2200 and 1280 as well. That said I've been using MIS Eboni ink in my 2200 for a while now and have had no problems at all. In fact less clogging and gapped test prints than when I used Epson's OEM black inks.
  16. Andrew: I went so far as to honestly tell Epson that I disabled my 1280 by using a 3rd party cleaning cart that was missing the chip and it bent the pins that read the cart. This was an open and shut case of 3rd party product damaging the printer.

    Epson sent me a free warranty replacement printer the next day.

    Now I wouldn't count of this all the time, but Epson does appear to be willing to replace free any of their products, still under warranty, that stop working.
  17. -->Now I wouldn't count of this all the time..

    Enough said. There's no guarantee that they will not honor the warranty. Is it worth the
    risk when there are solutions that bypass this issue and actually allow you to print color,
    B&W or both at the same time (including all kinds of toning and split toning) using the inks
    the unit was designed for? Your call but I'm not putting anything into my Epson printers
    but Epson inks.
  18. Warranties are written to protect the seller--not the buyer.

    My 1280 is out of warranty, and the MIS pigment ink shows no sign of damaging anything. If it does, I'll repair or replace the printer.

    The manufacturers want you to believe that it is bad to print with 3rd party ink---their business model depends on it. The idea has no basis in any fundamentals---Buy into it and you will pay more for less results. Your choice.

    Imagine Toyota arguing that you had to use their tires, oil, or batteries or you would void your warranty--or even die in a horrible accident.
  19. Need some help selecting a reasonably priced Epson printer that I can dedicate to B&W printing only. Anyone have any experience using the Epson WF1100? (Or, something in that price range.) I've read all of the above posts but I'm guessing that in ten plus years there have been some changes. Also, any information you could provide relating to the MIS inks to be used would be appreciated. I'm brand new at trying this so I'd be gratetful for any help.
  20. Fran: the answers to your questions still can be found at the MIS website and at Paul Roark's website There have been new inks and Epson has new printer models but the experts remain the same.
  21. david_henderson


    I have b&w inkjets printed on big Epsons using the K3 Ultrachrome inkset. I have no difficulty getting neutral prints with that combination on the assumption that I do a half-decent job calibrating my monitor, making the file ,and soft proofing before converting to the lab's ICC profile for my printer/paper combination.
    It is virtually inconceivable that the lab set up a printer up for B&W runs, not least because they only issue one profile for each printer/paper combination. I tested this approach over 5 labs and each of them gave me neutral prints , including one using a new-ish large Canon printer and their latest generation inks .
    So my point is that today, you do not have to use a different inkset to make good digital b&w prints. Of course if you want to tone the prints a little than colour inks are necessary anyway.
  22. David Henserson is 100% correct about the Epson K3 Ultrachrome in the larger printers being a great out of the box solution for printing b&w. It is so easy one feels bad that all the skills developed in years past have become obsolete.
    I don't know which inks come in the low end Epson that was inquired about. I suspect that printer cannot do great b&w right out of the box the way the 2400 /2880 / 3800 and above can do. I think those lower end models still need a different inkset to do great b&w.
  23. David Henderson is 100% correct about the Epson K3 Ultrachrome in the larger printers being a great out of the box solution for printing b&w. It is so easy one feels bad that all the skills developed in years past have become obsolete.
    I don't know which inks come in the low end Epson that was inquired about. I suspect that printer cannot do great b&w right out of the box the way the 2400 /2880 / 3800 and above can do. I think those lower end models still need a different inkset to do great b&w.
  24. Bob and David...thanks for the responses. I guess all I really wanted to know was this: Is the Epson WF1100 capable of producing "high quality" B&W prints using MIS inks, or is there another printer in that price range that would be a better choice? Is B&W quality a product of the printer or the ink? Or, both?
  25. david_henderson


    Yes, but I was answering the original post, not addressing your question, which IMO should have been a separate thread.
  26. I know nothing about Epson 1100 so I am of no help, sorry.
    B&W quality is a function of the ink set and the software driver. I think almost all the printers can do good B&W. Some like the Epson 2400 / 2880 / 3800 and up can do it with the standard software and inks. Others need some help with a different inkset and sometimes software like QTR.

Share This Page