Epson StylusRIP Professional vs. Piezography for 2200

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by kevin_netz|1, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. I'm looking for opinions on RIP software versus piezography ink
    sets. My main concern with b&w inkjet prints is metamerism. Will
    the epson RIP software greatly improve the metamerism of my prints or
    will I need to go with piezography to eliminate the slightly greenish
    tint. Also, if I do go with piezography how easy is it to convert my
    epson back to using color inks? What kind of conversion process do I
    need to go through to convert it back to color and is there any print
    quality loss incurred through converting the printer back and forth
    between ink sets? I'm looking for hands on experience if possible, I
    have read a number of articles on these topics but I really need to
    hear from someone who is practicing these techniques first hand.
    Thanks
     
  2. gl5

    gl5

    Considering that there is no piezography solution (yet) for the
    2200, it seems that your only option is the RIP or to use it stock.

    Personally, I think the issue of metamarism on the 2200 is being
    blown way out of porportion. It's much much better than it was on
    the 2000p and the 1280 and in my case, I hardly even notice it .
    You should judge results for yourself rather than take others
    word as gospel.
     
  3. TT says: Personally, I think the issue of metamarism on the 2200 is being blown way out of porportion. It's much much better than it was on the 2000p
    But that's like saying dengue fever is no big deal because smallpox is much worse. The 2000 was absolutely HORRIBLE. So comparing the 2200 to it and saying it's better isn't very reassuring.
    Some people don't see the metamerism and some people don't see the dots or other texturing of black-only printing. In both cxases they are in the distinct minority, at least among critical observers.
    I write image processing software for a living, so I work with other engineers who are used to evaluating displays, and when I passed around the Epson sample print that Epson included with the 2200 to show off their black and white printing everyone commented on the dramatic color shift that occurred when going from fluorescent to sunlight. On the other hand my wife, a musician, doesn't see it.
    In any case the RIPs fix it, albeit at the price of a coarser dither pattern. See: http://studio-nelson.com/inkjet/bw22001.htm
    and especially: http://studio-nelson.com/inkjet/bw22003.htm
    and the 1280 and in my case, I hardly even notice it . You should judge results for yourself rather than take others word as gospel.
    Absolutely. Everyone has a different threshold. Last year they built some expensive-looking-houses (5600 sq ft of living space, 3-car-garage, cathedral ceilings, etc - we went to an open house for fun) right next to Route 495 near where I live. Our house is a mile away and we can't stand the highway noise when we're out on our deck in the summer. We asked the agent, "Who buys these things? How can they stand being right next to a 6-lane superhighway?" And the agent said, "Some people just don't mind." She must have been right because all the houses sold and the asking price was around $600K. So the bottom line is that you may not mind the metamerism. The only caveat is that you should make sure that if you're making the prints for anyone but yourself, that they also don't mind it.
     
  4. gl5

    gl5

    Why would they mind it? Most people display prints in a fixed
    lighting environment and don't walk them from inside to
    outdoors like you seem to be doing.
     
  5. Why would they mind it? Most people display prints in a fixed lighting environment and don't walk them from inside to outdoors like you seem to be doing.
    Most of the fixed lighting environments in a the average home get quite a bit of daylight, even if it's not direct sunlight. My house is a large suburban contemporary and during the day we get enough light through the windows that we don't usually have any lights on unless it's for reading or something like that. So the spectral distribution of even an interior lighting environment changes a lot over the course of a day. Right now, 9:30AM, I'm sitting in my art studio, which is a traditional "north facing" studio. I have one desklamp on near my computer, but as I look at my lithograph collection on the wall, it's lit entirely by daylight.
     
  6. I find the issue of metamerism very interesting. I am primarily a painter and have always noticed how images change according to the color temperature of the environment. I have also noticed this variation on chalk or charcoal drawings.

    I honestly don't completely understand the pursuit of this holy grail that may or may not be important to the observer(Of course I'm sympathetic that it may drive the artist nuts). The color of my walls even change as the day passes. Would someone please clue me in? Now I agree that that sick green color that sometimes spews from my 2200 is bad!! I'm working on that problem however. I must admit that this board is terrific and the posters are both knowledgable and helpful.
     
  7. I find the issue of metamerism very interesting. I am primarily a painter and have always noticed how images change according to the color temperature of the environment. I have also noticed this variation on chalk or charcoal drawings.
    This depends on what you mean by "change". I'm also an artist, and of course, if I make a painting with, say, Ivory Black and Zinc White I can get a relatively neutral range of grays from black to white. Now, obviously if I shine blue light on it it will look blue, and if I look at in in the final rays of the setting sun it will look orange. But that's not metamerism. Because in those lighting environments EVERYTHING shifts with it it, so the color change in the painting is the same as the color change in everything else, so your eye adapts to it (the human visual system does its own "auto white balance"). In metamerism the color changes relative to everything else.
    I've never noticed metamerism in paintings, pastels, or fine-art lithographs. If you DO see metamerism in these things then you're even more sensitive to it than me, and the metamerism in the 2200 drives me nuts!
    I honestly don't completely understand the pursuit of this holy grail that may or may not be important to the observer(Of course I'm sympathetic that it may drive the artist nuts).
    If it's not important to the observer, and the observer is only making prints for himself, then you're right - it's a waste of time to worry about it.
    But most of us who are making black and white prints on inkjets have a background in darkroom photography, where the resulting prints DON'T exhibit this problem. So we think it's reasonable that if we're going to replace our darkrooms we should expect prints that are at least as good.
    Anyway, it IS possible to make metamerism-free prints on the Epson 2200 using RIPs, so unlike the mythical Holy Grail, this one has already been achieved.
    http://studio-nelson.com/inkjet/bw22001.htm
     
  8. Excellent explanation of problem with metamerism. I was talking about the whole work changing with color termperature shift vs. a partial shift. I just purchased my 2200 last week. Actually had to return and replace due to micro banding problem unable to be solved by Epson.

    I have seen this partial color shift you mentioned and thought it was a problem with the printer. I am seriously thinking of purchasing another printer to use for black and white only. I am unimpressed with the bw output so far with this 2200. Most all of my prints are b&W and I dont know if this epson is ever going to output a good print. I've been reading your comments Peter as well as others re: various RIP solutions but thought I should wait until there is a concensus of a fix(enhancement) available.
     
  9. but thought I should wait until there is a concensus of a fix(enhancement) available.
    Go to the Yahoo Digital Black and White Printing forum, which is a lot more active, as well as a bit more technical, than this forum, and you'll see why I don't think we'll ever have a strong consensus on this topic.
    If I had to predict the poll results among serious black and white photographers for the best answer to black and white printing for Epson 2200 owners, I'd say it's:
    RIPs: 40%
    Can't be done - use a different printer with grayscale inks: 30%
    Can't be done - send it out for Lightjet, Lambda or some other digital-to-photographic process: 10%
    Black Only: 10%
    No problem with the metamerism, can't see it, or doesn't bother them: 10%
     
  10. gl5

    gl5

    the thing about black and white, at least for me, is that my black
    and white prints are rarely actually 'black and white'. most are
    toned sepia or duotone.
     
  11. the thing about black and white, at least for me, is that my black and white prints are rarely actually 'black and white'. most are toned sepia or duotone.
    Why didn't you say so before?! No wonder you don't think there's a problem - it takes very little color to swamp the metamerism! I can get around the problem by printing on sepia-colored media. Which is fine if I'm happy with sepia prints, but usually I want a black and white print. This explains a lot.
    BTW, that trick also works to help defeat color casts on inkjet black and white prints. Although the 2200 is pretty consistent across its density range, other printers such as the 1270 or 1280 suffer from variable color casts, i.e., dark grays might look greenish, mid-grays might look pinkish, light grays might look bluish. The usual solution is elaborate and expensive profiling tools, color correction layers in Photoshop, tinted sunglasses, Ibuprofen, etc. But a popular "poor-man's" solution is to just tint the whole thing sepia or some other color in Photoshop. I've had good luck with that approach on my 870 but that doesn't mean I don't think it's a hack trying to make a virtue of a necessity.
     
  12. gl5

    gl5

    even so i get neutral greyscale prints out of my Epson 2200 by
    dialing the magenta channel in the print driver down about 10%-
    15%. strange you haven't mentioned this method.
     
  13. gl5

    gl5

    why would tinting be considered a "hack"? that is an example of a statement made by someone who doesn't realize that most fine art and actual working photographers tint their prints in the traditional darkroom. if fact there are very few that don't. so why not tint with the digtial darkroom as well?
    examples:
    Michael Kenna
    Anton Corbijn
    Mark Tucker
    Ian McFarlane
    just because *you* don't like tinting doesn't make it a hack job. especially when neutral black and white prints are the exception in the fine art world, not the norm.
     
  14. even so i get neutral greyscale prints out of my Epson 2200 by dialing the magenta channel in the print driver down about 10%- 15%. strange you haven't mentioned this method
    Sure I did. That's in the category of people who don't see the metamerism or it doesn't bother them. It's EASY to get neutral prints out of the 2200 . . .
    . . . for a given lightsource
    . . . take those prints that you dialed-back on the magenta to a window and look at them under daylight and they'll look green.
     
  15. why would tinting be considered a "hack"? that is an example of a statement made by someone who doesn't realize that most fine art and actual working photographers tint their prints in the traditional darkroom. if fact there are very few that don't. so why not tint with the digtial darkroom as well?
    First of all MOST traditional photographers don't tint their prints. I've been a darkroom photographer for 35 years; I know lots of darkroom photographers and I don't think more than 1 in maybe 20 routinely tint their prints. Furthermore my wife and I are art collectors so I spend a lot of time in museums and galleries and, while I occasionally see tinted prints, they aren't very common.
    Second, I called it a "hack" because in the context I was talking about it, namely my toning the print to cover up color casts on the 870, it was merely a way to hide a flaw with the printer or the profile, not a legitimate artistic expression.
     
  16. gl5

    gl5

    i don't know what you're doing wrong, but mine don't look green
    under any light. they look neutral under all lighting conditions.
     
  17. i don't know what you're doing wrong, but mine don't look green under any light. they look neutral under all lighting conditions.
    Well, as I said, about 10% of people are in the "No problem with the metamerism, can't see it, or doesn't bother them" category. So you're probably in that 10%. I hate repeating myself but I already mentioned here that I took the Epson supplied sample black and white print to work where everyone commented on the metamerism, yet my wife doesn't see it at all.
    So I don't think it's me - I think you're just one of those lucky people who don't see metamerism. You should count yourself fortunate because many people are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on expensive alternatives like the IP RIP ($500-1500, depending on options), separate printers ($400+ for a wide-carriage), quad and Septone inks, etc. Or they're settling for black-only printing or similar alternatives.
    You don't apparently participate in the number of digital printing online forums I do because you seem to have no idea how serious a problem this is for most black and white photographers who have tried the 2200.
     
  18. gl5

    gl5

    no i don't participate in most of the forums and that's good
    because i'm too busy actually shooting pictures. it seems quite
    clear to me that you are on a crusade. the fact is that you make it
    seem much worse than it actually is and it remains clear to me
    that most people will not notice any issue at all. you can call it
    10% or whatever you want but in actuality, prints from the 2200
    are really better than most darkroom prints since most people
    are not very good in the darkroom actually.

    and if you are not personally happy with the inkjet prints, then i'd
    suggest you get back into the darkroom. it's obvious that the
    inkjet technology is different than a traditional darkroom and you
    should therefore expect different results.
     
  19. it seems quite clear to me that you are on a crusade. the fact is that you make it seem much worse than it actually is
    If that's true then how do YOU account for Epson 2200 owners who do lots of black and white spending thousands of dollars for special software, buying separate printers, etc? What would motivate someone to buy a thousand-dollar RIP or a separate printer if this were such a minor problem? How do you account for the reaction Epson's own sample print got?
    You already admit you don't attend the other forums so why do you find it so hard to accept that your view on this is in the minority? You should count yourself lucky rather than complaining.
     
  20. GET BACK TO THE FACTS:
    -You can get fantastic BW prints on nearly all papers, for ONE definite LIGHTING CONDITION, if you care to do carefull and tedious adjustements (GrayBalancer or other). RIP gets you there faster. Thats all.
    -RIP is not magic. IT DOES NOT REMOVE METARISM. Worse: RIP is conditionned for its sole lighting. So you are stuck.
    -Metamerism is an important issue if you do not know where your prints are landing. The change of tint is (my view) unacceptable. Therefore I conclude: EPSON BW inkjet printing IS NOT SATISFACTORY (yes I demand alot) (of course with original inks).

    However, you can reduce metamerism by choosing your paper (RIP will not help you on that) and stun your local friends on BW printing but you won't (some exceptions...) get much much further...
    Seek another method for BW printing. For exemple, invert print on a transparecy, and return to the lab. Results MUCH more convincing...
     
  21. -RIP is not magic. IT DOES NOT REMOVE METARISM
    Could you detail the experiments you've done to confirm this? Because I've done extensive experiments. I've not only compared Epson driver, IP RIP, Epson RIP and Black-Only prints side by side under all lighting conditions. I've also passed these prints around among various groups of people. As you will recall, one group of people is my fellow (image processing) engineers at work. They had commented on the metamerism of the Epson sample print, so we know they can see it. But they all agreed that the two RIP prints were free of metamerism.
    http://studio-nelson.com/inkjet/bw22001.htm
     
  22. -- Al Magnus says . . .
    -RIP is not magic. IT DOES NOT REMOVE METARISM
    BTW, TT, let this be a lesson to you. YOU think I'm "Mr. Metamerism" who is overstating the problem. But here we have a guy who thinks I'm UNDERstating it!
     
  23. I'm with you Peter, the metamarism on this printer is troubling.
    I've seen inkjet prints that don't exhibit this problem, so it seems
    reasonable to expect there should be a means to eliminate it.
    Having just gotten a 2200 about 10 days ago, I'm now going to
    attempt to get neutral prints after having added RIP. Will report
    back later...
     
  24. I agree with Peter in the respect that one should be able to control a technique to some degree of perfection. In this case it would be to produce "neutral" prints. If one then decides that a sepia or even a green print of a monochrome (BW) image is what best fits a given image that is fine. There is no reason to get too emotional about the technical aspect. beeing emotional includes to negate the existance of effects that exist but one individual can not see. We should be emotional about our images but not about how to get them processed or printed. We can all benefit from a technically minded discussion no matter how much we would rather print in red or sepia or spend out time outdoors shooting. If a technical problem exist there is a way to minimize the problems by exchange of information.

    I just comment on this since I try to read up on the topic because I just got a 2100 printer. I notice that I am where I was two years ago when I started to set up my Epson1200. It took me three month to get conditions where I know how most color prints will come out well and to minimize metamerism for BW. My first prints on the much more advanced 2100 still are only "close" to the quality I get from the older model. I wonder how long it will take until I get "perfect" results even now whith a system with two calibrated monitors, controled light and a set of artificial and "natural" test images.

    Last night I succeeded fairly well in getting good "neutral" BW prints with a paper i have a large stock of, similar to the older epson "photo quality inkjet paper". Today I wanted to show my success and printed some images and the person I showed the prints coming out of the printer immediately said : why are these so green? My office faces SW with a large window and we had great sunshine today :)
     
  25. Check out www.piezography.com there's a new product due to arrive in the next week (8/7) called K7. Supposedly, you should be able to swap out inks without flushing, that's if you're using Epson Ultrachrome inks to begin with.
     
  26. This thread started quite a while ago :) Stumbled on it while trying to find a solution to this phenomenon. I'm currently trying to produce some B&W prints on the 2200 for some people who posed for me, and I am totally unsuccessful, to the point where I would be ashamed to give them the prints (and they are not even "paying" customers). I am getting great color, fine-art prints, but B&W on this printer is terrible. Actually I WISH I could get a magenta cast. That would mean that my prints look fine under daylight. It's the opposite unfortunately.

    Right now my house is bathed in daylight and giving to customers prints where they look sickly green under daylight is unacceptable. Don't worry, tonight when you turn on the light bulbs, they'll look fine! Having to buy a RIP that costs as much as the printer in order to print decent B&W is out of the question.

    I have tried Quadtone RIP and it's really not a solution. More like replacing one problem with another, or several (lack of contrast, banding, bronzing, and total blindness on what you are actually doing with toning).

    I am expecting to have some custom profiles made soon and see if that diminishes the issue to an acceptable level.
     
  27. This is an interesting thread because of all the raging concern over metamerism. It is definitely subjective, but I'm one of those who neither sees nor is bothered by the problem. I think people's brains differ on this. As an analogy, when I walk up to a computer monitor set at 60hz refresh rate, for example, I cringe; the person using the monitor may have sat in front of it for years without ever noticing. Go figure. I just fix it for them (higher refresh rate) and they still can't see any difference.

    More importantly, to me, is the fact that it is difficult to get something equivalent to a high quality "fine art" b&w print from a 2200 printer, or its predecessors, never mind the metamerism or issues of tint.

    I have used piezography successfully, but beware of the fact that Cone is still playing the same game as 5 years ago: the latest K7 inks being sold, for example, are advertised as "finally" being the answer to all the technical messes (and business deceptions) associated with piezography over the years. I will believe it when I see it.

    The big missing element here is the fact that all of the new generation of Epson printers were designed specifically to address this lapse: the R2400 and its big brethren. The 2200 is long obsolete. The 2400 etc. use fundamentally redesigned heads and drivers, and more b&w cartridges, to try to do what piezography does without the constant mess and change. And BTW, since it was brought up, if you want to use the same printer, alternating between piezography and normal cartridges, good luck because you definitely will need it. VERY troublesome.

    Great thread-
     
  28. Yes, this thread started >3 years ago is still quite interesting!
     

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