Is the Canon bubblejet I9950 printer good for B/W ?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mathilde_mupe, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. Currently I'm using an Epson 1280 /1290. I'm satisfied with the
    colors but B/W turns out horrible. What happens is far more serious
    than metamerism; Each grey tone has a different composition of inks
    and dither pattern. The color cast in end result depends on the most
    used grey level. Thus a photo taking in a street by daylight turns
    out pink and the same photo taken at night turns out green.
    Not good if this kind of photo combinations is needed for a serie.

    The option using only black ink is not fine enough at 2880 dpi for
    serious photo presentation.

    So now I'm on the look-out for a different printer. The Canon
    Bubblejet i9950 has a much finer dot spray. Is it possible to set the
    print driver to use only the black ink?
    And how do B/W prints made with this printer look?
    Any metamerism?
    Longlivety of prints?
    (And is it possible to print on paper roll panorama's ?)
  2. "I'm satisfied with the colors but B/W turns out horrible"

    It's the same for all dye inks printers, except maybe for some of the HP printers.

    Check out for serious b&w alternatives for your Epson 1280. Dedicate one printer for color and another one to b&w using a greyscale carbon pigments UT-7 inkset.
  3. The HP 7960 has made me a believer again. I can't speak highly enough for its B&W abilities - I haven't made prints like this outside of a darkroom, ever, really. And in many respects they're even better - right out of the box, with no fiddling. Just check the monochrome box in the print driver and hit print - works every time with no color shifts in the print. Downside? Ink is expensive and 8 1/2"X11" borderless is as big as it'll go. Good luck!
  4. Another vote for the HP 7960. I just plugged it in and the very first print looked just like it did on the monitor! No "tweeking" required. And B&W is even better than color. It is, frankly, as good or maybe even better than I could do in my wet darkroom. But boy, is the ink expensive!
  5. There is a review of the Canon i950 here:

    He said it had a magenta cast. Sorry.
  6. Ditto the comment about dedicating a printer to B&W. Lot's of choices for ink, and the cost of the printer is small compared to ink and paper. The Epson 1160 is a popular choice ($200 or so on ebay).

    Or--convert the 1280 to b&W, and get something else for color.
  7. Thanks you spared me the bummer of buying the wrong printer for the job. It's a pitty HP's don't make the best A3 printers for color, otherwise it would be a no brainer.
  8. My B/W print crisis forced me to ignore your sound and wise advice. Even the shop recommended me to wait atleast for a half year to see what the A3 version of Epson R800 would bring.
    For sake of atleast improvement of printing speed I bought the Canon i990 (A4 version of the i9950, don't know the VS model name). Out of the box I printed one of my b/W test images and still saw some purple / green color abnormalities in a B/W gradient strip, however it less visible than with my Epson. After a minute the drying the colours settled. Compared to Epson photo 1290 print it is a hugh improvement.
    Tweaking i990 driver color setings increases the improvement.
  9. With an adjustment curve in Photoshop (multiple points) you can get decent B/W
    prints from the Epson 1290 (i.e you can rectify the problem of green shadows,
    magenta highlights). Overall the print will still display some metamerism, but it will
    no longer be two tone...
  10. Elliot, can you be more specific?
    From what you say, I think you mean either; Create a curves adjustment layer to ommit some grey tones. Or flatten the whole image and create with curves red and green channels the colorfull counterpart to balance printer color abnormalities. The last one I tried, but it seems at best a good way to get rid of image noise (it trashes data).
    Using the same curve layer under a 'satuartion =0' layer causes grey tones to shift a bit, which is not good for academic exact data.
  11. Create a new RGB document with a 10 step grayscale step wedge (i.e. with 10 x 1cm
    squares going from white to black). Make each step correspond in value to one of the
    points on the curves grid (select the detailed grid - 10 points I think - so 0,0,0,
    16,16,16, 35,35,35 etc).

    Print out, allow to dry for 15 minutes. Visually assess, and then make adjustments
    for each step on the individual R, G, B channels (curves adjustment layer). Print again,
    adjust again. You'll need to do this about 10 times. You might also need to adjust
    the main combined RGB curve, to maintain a balanced separation between each step.
    The whole process will take a couple of hours..

    Once you've perfected your adjustment layer drag it on to your photographs. They
    should now print neutral. Alternatively, buy a custom profile for your printer/paper
  12. Thanks Elliot. The test print images is somewhat like the test image I always use; A Zone system with below a smooth black white gradient strip (same widt as zonesystem steps). <BR>
    Combining your approach and my gradient strip with ruler marker points and we have a killer test image. See file
    I ran 6 test prints through the Canon i990 and it looks now near perfect. Trying the same on an Epson 1290 will take considerable more time and tests. As soon as I have some spare time I hope to do so, as this would also reveil if image data is affected by the curves filter.
    Another point is why does everybody have to make their own curves or buy at a shop? There should be a place on the net were atleast foor mainstream printers and paper combinations, photoshop corrections would be available for download.
  13. I am getting great black & white prints from my i9950, without a lot of messing about with adjustments either ! I am an amateur photographer who has been doing darkroom monochrome work for about 40 years. I recently bought a film scanner and a Canon i9950 and I am delighted with the results scanned from my b & w negatives and Kodachrome transparences. To print my scanned B & W negs, I am using the following procedure, using Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl paper:

    1. After scanning, in Photoshop convert the image from grayscale to RGB
    2. In Color Variations, I subtract the minimum amount (slider at the left) of blue, two to three times, and add the minimum amount of red two to three times. On my monitor this gives the picture a distinct sepia tone, however it doesn't print that way.
    3. I then print the image using the following printer settings:

    a. Set printer driver to use Photo Paper Plus Glossy
    b. Set the color setting from Auto to Manual, and
    c. Set intensity to -5, but leave other sliders alone.

    This results in an image that has some warmth (not unlike the Agfa Portriga-Rapid papers I used to use some years ago.)

    Hope this helps someone.

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