printing B&W problem (Epson3800)

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by megan_stone, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. i've been using my epson 3800 for a couple years and never encountered this problem before.
    im working on a B&W print for a client, been editing and doing prints with no problems all of yesterday... i came back into work today to run more prints and the colours appear so faded, there is absolutely no richness nor contract to the B&W tones, especially blacks - it looks as prints look when printing on the wrong side of the photo paper. i've checked everything possible... paper profiles, nothing has changed to how i always work.
    im wondering whether i clicked something by mistake while editing or whether a setting in my printer has changed. if someone can go through a list of what i need to check in CS2 and printer that would be great.
    i ran a test of a colour image and it printed perfectly fine. please help, very urgent.
  2. i just attempted to print another B&W image that i have, and its giving me the same results. some blacks are rich, while others have a blue tint - could it be that one of my black inks has something wrong with it?
  3. taking a closer look at what's going on - the areas of my images that should appear as pure black are the ones that are giving off a blue tint.
    i just looked at my black inks in the printer - i gave them all a good shake, still same problem.
    BUT, my MK cartridge is showing an expiry date of 10.2008
    while all my other inks are showing 2.2009
    i was told expiry date has nothing to do with this - and a printer will still print fine - please help!
  4. prior to concluding that it's due to the expiry date - i'd like to check if there is clogging taking place - how do i do that? is it possible to de-clog session on my printer? :)
  5. i just ran a power-cleaning ... problem solved! what would have caused this and how often do i have to run a cleaning?
    also, i noticed under Maintenance, an option to switch to Photo Black or Matte Black. Mine is always on Photo Black but can someone explain what the difference is?
  6. You don't tell us what type of paper you are using. If it is glossy then the photo black cartridge needs to be used; matte, the matte black. Regarding your problem, you can easily do a nozzle check prior to printing to see if there is a clog that will require a cleaning; it's under the utility tab in the printer dialogue box. A small amount of colored ink is used in B&W printing and if you have a clog, not enough black ink is getting to the paper leading to the color cast. For other information on this printer, you should have Eric Chan's website bookmarked. Finally, for B&W make sure you print through the Epson ABW driver and not the normal color driver as your results will be much better. The ABW driver will give you a deeper black.
  7. thank you Alan - where do i go to select the ABW driver?
  8. i just tried going to AWB when going to print - im taken to an area i think called Colour Toning ... do i leave all the settings to zero... ? normally when i go to Color Management, i check.. dont color management.
    in this case, via AWB, when i go to color management, im taking to the page.... i assume i should keep all settings at zero?
  9. BW PRINTING ___________
    According you have a calibrated screen, you have done a superb darkroom job, and a superb BW transformation using your favorite tools, heres how to print in BW using CS2-3 and a epson 2400 - 2800 - 3800 - 4800 - 7800 - 9800

    1_Use adobeRGB 98 as your color space to work on your image (others will work too anyway like sRGB or Pro Photo)

    2_Use NO COLOR MANAGEMENT in CS2-3 in the print preview (yes in print preview, forget any profile there)
    2a_Use LET PHOTOSHOP MANAGED COLOR in CS2-3-4-5 in the print preview, and select sRGB as your Printing Profile... both way will work perfectly, but no color management cant be selected in CS5 now.. so you better use the correct way with any version, the correct way being to select sRGB as your print profile.. yes print profile.

    3_In the Epson driver, select Advanced BW mode

    4_Use DARK as the setting, i like to add 3 and 3 in the bottom box myself, the print look more neutral than the default setting that i found too cold for my taste. Dont touch anything else.

    5_Voila, enjoy your print.
  10. thank you patrick - I will try that.
    i just did a print before reading your post and suddenly the skintone of my subject is SO light compared to when i would print use the Color driver in the print window.
    i assume the Dark you mention will make it darker - correct?
  11. patrick, im confused - in the Print Profile dont i select my PAPER PROFILE that i download?
  12. Megan, Eric Chan has B&W profiles for a number of top papers (see: ). These will help insure a more linear transition in your print. You can check his website to see if there is a profile for the paper you are using. Directions for downloading and installation are on the site. Otherwise you can stick with the workflow that Patrick has already posted. I think you will see marked differences in prints from the ABW driver.
  13. correct. no printer profile is needed ... in Photoshop, in the printer profile you select sRGB.. no need to download or install a custom profile.. try it ; )
    oh by the way, if the epson print dialogue (not in photoshop) where it ask to select the paper type, select something similar if you use non epson paper.. let say you are using a Ilford smooth pearl, select Epson Luster.. similar finish.
  14. patrick. you say you add 3 and 3 in the bottom box - which bottom boxes are you referring to? what are there names?
    thank you
  15. bottom box beside the color wheel, horizontal and vertical.. sorry.
  16. thank you patrick - what about the Color Toning box? do i select Neurtra, Sepia, Cold .. etc? i am keeping it at Neutral for this print - correct?
  17. so for years we have been told to download paper profiles for each paper we use..... now there is no need for this anymore patrick?
  18. The ABW print driver does not require a color profile so you don't need to worry about that aspect. Only if you want better linearization would you use Eric Chan's profiles (these are grey scale profiles and NOT the normal color profiles). As I noted they are not necessary to get good results.
  19. 4_Use DARK as the setting, i like to add 3 and 3 in the bottom box myself, the print look more neutral than the default setting that i found too cold for my taste. Dont touch anything else. The 3 and 3 you entered will become a custom setting, will replace the neutral one.
    Dont confuse the need for custom or canned paper profile; you still need them when you print in color. But with the advanced BW driver you just dont need them to get amazing result.
    Alan have a good explanation on is response.
  20. thank you alan and patrick - your tips have been great, i definately notice richer prints in BW already.
    i notice very subtle pizza marks when i print in BW in the dark areas... i set the platen gap to WIDEST.. is there anything else i can do to fix this problem?
  21. just so i know for the future... when i enter the 3 and 3 in the boxes you mention patrick..... if for example i enter 2 and 2 instead - will that give me a darker or lighter result?
  22. 3 and 3 and for a neutral but on the warm side tone.. nothing to do with darker or lighter. If you want a darker print use DARKER instead of DARK in the epson driver, or use a curve in Photoshop.
    Pizza wheel mark are normally due to the roll under the epson printer that grab your sheet to put it out of the epson printer.. happend of heavy cotton paper normally.. you can try the manual feed behind your printer if you have one to remove those mark.
  23. Sorry for an off topic parenthesis, but this thread makes me love my enlarger sooooo much. Who said di@ital is easier and quicker?! ;-)
    I really hope you get everything right, though, Megan.
  24. Marco, like anything in life you have to learn how to use your tool before becoming good with it.. even if you still use a enlarger and a tradional darkroom.. knwoing how to dilute your chemical, at what temperature, how long, with what kind of filter, kind of paper, mainipulation etc.. it is after all way more complicated for newbie to learn the *old* way than learning the digital way in many way...
    Its like if i was saying this;
    Sorry for an off topic parenthesis, but this thread makes me love my Epson printer sooooo much. Who said enlarger and chemical was easier and quicker?! ;-)....
    Theres a learning curve with anything new you touch and discover.. some folks like the old way of doing things, some like the new way of doing it.. to each is own comfort zone ; )
  25. To go Patrick's comment to Marco one step further. Once the learning curve has been mastered and a Lightroom preset for printing created, it is a one button click to getting great B&W prints out of an Epson printer! I've been doing darkroom work for 35 years and believe me you cannot beat the ease and simplicity of digital printing. In addition, the results of both technologies are pretty much indistinguishable in print comparison.

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