Sharp Crisp Real B&W prints

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by hjoseph7, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. I haven't been able to get sharp crisp real looking Black and White prints from my Epson 2400. Ok let me put in
    another way, the prints are sharp and crisp but they are not truly B&W prints like I used to get in the Darkroom. They
    look a little brownish or Sepia in color, but not the B&W that I expected. Am I doing something wrong, or are these
    sepia looking prints the 'New" B&W prints ?
     
  2. have you tried printing and specifying to your printer to use only the black ink cartridge? jr
     
  3. Yes I tried that. The print came out a little less brownish, but it still did not look like a traditional B&W ?
     
  4. >>> Yes I tried that. The print came out a little less brownish, but it still did not look like a traditional B&W ?

    Did you use Epson's ABW (Advanced B&W) mode in the print driver? You should get stunning results with that.
     
  5. What paper are you using? Bronzing may show more on glossy paper. What sort of light are you reviewing the print under? Reviewing the print in daylight may show a difference. I have a Epson 2400, but I am not having this problem.
     
  6. What settings are you using when making these slightly sepia prints?
     
  7. OK here are the settings. First of all I was using Photoshop. I took a color RGB picture and converted it to Grayscale. I let PS determine the colors. I Then hit the Print with Preview button. I adjusted the paper size and chose "Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster" .
    Then Brad I chose advance B&W and chose the Advanced B&W radio button. The Color Toning was set at Neutral. I don't think there was much to do after that so I printed the image.
    Just now I set the Color tone to "Cool" which improved things somewhat, but it still looks like the printer is introducing some color into the mix. I might try DPP and see what happens.
     
  8. Each paper will require its own position on the circular tone graph to achieve the tone you want for that paper. You can save the settings for each paper (or several settings for each paper if you want) so that repeatability is easy.

    Another route to go is to have a custom profile made for your printer/ink/paper combination and print using that (not using ABW). A good profile should the print a neutral gray image. You can then adjust the tone slightly in one direction or another by converting the image to RBG and adding a slight tint to the image in a layer such as Hue/Saturation or Color Balance.
     
  9. no need to use black only,; old method for poor printer without a rip or icc profil.

    Harry, do you have epson ink install? Also no need to convert it to grayscale, as it will not change anything anyway, put you can print from a neutral bw RGB.

    When i print a image that have only BW, i select no color management in Ps, whatever the paper i use from epson. Then in the epson driver i select advanced bw mode, speed etc.. then in the advanced tab, darker, neutral, and in the small empty box beside the color wheel i enter 3 - 3; i find that setting to be more *neutral* then epson neutral : )

    Of course, depending of your paper choice, you can end up having a colder or warmer bw because of the paper base, but when i print on my epson luster the black are black, pure with no cast...under any light source.

    Make sure all your print head are clean and that you have enough ink, i mean no lights on blinking..taht could also be it.
     
  10. As Jim mentioned, paper is pretty much the keystone to good digital b&w. Lots of work is being done on digital b&w
    albeit most of it with matte papers. The neutrality of the print has a lot of variables including paper, printer and inkset.
    Whether or not the paper is matte or glossy, contains brighteners or not will vary any given inkset tone. The printer dot
    size will have an effect and, of course the inkset itself will have a large effect.

    For a b&w printing workflow using the 2400 ABW inkset (which does use colored inks in the mixture) you might want to
    explore here and scroll down to article #9:

    http://www.cjcom.net/digiprnarts.htm

    For more information on dedicated b&w printer/inksets you might want to explore here and scroll down to Black and
    White Printing Info:

    http://paulroark.com/

    Here also are three forums dedicated to digital b&w at relatively high technical levels, I highly recommend plugging your printer into the
    search engines of the different forums:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/QuadtoneRIP/messages?o=1

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/piezography3000/messages?o=1&yguid=253793878

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/messages?o=1&yguid=253793878

    Many of the participants and practitioners listed in the above forums come from wet b&w backgrounds including many professional
    printers.

    Enjoy
     
  11. >>> I took a color RGB picture and converted it to Grayscale. ... but it still looks like the printer is introducing some color into the
    mix. I might try DPP and see what happens.

    Don't convert to grayscale. Not that that's causing your problem, but you'll get a flat looking print. If you're using ABW and getting a
    strong cast, there's something wrong with your printer/inks. Using DPP will make no difference since ABW mode doesn't care.

    I'd stick with ABW until (and even after) the problem is determined - it will provide superior B&W results. Should look fine on Premium
    Luster.

    Have you done a nozzle check lately? Do color prints look OK? Might be a clogged ink...
     
  12. Harry.... It sounds like you're double profiling. You said you let PS determine colors, then you said you select ABW in the Epson panel. You have Photoshop and Epson BOTH applying a printer profile. Try selecting 'let printer determine colors' in PS, and ABW in the Epson controls.
     
  13. by slecting *let printer determine color* in Ps you will have a darker print and the risk to loose details in the shadow.

    by selecting *no color management* only ABW will take care of the BW for sure. i tested it personally, and get more real and pleaseant result by FOLLOWING the manual : )
     
  14. Thanks for all the advice. Patrick I'll have to work on this when I get home. The funny thing is that I printed a Zone Chart(as part of an assignment) with 21 zones ranging from the blackest Black to whitest White a few weeks ago, and that came out fine ? I must be doing something wrong.

    By the way the images look great, just not the traditional B&W I'm accustomed to. DPP(Canon's image capture sofware) gave me the most detail .

    I'm not sure if one of the nozzles might be clogged, but I did a head alignment then cleaned the nozzles. However I can still see some banding on the print.
     
  15. Another issue may be what you mean by "traditional B&W" -- there is no one tone of silver gelatin B&W.

    Some papers and blacks run cooler, some run warmer... Hell, Ilford pairs paper bases leaning toward the warm side with
    emulsions leaning toward the cool side. And then there's every other brand and variant of paper under the sun, each with
    its own interpretation of what black and white should be.

    Unless we know what you're trying to get close to, it's really difficult to make a suggestion to help you reach your target
    beyond "It sounds like something might be wrong with your workflow." And at the same time, inkjet B&W is an entirely
    different process best taken on its own merits rather than as a simulacrum of silver gelatin.
     
  16. Well I tried *No Color Mangement* then ABW, it came out a little better but still not the deep Blacks I'm accusomed to more like dark brownish. It might be that I have to get used to it.
     
  17. on what paper you print? matte paper..normal. try epson luster to get the most deep black possible, or the new exibition one.
     
  18. Try the following:
    Select Photoshop manages colors
    Rendering: Perceptual
    check on the Black Point compansation
    Go to page set up:
    select ICM
    check "no color mgt"

    I think this should work.
     
  19. >>> Well I tried *No Color Mangement* then ABW, it came out a little better but still not the deep Blacks I'm accusomed to
    more like dark brownish. It might be that I have to get used to it.


    I use ABW on the same Luster paper and get great results. Not brow, black, and very deep. You're doing
    something wrong if you're getting dark brown, or have a clog.
     
  20. Sometimes printing with PhotoShop makes me go insane with a dark unspeakable madness.. (but usually with color). It is then that I switch to the simplicity of ACD Photo Slate 3.0 that came with my Pentax W30. It just depends on the Epson driver alone and everything comes out perfect.

    Adobe must make things as complex as possible. Otherwise who would buy all those "How to" books?
     
  21. any monkey could do color print out of photoshop to a epson printer if;

    1_he use the correct icc profile

    2_turn off color management in the driver

    Its not hard to print, majority of people who dont get good result (i dont say harry) dont have;

    1_a calibrated monitor

    2_dont use icc profile

    3_dont turn off color management in the driver

    4_have the wrong black ink for the surface paper they use

    5_or, dont have the latest driver correctly instal and tested

    If you have all that, the print will always come out good.

    _____________________

    I have same result as Brad, so i would say you have something wrong abut your paper choice, your ink is not epson, or you are color blind : )
     
  22. >>> 4_have the wrong black ink for the surface paper they use

    I like that possibility... Since you're using Luster, do you have the Photo Black ink cartridge installed?
     
  23. I think the monkey should come as a needed accessory.
     
  24. I'd suggest that you go to www.harrington.com, download QTR for free, learn to use it (not difficullt, takes an hour or so), then pay $50 if you want to keep it. I've been using QTR since it first came on the market about 6 years ago. I've used it with an Epson 1280, then a 2200, now a 3800. I've exhibited prints made in my darkroom, prints made digitally using QTR with Epson color inks, and prints made digitally using MIS dedicated b&w inks (my b&w printing method before QTR came along). There are no apparent differences in the three types of prints when they're under glass (the different paper surfaces would be obvious without the glass but that's all). I tried Advanced B&W when I first got my 3800 and didn't think it did as good a job as QTR (and QTR is more flexible). But maybe that was because I'm more familiar with QTR. In any event, you might give QTR a try, you can download it for free and at $50 it's a great bargain.
     
  25. I have some time on my hands the next couple of days. I might have to do a couple of more head cleanings and change the entire set of inks or even call Epson. OUCH ! Patrick changing profiles downloading, ICCs, clibrating this and that just lulls me to sleep especially after dinner. I'm using the basic black ink not the one for Matt paper.
    I was looking at an Epson R2400 magazine advertisement "Uglly is beautiful" It is a Black/Brown print of a guy with no teeth, I'm sure you guys have seen it. That is exactly the type of B&W prints I'm getting using Lustre paper.
     
  26. OK - Now I'm getting some good prints ! They look like regular Black and White. What I did was clean the nozzle, replace the Light, Light Black ink cartridge and I turned off the High-Speed Print function.
    I'm not sure but before I started printing this B&W print, I printed a couple of Sepia prints. Not sure if that had anything to do with it ? By the way I changed the image mode to Duotone and let the printer determine the colors which were Black and Grey. I don't think that had anything to do with the print looking normal, since I tried that set-up last night. Yes !
     
  27. Patrick Lavoie said "no need to use black only,; old method for poor printer without a rip or icc profil."

    I'll probably get flamed for saying this ;-) but I've used an Epson 2100 and the HP B9180 and the best prints I've had came from using the black ink only on the Epson. Perhaps I should say the prints I liked the best were done that way. You get higher quality results using the full inkset but the BO prints have come closest to recreating the feel of a Tri-X darkroom print. This is all very subjective and completely unscientific but there you have it! So don't dismiss BO prints competely out of hand. They could still be an option for some people.
     
  28. "..old method for poor printer without a rip or icc profil.."

    "..I've used an Epson 2100.."

    exactly what i meant! A epson 2100 was a old printer that didtn do good bw without a rip. With the 2400 and up, you dont need to print with the bw only if you want the highess quality with nice gradation.

    I dont dismis this method for, as i said lower quality printer, like anything under the 2400.
     
  29. The HP B9180 is comparable quality-wise to the 2400 but I still like BO prints!
     
  30. i never seen a bw pritn form a HP, so maybe youre rigth about using the BO ink to get better print..i wont argue with you over that : )

    but did you tried using a rip with your hp and compare the result?
     
  31. first of all if I think a photo is that good that I want it printed perfectly I bring it to a local pro lab which will get me top results. Taking everything into account and in todays competitive market it isn't that expensive. For a 50x60 cm print I pay less than 25 Euro's. If I want it matted it'll cost me around 40 Euro's. That's not much for a high quality print.
    For "test" prints up to A4 size I use my own HP printer. Especially since the introduction of their Vivera inks I get exactly what I see on my screen. Apart from the use of high quality papers whenever I get a new printer I run a series of test prints, adjust settings according to results (in fact it's no more than tweaking a bit) and print happily ever after.

    "........or you are color blind : )" While your remark was made in jest you may not be that far off since about 80% of men is to some extent colour blind.
     
  32. Harry - "I'm using the basic black ink not the one for Matt paper...."

    You are confused.

    There are two separate black ink carts for the 2400: one is for matte paper (MK) and the other for glossy (PK) paper. There is no "basic black" ink cart.

    But, sounds like you solved part of the problem already, good!
     

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