Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Printing: Printers, Papers and Inks => Topic started by: shadowblade on July 09, 2013, 06:24:15 PM

Title: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 09, 2013, 06:24:15 PM
I've been wondering - would it be possible to run HP Vivera pigment inks through an Epson piezo print head, in combination with Cone black-and-white inks and a custom profile to tie them all together?

Obviously the reverse (running Epson inks through a Canon or HP printer) is unlikely to be possible, as Epson inks aren't formulated to withstand the 200+ degree temperatures in a bubblejet print head, but is there any reason a HP ink should be incompatible with a piezo head, which, after all, doesn't stress the ink or pigment particles to the same degree?

Has anyone tried it?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Sal Baker on July 09, 2013, 07:49:27 PM
I haven't tried it but your logic above makes it sound like a terrible idea.  If the other inks are designed for 200+ degree temperature heads, and you force them through a "cold" head, it sounds like a clogging wonderland will ensue.

Sal
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 09, 2013, 10:30:26 PM
I haven't tried it but your logic above makes it sound like a terrible idea.  If the other inks are designed for 200+ degree temperature heads, and you force them through a "cold" head, it sounds like a clogging wonderland will ensue.

Sal

Why should it necessarily cause clogging? A piezo head's ink line isn't necessarily any narrower than a thermal head's line, and there's no ink constantly vaporising and condensing. Canon and HP inks flow just as normally at room temperature as Epson inks do - the heat doesn't serve to decrease the viscosity of the ink, but to vaporise a small amount of solvent in the ink, to produce a shockwave that propels a small amount of ink at the tip of the nozzle (distal to the heating element) onto the paper, in much the same way as the piezoelectric transducer does in a piezo head (only via direct mechanical action against the solvent, not by vaporising a bubble of solvent). The ink actually flowing through the thermal head, and the ink that is ejected onto the paper, isn't heated - heating and vaporisation is merely the mechanism by which electrical energy supplied to the head is converted to ink flow.

I'd have imagined that differences in pigment particle size would cause more clogging issues...

It'd be nice to be able to use the most durable inks on ultra-thick media.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 10, 2013, 09:20:15 AM
Why should it necessarily cause clogging? ...

I'd have imagined that differences in pigment particle size would cause more clogging issues...

It'd be nice to be able to use the most durable inks on ultra-thick media.

The likelihood of an end user just substituting HP Vivera pigmented inks into an Epson printer without running into trouble is very low, IMHO, for many reasons. One basic reason is that the glycol and surfactant concentrations are different. A second reason is that HP inks do clog with regularity in HP printers, maybe even more so and would likely do the same in an Epson, but the thermal head technology used by both HP and Canon mitigates the dead nozzle issue by providing many spare nozzles which become available to the print head as needed.  Additionally, once a print head is sufficiently damaged such that new nozzle remapping won't fix the problem, then HP and Canon heads are user replaceable whereas the Epson heads are not.

All that said, it would seem to be a more straight-forward engineering solution for Epson or another third party vendor to simply offer the Ultrachrome ink customer base an improved stability yellow ink that will run on existing K3, K3VM, and HDR printers. Yellow is the significantly weak link of the current K3, K3VM, and HDR ink sets with respect to light fade resistance. Improving just the Ultrachrome yellow's light fade resistance would go a long way to bringing parity between HP and Epson overall light fastness performance. So why hasn't Epson in particular chosen to make a more stable yellow ink available? Most likely because customers aren't requesting it. Few customers are even in a knowledgeable enough position to identify the need for an improved yellow ink with superior lightfastness. IMHO, it has a great deal to do with the retention of beautiful skin tone quality in a print over time.  Yellow is a critical colorant in those skin tones and when it fades preferentially faster than the other colorants, skin tones turn purplish-blue. The most widely cited light fade test method used by industry today to make print longevity claims doesn't even test for skin tone color stability. Thus, from a marketing perspective Epson management would have to be more proactive in spending R&D dollars on this issue since it's not easy for the majority of its customers to even recognize or articulate the need for any improvement. This situation leaves a clear opportunity for third party ink formulators should they care to take up the challenge, but most third party ink formulators are way behind the R&D curve when it comes to a proper evaluation of light fastness properties.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Mark D Segal on July 10, 2013, 09:32:00 AM
Mark, based on your observation from years of testing, do you have a view on how many years a print made with Epson Ultrachrome HDR inkset on a baryta-based paper such as Ilford GFS or Canson Baryta Photographique would endure in "dark storage" (box, album) before yellow fading would be far enough advanced to obviously disturb skin tones?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 10, 2013, 10:20:24 AM
Mark, based on your observation from years of testing, do you have a view on how many years a print made with Epson Ultrachrome HDR inkset on a baryta-based paper such as Ilford GFS or Canson Baryta Photographique would endure in "dark storage" (box, album) before yellow fading would be far enough advanced to obviously disturb skin tones?

Mark, based on your observation from years of testing, do you have a view on how many years a print made with Epson Ultrachrome HDR inkset on a baryta-based paper such as Ilford GFS or Canson Baryta Photographique would endure in "dark storage" (box, album) before yellow fading would be far enough advanced to obviously disturb skin tones?

Thermally induced colorant fade in a dark storage environment typically isn't an issue for modern inkjet dyes and pigments (it was a big problem for the dyes created in processing using silver-halide color chromogenic papers). Typical thermal aging reactions actually tend to produce an increase in yellowing or brown/yellow stain formation due to thermal breakdown of the media itself, not much related to any temperature induced fading of the pigments. Ditto for humidity (although humidity related colorant migration issues are of concern for all dye-based systems). For paper base degradation reactions, the usual culprits are lignins and other acidic wood pulp by-products, but most fine art papers today, even those that are not cotton-fiber sourced, have been manufactured with enough know-how that the base will be pretty stable under reasonable storage conditions for many centuries. It's the modern polymer coatings and binder chemistries (including the PE layers of modern RC media plus incorporated anti-oxidants, plasticizers, etc) where we need to pay particular attention.

My bigger concern for modern microporous coatings is not so much strictly thermal-induced  paper degradation, but yellowing/discoloration caused by air contamination. That many of us here on LULA who print routinely and provide prints to customers or friends and relatives have witnessed at some point or another some noticeable media yellowing under real world circumstances where the print was exposed to relatively low doses of other chemical vapors (like various adhesives, paint solvents, etc), is a wake up call that microporous inkjet coatings are hyper sensitive to air borne contaminants which have traditionally taken far longer to react with traditional high quality papers. My concern over these anecdotal experiences is why I'm turning my attention more and more these days to the benefits of top coats including but not limited to acrylic sprays, gloss optimizers, etc. It may well be that the best practices for longevity of modern inkjet media is going to require that the microporous particles get sealed somehow to reduce the issues of air-induced yellowing/discoloration over time.

best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Mark D Segal on July 10, 2013, 10:42:27 AM
OK thanks - so my take-away from all this is that if I keep my prints (made on Ilford GFS in an Epson 4900 with Epson HDR inks) stored in albums or boxes in conditions of moderate humidity (range 25%~40%) and temperature, many decades from now my heirs and successors will likely see these photos in the state they are meant to be seen long after I depart this Earth. Right?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Sal Baker on July 10, 2013, 10:55:38 AM
Why should it necessarily cause clogging? A piezo head's ink line isn't necessarily any narrower than a thermal head's line, and there's no ink constantly vaporising and condensing. Canon and HP inks flow just as normally at room temperature as Epson inks do - the heat doesn't serve to decrease the viscosity of the ink, but to vaporise a small amount of solvent in the ink, to produce a shockwave that propels a small amount of ink at the tip of the nozzle (distal to the heating element) onto the paper, in much the same way as the piezoelectric transducer does in a piezo head (only via direct mechanical action against the solvent, not by vaporising a bubble of solvent). The ink actually flowing through the thermal head, and the ink that is ejected onto the paper, isn't heated - heating and vaporisation is merely the mechanism by which electrical energy supplied to the head is converted to ink flow.

I'd have imagined that differences in pigment particle size would cause more clogging issues...

It'd be nice to be able to use the most durable inks on ultra-thick media.
I was mostly thinking about viscosity issues caused by ink designed to be heated to 400+ degree temperatures.  Surely that would affect ink flow.  Just guessing.

Sal
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: John Nollendorfs on July 10, 2013, 05:44:48 PM
Actually, thermal inks in a piezo printer have fewer problems, than the other way around. There is a viscosity/surface tension mismatch though. You could mitigate that to some extent and make the inks work with the addition of some isopropyl alcohol. But quite frankly, why would you even want to try? Both Epson & HP inks are bound to last more than 100 years on the proper media without significant fade. Compared to traditional photo processes, this is almost eternity. The one thing I really like about the HP system is their neutral matched grays. Their gray component replacement scheme/algorithm creates very neutral looking prints, that should stay much more neutral looking in time.

Mark is right on about the yellow being the weakest link in most inkjet inks. But even more so, his words of caution about the microporous media we are printing on. Unless it's sealed, there are all kinds of nasty things that could cause our "near permanent light fade resistant" inks to self destruct.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 06:24:10 PM
Actually, thermal inks in a piezo printer have fewer problems, than the other way around. There is a viscosity/surface tension mismatch though. You could mitigate that to some extent and make the inks work with the addition of some isopropyl alcohol. But quite frankly, why would you even want to try? Both Epson & HP inks are bound to last more than 100 years on the proper media without significant fade. Compared to traditional photo processes, this is almost eternity. The one thing I really like about the HP system is their neutral matched grays. Their gray component replacement scheme/algorithm creates very neutral looking prints, that should stay much more neutral looking in time.

100 years may be a long time, or a short time, depending on who you're printing for. For an individual, it may be a lifetime (although, with developments in biology, medicine and cybernetics, possibly not even that these days). But if you're printing for a mediaeval castle or fort which has been there for 600 years, or a Buddhist monastery which has been there for 500 years, or even a museum which has been there for more than 100, a century isn't a very long time at all.

After all, we still have works from Italian and German renaissance artists, as well as millenium-old Japanese, Chinese and Tibetan manuscripts, many of which are ink-on-paper.

Quote
Mark is right on about the yellow being the weakest link in most inkjet inks. But even more so, his words of caution about the microporous media we are printing on. Unless it's sealed, there are all kinds of nasty things that could cause our "near permanent light fade resistant" inks to self destruct.

Hence my interest in printing on plain, uncoated media, expressed in other threads. Pigment inks are very resistant to oxidative attack, but it's not much use having a durable pigment if the layer the pigment is printed on disintegrates. I believe most inkjet receptive layers are made from silica that's bound together, and to the paper base, by a polyvinyl alcohol binder. And the proportion of polyvinyl alcohol to silica is quite high, since, with a low ratio, the layer becomes brittle. Silica, obviously, will last for millions of years, but how durable is polyvinyl alcohol?

There's some current work with self-binding silica nanoparticles, which could improve things.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Mark D Segal on July 10, 2013, 06:29:21 PM
It's an original idea, so I'm curious to know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve by running other vendors' inks through an Epson printer, what model printer you are thinking of trying this with, and whether you think the risk of replacing a print head (if worst comes to worst) is worthwhile in terms of your objectives.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 06:36:01 PM
Thanks for your insight into this matter.

The likelihood of an end user just substituting HP Vivera pigmented inks into an Epson printer without running into trouble is very low, IMHO, for many reasons. One basic reason is that the glycol and surfactant concentrations are different. A second reason is that HP inks do clog with regularity in HP printers, maybe even more so and would likely do the same in an Epson, but the thermal head technology used by both HP and Canon mitigates the dead nozzle issue by providing many spare nozzles which become available to the print head as needed.  Additionally, once a print head is sufficiently damaged such that new nozzle remapping won't fix the problem, then HP and Canon heads are user replaceable whereas the Epson heads are not.

Does Epson, or other printers using Epson heads, use nozzle remapping technology?

Also, would it be possible to simply take the HP pigment particles (e.g. by spinning it down in a centrifuge, as you do to separate blood cells from plasma) and put them in an Epson-optimised solvent mixture?

Quote
All that said, it would seem to be a more straight-forward engineering solution for Epson or another third party vendor to simply offer the Ultrachrome ink customer base an improved stability yellow ink that will run on existing K3, K3VM, and HDR printers. Yellow is the significantly weak link of the current K3, K3VM, and HDR ink sets with respect to light fade resistance. Improving just the Ultrachrome yellow's light fade resistance would go a long way to bringing parity between HP and Epson overall light fastness performance.

I thought the other issue was that Epson inks aren't pure pigment inks - they're a mixture of pigments and dyes. So the dyes fade first, leaving the pigment there for a much longer period.

Quote
So why hasn't Epson in particular chosen to make a more stable yellow ink available? Most likely because customers aren't requesting it. Few customers are even in a knowledgeable enough position to identify the need for an improved yellow ink with superior lightfastness. IMHO, it has a great deal to do with the retention of beautiful skin tone quality in a print over time.  Yellow is a critical colorant in those skin tones and when it fades preferentially faster than the other colorants, skin tones turn purplish-blue. The most widely cited light fade test method used by industry today to make print longevity claims doesn't even test for skin tone color stability. Thus, from a marketing perspective Epson management would have to be more proactive in spending R&D dollars on this issue since it's not easy for the majority of its customers to even recognize or articulate the need for any improvement. This situation leaves a clear opportunity for third party ink formulators should they care to take up the challenge, but most third party ink formulators are way behind the R&D curve when it comes to a proper evaluation of light fastness properties.

Which is pure ignorance on the part of customers. I'd bet a lot of them have seen their grandparents' wedding photos. Often black-and-white, generally not terribly faded.

Do they want their own wedding photos to have the same longevity? After all, they only have the prints - often, they won't have the digital files as backup. And the photographer isn't going to keep the digital files around for very long either.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: TylerB on July 10, 2013, 06:40:42 PM
you might want to talk to Paul Roark, who is generally on the yahoo B&W list. I believe he has done some with with HP inks in Epsons. Also, at Aardenburg, there are 2 tests going I submitted to Mark on uncoated Arches Watercolor paper, both color and ABW, Epson. A test with the Cone carbon set would have been good to run. There is fade, so I'm not sure there is an advantage there. There are other factors worth considering though regarding the coatings, they are certainly not physcally robust at all, and their hydroscopic nature seems to pull everything nasty out of the air...
Tyler
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 06:43:14 PM
It's an original idea, so I'm curious to know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve by running other vendors' inks through an Epson printer, what model printer you are thinking of trying this with, and whether you think the risk of replacing a print head (if worst comes to worst) is worthwhile in terms of your objectives.

What I'd like to do is combine Cone and HP inks, using a custom RIP.

Use six- or seven-channel Cone carbon inks to control luminance values, while using the colour inks purely to control colour value. The black-and-white inks will give you an image that's essentially permanent - if the luminance values of the print are entirely controlled by the black carbon inks, then you'd have a permanent black-and-white image, with all the correct luminance values, even if all the colour has completely faded. This wouldn't be a bad-looking black-and-white image on its own, and also makes for much easier restoration for anyone with a degree of common sense (e.g. sky is blue, sunsets are orange, grass is green, and you already know how bright everything was).

The colour inks would be to add colour (the a and b values in the Lab system) to the black-and-white luminance layer. Naturally, you'd want the colours to all be as durable as possible, hence the HP inks. Custom Cone pigment inks, or the Symphonic system by American Inkjet, would be other options, but no-one's really done any durability testing on those.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: TylerB on July 10, 2013, 07:18:21 PM
actually you could do that just with QTR, in fact it's perfect for that...
Tyler
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Mark D Segal on July 10, 2013, 07:20:54 PM
OK thanks - so you are basically trying to extend longevity using other inks. You probably know about the experience running Cone inks through Epson printers as quite a few people do it; however the real novelty would be running HP inks through them, along with the custom RIP. Where do you intend to get the custom RIP configured? Can you do this yourself? If your research indicates that this is a completely novel concept with no assurances of whatever outcomes, are you planning to experiment regardless? And once done, how do you intend to get the comparative longevity tested?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 07:35:09 PM
OK thanks - so you are basically trying to extend longevity using other inks. You probably know about the experience running Cone inks through Epson printers as quite a few people do it; however the real novelty would be running HP inks through them, along with the custom RIP. Where do you intend to get the custom RIP configured? Can you do this yourself?

Can't QTR do this, using a spectrophotometer?

Quote
If your research indicates that this is a completely novel concept with no assurances of whatever outcomes, are you planning to experiment regardless?

That's the whole point of experimentation, isn't it? If it's already done and proven, it's no longer an experiment.

And, really, to me, the current options aren't that satisfactory. Not only do you get colour shifts, but, since the colour inks are used for luminance as well as chroma, you get luminance shifts between various parts of the image, too, so that, when the colour fades, the remaining black ink doesn't give you a black-and-white image that looks anything like the original.

Quote
And once done, how do you intend to get the comparative longevity tested?

Firstly, the rough-and-ready bush method - make three test prints using this method, keeping one unprotected, coating another with protective spray and framing the third under museum-grade acrylic or glass, and do the same with one or two normal colour prints using Epson or HP inks and printers. Then stick them on my rear windshield and drive around for a few months under the Australian sun, exposed to the atmospheric pollutants in a big city, and measure each of the colour patches again using a spectrophotometer. You could also do further tests, exposing prints to various concentrations of bleach and sulfuric acid for various lengths of time and comparing the fading exhibited to that exhibited by regular prints.

If the tests are positive, then the next step would be to submit some test prints to Aardenburg, together with detailed printing methodology so that it can be replicated by anyone else using the same inks, and getting some formal testing done.

Now I just need to get access to a printer I can tinker with - as I currently can't justify the cost of maintaining a printer at home, I outsource all my printing, often having printers print images using all sorts of methods and print surfaces. But this is something different entirely!
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 07:42:56 PM
you might want to talk to Paul Roark, who is generally on the yahoo B&W list. I believe he has done some with with HP inks in Epsons. Also, at Aardenburg, there are 2 tests going I submitted to Mark on uncoated Arches Watercolor paper, both color and ABW, Epson. A test with the Cone carbon set would have been good to run. There is fade, so I'm not sure there is an advantage there. There are other factors worth considering though regarding the coatings, they are certainly not physcally robust at all, and their hydroscopic nature seems to pull everything nasty out of the air...
Tyler

I saw those results - I get the feeling there that the limiting factor was the inks, not the paper. Epson inks are a mixture of pigment and dye - I'd have to check the results again way past the 'failure' point, but I get the feeling that the dye components would degrade quickly (causing the 'failure' according to the arbitrary criteria set by the test) but that, once the dye components have faded away, the remainder pigment component would fade much more slowly. As in, the test may have still 'failed', but the rest of the print could stay at the 20-30% fade level for the equivalent of centuries.

Also, we know that the Arches Watercolour paper is gelatin-sized, but what do we know of the rest of its surface chemistry? Anyway, the uncoated paper discussion is a separate issue and a little off-topic - I've discussed it further in a separate thread: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=80179.0 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=80179.0)
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 07:54:57 PM
It's an original idea, so I'm curious to know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve by running other vendors' inks through an Epson printer, what model printer you are thinking of trying this with, and whether you think the risk of replacing a print head (if worst comes to worst) is worthwhile in terms of your objectives.

If it works, the ideal printer to do this with would be the Roland XF-640. It has 16 print heads, so you can run the full K7 Carbon system, including both matte and photo blacks, plus all eight Vivera colour inks (not the black/grey inks, since that's what the Cone inks are for), plus the gloss enhancer. If you don't need both matte and photo black, you'd even have a spare head to run an extra colour ink of your choice (white?), or for extra gloss enhancer (since prints tend to burn through that).

On a similar, but separate note, it would also be interesting to see what you could do using a multi-head 3D printer to spit out a layer of pigmented gelatin or gum arabic, to produce the 21st-century, digital equivalent of a gum or carbon print.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Mark D Segal on July 10, 2013, 08:03:34 PM
Thanks - it will be interesting to follow your results.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 10, 2013, 08:08:22 PM

The colour inks would be to add colour (the a and b values in the Lab system) to the black-and-white luminance layer. Naturally, you'd want the colours to all be as durable as possible, hence the HP inks. Custom Cone pigment inks, or the Symphonic system by American Inkjet, would be other options, but no-one's really done any durability testing on those.

Well, cyan and magenta contribute to the L* values significantly, yellow not so much, so as you add color pigments you have to back down on the UCR/GCR with the gray and black inks or you'd overshoot the desired L* values. As for ConeColor and Symphonic pigmented ink sets, I now have a couple samples printed with ConeColor in test (ID#s 277 and 278 in the database, compare to 276 and 279 which use Epson OEM ink on same media). Submitted by an AaI&A member that uses it. Testing is still in early stages, but ConeColor magenta seems to be weaker than Epson's Magenta by a significant margin. Yellow may be a little worse, too, but magenta is the bigger issue with the ConeColor set.  No AaI&A member that I'm aware of uses the Symphonic Inks by American Inkjet. I'd certainly be willing to test, but no one has offered to submit, and I don't know personally know anyone who actually uses the Symphonic inks.


cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 08:23:27 PM
Well, cyan and magenta contribute to the L* values significantly, yellow not so much, so as you add color pigments you have to back down on the UCR/GCR with the gray and black inks or you'd overshoot the desired L* values.

It's a custom inkset, so you'd need to create a custom RIP for it through a series of test prints.

What about backing off on the full-strength cyan and magenta and using the light cyan and light magenta instead, with the Cone inks creating the L value (or Brightness) and the colour inks essentially 'tinting' it to achieve the right hue and saturation?

Quote
As for ConeColor and Symphonic pigmented ink sets, I now have a couple samples printed with ConeColor in test (ID#s 277 and 278 in the database, compare to 276 and 279 which use Epson OEM ink on same media). Submitted by an AaI&A member that uses it. Testing is still in early stages, but ConeColor magenta seems to be weaker than Epson's Magenta by a significant margin. Yellow may be a little worse, too, but magenta is the bigger issue with the ConeColor set.

I saw those, which is why I'm a little hesitant on the ConeColor inks. The JonCone Studio inks, as far as I know, are different, and custom-made.

Quote
No AaI&A member that I'm aware of uses the Symphonic Inks by American Inkjet. I'd certainly be willing to test, but no one has offered to submit, and I don't know personally know anyone who actually uses the Symphonic inks.

A pity - I saw a print using the Symphonic system the other day, next to the same photo printed using HP and Epson printers, as well as a Fujiflex print, and it looked fantastic. Sharp, saturated and wide-gamut. It would be very interesting to know how durable these inks are.

But, as with anything else that's printed using Roland printers, they aren't as common, due to the price of the printer!
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 10, 2013, 08:44:46 PM
Btw, pigment-dye hybrid sets are pretty easy to pick out in light fade testing. As Shadowblade noted, if the the dye component fades more quickly then the remaining pigment "backbone" proceeds to fade at a much slower rate, so a rate bifurcation in the I* metric response (or delta E, or density) is a key to identifying this hybrid behavior. I've heard it said many times by many people that Epson Utrachrome pigments are suspected to contain dyes as well. If they do, it can't be much because they don't give a bifurcated fade response.  A bifurcation might be hard to detect for the PK and MK black, because the PK and MK are throttled by the driver so that they only get used in the the dmax areas of the print. The excess black ink at that level gives sacrificial protection properties even to dyes such that we wouldn't easily detect the dye-pigment hybrid bifurcation behavior for the max black image areas. As for the rest of the image, I've seen no evidence in fade testing to suggest that Epson is spiking the other Ultrachrome pigments with more fade prone dyes, certainly not to any extent that produces a faster initial fade rate for the Ultrachrome pigmented ink sets. The Claria dye ink set on the other hand, notably the yellow dye, does have a very non linear fade response, but it's well noted by Epson technical literature as a synthesized dye with quasi pigment-like behavior, so no surprise there. The Claria black dye is also highly subject to significant hue shift during light fading when used for full gray scale printing with a custom RIP like QTR, but again, Epson doesn't use the Claria black in this way in its OEM driver functionality, so it's not the customers' weak link in Claria dye print longevity as it would otherwise be compared to the Claria yellow dye performance. Perhaps most surprising is that if we allow fading to go to more advanced stages of fade that typical consumers might still accept, the Claria dye performance, IMHO, is superior to the Epson Ultrachrome yellow. The Claria yellow slows down in its fade rate after about 25% yellow density loss while the Ultrachrome yellow keeps on fading at it's initial rate. This is why published consumer-oriented fade tests for Claria ink rate so favorably in comparison to Epson Ultrachrome inks. Early stage yellow fade performance is significantly worse, but at later more advanced stages of fading the Epson yellow pigment fade catches up and then ultimately surpasses the Claria yellow dye in total elapsed fade.

best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 10, 2013, 09:12:49 PM
It's a custom inkset, so you'd need to create a custom RIP for it through a series of test prints.

What about backing off on the full-strength cyan and magenta and using the light cyan and light magenta instead, with the Cone inks creating the L value (or Brightness) and the colour inks essentially 'tinting' it to achieve the right hue and saturation?

I saw those, which is why I'm a little hesitant on the ConeColor inks. The JonCone Studio inks, as far as I know, are different, and custom-made.


The Cone Carbon Sepia (now called Carbon K7) is the only full carbon inkset produced by Jon, AFAIK. As such, it's incredibly lightfast and this is well demonstrated in the AaI&A database. But this Carbon K7 longevity performance is in a class by itself and thus not to be confused with all the other monochrome Piezography shades that must add colored pigments to neutralize the warm full carbon hue. These tints are most likely incorporating the Cone magenta pigment now showing weakness in the full Color set. Magenta colorant dropping out first leaving full carbon backbone in the print explains the typical initial green shift we see in the testing of the other Piezography ink sets followed by a slowing down and stabilization in the overall fade rate after that (in other words, a classic fade rate bifurcation due to mixing of a less stable colorant with a more stable one to create the ink's desired initial hue and chroma values). Hence, the more neutral piezography sets are only moderately light fast, not a disaster by any means, but one is nevertheless better off with HP, Canon, and Epson OEM black inks as far as light fade resistance is concerned when trying to print neutral or near neutral B&W. Even Epson ABW mode with much magenta and yellow added to create a heavy sepia image tint still outperforms the majority of the Piezography ink sets except the full carbon K7.  Please note, I'm remarking on light fade performance.  Point is already well taken and duly noted that the 6 and 7 channel Piezography image quality is a very good incentive in its own right for discerning printmakers to want to use the Piezography ink systems, but the printmaker must nevertheless weigh the perceived nuances in image quality against the moderate but not great light fade resistance of many of the Piezography blends.

cheers,
mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 13, 2013, 02:21:29 AM
The Cone Carbon Sepia (now called Carbon K7) is the only full carbon inkset produced by Jon, AFAIK. As such, it's incredibly lightfast and this is well demonstrated in the AaI&A database. But this Carbon K7 longevity performance is in a class by itself and thus not to be confused with all the other monochrome Piezography shades that must add colored pigments to neutralize the warm full carbon hue. These tints are most likely incorporating the Cone magenta pigment now showing weakness in the full Color set. Magenta colorant dropping out first leaving full carbon backbone in the print explains the typical initial green shift we see in the testing of the other Piezography ink sets followed by a slowing down and stabilization in the overall fade rate after that (in other words, a classic fade rate bifurcation due to mixing of a less stable colorant with a more stable one to create the ink's desired initial hue and chroma values).

That's what I suspected. In other words, the coloured pigments quickly fade away, leaving the pure carbon print behind as a permanent print that essentially never fades. One may as well have just printed with the pure carbon inks in the first place.

The thing is, carbon nanoparticles, like all other nanoparticles, can produce different hues, depending on the exact size of the particle. By grinding the carbon to different sizes, you could produce a range of pure carbon inks varying in hue from very warm to very cool, and they'd all be as stable as each other. Similarly, using nanoparticles of gold, silver sulfides and selenides, and other chemically-unreactive and UV-resistant materials, it's possible to produce every shade and hue from bright red, to greens and blues, all the way to deep violet - and even infrared and ultraviolet 'colours', if you wanted to.

I'd say that, for archival and ultra-stable inks at least, nanoparticle 'pigments' relying on the quantum properties of light and interactions with small particles of chemically- and UV-inert, non-catalysing substances, are the future, rather than traditional chemical pigments.

Quote
Hence, the more neutral piezography sets are only moderately light fast, not a disaster by any means,

I guess it depends what standards of lightfastness you're using. Certainly, they'll quickly change colour, to that of a pure carbon ink. But, once there, it will stay that way forever - the final image isn't going anywhere.

Quote
but one is nevertheless better off with HP, Canon, and Epson OEM black inks as far as light fade resistance is concerned when trying to print neutral or near neutral B&W. Even Epson ABW mode with much magenta and yellow added to create a heavy sepia image tint still outperforms the majority of the Piezography ink sets except the full carbon K7. Please note, I'm remarking on light fade performance.  Point is already well taken and duly noted that the 6 and 7 channel Piezography image quality is a very good incentive in its own right for discerning printmakers to want to use the Piezography ink systems, but the printmaker must nevertheless weigh the perceived nuances in image quality against the moderate but not great light fade resistance of many of the Piezography blends.

Is it?

As far as I am aware, the problem is the lightfastness of the coloured pigment component in the neutral and cool inks. The black carbon pigment component of the inks is more durable than anything else out there. So, instead of using HP/Canon/Epson black inks, would it not be more sensible to continue using the ultra-permanent carbon Cone inks, toning them to a more neutral colour using the ultra-stable HP inks, rather than using the OEM inks alone? That way, the colour would still slowly shift to the warm black of pure carbon (but much more slowly than the Cone non-pure-carbon inks), but, unlike with the OEM inks, once they turned warm black, they would stay that way forever without fading.

Maybe, for neutral or cool prints, the answer isn't so much in changing the ink as it is in changing the paper. A custom paper, made with 100% cotton plus titanium dioxide or baryta particles incorporated into the paper itself (not just as a fragile layer on the surface) would have a much cooler white tone than standard non-OBA papers, and would give the overall image a cooler or more neutral tone, even using the same pure-carbon pigments.


***

The other reason for trying to put HP inks through an Epson print head is that, although the Vivera inks are demonstrably better than the Epson Ultrachrome inks, the thermal inkjet print process is quite inferior to Epson's piezo-inkjet system. The piezo system gives much finer control of ink droplet volume, allowing Epson heads to produce as many as seven different dot sizes (in Mimaki and Roland printers), allowing for smooth tonality, expanded gamut (particularly in the light tones) and true 1440dpi output all the way into the highlights - something that just isn't possible using thermal inkjet technology. Not only would putting Vivera inks through a piezo head, if it were possible, give you greater permanence than Epson inks, but, in theory at least, it should significantly improve the colour gamut of HP inks.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 13, 2013, 11:16:41 AM
I guess I should have been more specific in my earlier remarks about how Cone appears to be neutralizing the warm carbon ink set in order to give customers ink sets with cooler hues. Although paper chemistry does contribute to the final monochromatic hue imparted by a particular ink set, the very warm brown hue of the Carbon K7 ink still needs to be neutralized by blending a blue color component. Cone's ink formulator could do that by finding a satisfactory blue pigment or by combining both cyan and magenta pigments in appropriately blended quantities. Cone appears to be doing the latter in his more neutral piezography ink sets. A practical reason for taking the latter approach is that it is cost effective for a small company if magenta and cyan encapsulated pigmented ink batches are already in production.  So, now the image printed with such a cyan and magenta neutralized hue will fade towards greenish gray first as the magenta fades preferentially faster and while the cyan is fading at a much slower rate. But the magenta is moderately light fast, so this early stage of deterioration does not occur as quickly as you seem to believe.  Hence, your the reasoning that the image may eventually fade to the base hue imparted by highly stable carbon backbone is correct in theory, but it definitely won't happen in any time frame to make it a useful outcome. There will be a very long period of time where hundreds of megalux hours of more light exposure will be required to burn out both cyan and magenta in order to reach that full carbon backbone. Image Information content will be largely intact throughout this process, but the artist's original intent (i.e., the color of the monochromatic print he or she chose) will be compromised significantly as the aging process unfolds.  And by the time that much light exposure takes place, light, heat, humidity, and air pollution will also have taken its toll on the paper, even the best cotton papers with the most inert whitening and sizing agents available.

It's important not to confuse thermodynamics with kinetics in discussions like this. Thermodynamics deals with equations of state, in other words an initial state and a final state, but not the time it takes for the reaction to take place.  For example, the field of thermodynamics predicts that my wife's diamond ring will eventually revert to carbon black, but reaction kinetics tells us it will take hundreds of millions of years at temperatures and pressures where humans routinely keep their jewelry. I don't think we need to worry about diamond rings losing their shine any time soon.  Similarly, I don't envision a succession of museum curators documenting the fading curve of a print made with a Cone neutral ink set all the way to where only the pure carbon pigment remains.  What will be seen within a generation or so of cool-toned Piezography prints on display are ones that have acquired a less desirable greenish-gray hue and thus deviating to varying degrees from what the artist originally intended.

cheers,
Mark
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 13, 2013, 09:40:57 PM
I guess I should have been more specific in my earlier remarks about how Cone appears to be neutralizing the warm carbon ink set in order to give customers ink sets with cooler hues. Although paper chemistry does contribute to the final monochromatic hue imparted by a particular ink set, the very warm brown hue of the Carbon K7 ink still needs to be neutralized by blending a blue color component. Cone's ink formulator could do that by finding a satisfactory blue pigment or by combining both cyan and magenta pigments in appropriately blended quantities. Cone appears to be doing the latter in his more neutral piezography ink sets. A practical reason for taking the latter approach is that it is cost effective for a small company if magenta and cyan encapsulated pigmented ink batches are already in production.  So, now the image printed with such a cyan and magenta neutralized hue will fade towards greenish gray first as the magenta fades preferentially faster and while the cyan is fading at a much slower rate. But the magenta is moderately light fast, so this early stage of deterioration does not occur as quickly as you seem to believe.  Hence, your the reasoning that the image may eventually fade to the base hue imparted by highly stable carbon backbone is correct in theory, but it definitely won't happen in any time frame to make it a useful outcome. There will be a very long period of time where hundreds of megalux hours of more light exposure will be required to burn out both cyan and magenta in order to reach that full carbon backbone. Image Information content will be largely intact throughout this process, but the artist's original intent (i.e., the color of the monochromatic print he or she chose) will be compromised significantly as the aging process unfolds.  And by the time that much light exposure takes place, light, heat, humidity, and air pollution will also have taken its toll on the paper, even the best cotton papers with the most inert whitening and sizing agents available.

Looking at the test results, it seems that the neutral and cool blacks fade to an unacceptable, sickly-green hue with just a few megalux hours of light exposure. Certainly not something to rely on...

Quote
It's important not to confuse thermodynamics with kinetics in discussions like this. Thermodynamics deals with equations of state, in other words an initial state and a final state, but not the time it takes for the reaction to take place.  For example, the field of thermodynamics predicts that my wife's diamond ring will eventually revert to carbon black, but reaction kinetics tells us it will take hundreds of millions of years at temperatures and pressures where humans routinely keep their jewelry. I don't think we need to worry about diamond rings losing their shine any time soon.  Similarly, I don't envision a succession of museum curators documenting the fading curve of a print made with a Cone neutral ink set all the way to where only the pure carbon pigment remains.  What will be seen within a generation or so of cool-toned Piezography prints on display are ones that have acquired a less desirable greenish-gray hue and thus deviating to varying degrees from what the artist originally intended.

cheers,
Mark

I don't see a succession of curators doing it either. With the print on display, it looks like the green shift will only take a few years. Sure, it will take much longer - maybe a few decades to a century of display - for the green shift to turn to a more pleasant carbon tone. By then, they'd probably have thrown out the print due to the unacceptable colour shift...

May as well print it in carbon in the first place - and, if you want to tone it, use colour inks on top of it that have better permanence and better fade characteristics (i.e. so that magenta doesn't go first and turn the print a nasty green colour).
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 14, 2013, 09:34:49 AM
Looking at the test results, it seems that the neutral and cool blacks fade to an unacceptable, sickly-green hue with just a few megalux hours of light exposure. Certainly not something to rely on...


I'm pleased that the Aardenburg lightfade database has allowed you to make an informed decision about various printer/ink/media combinations. Helping printmakers make appropriate ink and media choices that meet both their initial image quality and print permanence expectations over time has always been the goal of this crowd-sourced testing program. I would never have been able to acquire the variety of print samples now represented in the database without direct help from the digital printmaking community.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 14, 2013, 06:22:40 PM
I'm pleased that the Aardenburg lightfade database has allowed you to make an informed decision about various printer/ink/media combinations. Helping printmakers make appropriate ink and media choices that meet both their initial image quality and print permanence expectations over time has always been the goal of this crowd-sourced testing program. I would never have been able to acquire the variety of print samples now represented in the database without direct help from the digital printmaking community.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

Definitely - and, as you say, this sort of research, by individuals rather than large institutions beholded to corporations, is never going to attract funding, nor will reliance on donations and subscriptions come up with the funds required. I detailed another internet-forum-based microfinance idea here (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=80014.msg647232#msg647232) - let me know what you think about its feasibility. After all, it's work that every photographer, bar short-cycle news journalists, will have a vested interest in.

Now, I just need to find myself a cheap/outdated/second-hand Epson printer that I can use for proof-of-concept testing with HP inks... if it works, I'd then move testing to a Roland to put together individual inksets and custom RIPs - but there's no point in wasting money on the Roland in the first place if the ink doesn't even go through the print head.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 14, 2013, 08:46:36 PM
I detailed another internet-forum-based microfinance idea here (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=80014.msg647232#msg647232) - let me know what you think about its feasibility. After all, it's work that every photographer, bar short-cycle news journalists, will have a vested interest in.

I do appreciate your suggestion, and I do think somebody could make it work quite successfully, but I'm not that person. I'm just an imaging scientist by training doing print preservation research because I care about this topic for my own printmaking efforts and wanted to find a way to share my research with others. That the Aardenburg testing protocol and the science of the I* metric is second to none is where I find the most satisfaction in this research. However, to also wear a full time marketing hat in order to promote the project beyond what a field of dreams "build it and they will come" notion naively believes is possible requires that one make marketing and promotion pretty much a full time job. If I tried to tackle such a marketing effort, I wouldn't have any time left over to do the research. For me to hire someone to do this job on my behalf takes seed money I don't have.

The Aardenburg digital research program continues... just at a pace that I can handle largely as a volunteer effort and grateful for whatever donations and sample submissions come along to add to the body of the published work.


best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 14, 2013, 11:22:26 PM
I do appreciate your suggestion, and I do think somebody could make it work quite successfully, but I'm not that person. I'm just an imaging scientist by training doing print preservation research because I care about this topic for my own printmaking efforts and wanted to find a way to share my research with others. That the Aardenburg testing protocol and the science of the I* metric is second to none is where I find the most satisfaction in this research. However, to also wear a full time marketing hat in order to promote the project beyond what a field of dreams "build it and they will come" notion naively believes is possible requires that one make marketing and promotion pretty much a full time job. If I tried to tackle such a marketing effort, I wouldn't have any time left over to do the research. For me to hire someone to do this job on my behalf takes seed money I don't have.

The Aardenburg digital research program continues... just at a pace that I can handle largely as a volunteer effort and grateful for whatever donations and sample submissions come along to add to the body of the published work.


best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com



Well, I think it's definitely doable as a forum effort, and very worthwhile - pretty much every photographer here has a vested interest in it. The point is, it's a group effort - obviously your strength is research, rather than fundraising, marketing or project coordination, which would take time and effort away from the research we're trying to fund anyway. So, other people can put the project together, organise printing, do the desktop publishing work, collect information (names of photos and photographers, descriptions to accompany each photo, high-resolution versions of the photos themselves), run the contest for entries across multiple forums, while pouring the final proceeds towards Aardenburg. I'd be more than happy to coordinate such a project, if there were sufficient interest out there (whether the interest is in funding ink permanence research, or just in producing a LuLa photo-book). It's basically the only way such research will get funded, short of a private benefactor with an interest in photography. Anyone care to introduce Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to photography?

Regarding your research methods, I note that your testing grid contains a lot of standard colours, but no 'pure' samples of each of the inks used by a printer. Would it not be worth having an extra square for each 'pure' ink (i.e. an Epson Ultrachrome K3 on matte test chart would have extra squares of MK, LK, LLK, C, LC, M, LM, Y) in order to have raw data about the performance of each individual ink, so that we can see what the strong points and weak points of each inkset are? For instance, yellow is Epson's well-known weak point, while magenta is Cone's weak point. So, why not replace Epson's yellow with Cone's yellow and build a custom RIP around that, or use Epson's magenta with ConeColor inks? We're not really sure what the weak and strong points of other inksets are - if we did, we'd have good information for building custom inksets that far surpass OEM inksets.

Also, I'm not sure if this is your area or not, but do we have any information on the solvent chemistry of each of the ink manufacturers? Given that inkjet printing involves layering lots of dots from lots of different inks together, it's important for the solvents used in different inks to be compatible with each other. This isn't a problem if you're just sticking with the OEM inkset, but, if you mix-and-match for better results, you'd have find combinations that work with each other. How much would it cost to carry out gas chromatography on each of the solvents out there (Epson K3, Ultrachrome HDR, Cone (I would assume the Piezography and ConeColor inks use the same solvent), Symphonic, Canon Lucia, HP Vivera and others) to work out what exactly is in them? If we knew the solvent makeup of each manufacturer, it would be easy enough to precipitate out the durable yellow pigments in Cone or HP ink and suspend them in an Epson solvent mixture, to run through an Epson head with the other Ultrachrome inks...

Incidentally, have you done any testing on the Roland Eco-Sol Max and Eco-Sol Max 2 solvent inks?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 15, 2013, 08:59:12 AM

Regarding your research methods, I note that your testing grid contains a lot of standard colours, but no 'pure' samples of each of the inks used by a printer. Would it not be worth having an extra square for each 'pure' ink (i.e. an Epson Ultrachrome K3 on matte test chart would have extra squares of MK, LK, LLK, C, LC, M, LM, Y) in order to have raw data about the performance of each individual ink, so that we can see what the strong points and weak points of each inkset are? For instance, yellow is Epson's well-known weak point, while magenta is Cone's weak point. So, why not replace Epson's yellow with Cone's yellow and build a custom RIP around that, or use Epson's magenta with ConeColor inks? We're not really sure what the weak and strong points of other inksets are - if we did, we'd have good information for building custom inksets that far surpass OEM inksets.


Firstly, thank you for you wilingness to get involved with the Aardenburg effort. I appreciate it, and indeed have had a few volunteers helping me with the day to day testing over the past few years, but help with the fundraising challenge has never been offered before.

Re: testing of pure colors rather than blended colors, the vivid Macbeth color patches such as C,M,Y, R, G, B call out "pure enough" ink usage that we don't miss out on how these inks would behave if used as pure color channels. For example, it is why we've learned that Epson's yellow is the weak link, that Cone's got some weakness in magenta as well, and that HP has amazingly balanced fade amongst all of it's Vivera pigmented inks such that lightness and contrast drop gently while overall color balance is being nicely maintained. I've seen no evidence yet that the Aardenburg 30 patch color target is missing anything important, so adding more patches would certainly give us more nuanced results to look at but the conclusions drawn would be pretty much the same.  Additionally, pure color channels would have to be driven with special RIPs in many instances since the OEM drivers don't give us access to said channel purity. However, it's the blends where most of the bad interactions occur, so one really wants a test that produces the patches exactly the way any printmaker would print them, ie. with the intended driver or RIP provided by the printer manufacturer or selected by the enduser. NO deviation from standard practice.  Hence, I designed a test method that avoids the need for special calibration procedures in order to print the target (as other light fade testing methods require). Had I elected to use special RIPs to study the inks in more isolated manner, the member-submitted sample making would be unworkable and we'd lose more information about today's inks and papers than we've already gained by this crowd-sourced effort.  Lastly, the lighter blends appearing in the 24 Macbeth color set also neatly exercise the issue of cross-over between low concentration and high concentration color channels. For example, HP's first effort at in improved dye set several years back used a magenta that tested well by itself but exhibited catalytic fading not with yellow but with cyan. This catalytic fade problem was nicely detected in the AaI&A blue and purple patches (i.e, patches that blend both cyan concentrations with both magenta concentrations). My vindication that I'd found the problem came later when HP retrofit a new magenta+ dye into it's line of desktop printers. They were aware of the problem too, even though the testing lab they routinely used for marketing "certification" used a target which provided pure color ink patches but no blend colors for red, green, blue, etc, and hence did not factor this weak link into the fade rating of the original ink set.

Shadowblade, I admire your enthusiasm and I realize you've asked more questions as well, but if I keep going, other forum users will be put to sleep :)

cheers,
mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 15, 2013, 09:50:43 AM

***

The other reason for trying to put HP inks through an Epson print head is that, although the Vivera inks are demonstrably better than the Epson Ultrachrome inks, the thermal inkjet print process is quite inferior to Epson's piezo-inkjet system. The piezo system gives much finer control of ink droplet volume, allowing Epson heads to produce as many as seven different dot sizes (in Mimaki and Roland printers), allowing for smooth tonality, expanded gamut (particularly in the light tones) and true 1440dpi output all the way into the highlights - something that just isn't possible using thermal inkjet technology. Not only would putting Vivera inks through a piezo head, if it were possible, give you greater permanence than Epson inks, but, in theory at least, it should significantly improve the colour gamut of HP inks.

Part of the excellent fade resistance properties of HP Vivera pigment prints is in the way the ink mixing is controlled by the HP Z media presets. If you put a microscope on a Z3100/3200 matte print you will see there is no composite grey mix in either color or grey mode print. Build with 11 inks that get a 100% black generation and clever N-color hue substitution.  To get a similar control of even more inks asks for a lot of skill in all the disciplines involved; the custom inkjet printer system + a RIP that can handle that inkset + the profiling that can cope. I mean in PRACTICE. The HP engineers in Barcelona were not amateurs. How the gamut would improve with that custom system has to be explained to me.

I would not be afraid of HP Vivera pigment inks in an Epson. Paul Roark has used the HP PK Vivera + mixes in Epson desktop models with even finer droplet heads than the Epson wide formats have. No issues at all as I understand it. Whether the Epson wide format printing with the 3.5 picoliter droplets (only size used at the highest resolutions!!!!) is that much better in image quality than the Canon wide format 4 picoliter or HP Z 4/6 picoliter droplet has to be seen. The latest range of Epson wide formats often show inconsistency in print results with even the OEM inks. Users that have to rely on the highest resolution settings/slowest speeds to get rid of banding/waves, even on papers that can not deliver the image quality related to those resolution settings. Image quality has a lot to do with the dithering/weaving algorithms, the resampling/print sharpening functions and above all good inkjet paper coatings. There are no published MTF resolution numbers for coating/ink/printer combinations but my gut feeling is that the best are already reached beneath 600 PPI input and anything above that is not recorded in the print anymore. I might be wrong but even then I rather use a slightly lower image quality printer that delivers a consistent quality at both 300 PPI and 600 PPI input, today and tomorrow, without extensive cleaning steps in the morning or between print runs. And allow an easy exchange of one head to get that consistency again when it fails.

About uncoated papers mentioned in another thread here; There is an interesting discussion on the Yahoo digital B&W forum where users of alternative photographic processes write that even the papers from 500 years old mills changed in the past decades due to paper process changes. What worked one day for a platinum print could not be repeated when changes at the factory were made for all the batches later on. That will not tell us either whether inkjet coated papers or uncoated papers will last longer but at least raises some questions about the aging of the mill's papers then and now.

Paul Roark has done some fine jobs with MIS Eboni MK inkjet inks on uncoated Arches papers that showed good fade resistance. The Eboni MK is in itself the most neutral pure carbon black MK ink of all discussed here, more neutral than the HP MK too.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 15, 2013, 09:15:07 PM
Part of the excellent fade resistance properties of HP Vivera pigment prints is in the way the ink mixing is controlled by the HP Z media presets. If you put a microscope on a Z3100/3200 matte print you will see there is no composite grey mix in either color or grey mode print.

Which is consistent with test results showing minimal fading in the HP black inks. The lack of faster-fading colour pigments in HP's pure grey shades certainly helps with their fade resistance.

But HP's colour inks, even without any black or light black, also show better permanence than colour inks from other manufacturers. So it's not just due to the black/grey.

Quote
Build with 11 inks that get a 100% black generation and clever N-color hue substitution.  To get a similar control of even more inks asks for a lot of skill in all the disciplines involved; the custom inkjet printer system + a RIP that can handle that inkset + the profiling that can cope. I mean in PRACTICE. The HP engineers in Barcelona were not amateurs. How the gamut would improve with that custom system has to be explained to me.

Tonality would improve because, instead of using just two densities of black ink in a single dot size, you'd have six or seven different densities of black ink, available in three (Epson) to seven (Roland, ?Mimaki) different dot sizes. Whatever the quality of the RIP, there's only so much tonality you can achieve in the luminance channel if you only have two inks and one dot size to interpolate lighter colours from.

This also applies to colour inks - more dot sizes available for colour inks means that lighter colours can be simulated by using just as many dots as darker colours, but smaller dots, rather than a few widely-separated large dots.

When you're using black inks for L values, and coloured inks primarily to control a and b values, this translates to smoother gradients, particularly when you're dealing with gradients of brightness and colour saturation, with colour hue remaining largely the same (e.g. skies, or anything printed in monochrome).

Gamut would also increase because, with the ability to place lots of small dots (both coloured and ultra-light black) rather than a fewer number of larger dots, one can get much closer to the white of the background paper without actually becoming white.

Epson's K3 and HDR inksets have also shown that, with variable dot size, you can exceed the gamut of HP's 12-ink system with just 8 or 10 inks.

Naturally, this would require capable RIP software, but it's not insurmountable - custom RIPs can do better than OEM RIPs even with standard inksets.

Quote
I would not be afraid of HP Vivera pigment inks in an Epson. Paul Roark has used the HP PK Vivera + mixes in Epson desktop models with even finer droplet heads than the Epson wide formats have. No issues at all as I understand it.

This is good to hear - it's what I suspected, based purely on the mechanisms by which the various print heads work, but it's good to know that someone else has done it successfully. Maybe I can skip the testing on a low-end Epson pigment printer, and move straight to the Roland...

Quote
Whether the Epson wide format printing with the 3.5 picoliter droplets (only size used at the highest resolutions!!!!) is that much better in image quality than the Canon wide format 4 picoliter or HP Z 4/6 picoliter droplet has to be seen. The latest range of Epson wide formats often show inconsistency in print results with even the OEM inks. Users that have to rely on the highest resolution settings/slowest speeds to get rid of banding/waves, even on papers that can not deliver the image quality related to those resolution settings. Image quality has a lot to do with the dithering/weaving algorithms, the resampling/print sharpening functions and above all good inkjet paper coatings. There are no published MTF resolution numbers for coating/ink/printer combinations but my gut feeling is that the best are already reached beneath 600 PPI input and anything above that is not recorded in the print anymore. I might be wrong but even then I rather use a slightly lower image quality printer that delivers a consistent quality at both 300 PPI and 600 PPI input, today and tomorrow, without extensive cleaning steps in the morning or between print runs. And allow an easy exchange of one head to get that consistency again when it fails.

I normally print at 300ppi on HP, and 360ppi for Epson. I usually print large (large enough that upsampling is required even from 80MP files), and am definitely not convinced either that, at these sizes, 600/720ppi files give any better results than 300/360ppi files. Doubly so for papers with any sort of texture.

Banding/waves and consistency with some Epson printers may or may not be an issue, but Epson print heads are also used in Mimaki, Roland and other printers - even if certain Epson printers and RIPs may not be ideal, the proof of concept (running HP inks through Epson heads) is still there, and other printers utilising Epson heads may be able to give better results. Roland printers, at least, have a self-maintenance schedule that keeps the heads running and clog-free so long as the machine is turned on.

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About uncoated papers mentioned in another thread here; There is an interesting discussion on the Yahoo digital B&W forum where users of alternative photographic processes write that even the papers from 500 years old mills changed in the past decades due to paper process changes. What worked one day for a platinum print could not be repeated when changes at the factory were made for all the batches later on. That will not tell us either whether inkjet coated papers or uncoated papers will last longer but at least raises some questions about the aging of the mill's papers then and now.
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The manufacturing process and exact makeup of the paper may be a different from 500 years ago, but the basic product is still the same - matted cellulose fibres, derived from cotton, firstly soaked in an internal sizer and the fibres then coated with an external sizer to prevent water absorption - and has proven stability, even where exact manufacturing processes and chemistry have varied worldwide. After all, Arches watercolour, Indian khadi and Japanese washi papers are all made very differently, but have all proven to have great longevity. One cannot say the same about the layer of polyvinyl alcohol binder and silica particles which make up the inkjet receptive layer.

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Paul Roark has done some fine jobs with MIS Eboni MK inkjet inks on uncoated Arches papers that showed good fade resistance. The Eboni MK is in itself the most neutral pure carbon black MK ink of all discussed here, more neutral than the HP MK too.

Is it pure carbon (like the Cone Carbon inks), or is it carbon mixed with another pigment (like the Cone Neutral and Selenium inks)? If it's pure carbon and more neutral than the Cone Carbon inks, I suspect this would be because of different particle size as compared to Cone.

Of course, fade resistant tests with pure carbon inks may not be the best test of the longevity of inks on uncoated paper (which is, of course, quite separate from the longevity of the paper itself) - after all, pure carbon is essentially fade-proof. Tests using coloured inks may be far more telling. I suspect it would be much more related to the UV stability of the pigments than tests on coated, microporous paper - without the huge surface area of coated papers, fading due to atmospheric contaminants should be relatively negligible.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 16, 2013, 04:05:54 AM
With the highest print resolutions set on all three brands wide formats you will get the smoothest gradations, the best image detail, the least banding. In that setting they all use droplets of about 4 picoliter: 3.5 for the Epsons, 4 for the Canons, 4-6 for the HPs. No larger droplets are used. If you go to lower print resolutions the Epson starts to throw in larger droplets next to the 3.5 picoliter size, 11 picoliter and larger. It does that for speed. With 360 nozzles per channel there is no other choice to compete with Canons etc that have >2000 nozzles per channel that can print in similar firing rates the Epson nozzles can handle. The Canons and HPs still squirt their 4 or 4-6 picoliter droplets at the lower resolution settings. Epson often boasts about its droplet size variation, it had more meaning when the competition could not make droplets as small as Epson's minimum droplet size.

The HP Z3100/3100 use 4 black/grey inks in their best matte art paper media presets and 3 black/grey inks on photo gloss papers. In color and B&W mode of the driver. Yes, you could go the piŽzography route for better gradients but it will not improve gamut and you need a black generation as good as HP's media presets do it to keep similar fade resistance.

Gamut increases due to droplet size will be very limited if the ink opaqueness remains the same. I very much suspect that Epson's larger gamut even with a smaller inkset is mainly the result of more transparency in the inks/pigments they use. Let us say a step into the direction of Claria, the Epson "Dye". In that case subtractive color mixing improves. Related to that is a change in gamut with bleeding/dotgain on dots as the white background diminishes in that process and the transparency increases at the dot's edge. Some articles exist on what happens then. Smaller droplets have another ratio on dot area/circumference that should increase dotgain if the paper coating allows that, there is less ink to absorb per dot so it might as well work out differently. Important is dot addressing which does not improve the smaller the droplet is. So the variable dot size has in my opinion nothing to do with the Epson gamut quality but the dot addressing may benefit of it. But again; at the highest resolutions only the smallest droplet is used.

The Eboni is a pure carbon and of the pure carbon inks the most neutral. It is true that particle sizes have an influence on the color of the carbon but I would guess that different processes to produce the carbon particles have an influence too. MIS gets its base inks from Image Specialists. Check Paul Roark's work anyway as it has been done with a good brain and eye for what matters and a lot of trial and error, where the discussion here is very much theoretical. Check some Aardenburg Lab measurements of the MK black inks where HP MK ink and Eboni ink are used on the same paper.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 16, 2013, 10:10:05 AM
With the highest print resolutions set on all three brands wide formats you will get the smoothest gradations, the best image detail, the least banding. In that setting they all use droplets of about 4 picoliter: 3.5 for the Epsons, 4 for the Canons, 4-6 for the HPs. No larger droplets are used. If you go to lower print resolutions the Epson starts to throw in larger droplets next to the 3.5 picoliter size, 11 picoliter and larger. It does that for speed. With 360 nozzles per channel there is no other choice to compete with Canons etc that have >2000 nozzles per channel that can print in similar firing rates the Epson nozzles can handle. The Canons and HPs still squirt their 4 or 4-6 picoliter droplets at the lower resolution settings. Epson often boasts about its droplet size variation, it had more meaning when the competition could not make droplets as small as Epson's minimum droplet size.

Fair enough - I see how that could work... I was under the impression that Epson printers (and Iris, and Roland, and Mutoh) threw out dots of varying sizes onto the same print, improving tonality in the highlights using smaller droplets, by being able to render light colours using many small drops of ink, instead of larger drops separated by wide gulfs of paper white.

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The HP Z3100/3100 use 4 black/grey inks in their best matte art paper media presets and 3 black/grey inks on photo gloss papers. In color and B&W mode of the driver. Yes, you could go the piŽzography route for better gradients but it will not improve gamut and you need a black generation as good as HP's media presets do it to keep similar fade resistance.

The Piezography inksets seem to blow away the HP inkset in black-and-white, though, and the HP inkset is already pretty much the best 'standard' inkset out there for black-and-white printing. Why would fade resistance be worse with pure-carbon piezography inks, if shades of grey are made up not of coloured inks, but just of different dilutions of carbon ink?

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The Eboni is a pure carbon and of the pure carbon inks the most neutral. It is true that particle sizes have an influence on the color of the carbon but I would guess that different processes to produce the carbon particles have an influence too. MIS gets its base inks from Image Specialists. Check Paul Roark's work anyway as it has been done with a good brain and eye for what matters and a lot of trial and error, where the discussion here is very much theoretical. Check some Aardenburg Lab measurements of the MK black inks where HP MK ink and Eboni ink are used on the same paper.

So, possibly the MIS inks would be a better candidate for the various 'black' inks than the Cone Piezography inks? Or possibly split-toning them with darker MIS inks and lighter Cone inks for a dedicated black-and-white inkset. It's also useful to know that he's had success combining MIS inks with HP Vivera inks (in an Epson printer, no less) - this would indicate that the solvents used in each inkset are compatible with each other, and that the individual inks from each set can be combined to form a custom inkset without compatibility problems.


The other problem with HP printers is their very limited paper thickness (0.8mm) compared to other printers on the market. Epson can take at least 1.5mm without modification, while Rolands can be modified to take truly stupidly-thick media!
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 16, 2013, 04:12:24 PM
Desktop printers with droplet sizes down to 1.5 picoliter but with the same inkset do not show better gamut than their wide format brothers.

I did not write that the extra grey inks will harm fade resistance. In color mode you have to create good black generation to get rid of CMYetc composite mixes that could harm fade resistance of a print, that fact does not change with more grey inks.

Paul did mixing tricks with ink medium, surfactants, etc to get the properties right for Epson heads. All documented though.

Maybe there is a misunderstanding. I do not write the replies to advocate the use of a HP Z3200 printer or any other brand printer but I try to explain that your Super Customised Solution asks for a lot of skill to get all what you want: fade resistance, wide gamut, highest image quality. Compromises are made in OEM solutions and compromises are accepted by users with any of the OEM choices, we simply get not all in one package. Sometimes a wider gamut is aimed at and less fade resistance accepted as the penalty.  Yes, the Zs are compromised on paper thickness and loading sheets is not their forte either. Your SCS does not include an integrated spectrometer for calibration and profiling like on the Zs but I guess it will after this message.

I have to repeat Mark D Segal's last words in this thread: Thanks - it will be interesting to follow your results.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: wattsies on July 16, 2013, 05:57:47 PM
This has been a very interesting discussion, especially in relation to the piezography inks, which I have been using. As a monochrome inkset, they do produce lovely results, but I have been concerned about their lightfastness.  Although as I tend to store my prints in dark storage (at least one copy anyway), perhaps this is not such a big deal.

The HP design jet printers are said to produce very good monochrome output, at least in terms of neutrality.  Where's that 17" HP printer that I can fit in my room!
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: wattsies on July 16, 2013, 06:00:54 PM
I should also note that silver gelatin prints, that we thought were the holy grail of longevity next to the platinum print, are not performing so well themselves in Mark's testing. While the manufacturers probably don't make their commercial decisions on this basis, at least for those of us interested in permanence the digital era seems to be giving us more and more opportunities to move forward.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 16, 2013, 07:10:31 PM
This has been a very interesting discussion, especially in relation to the piezography inks, which I have been using. As a monochrome inkset, they do produce lovely results, but I have been concerned about their lightfastness.  Although as I tend to store my prints in dark storage (at least one copy anyway), perhaps this is not such a big deal.

Pure-carbon inks, from any manufacturer, are no doubt completely lightfast and resistant to chemical attack, and will likely outlast the paper - this has been verified by Aardenburg for both Cone and MIS inks. The problem is the durability of inkjet-coated paper itself - there's just no real evidence on the longevity of a thin layer of highly-porous silica suspended in polyvinyl alcohol. There's no point in the image lasting 1000 years if the paper doesn't.

Even the inks that aren't pure carbon, but are largely carbon and are used to make black-and-white prints, will decay to pure carbon as the non-carbon pigments fade, without losing any information.

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The HP design jet printers are said to produce very good monochrome output, at least in terms of neutrality.  Where's that 17" HP printer that I can fit in my room!

The Z3200 comes in a 24" version, which isn't all that much bigger!

I should also note that silver gelatin prints, that we thought were the holy grail of longevity next to the platinum print, are not performing so well themselves in Mark's testing.

Silver gelatin prints never performed that well. They needed toning to completion with sepia, selenium or gold, or a split-tone combination of the three (a 1:19 'archival' bath in selenium doesn't do the trick - try 1:5, where you get a colour shift even in the highlights, for proper protective toning) in order to hold up.

Also, I'd consider the holy grail of longevity to be the carbon print, not the platinum print, due to platinum's destructive effect on the paper base. Platinum images will last forever. The catalytic effect of platinum, however, will form acids from atmospheric gases that will destroy the paper - many century-old platinum prints are in perfect condition, with no fading, but the papers they are printed on (and, in albums, the papers, they are in contact with) have become brittle or turned orange due to this catalytic effect. This isn't helped by the fact that, due to the acidic nature of the printing process, a platinum print cannot be made on buffered paper (although the acid can be washed out and the buffer re-established once the print has been made).
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: MHMG on July 16, 2013, 09:17:52 PM

Silver gelatin prints never performed that well. They needed toning to completion with sepia, selenium or gold, or a split-tone combination of the three (a 1:19 'archival' bath in selenium doesn't do the trick - try 1:5, where you get a colour shift even in the highlights, for proper protective toning) in order to hold up.

Also, I'd consider the holy grail of longevity to be the carbon print, not the platinum print, due to platinum's destructive effect on the paper base. Platinum images will last forever. The catalytic effect of platinum, however, will form acids from atmospheric gases that will destroy the paper - many century-old platinum prints are in perfect condition, with no fading, but the papers they are printed on (and, in albums, the papers, they are in contact with) have become brittle or turned orange due to this catalytic effect. This isn't helped by the fact that, due to the acidic nature of the printing process, a platinum print cannot be made on buffered paper (although the acid can be washed out and the buffer re-established once the print has been made).

I suspect the holy grail of image longevity is in photo ceramic technology, the kind being used to produce images that are affixed to gravestones. But, of course, the weak link with a photo ceramic image is the brittleness of the substrate. Drop it, and like a porcelain vase, it can shatter. There's never any universally perfect answer, just an application-specific answer which best serves a specific need.

As for Silver gelatin prints, the not-so-great test results I'm seeing on modern silver halide papers are being impacted essentially by the amount of OBAs. Prior to the 1950s, silver gelatin prints didn't contain OBAs, so the modern stuff in test recently at Aardenburg is simply reflecting modern tastes for "brighter white" media that will lose their pristine cool-white appearance over time more quickly than the silver particles will fade or discolor provided that temperature and humidity levels keep the gelatin binder below its glass transition temperature (Tg). Hence, the universal weak link with classical silver gelatin black & white prints on traditional fiber base paper (i.e., not the RC papers) is prolonged exposure to high humidity. Gold, Selenium, and other toners help protect against silver ion migration (oxidation-reduction reactions) under high humidity circumstances which looks typically like blue-black or silvery mirroring tarnish effects on the image surface, but high humidity still wreaks havoc with any gelatin coated or gelatin-sized papers because it invites mold and mildew, sticking of the print surface to other papers, glass, plastic album sleeves, etc., in contact with the gelatin, and high humidity where gelatin goes above Tg is also a nice invitation to insects for a free lunch.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com



Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 16, 2013, 10:56:01 PM
Desktop printers with droplet sizes down to 1.5 picoliter but with the same inkset do not show better gamut than their wide format brothers.

Point taken - makes sense, now that I think about it.

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I did not write that the extra grey inks will harm fade resistance. In color mode you have to create good black generation to get rid of CMYetc composite mixes that could harm fade resistance of a print, that fact does not change with more grey inks.

I thought that's what you were implying. Or did you just mean that any colours along the black/grey inks' 'gradient', from black to white, needed to be kept free of other, non-black colour pigments in the RIP (with a separate black-and-white RIP only utilising the black and grey inks) in order to avoid colour shifts?

It should be possible to do this in Versaworks, Imageprint or other RIP software, shouldn't it??

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Maybe there is a misunderstanding. I do not write the replies to advocate the use of a HP Z3200 printer or any other brand printer but I try to explain that your Super Customised Solution asks for a lot of skill to get all what you want: fade resistance, wide gamut, highest image quality.

I guess my question is, 'is it possible', rather than 'is it easy'. If it's chemically and physically possible to mix all the most fade-resistant black and colour inks together - and Paul Roark's experience seems to suggest that it is - then the fade resistant part is covered, at least for the inks. Permanence of the paper is another issue entirely, but using uncoated, buffered 100% cotton paper should go a long way towards long-lasting prints, while pre-heating the ink and paper for faster evaporation, and using inkjet-appropriate paper sizing, should help alleviate some of the issues with printing on uncoated media.

The wide gamut and image quality parts would be about choosing the right inks, out of all the fade-resistant ones, and developing a good-quality RIP, as well as ICC profiles for the RIP/printer/paper combination. There's no reason an inkset including the entire range of HP colour inks, plus a lineup of black/grey inks, would have any less gamut than the Vivera inks alone. I would expect this would require a lot of experimentation and test prints, but by no means would be impossible. Failing that, I could always commission an expert to develop a RIP for the custom inkset... some businesses specialise in producing RIPs and ICC profiles for customers.

That said, I don't expect it to be easy - merely possible.

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Compromises are made in OEM solutions and compromises are accepted by users with any of the OEM choices, we simply get not all in one package. Sometimes a wider gamut is aimed at and less fade resistance accepted as the penalty.

The price of living in a society where immediate and short-term flashiness is everything, with no consideration for the long term.

Acid-washed denim and parachute pants, anyone?

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Yes, the Zs are compromised on paper thickness and loading sheets is not their forte either. Your SCS does not include an integrated spectrometer for calibration and profiling like on the Zs but I guess it will after this message.

I use non-integrated spectrophotometers and densitometers for this, and other purposes, anyway - shouldn't be too hard to enter them into RIP software to come up with curves for each ink. It may be worthwhile printing out a standard-sized test image on each paper and sending it to a specialist company to develop a custom ICC printer profile for each paper using the printer, though.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 16, 2013, 11:20:09 PM
I suspect the holy grail of image longevity is in photo ceramic technology, the kind being used to produce images that are affixed to gravestones. But, of course, the weak link with a photo ceramic image is the brittleness of the substrate. Drop it, and like a porcelain vase, it can shatter. There's never any universally perfect answer, just an application-specific answer which best serves a specific need.

I'm personally banking on differentially-sized inert nanoparticles. You can print them on anything, put them into aqueous, solvent or UV inks, and they're completely chemically and UV inert. Brittle substrates will never make for good image longevity, no matter how permanent the inks are. We're already using this principle to produce anodised titanium sheet in different colours, among other things, and the different nanoparticle sizes is what gives toned chlorobromide papers quite a different colour to pure bromide papers treated with the same toner.

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As for Silver gelatin prints, the not-so-great test results I'm seeing on modern silver halide papers are being impacted essentially by the amount of OBAs. Prior to the 1950s, silver gelatin prints didn't contain OBAs, so the modern stuff in test recently at Aardenburg is simply reflecting modern tastes for "brighter white" media that will lose their pristine cool-white appearance over time more quickly than the silver particles will fade or discolor provided that temperature and humidity levels keep the gelatin binder below its glass transition temperature (Tg). Hence, the universal weak link with classical silver gelatin black & white prints on traditional fiber base paper (i.e., not the RC papers) is prolonged exposure to high humidity. Gold, Selenium, and other toners help protect against silver ion migration (oxidation-reduction reactions) under high humidity circumstances which looks typically like blue-black or silvery mirroring tarnish effects on the image surface, but high humidity still wreaks havoc with any gelatin coated or gelatin-sized papers because it invites mold and mildew, sticking of the print surface to other papers, glass, plastic album sleeves, etc., in contact with the gelatin, and high humidity where gelatin goes above Tg is also a nice invitation to insects for a free lunch.

I never really understood the use of OBAs on silver halide papers. They usually already have a baryta layer to improve whiteness, and, these days, some people specifically choose silver prints because of their 'known' archival qualities. Yet, they continue to fill them with OBAs (which burn out, unlike baryta, and which also do absolutely nothing behind UV-protective glazing, again unlike baryta) and make them out of RC-coated papers which crack and peel within 40 years!

What's your take on styrene-acrylate sizers for paper as compared to gelatin-sized papers? The styrene-acrylate sizers seem to enhance Dmax and saturation and are obviously less susceptible to microbial attack (although antimicrobial substances can be added to gelatin). On the other hand, what do we know about the durability of styrene-acrylate sizers? Gelatin and starch sizing has been around a long time (although starch sizing is eminently unsuitable for inkjet work). How long as styrene-acrylate sizer been around for, and do papers sized in this manner show any signs of increased deterioration compared to traditional papers? Adding 15% calcium chloride to the tub sizer, too, seems to have a large effect in enhancing saturation and Dmax with inkjet prints, without also increasing dot gain.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: artobest on July 17, 2013, 12:22:24 PM


The Piezography inksets seem to blow away the HP inkset in black-and-white, though, and the HP inkset is already pretty much the best 'standard' inkset out there for black-and-white printing.

The Cone inks are beautiful, yes, but I think 'blow away' is too strong. They certainly blow away the Epson inksets, with their composite-grey approach, but the grey-only HP Vivera inks come much closer - in my opinion. I have compared the results from all three systems.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 17, 2013, 12:34:05 PM
The Cone inks are beautiful, yes, but I think 'blow away' is too strong. They certainly blow away the Epson inksets, with their composite-grey approach, but the grey-only HP Vivera inks come much closer - in my opinion. I have compared the results from all three systems.

You don't need the whole Piezography system to blow away Epson's black-and-white inkset. All you need is a single ink - the blackest - an Epson printer capable of 1.5 picolitre drops and a decent RIP.

The HP black-and-white system is certainly much better than that of any other OEM manufacturer out there, but it's still not quite there with Cone tonality-wise. Also, take the two prints, mount them side-by-side in a north-facing room in Australia or a south-facing room in Mexico (so that the prints get blasted by sunlight), put two smokers in the house, and see which one will look better after a few decades...
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 18, 2013, 05:56:04 AM
By the way, light magenta and light cyan inks tend to be weak links in any inkset, since they are essentially watered-down versions of full-strength inks. How much would I be losing, gamut- and tonality-wise, if I were to remove these inks from the HP inkset, and built a custom inkset using the remaining inks, running them through a 1440dpi, 3 picolitre print head, using small drops of full-strength ink to represent 'light' colours instead? Is the HP 'light' cyan a true LC 'light cyan' anyway, given that HP photo printers don't actually use a cyan ink, or is it a full-strength cyan ink which just happens to be light in colour?
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 18, 2013, 06:31:25 AM
By the way, light magenta and light cyan inks tend to be weak links in any inkset, since they are essentially watered-down versions of full-strength inks. How much would I be losing, gamut- and tonality-wise, if I were to remove these inks from the HP inkset, and built a custom inkset using the remaining inks, running them through a 1440dpi, 3 picolitre print head, using small drops of full-strength ink to represent 'light' colours instead? Is the HP 'light' cyan a true LC 'light cyan' anyway, given that HP photo printers don't actually use a cyan ink, or is it a full-strength cyan ink which just happens to be light in colour?

Gamut wise you will be losing on the light colors, subtractive mixing decreases, more white paper appears. 3.5 picoliter head does not diminish dotsize enough on full strength hue inks. In the HP Z3200 there is no Cyan used, only the Light Cyan, where normal Cyan ink is used it probably does it with mixes of the Light Cyan, Green and Blue ink. You will find a normal Cyan/Light Cyan set in the Z2100, Z5200, Z6100, Z6200 though the last has an odd Chromium Red ink to replace yet another normal ink if I recall it correctly. The Light Cyan cartridge of the Z2100 is the same one used in the Z3200. BTW, the B9180 etc desktop models used the same Z2100 inks + heads but had a better dithering/weaving that gave improved image quality while the droplet size was the same. On A3+ size the extra time of processing is less of an issue I guess.

Is there a chance we get to know your true identity?

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 18, 2013, 07:31:17 AM
Gamut wise you will be losing on the light colors, subtractive mixing decreases, more white paper appears. 3.5 picoliter head does not diminish dotsize enough on full strength hue inks.

That's what I'd expect. How much would I be losing? If it's not too much, it could potentially be justified, in the name of print longevity. Would I be correct in guessing that the main loss would be in tonal range of skintones? I wish they'd implement the 1.5 picolitre dot size on the larger heads - they can produce dots so fine that you can print a great greyscale image with just one black ink.

In a similar vein, do you know of any white aqueous inks with strong archival stability? Mixing white dots with magenta dots would essentially give you the colour of 'light magenta', without it actually being an understrength ink.

 In the HP Z3200 there is no Cyan used, only the Light Cyan, where normal Cyan ink is used it probably does it with mixes of the Light Cyan, Green and Blue ink. You will find a normal Cyan/Light Cyan set in the Z2100, Z5200, Z6100, Z6200 though the last has an odd Chromium Red ink to replace yet another normal ink if I recall it correctly. The Light Cyan cartridge of the Z2100 is the same one used in the Z3200. BTW, the B9180 etc desktop models used the same Z2100 inks + heads but had a better dithering/weaving that gave improved image quality while the droplet size was the same. [/quote]

Perhaps replacing the Light Cyan with normal Cyan would improve the permanence of the inkset, at the expense of a little gamut in the light cyans (but possibly an expansion of gamut in the mid- to dark cyans), given that there would then be more 'pure', fully-saturated colours to form an image from.

Do you know where I'd be able to buy Vivera inks in bottle/bulk form? If I'm putting them through Epson or Roland print heads, buying them in tiny amounts inready-to-print in cartridges containing a HP print head really doesn't make sense...

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On A3+ size the extra time of processing is less of an issue I guess.

I guess that's the difference between commercial volume printing and fine-art printing... I'd be happy for a printer to keep working all night, spitting out 1.5-picolitre ink droplets in 16 colours, if it gave me an absolutely perfect print. Obviously this wouldn't work for high-volume printers, but I sell very low volumes of work at high value.

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Is there a chance we get to know your true identity?

I'm no-one even remotely well-known! Photography isn't even my full-time job - just a tax-deductible hobby that takes me all over the world and pays for itself, plus a whole lot of expensive toys and travel, via sales and competition winnings.
Title: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: shadowblade on July 19, 2013, 12:23:45 AM
On a more general note, I find it quite interesting that many of the very same people who put so much time and effort into manually manipulating a real-world scene into a perfect digital image, using custom camera settings, filters, curves, third-party lenses, Photoshop, plugins and other software, then put so little effort or thought into the process of turning that digital image back into a real-world print.

Printing a photo using default settings, using a printer with default inkset and drivers and choosing only the paper, is a bit like taking a photo in auto mode, allowing the camera to select shutter speed, aperture and white balance, selecting only whether you want 'portrait', 'landscape', 'vivid' or another default rendering, and saving that as your final image. You're relying on the software to render everything to a default setting - which, while adequate for many people, is usually less than optimal if you're particularly picky about the final result, and less than the best possible print of that image. Between customised RIPs, mixing inksets, individual inks and printers to get the results you want (be they in terms of gamut, longevity, gloss/texture or print surface), selecting from hundreds of available papers and even doing things like modifying the einvironment in which the print is made (temperature, humidity), you can customise the file-to-print stage of image generation just as much as you the scene-to-file stage.

Yet, this second stage is often neglected - why?
Title: Re: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: wattsies on July 19, 2013, 01:23:38 AM

Yet, this second stage is often neglected - why?

I think printing has become a rather niche practice given the advent of smart phones, the explosion of other mobile devices and the place technology occupies today in everyone's lives.

I personally believe the only reason to take a great photograph is to make a great print, but that takes a lot of time and effort and is an art in itself. Most people are just not interested, and the old days of taking your roll of. Flm up to the local Fuji or Kodak lab and going back in a few days to pick up your prints seem gone. Why bother, when you've already seen what it looks like on a screen?

I'll keep printing, and trying to get better at. It's far more rewarding than the default position as you point out. But for most I think it is too much effort, because you have to have a passion for it at the end of the day.
Title: Re: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: Schewe on July 19, 2013, 01:33:05 AM
Yet, this second stage is often neglected - why?

I think your conceit is showing through...if you consider that an image has three phases, capture, process and printing, I think it's you who are flailing about trying to achieve something at the final stage that is somehow different or non standard. If you capture a good image and process it correctly and end up with a really nice image, making even a reasonably good print results in a good print of a good image.

You can choose to make a really unique print of a crappy image but the results will be a crappy print. The question you have to ask yourself is what, exactly, are you trying to achieve? Do you want to run down a bunch of obscure rabbit holes because you like to run down obscure rabbit holes  or are you really trying to achieve something unique?

You're relatively new around here and seem hellbent on producing non-standard prints for some reason. Are you really compelled to put HP ink in an Epson to get a better print or are you simply playing around? Do you have a real reason for printing on papers that are not designed to accept inkjet inks or are you just playing around?

Don't get me wrong...I like (and admire) playing around...but it would behoove you to respect those people who can achieve a good capture, processed well and printed on a reasonably standard printer/paper combination without casting aspersions on their lack of ingenuity. Not everybody can actually get a good print of a well processed good image...can you? Care to share what it is you are trying to do with your images?
Title: Re: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: Rhossydd on July 19, 2013, 01:57:09 AM
even doing things like modifying the einvironment in which the print is made (temperature, humidity)
You think you can see the difference between prints made at different temperatures or humidities on the same kit ?
I never read anyone who claims that before. Any examples you can cite ?
[/quote]Yet, this second stage is often neglected - why?[/quote]
Probably because prints straight out of modern printers are usually exceptionally good.
People usually seem to take some care over their choice of printer. Then they take further care over paper choice and the associated settings and colour management files needed. Going beyond that is only necessary if you want something particularly unusual and that's not what many people like.
Title: Re: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: shadowblade on July 19, 2013, 02:53:10 AM
I think your conceit is showing through...if you consider that an image has three phases, capture, process and printing, I think it's you who are flailing about trying to achieve something at the final stage that is somehow different or non standard. If you capture a good image and process it correctly and end up with a really nice image, making even a reasonably good print results in a good print of a good image.

That goes without saying. Anyone who is able to sell a photo as a piece of art for it's own sake (not, say, as a memento of a special occasion) or reach the final rounds of an art competition should be able to capture a good image and process it to show of its best aspects. If you can't do that, you're unlikely to sell or establish a good reputation. Therefore, competent capture and processing is simply a baseline. Whether one photo is 'better' or 'worse' than another one is largely up to taste. Presentation - that is, printing, mounting and finishing - is what really makes the piece stand out among the crowd of other good photos, and often means the difference between a viewer merely looking twice and thinking, 'nice photo' and them actually buying it. It was like this in the darkroom (where competent toning and development of a captured and processed image were what set a great photo apart from a good one) and it's the same in the digital darkroom, using inkjet printers. And anyone who can capture and process a good image can also use proper colour correction, plug in a printer with its standard inks, . Or send the file to a high-volume print lab, where they will do exactly the same thing. Since this is so easy and common, it becomes the baseline, a bit like the glossy 4x6" print in the film era - if you can take a decent photo and process it well, you can easily have it printed and end up with a good photo. To really stand out among the hundreds of other photographers who can also take a good shot, process it well and either print it using default settings or send it to a print lab, you need to make the print and presentation stand out as well.

Just as an example, Peter Lik's photos are nothing special in their own right. They're well-composed, competently captured and well-processed, but photos of a similar standard are dime-a-dozen on forums like this one. What makes them special, especially in his galleries, is the way they are printed and presented - between the lighting, printing and mounting, they are extremely striking images that, before everyone copied him, were fairly unique. Take the same photo, print it on an Epson or HP inkjet with default settings and standard paper and mat/mount it in a standard frame, and it no longer stands out among a wall of images by other photographers printed and mounted in the same way.

Quote
You can choose to make a really unique print of a crappy image but the results will be a crappy print. The question you have to ask yourself is what, exactly, are you trying to achieve? Do you want to run down a bunch of obscure rabbit holes because you like to run down obscure rabbit holes  or are you really trying to achieve something unique?

Hence, you have to find something that works out better than the 'standard', that makes it stand out as an artwork of some value, not merely a good photo. It needs to have some unique quality that would make a buyer, viewer or judge look at it again, among the hundreds of other well-captured and well-processed photos, printed using default settings on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta or Platine Rag and placed in a typical frame.

It's like mutations in biology. Most of them don't work and are regarded as defects, but, everyone once in a while, you come across something that really works (e.g. the unusual size of the human brain) and it tends to stick.

Quote
You're relatively new around here and seem hellbent on producing non-standard prints for some reason. Are you really compelled to put HP ink in an Epson to get a better print or are you simply playing around? Do you have a real reason for printing on papers that are not designed to accept inkjet inks or are you just playing around?

Been lurking for more than 12 years, actually - just never posted anything until recently.

I sell small volumes of work only, but each one I sell tends to sell for a lot. My clients tend to be institutions more so than individuals - major hotels (sometimes converted from centuries-old palaces) wanting something for their foyer, the curators of ancient temples, forts and other buildings, private estates and galleries. Essentially, they want unique artworks, not just a good, but stock-standard photo on regular photo paper - either an original painting, an original sculpture, or a photo printed and presented in such a way that the print shop down the street can't just turn out another fifteen of them that afternoon. Often, they'll want something of local significance. Given the age and longevity of some of these buildings and institutions, and the fact that they're institutions rather than individuals with a limited lifespan and no interested relatives, they also want print longevity - something that can last in their collection on display for a very long time, at least as permanent as their oil paintings and sculptures. For this reason, many of them won't buy colour photos (some have never heard of the term 'carbon print', otherwise they might change their mind) or anything on inkjet-coated paper, or any kind of glossy print.

Quote
Don't get me wrong...I like (and admire) playing around...but it would behoove you to respect those people who can achieve a good capture, processed well and printed on a reasonably standard printer/paper combination without casting aspersions on their lack of ingenuity. Not everybody can actually get a good print of a well processed good image...can you? Care to share what it is you are trying to do with your images?

I'm trying to develop a technique that will stand out amidst a wall of 'default' inkjet prints on standard paper (e.g. by printing on ultra-thick, deckled handmade paper, or even local products such as cactus silk or papyrus), produces an image quality that is at least comparable to matte inkjet paper while printing on these media (even if it may be slower, more expensive, less convenient or require some manual tasks - things which tend to turn off commercial bulk printers) and has proven long-term longevity. I'm looking at HP colour pigments and Cone or MIS pure-carbon blacks, because of their demonstrated longevity advantage over Epson and Epson-derived inks. I'm looking at Epson print heads because Epson printers can take a much greater variety of media than HP printers, including ultra-thick papers, and because many solvent printers, whose heating systems help the printing of uncoated media, use Epson heads. And I'm looking at printing on uncoated media because they have proven long-term longevity - at this stage, we don't even know what polyvinyl-alcohol-based microporous coatings will look like in 30 years, much less 100 years. Just look at what's happening to old prints on RC paper these days - no-one had predicted it when it was first released.

As well as that, I also just like experimenting to see how I can improve things.
Title: Re: On the topic of customising printers, inks and RIPs
Post by: shadowblade on July 19, 2013, 03:00:03 AM
You think you can see the difference between prints made at different temperatures or humidities on the same kit ?
I never read anyone who claims that before. Any examples you can cite ?

Yes.

Make a print on uncoated paper in a cold room, with high relative humidity (let's say, 13 degrees Celcius, 80% relative humidity - a fairly typical winter's day in Melbourne).

Now make the same print, on the same uncoated paper, on the same printer, in a heated, airconditioned room at 35 degrees Celcius and 30% relative humidity. You could push it even higher in a special 50-degree room, or by preheating the inks and paper.

The print made in the heated, drier environment will be a lot sharper, and show less dot gain, than the print made in the cold, humid environment. Faster evaporation makes that much of a difference. You can then adjust the profile for the heated, dry environment to put down a heavier ink load, resulting in more saturated colours and deeper blacks.


Quote
Probably because prints straight out of modern printers are usually exceptionally good.
People usually seem to take some care over their choice of printer. Then they take further care over paper choice and the associated settings and colour management files needed. Going beyond that is only necessary if you want something particularly unusual and that's not what many people like.

Going beyond is what you have to do if you want to stand out among the crowd of other well-composed and well-processed photos printed at a commercial, high-volume print lab, or printed at home using a large-format printer and standard settings.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Tony Jay on July 19, 2013, 03:43:41 AM
I have been watching this thread for a while.
I do not have anything technical to contribute but I will be fascinated to see what the bottom line will be.
Good luck with your endevours.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 19, 2013, 06:00:47 AM
Just to be clear, I offer a standard edition on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl, as well as a metal edition (Imagewizards Aluminarte). I'm working on this for special editions and archival copies.

Anyway, first round of tests:

Printer - R3000 - set to fire 3.5 picolitre droplets only, as this is the minimum size for Epson large-format printers and Roland printers using Epson heads
Ink - MIS Eboni MK (darkest black ink only)

Papers - Canson Rag Photographique (control); Arches Watercolour Hot Press (test). Chosen because they are very similar papers from the same manufacturer, with the main difference being that the Hot Press is uncoated and gelatin-sized, while the Rag Photographic has an inkjet coating. Both are smooth matte papers (I couldn't use the Infinity Aquarelle, as it is a textured paper quite different from the Hot Press).
Target - A 10x10 block of shaded squares, from 100% black to 0% black, all produced by dithering (since the printer is only running one ink)

First phase - Dot gain (started tonight):

Control - Target printed on Canson Rag Photographique, at air temperature 15 degrees Celcius and 55% relative humidity.
Target 1 - Target printed on Arches Watercolour Hot Press, at air temperature 15 degrees Celcius and 55% relative humidity.
Target 2 - Target printed on Arches Watercolour Hot Press, at air temperature 50 degrees Celcius and 30% relative humidity (printer was placed inside a wooden crate and an electric heater was used to heat the air inside the crate to the desired temperature)

Dot gain and Dmax of test prints will be measured once the prints have had 24 hours to dry, to be compared with dot gain of control

Second phase - Dmax:

Profiles to be created to linearise the output for two test conditions (test prints at room temperature and at 50 degrees), based on the targets printed during the first test, aiming to maximise Dmax while allowing contrast to be seen between the darkest patches (i.e. not oversaturating the paper). Standard output (via ICC profile) for coated control paper.

Dmax to be measured on each test sample when thoroughly dry and compared with Dmax of control, as well as each other.

Third phase - Surface coatings and maximising Dmax:

Multiple pure-black targets to be created on Watercolour Hot Press, both at room temperature and in the 'oven', and allowed to dry thoroughly.

Several different sprays and surface coatings to be tested, to determine the deepest Dmax achievable.

I will post the results when I have some!
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 19, 2013, 07:13:41 AM
2 picoliter:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61067.0


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 19, 2013, 07:24:30 AM
2 picoliter:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61067.0


I know. But I'm running the tests at 3.5 picolitres, because the large-format printers I'm intending to run this on can't produce 2 picolitre droplets.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 19, 2013, 07:31:03 AM
I know. But I'm running the tests at 3.5 picolitres, because the large-format printers I'm intending to run this on can't produce 2 picolitre droplets.

A RIP to drive the R3000 that you can pinpoint 3.5 picoliter droplet size?

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 12:30:16 AM
A RIP to drive the R3000 that you can pinpoint 3.5 picoliter droplet size?

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots

This is a friend's spare printer, so I'm using Studioprint, which she has on her computer to run her main Epson 9900 printer.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 05:04:30 AM
Just to be clear, I offer a standard edition on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl, as well as a metal edition (Imagewizards Aluminarte). I'm working on this for special editions and archival copies.

Anyway, first round of tests:

Printer - R3000 - set to fire 3.5 picolitre droplets only, as this is the minimum size for Epson large-format printers and Roland printers using Epson heads
Ink - MIS Eboni MK (darkest black ink only)

Papers - Canson Rag Photographique (control); Arches Watercolour Hot Press (test). Chosen because they are very similar papers from the same manufacturer, with the main difference being that the Hot Press is uncoated and gelatin-sized, while the Rag Photographic has an inkjet coating. Both are smooth matte papers (I couldn't use the Infinity Aquarelle, as it is a textured paper quite different from the Hot Press).
Target - A 10x10 block of shaded squares, from 100% black to 0% black, all produced by dithering (since the printer is only running one ink)

First phase - Dot gain (started tonight):

Control - Target printed on Canson Rag Photographique, at air temperature 15 degrees Celcius and 55% relative humidity.
Target 1 - Target printed on Arches Watercolour Hot Press, at air temperature 15 degrees Celcius and 55% relative humidity.
Target 2 - Target printed on Arches Watercolour Hot Press, at air temperature 50 degrees Celcius and 30% relative humidity (printer was placed inside a wooden crate and an electric heater was used to heat the air inside the crate to the desired temperature)

Dot gain and Dmax of test prints will be measured once the prints have had 24 hours to dry, to be compared with dot gain of control



Well, first phase results are in. It looks like temperature (and humidity, but temperature is easier to control) has a huge impact on dot gain due to the faster drying time, as predicted by the greatly-increased vapour pressure of water at 50 degrees as opposed to 15 degrees. The inkjet-coated paper showed the least dot gain, but the heated paper wasn't far behind, with the dots still appearing circular and densely-coloured, and not much preferential bleed along the paper's fibres. I believe that a dedicated print heater, as seen on solvent printers, would produce an even better result than this rough-and-ready solution, since the direct application of heat (as it was lost via evaporation) and better ventilation than is available inside a wooden crate, would allow for even faster evaporation.

In contrast, the 'dots' on the unheated, uncoated paper looked like horrible, feathery splotches under the microscope, with the circular dots laid down by the printer turned into tendrils of coloured fibres spreading out from the central point where the initial dot was laid.

On to the next test - to see what sort of Dmax I can achieve on uncoated paper.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: TylerB on July 20, 2013, 01:26:18 PM
some of us played around with heating and/or ventilating Epsons for the same purposes. I'd just warn you about increasing the potential for clogging heads this way. The combination of paper dust/lint from these kinds of papers coming up on the heads and combining with the ink, as well as an environment that dries that gunk rapidly during the print process, is something to be aware of. As you suggest, the Roland line is more suitable for this kind of printing. The Ashes and Snow prints were made that way, including the heating, work has continued along those lines...
Two papers you might want to check out-
Good old Somerset Velvet Radiant White, still a beautiful paper and surface.
Magnani Revere Polar White, recently introduced, takes ink very well.

Good luck with your work, making beautiful and extraordinary prints is still the goal for some of us just like it was in the darkroom.
Tyler
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 20, 2013, 01:54:50 PM
There is probably one rule you should not forget: all the efforts to dry the ink fast to keep dotgain low and Dmax high mean that the pigment ink stays on top and lies bare for abrasion etc like happens with the inkjet paper coatings. Among the non-inkjet papers that perform best you will see that effect happen as well. True the thick coatings that can crack and loose their bond to the paper base are absent (or less thick like some offset papers that can be printed in inkjet) but the surface reamains a weak point.

In the RIT tests you gave the link for I have not seen protection sprays tested or mentioned. For some tests that must have given another result. OBA content was not mentioned either in the ozone and other fading tests. Seen 70% of the so it might have escaped my attention.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 01:55:44 PM
some of us played around with heating and/or ventilating Epsons for the same purposes. I'd just warn you about increasing the potential for clogging heads this way. The combination of paper dust/lint from these kinds of papers coming up on the heads and combining with the ink, as well as an environment that dries that gunk rapidly during the print process, is something to be aware of. As you suggest, the Roland line is more suitable for this kind of printing. The Ashes and Snow prints were made that way, including the heating, work has continued along those lines...

I'm ultimately intending to use a Roland, which is built for heated inks and media. Probably an older-model, second-hand 12-colour Soljet, rather than the newest 16-colour machine - no point paying premium price if I'm just going to tear the printer apart, modify it for ultra-thick media, run nonstandard, aqueous inks through it and use custom RIP software rather than whatever Roland supplies!

How do you heat or ventilate an Epson? Or an HP printer, for that matter (if I'm planning to use Vivera inks anyway)? I'm running the test printer inside a big wooden crate with some heaters, as well as an air conditioner (to dehumidify the air inside), but I can't imagine doing it for a full-sized 44" or larger printer.

Quote
Two papers you might want to check out-
Good old Somerset Velvet Radiant White, still a beautiful paper and surface.
Magnani Revere Polar White, recently introduced, takes ink very well.

The Polar White definitely. I'm not sure about the Somerset Velvet Radiant White, though - the textured surface leads me to think the Dmax and saturation there won't be particularly good. Either way, I'd have to run a few tests to see which one gave me the best saturation, Dmax and definition.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 02:04:31 PM
There is probably one rule you should not forget: all the efforts to dry the ink fast to keep dotgain low and Dmax high mean that the pigment ink stays on top and lies bare for abrasion etc like happens with the inkjet paper coatings. Among the non-inkjet papers that perform best you will see that effect happen as well. True the thick coatings that can crack and loose their bond to the paper base are absent (or less thick like some offset papers that can be printed in inkjet) but the surface reamains a weak point.

I'm planning to use spray protection, such as Hahnemuhle Protective Spray, to minimise the risk of this happening. Will test a few of them to see which one gives me the most Dmax (and possibly gloss).

The 'Ashes and Snow' exhibition, as mentioned before, was made in a similar manner using Cone Piezography inks, and was waxed and finished by hand for surface protection.

Quote
In the RIT tests you gave the link for I have not seen protection sprays tested or mentioned. For some tests that must have given another result. OBA content was not mentioned either in the ozone and other fading tests. Seen 70% of the so it might have escaped my attention.

A micron-thin coat of spray is hardly going to prevent an inkjet receptive layer from cracking under mechanical stress, particularly if it has been rendered brittle by UV light or pollutants. At best, it will slow the effect of UV light and pollutants, and help keep the cracked pieces of the layer on the paper. Better to eliminate the thing that can crack or peel in the first place...

How would OBAs have an impact on the result of ozone or other fading tests? They're certainly not going to slow down the fading - they're just another thing that can fade I guess their only positive in terms of archival stability is their ability to somewhat counteract light-induced bleaching of paper - as the paper ages, it bleaches, but as the OBAs burn out, yellowness increases, somewhat cancelling each other out.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: TylerB on July 20, 2013, 02:07:13 PM
...
How do you heat or ventilate an Epson? Or an HP printer, for that matter (if I'm planning to use Vivera inks anyway)? I'm running the test printer inside a big wooden crate with some heaters, as well as an air conditioner (to dehumidify the air inside), but I can't imagine doing it for a full-sized 44" or larger printer.

this was long before large format Epsons, or HPs. Stupid experiemental ways like rube goldberg boxer fan attachments or hand holding hair dryers.

...I'm not sure about the Somerset Velvet Radiant White, though - the textured surface leads me to think the Dmax and saturation there won't be particularly good. Either way, I'd have to run a few tests to see which one gave me the best saturation, Dmax and definition.

it was one of the standards for both Iris and Epsons before coated papers were even made, you might be surprised...
back to work.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: TylerB on July 20, 2013, 02:10:18 PM
by the way, chose your Roland carefully. At some point with the firmware they limited the number of inks you could run at a time, no matter how many carts there are. Sounds like you know who you need to talk to...
Now I really am going back to work
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 20, 2013, 03:38:23 PM

How do you heat or ventilate an Epson? Or an HP printer, for that matter (if I'm planning to use Vivera inks anyway)? I'm running the test printer inside a big wooden crate with some heaters, as well as an air conditioner (to dehumidify the air inside), but I can't imagine doing it for a full-sized 44" or larger printer.



Ecosolvent printers can have a heated steel surface where the substrate is in touch with before the print area, after that a similar surface and a strip of ventilators. The first is to open up the surface for a better bond as I understand it, not so much to give a drying effect.

For gloss on matte papers you need far more varnish than protection sprays can offer and then preferably applied in several layers. Even with silkscreen printing you can not create a nice gloss with one coating layer of varnish, UV cured or solvent based.

Considering Iris printers, the best Dmax + longevity was achieved with dye inks on uncoated papers then or with paper with gelatine coatings. Got worse when they started to use porous coated papers. Claria probably is better than any of the dyes of that period including the Ilford Archival dye.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on July 20, 2013, 05:24:39 PM

A micron-thin coat of spray is hardly going to prevent an inkjet receptive layer from cracking under mechanical stress, particularly if it has been rendered brittle by UV light or pollutants. At best, it will slow the effect of UV light and pollutants, and help keep the cracked pieces of the layer on the paper. Better to eliminate the thing that can crack or peel in the first place...

How would OBAs have an impact on the result of ozone or other fading tests? They're certainly not going to slow down the fading - they're just another thing that can fade I guess their only positive in terms of archival stability is their ability to somewhat counteract light-induced bleaching of paper - as the paper ages, it bleaches, but as the OBAs burn out, yellowness increases, somewhat cancelling each other out.

Protection spray reduces gas fading. Might give some protection against abrasion too.

With no information which papers were used, for all categories: analogue, digital, offset, and no indication of their OBA content the differences between print categories get obscured.

Ernst, op de lei getypt.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 08:29:31 PM
by the way, chose your Roland carefully. At some point with the firmware they limited the number of inks you could run at a time, no matter how many carts there are. Sounds like you know who you need to talk to...
Now I really am going back to work

Really? I thought various software solutions and RIPs got around that. Can't imagine they did that after the D'Vinci came out - they even promote that as a '12-colour system' on the Roland website itself!

it was one of the standards for both Iris and Epsons before coated papers were even made, you might be surprised...
back to work.

Really? Might give it a try, then. But maybe it works better with dye inks than pigment...


Ecosolvent printers can have a heated steel surface where the substrate is in touch with before the print area, after that a similar surface and a strip of ventilators. The first is to open up the surface for a better bond as I understand it, not so much to give a drying effect.

That's why I'm planning to use one, instead of using an Epson, HP, etc. You can get a second-hand one in good condition for not much more than a high-end Epson machine. Also, as an industrial-grade machine, I'd imagine it'd be less likely to clog, jam or otherwise fall apart.

Quote
For gloss on matte papers you need far more varnish than protection sprays can offer and then preferably applied in several layers. Even with silkscreen printing you can not create a nice gloss with one coating layer of varnish, UV cured or solvent based.

I was thinking more like six to twelve coats.

Waxing the print also provides a nice, pearlescent sheen, but doesn't offer any UV protection, and the sealing effect is doubtful. Maybe a protective spray, with wax applied on top of it. I'll need to do a few experiments, but that can wait until I get the system running.

Quote
Considering Iris printers, the best Dmax + longevity was achieved with dye inks on uncoated papers then or with paper with gelatine coatings. Got worse when they started to use porous coated papers. Claria probably is better than any of the dyes of that period including the Ilford Archival dye.

Dye inks are somewhat different, though, and even the best current inks for the Iris are only rated at around 75 'Wilhelm years', i.e. around 147 megalux hours to 30% fading (much less than that, in terms of Aardenburg megalux-hours, due to the more stringent criteria).
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 20, 2013, 10:59:20 PM
Protection spray reduces gas fading. Might give some protection against abrasion too.

With no information which papers were used, for all categories: analogue, digital, offset, and no indication of their OBA content the differences between print categories get obscured.

Ernst, op de lei getypt.

Fading's not really the issue, though. The issue is the embrittlement and ultimate failure of the receptive layer itself, not the pigments trapped within it. So far, it looks like even minimal mechanical stress causes micro-cracks, and ozone, nitrogen dioxide and UV light only accelerate it. No indication as to what happens with light in the visible spectrum or other wavelengths, or even if it just becomes more brittle anyway while lying in the dark protected under glass.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: artobest on July 23, 2013, 06:04:12 PM


Waxing the print also provides a nice, pearlescent sheen, but doesn't offer any UV protection, and the sealing effect is doubtful. Maybe a protective spray, with wax applied on top of it.


Have you tried waxing a print on matte paper? Nasty, in a word - at least, with coated fine-art papers. Renaissance Wax works great on gloss and semi-gloss surfaces though.
Title: Re: Running HP inks through an Epson printer
Post by: shadowblade on July 23, 2013, 06:30:28 PM
Have you tried waxing a print on matte paper? Nasty, in a word - at least, with coated fine-art papers. Renaissance Wax works great on gloss and semi-gloss surfaces though.

It works very well on uncoated matte papers. The main issue is printing on them...