Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5   Go Down

Author Topic: Which Printer for Black and White?  (Read 7846 times)

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Which Printer for Black and White?
« on: January 26, 2018, 11:47:34 PM »



Topic:

What is your favorite printer for B&W?  Canon, Epson, HP?  Which models and why? 

What are your favorite papers?

Patrick

« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 01:04:42 AM by patjoja »
Logged

Paul Roark

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 361
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 11:53:17 AM »

The Epson piezo heads can pump a high viscosity ink than the thermal heads of the others.  Thus, the Epson printers allow a wide range of custom and third party inks, with the black and white inks being the most important.  (OEM color is usually the best color; not so for B&W.)

There are so many papers, it's hard to say one is objectively superior to others. 

I, personally, like matte paper, matted and displayed under acrylic in the traditional manner.  That said, most of my recent work has been on canvas or satin paper and not displayed under glass.  This is mostly due to the large sizes I've been printing recently.  (The un-glazed prints have multiple coats of Print Shield on them for at least some protection.)

One major advantage to matte under glass/acrylic with a traditional over-mat is that you can tape hang it.  That is much easier and, in my view better, than trying to dry mount or use adhesives to mount a glossy print.  Without professional equipment getting a glossy or satin print to be properly mounted and stay flat can be a problem.  Matte under glass is easy for any home printer/photographer to do and have professional looking results.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Logged

BradSmith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 659
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 02:39:28 PM »

I would bet that in the hands of a skilled person, that B&W prints on the same paper from those three printers using OEM inks would be essentially identical.  And if they weren't, I might find one to be "best" and you'd find another to be "best".  Mark Segal is our resident printing guru, having tested most of the new printers released in recent years for LULA.  He would be an excellent person to answer your question.  Most of us here use one brand of printer.  So for us, ours is AOK. 

And I don't think there are "best" papers.  There certainly are different papers.  And there certainly are "good" papers.  Best depends on your image, but more importantly, your taste.

Brad
Logged

aaronchan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 526
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 02:32:54 PM »

I had personally owned all 3 major brands printer
and i found hp does produce the best b&w print with oem ink compare to the others.
the smoothness, the black and the neutrality

but personally, i'm using piezography pro ink with my epson printers
it is just another level when it comes to b&w printing

aaron

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 01:05:35 AM »

I had personally owned all 3 major brands printer
and i found hp does produce the best b&w print with oem ink compare to the others.
the smoothness, the black and the neutrality

but personally, i'm using piezography pro ink with my epson printers
it is just another level when it comes to b&w printing

aaron

I've heard a lot about the piezography inks on this forum, and am intrigued by all the positive comments.  Where are best places to get inks and carts and information about the process? 

Regarding your comments on HP, what makes the HP printers better than the rest?  Do they have more colors?

Patrick
Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 14903
  • http://myrvaagnes.com
    • http://myrvaagnes.com
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 09:44:40 AM »

I've heard a lot about the piezography inks on this forum, and am intrigued by all the positive comments.  Where are best places to get inks and carts and information about the process? 

Regarding your comments on HP, what makes the HP printers better than the rest?  Do they have more colors?

Patrick
For good background info on inks for B&W printing, go to Paul Roark's website (link in his post, above) and scroll down to Black & White Print and Printing Information and click on the link there.
Logged
-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 10:16:40 AM »

For good background info on inks for B&W printing, go to Paul Roark's website (link in his post, above) and scroll down to Black & White Print and Printing Information and click on the link there.

Thanks Eric,

I've spent some time looking at Paul's site and also THIS THREAD which provides a lot of good information.

It seems like this could be an expensive way to go vs OEM printers and ink.  I'm not saying "no" to it, but would like to explore the options.  I have several printers:

1) Canon iPF 6450  Used weekly
2) Canon Pro-1  Used weekly
3) Epson 3880  Not used in 2 years.

I could probably convert the Epson 3880 to a dedicated B&W printer.  My concerns are that I haven't used the printer for the last two years (it's about 3 years old), and I'm worried I may have to replace the print head.  I confess I haven't fiddled with it yet, so my bad. Perhaps it just needs a good head cleaning and new ink.

The question I have to decide is whether it's worth pursuing. The pro inks are quite expensive and I'd hate to purchase them and not have the printer work.

Thoughts?

Patrick
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 04:24:56 PM by patjoja »
Logged

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 01:15:02 AM »

What is the accepted way to measure printer performance, especially regarding black and white gradations (linearization)? 

There must be some objective way to evaluate printers other than just eyeballing an image.  Is there a test chart or something like that available?

Thanks,

Patrick
Logged

tom b

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1471
    • http://tombrown.id.au
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 02:37:31 AM »

Patrick, nobody looks at a print and says, wow that got a 99.5% B&W print rating I must buy it.

Time to reflect on your priorities,

Logged
Tom Brown

Alan Goldhammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2902
    • A Goldhammer Photography
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 08:14:58 AM »

What is the accepted way to measure printer performance, especially regarding black and white gradations (linearization)? 

There must be some objective way to evaluate printers other than just eyeballing an image.  Is there a test chart or something like that available?

Thanks,

Patrick
Keith Cooper has created a very useful test image:  http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/test-image-for-black-and-white-printing/

Alan
Logged

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 11:48:16 AM »

Keith Cooper has created a very useful test image:  http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/test-image-for-black-and-white-printing/

Alan

Thanks Alan,

In fact, that's the site I stumbled upon that led me to ask the question.  I printed the test image out on my Canon Pro-1 last night and I actually think it looks pretty good.  However, I may need a magnifying glass or loupe to see the graduations better. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what might be a good printers loupe?

Patrick
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 02:20:43 PM by patjoja »
Logged

unesco

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 183
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 11:58:28 AM »

In fact, that's the site on stumbled upon that led me to ask the question.  I printed the test image out on my Canon Pro-1 last night and I actually think it looks pretty good.  However, I may need a magnifying glass or loupe to see the graduations better. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what might be a good printers loupe?

the best way to test smoothness is so called bull-eye test, you can find it QTR application download archive and in may other places. it shows you linearity problems, loupe is not needed, radial manner helps to see the issues

is you have a scanner, anything that has 1200 dpi or more would be a good match for you as well
no experience on optical lopes, however
Logged

BradSmith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 659
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 12:03:59 PM »

Read just about any of the printer or paper reviews here on LULA by Mark Segal.  He measures test patches, both color and B&W for comparison to known values of his synthetic test image.  But as I've said in an earlier post, and a couple others have said, what matters is how they LOOK.  Machines might measure differences, but if your eyes can't then aren't they artistically identical?
Brad
Logged

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 12:31:28 PM »

Read just about any of the printer or paper reviews here on LULA by Mark Segal.  He measures test patches, both color and B&W for comparison to known values of his synthetic test image.  But as I've said in an earlier post, and a couple others have said, what matters is how they LOOK.  Machines might measure differences, but if your eyes can't then aren't they artistically identical?
Brad

Thank you, Brad.  I did see, and note, your post above. I've been printing a while, but consider myself a 'newbie' in that I'm completely self taught.  I will admit that I'm somewhat intimidated by the level of expertise on these forums, and I'm trying to feel my way around. I agree that how the print looks should be the final arbitrator, but there's always this thing in the back of my head that questions whether or not I'm 'doing it right'.  I appreciate the confidence boost!

Patrick
Logged

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 12:43:36 PM »

the best way to test smoothness is so called bull-eye test, you can find it QTR application download archive and in may other places. it shows you linearity problems, loupe is not needed, radial manner helps to see the issues

is you have a scanner, anything that has 1200 dpi or more would be a good match for you as well
no experience on optical lopes, however

Thanks unesco.  I think the many test plots on the Northern Lights website will be sufficient to show me how well my printers are working.  I don't have QTR, and probably won't since I'm not using Epson printers.   There are a couple of bulls-eye test images available on the Northern Lights website. 

Regards,

Patrick
Logged

richardboutwell

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 54
    • Black and White Mastery
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 02:44:39 PM »

Eric at Freestyle was boasting about using a Canon printer with his custom profiles last year at PhotoLA and made me a print of my standard test image. I can honestly say that I shocked when I saw visible printer dots in what should have been smooth highlights and midtones without any magnification. He didn't print using whatever the Canon equivalent if the Epson ABW, so I can't comment on that, but to some degree they are not "about the same". Most people know I am all in on QTR and developed my own tools to improve on the curve creation side of things, but I've done some experiments looking at how K3 compared to K5 and up.

Despite whatever the carbon content of the inks are, the visual influence of the additional gray inks is NOT something to disregard. The prints do look and feel different. Now, are most average viewers going to see that? In some cases, yes, but as artists and printmakers I don't think we should not push for excellence because we discount the ability for people to experience it. We should push for excellence in our work and then educate the people who are interested into becoming real connoisseurs of fine printing.
Logged
Personal Site http://www.richardboutwell.com
Black and White Aesthetics, Editing, and Printing http://www.BWMastery.com

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2018, 03:04:56 PM »

Eric at Freestyle was boasting about using a Canon printer with his custom profiles last year at PhotoLA and made me a print of my standard test image. I can honestly say that I shocked when I saw visible printer dots in what should have been smooth highlights and midtones without any magnification. He didn't print using whatever the Canon equivalent if the Epson ABW, so I can't comment on that, but to some degree they are not "about the same". Most people know I am all in on QTR and developed my own tools to improve on the curve creation side of things, but I've done some experiments looking at how K3 compared to K5 and up.

Despite whatever the carbon content of the inks are, the visual influence of the additional gray inks is NOT something to disregard. The prints do look and feel different. Now, are most average viewers going to see that? In some cases, yes, but as artists and printmakers I don't think we should not push for excellence because we discount the ability for people to experience it. We should push for excellence in our work and then educate the people who are interested into becoming real connoisseurs of fine printing.

Which canon printer was it? 

Patrick
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 03:41:52 PM by patjoja »
Logged

richardboutwell

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 54
    • Black and White Mastery
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2018, 03:14:04 PM »

Pretty sure it was the prograf2000. I remember it being a big (and ugly) 24 job.
Logged
Personal Site http://www.richardboutwell.com
Black and White Aesthetics, Editing, and Printing http://www.BWMastery.com

patjoja

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 137
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 03:33:17 PM »

Pretty sure it was the prograf2000. I remember it being a big (and ugly) 24 job.

Okay...thanks.  I know where you are coming from now...

Please don't take offense, but comments like this confuse the h... out of me. Almost every review I've read give the Canon printers an equal to slight advantage over Epson and no where has anyone ever mentioned printer dots in the highlights (that sounds like a very grievous error).  I have two Canon printers and I have done a lot of printing with them, and I've never noticed such a thing, but it could be that I just don't know what to look for. 

Perhaps there was something wrong with his printer?

Patrick
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 03:42:11 PM by patjoja »
Logged

richardboutwell

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 54
    • Black and White Mastery
Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 03:45:46 PM »

I am getting a bunch of thing together for a post comparing prints made with different printers and methods. I have the one he made for me in a plastic sleeve and will scan it and show what I mean. The dots appeared to be from the dithering of the color inks to make a different gray levels. Like I said, it was with the color driver so I cant compare to QTR or ABW, but an Epson print with my ICC custom profile adding show the same problem. The printer they used was their demo model so I doubt it would have been unique to that particular one. Eric didnt seem to have a problem with it but he also has a vested interest in selling Canons. If I thought it was better Id consider jumping ship.
Logged
Personal Site http://www.richardboutwell.com
Black and White Aesthetics, Editing, and Printing http://www.BWMastery.com
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5   Go Up