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Author Topic: Which Printer for Black and White?  (Read 7119 times)

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2018, 07:40:21 AM »

Thank you, Alan.  Your comments are much appreciated.  I've read a number of Keith's articles, but I don't think I've seen that one.  I'll take a look at it.

Patrick
The link I posted was the most recent and there are several older ones that are linked in that article.  Please note that the approach to using ABW 'profiles' only works with WinOS.  Several years ago Apple changed their OS so that this approach no longer works.  It was at this time that Eric Chan stopped making ABW profiles for customers.  The advantage to this system is that you can softproof images prior to printing.
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patjoja

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2018, 11:24:02 AM »

The link I posted was the most recent and there are several older ones that are linked in that article.  Please note that the approach to using ABW 'profiles' only works with WinOS.  Several years ago Apple changed their OS so that this approach no longer works.  It was at this time that Eric Chan stopped making ABW profiles for customers.  The advantage to this system is that you can softproof images prior to printing.

I'm using Windows 7, so no problem there.  Softproofing would be a help.  Two issues I saw with Keith's article (which was written in 2012, btw) is that he was using a i1Profiler and I'm not sure they are still available (at least I cannot find one anywhere...all the spectro's I could find were between $1500 to $4000, well outside my budget).  The other thing is that the article does not mention the ColorMunki and only gives the procedure for the i1Profiler.  So, I would need to figure out how to adapt the ColorMunki to the process, if it's even possible.  I'll be honest...this is not the kind of stuff I want to invest my time in, and that's the point of my post above.  Some people enjoy figuring this kind of stuff out.  At 66 yo, I just want the stuff to work.  :-)

As I'm thinking about it, I think the real issue is that I don't have a spectrometer / densitometer,  other than the ColorMunki.  Most of the QTR/calibration procedures I've seen require one at some point in time, but those are not in the budget.  That means I need to do the best I can without one or use what I have.  Any more money I invest in this hobby/business has to be used a lot...not used once and thrown into a corner. 

The other issue I'm seeing is that I'm not using a Mac for printing, and I have no plans of implementing one into my process.  If I did, then I could use QTR with Print-Tool, etc. for instance.  I'm coming to realize that if you're not using a Mac and Epson in this arena, you're screwed.  So, I need to look for other alternatives, and perhaps be satisfied with what I can get outside of that step.

Regarding the spectro, I'm just not sure if gaining 2-3% of dmax is worth the investment, especially if I can gain that ground by going to a new, next generation printer. 

And that's the question I keep asking...

Regards,

Patrick
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richardboutwell

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #82 on: February 27, 2018, 11:42:36 AM »

I'll be honest...this is not the kind of stuff I want to invest my time in, and that's the point of my post above.  Some people enjoy figuring this kind of stuff out.  At 66 yo, I just want the stuff to work.  :-)



At this point I honestly don't think it matters what printer you actually get, and I don't know why you bother to keep asking the same question. People who do this stuff pretty seriously have given you all the information you need, but if you aren't willing to put the extra effort to take advantage of whatever slight differences there are between the two then it really doesn't matter what you get.
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patjoja

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #83 on: February 27, 2018, 12:03:58 PM »

At this point I honestly don't think it matters what printer you actually get, and I don't know why you bother to keep asking the same question. People who do this stuff pretty seriously have given you all the information you need, but if you aren't willing to put the extra effort to take advantage of whatever slight differences there are between the two then it really doesn't matter what you get.

Thanks for your insight Richard...I appreciate all the info you and others have shared on this thread.  You have tried to steer me in a direction that I'm not unwilling to try, but probably unable to do for various reasons at this time.

Patrick
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #84 on: February 27, 2018, 01:49:25 PM »

I'm using Windows 7, so no problem there.  Softproofing would be a help.  Two issues I saw with Keith's article (which was written in 2012, btw) is that he was using a i1Profiler and I'm not sure they are still available (at least I cannot find one anywhere...all the spectro's I could find were between $1500 to $4000, well outside my budget).  The other thing is that the article does not mention the ColorMunki and only gives the procedure for the i1Profiler.  So, I would need to figure out how to adapt the ColorMunki to the process, if it's even possible.  I'll be honest...this is not the kind of stuff I want to invest my time in, and that's the point of my post above.  Some people enjoy figuring this kind of stuff out.  At 66 yo, I just want the stuff to work.  :-)
Yes, you can use a ColorMunki.  I use ArgyllCMS, which is free software, for doing all my profiling and it supports the ColorMunki.  http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/better-black-and-white-profiling-with-the-colormunki/ is the link to the ColorMunki use.  You are correct that this does involve a learning curve but it's not all that difficult once you have a way to read the B/W patch set.  Mark Segal has reviewed a number of the new printers here on LuLa and has printed out B/W images without any special software implementations.  In the end it's up to you and potential viewers as to what looks best.
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patjoja

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #85 on: February 27, 2018, 04:28:33 PM »

Yes, you can use a ColorMunki.  I use ArgyllCMS, which is free software, for doing all my profiling and it supports the ColorMunki.  http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/better-black-and-white-profiling-with-the-colormunki/ is the link to the ColorMunki use.  You are correct that this does involve a learning curve but it's not all that difficult once you have a way to read the B/W patch set.  Mark Segal has reviewed a number of the new printers here on LuLa and has printed out B/W images without any special software implementations.  In the end it's up to you and potential viewers as to what looks best.

Thanks again, Alan.  I am very grateful to you.  I will give that a try when I have a chance. 

Patrick
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donbga

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #86 on: February 27, 2018, 04:55:54 PM »


As I'm thinking about it, I think the real issue is that I don't have a spectrometer / densitometer,  other than the ColorMunki.  Most of the QTR/calibration procedures I've seen require one at some point in time, but those are not in the budget.  That means I need to do the best I can without one or use what I have.  Any more money I invest in this hobby/business has to be used a lot...not used once and thrown into a corner. 

The other issue I'm seeing is that I'm not using a Mac for printing, and I have no plans of implementing one into my process.  If I did, then I could use QTR with Print-Tool, etc. for instance.  I'm coming to realize that if you're not using a Mac and Epson in this arena, you're screwed.  So, I need to look for other alternatives, and perhaps be satisfied with what I can get outside of that step.

Regarding the spectro, I'm just not sure if gaining 2-3% of dmax is worth the investment, especially if I can gain that ground by going to a new, next generation printer. 

And that's the question I keep asking...

Regards,

Patrick

You don't need a Mac if you want to use QTR. And since you own a 3880 you can use QTR with Windows 7 which is what I do. You don't need to purchase a spectro if you have a flat bed scanner. And you don't need to use QTR if you utilize the ABW driver with the Epson 3880. Cone sells new enhanced black inks which you could use to get increased DMAX similar to what you have available on the new Epson printers.

Eric Chan's website should be on your list to investigate ABW printing and you can download free ICC profiles use with the ABW printer.

Richards Boutwell is a worth while investment. Photography and inkjet printing have always been financial black holes. Paul Roark's work may appeal to you more since he makes his work available for naught. But Richard's products aren't expensive, IMO.


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Paul Roark

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #87 on: February 28, 2018, 02:05:56 PM »

Regarding the need for a spectro, be sure to check out QTR's "Step Wedge tool" -- http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRdownload.html

A spectro is a very nice tool to have, but it occurred to me some years ago that most of us have scanners.  So, I wondered, could they be used with a standard, commercial step wedge to calibrate our profiles?  I came up with a rather crude procedure, and then Roy Harrington (QTR) refined and automated it in this software program.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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Jasper

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Re: Which Printer for Black and White?
« Reply #88 on: March 11, 2018, 08:05:04 PM »

Regarding the need for a spectro, be sure to check out QTR's "Step Wedge tool" -- http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRdownload.html

A spectro is a very nice tool to have, but it occurred to me some years ago that most of us have scanners.  So, I wondered, could they be used with a standard, commercial step wedge to calibrate our profiles?  I came up with a rather crude procedure, and then Roy Harrington (QTR) refined and automated it in this software program.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com

Paul - I just had a question for you regarding the use of this tool ...

During the initial run of the tool (on the calibrated target), the script asks for the "white", "middle gray" and "black" steps along with their LAB values.  The target I have only identifies the density of each patch - i.e. I know the density values of these are 0.08. 0.75 and 2.04 respectively.  How do I convert these values to LAB for entry into the tool?

Thanks!
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