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Author Topic: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints  (Read 758 times)

emreguclu

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hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« on: July 10, 2018, 04:46:25 PM »

Hello Eveyone,

I am new to printing and have made of 3 choices for my prints, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 (black and white & general use mat paper), Hahnemuhle William Turner (for my infrared 590 nm), Fine Art Baryte (for the glossy prints).

I am very happy with the Baryta and William Turner as I have used them before. I am having issues with the Photo Rag especially on Black and White prints that I cant get enough black deepness. Prints on photo rag looks a bit extra washed out to my eyes.

I am pretty aware that photo rag is not a "white" paper and all mat papers loose contrasts and darkens extra. I am also trying soft proofing of the canon print studio and also photoshop proofing but those usually simulates washed outness. I missing something to get the correct "black" in the photos, if someone can guide me at least with the high level workflow information greatly appreciated.

P.S.: Yes, I am using the right side of the Photo Rag paper.

Kind Regards,
Emre
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 05:11:06 PM »

Getting a custom M3 profile made by Chromix may help deepen black shading appearance and improve tonal separation of the dark tones. Other than that it's a matter of increasing contrast in the shadow tones under soft proof using the bottom end of the tone curve with the rest of the curve locked-down, or some enhanced editing techniques in Photoshop such as luminance masks, or judiciously applied darkening blend modes on layer masks that darken, with clipped curves that preserve some contrast in the darkening.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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TommyWeir

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 03:41:56 AM »

I use it as well, though I have found the Canson equivalent to be just a tad perceptibly darker, albeit with more of a tendency to sit on top of the paper and chip.  Nothing scientific here or even tested thoroughly but just to my eyes over time and using both stocks for the past two years.

You may find editing in Lab mode more useful for gauging black and white with the Photo Rag.   The ability to check the L value and to learn which point your printer/paper combination will run to black is quite useful.  I have found that values below 11 or 12 all tend to muddy up to a general black when printing on the HPR with my Epson.   I use luminosity masks as Mark recommends to identify and fix tonal zones that need lifting or darkening.

I had a friend with the right kit kindly make custom profiles for Canson and Hahnemuhle papers and it is certainly recommended.  It improved things, removed the odd color casts I occasionally was seeing on the Canson.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 07:31:20 AM »

Mark's advice is sound.  You also might try Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth.  For me it performed better for B/W printing.  However, I have an Epson 3880 and use Roy Harrington's QTR scripting tool to prepare dedicated B/W profiles.  This approach gives better shade detail than if I print using the native Epson driver.  I can also soft proof (this only works with Windows OS).
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 07:41:30 AM »


You may find editing in Lab mode more useful for gauging black and white with the Photo Rag.   The ability to check the L value ..........

Hi Tommy, one does not need to edit in Lab mode to do this. Just set the eyedropper (whether Lr or PS) to read Lab values, but keep the working space RGB and you have the best of both worlds. Editing in Lab mode introduces other issues and constraints one could well do without and not lose anything that matters in respect of editing for improved shadow detail. I routinely assess luminance and colour balance using Lab readings while editing in ProPhoto RGB.
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 07:41:44 AM »

QTR has softproofing om the Mac too.
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 07:57:18 AM »

  I have found that values below 11 or 12 all tend to muddy up to a general black when printing on the HPR with my Epson.   

My understanding is that the 11 to 12 black is an Epson driver issue. Using QTR and Cone inks that is not the case. I don't use HPR any more but my recollection is that it was quite capable of differentiation in both extreme light and darks.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 08:12:56 AM »

My understanding is that the 11 to 12 black is an Epson driver issue. Using QTR and Cone inks that is not the case. I don't use HPR any more but my recollection is that it was quite capable of differentiation in both extreme light and darks.

Achieving L*11 or 12 black on a matte paper is exceedingly good going. Usually one doesn't see much below 14~15  -and I've tested quite a few matte papers for this. That is printing with the Epson driver in normal or ABW mode. I don't know what the maximum achievable Black value is using a combination of QTR and Cone inks on a paper such as HPR, as I haven't seen a reported statistic. It would be VERY interesting if someone with access to that combination and a quality spectrophotometer could measure a printed file value of L*=0 and let us know what it is. The real inherent limitation of matte paper is that it scatters reflectance, reducing contrast and Maximum Black. But all that said, there can be a beneficial disconnect between what the numbers report and what Black shading appearance looks like, which is what matters most here. This disconnect has been engineered, as I've analyzed and reported, using M3 profiles and a paper/ink combination configured to optimize the way the ink sits on the paper to improve reflectance. So this is a case, like some others, where the numbers and visual perception do not necessarily cohere - and just as well.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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johncustodio

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 09:10:28 AM »

Mark,
I'm using Cone's K7 inks on an Epson 3880 using the QTR driver. With his new Ultra HD matte black, I'm getting a Dmax of about 1.78 - 1.80 (about L 13) on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308, measured with an i1 Pro2 spectro. I don't think it's possible to get a greater Dmax than this on a matte paper using this setup, at least I haven't seen it on the several papers I've tested.
-John
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 09:21:52 AM »

Mark,
I'm using Cone's K7 inks on an Epson 3880 using the QTR driver. With his new Ultra HD matte black, I'm getting a Dmax of about 1.78 - 1.80 (about L 13) on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308, measured with an i1 Pro2 spectro. I don't think it's possible to get a greater Dmax than this on a matte paper using this setup, at least I haven't seen it on the several papers I've tested.
-John

That sounds very credible. Thanks ever so much for reporting it - a really useful data point.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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TommyWeir

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 01:18:12 PM »

Hi Tommy, one does not need to edit in Lab mode to do this. Just set the eyedropper (whether Lr or PS) to read Lab values, but keep the working space RGB and you have the best of both worlds.

Mark, I was inexact in my expression (a frequent failing...). I meant precisely what you outlined, thanks for clarifying it.

TommyWeir

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 01:25:22 PM »

Mark,
I'm using Cone's K7 inks on an Epson 3880 using the QTR driver. With his new Ultra HD matte black, I'm getting a Dmax of about 1.78 - 1.80 (about L 13) on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308, measured with an i1 Pro2 spectro. I don't think it's possible to get a greater Dmax than this on a matte paper using this setup, at least I haven't seen it on the several papers I've tested.
-John

That's very interesting John.  I am actively considering picking up a P800 and setting it with Cone K7 straight off the bat. I had wondered if I would have more room in the lower values.  Appears not.  I am curious to hear or see some comparative reviews of the same printer, same images but Cone vs Epson.   Curious to hear where the added value lies within the perspective Mark outlined... what they look like.

Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 01:58:08 PM »

Mark, I was inexact in my expression (a frequent failing...). I meant precisely what you outlined, thanks for clarifying it.

You are welcome  :-)
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nirpat89

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 01:59:30 PM »

My understanding is that the 11 to 12 black is an Epson driver issue. Using QTR and Cone inks that is not the case. I don't use HPR any more but my recollection is that it was quite capable of differentiation in both extreme light and darks.

Something I have been trying to understand is why would Epson not maximize black level if QTR can.  From my understanding, the reason one is able to get a greater black level in QTR is by cranking up the so-called "ink density" level all the way to 100 for the black ink.  So why couldn't Epson do the same for a given paper/ink combination.  Does it affect something else like sharpness if you crank up the ink all the way.  Has anyone done a study comparing the ink density levels and resolving power.  In my cursory look at increasing the ink density on HP B9180 (where the control is much more coarse,) higher amount of ink clearly gave me more bleeding accompanied by loss of resolution.
 
Just curious....

:Niranjan.   
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 02:10:26 PM »

The first thing that comes to mind is that in compounding inks there are various objectives they are trying to optimize, so there are probably trade-offs.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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nirpat89

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2018, 03:21:45 PM »

The first thing that comes to mind is that in compounding inks there are various objectives they are trying to optimize, so there are probably trade-offs.

I figured as much.  In general, I do not see those trade-off being discussed in relation to QTR, when used with OEM inks in particular.

:Niranjan.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 03:46:25 PM »

You wouldn't because no manufacturer releases any details abut their ink formulations. All that is highly proprietary. It's valuable I.P.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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emreguclu

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 05:31:40 PM »

Getting a custom M3 profile made by Chromix may help deepen black shading appearance and improve tonal separation of the dark tones. Other than that it's a matter of increasing contrast in the shadow tones under soft proof using the bottom end of the tone curve with the rest of the curve locked-down, or some enhanced editing techniques in Photoshop such as luminance masks, or judiciously applied darkening blend modes on layer masks that darken, with clipped curves that preserve some contrast in the darkening.

Thanks a lot Mark! I will get in touch with Chromix to see how much the custom profile helps in Black and White soft proofing on Matt Paper like Photo Rag.

I haven't tried luminisotiy masks yet, I have studied them before but then when I noticed Nick Collections selective adjustments are easier way of using Luminosity masks I have left them :).

Kind Regards,
Emre
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2018, 07:46:32 PM »

Mark,
I'm using Cone's K7 inks on an Epson 3880 using the QTR driver. With his new Ultra HD matte black, I'm getting a Dmax of about 1.78 - 1.80 (about L 13) on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308, measured with an i1 Pro2 spectro. I don't think it's possible to get a greater Dmax than this on a matte paper using this setup, at least I haven't seen it on the several papers I've tested.
-John

Canson Rag Photographique gets 1.76 DMAX with the Cone Ultra HD Matte measured on an i1io2 with i1Pro2 in spot mode.It's a pity that these numbers aren't kept somewhere accessible. I, for one, would see that as a valuable resource. I routinely linearise my 3880 and keep the measurements.
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MHMG

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Re: hahnemuhle photo rag - black and white prints
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 10:12:05 PM »

Canson Rag Photographique gets 1.76 DMAX with the Cone Ultra HD Matte measured on an i1io2 with i1Pro2 in spot mode.It's a pity that these numbers aren't kept somewhere accessible. I, for one, would see that as a valuable resource. I routinely linearise my 3880 and keep the measurements.

I post that information in the Aardenburg light fade test results database, i.e, the initial L*min value of the tested printer/ink/media combination. That said, the database is far from a complete listing of all the major printer/ink/media combinations out there, and the samples that are there are also dependent on the skill/sophistication of the print sample making process which may be less than perfection in some instances. Hence, what you suggest would be useful to the printmaking community deserves a broader printmaking community effort than I've been able to achieve to date, but as proof of concept such a list does already exist.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:33:06 PM by MHMG »
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