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Author Topic: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890  (Read 14038 times)

Light Seeker

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 05:42:51 PM »

Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

Terry.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2011, 07:41:55 PM »

Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

Terry.
Nope, it works fine on 3rd party papers which are the only kind I use on my 3880 (both matte and gloss give fine results and I've confirmed the B/W ramp with an i1 Pro).
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gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2011, 08:00:35 PM »

Just curious. . . .  I assume that ABW is optimized for Epson papers. Does it work equally well on third party papers? If not, could that be an underlying cause of some / all of the issues raised earlier?

You're probably aware that in Epson's world there are only Epson papers. It is however possible to accommodate third-party papers but it does require some work. It generally takes me a few days to develop media presets for a new third-party paper, waiting for step wedges to dry etc. Just to show you how involved it can get, the last few output tests I attached were for Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo. Note the uniformity of toning (a and b values) throughout the range ... at least the best I could do. This was achieved with the following settings:

Media Type: Textured Fine Art Paper
Color Density: +7%
Tone: Darkest
Horizontal: -2
Vertical: -10

Finally the output was linearized with a profile for a target of L*=50 with the same value in. Now many here I doubt would be bothered to go this far, or find the controls that QTR offers more to their liking. It all comes down to how particular you are ... and I gather from the preceding discussion that many aren't.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 09:12:41 PM by gromit »
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digitaldog

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2011, 08:25:47 PM »

You're probably aware that in Epson's world there are only Epson papers.

I’m aware that in many Epson printer dialogs, there are Epson media settings for their papers. I don’t have a newer generation Epson but I was under the impression that they provide a means of making a custom media setting?

I do have a Canon printer that is recent enough to provide a tool to produce custom media settings and I’m not impressed that the work involved was all that useful.

That said, I’ve built literally hundreds of profiles for Epson printers for customers using 3rd party papers, using the standard Epson media settings and so far, its worked out pretty well.

Quote
It generally takes me a few days to develop media presets for a new third-party paper, waiting for step wedges to dry etc. Just to show you how involved it can get, the last few output tests I attached were for Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Duo. Note the uniforming of toning (a and b values throughout the range) ... at least the best I could do. This was achieved with the following settings:

With or without a custom media setting, the driver’s linearity leaves a bit to be desired. That said, I suspect thousands if not more Epson customers are printing with canned media settings, 3rd party papers and ABW and producing results they are more than pleased with. Customers like Alan.

There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there.
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Andrew Rodney
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gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2011, 08:31:59 PM »

There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there.

Maybe there should be. For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.
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digitaldog

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2011, 08:55:02 PM »

Maybe there should be.
Ah, OK they are not unhappy, you are, so they should be too?

Quote
For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.

Nothing stops them from using 3rd party papers! The points I made was, its possible, people use them, people find the media settings work reasonably well and don’t complain (but you think they should). Now maybe most of these users don’t have the standards you do, that’s fine. You appear to want to dink around for a day making custom settings, that’s great. So all the other Epson users who don’t are then what, wankers?

This kind of goes back to the QTR vs, using the ABW as designed. You want to use QTR, great. Not going down that path isn’t the same as saying ABW is broken in CS5. Its a trade off.
Some folks are quite willing to spend a lot of money on a 3rd party driver like ImagePrint. But that doesn’t mean those that don’t are foolish or are unhappy with their output. While I’m a fan of IP for some of the stuff it does, its also a buggy little sucker that at times makes we want to strangle its little neck! And I suspect this bug issue with CS5 you report will make you want to strangle QTR or some other area’s little neck because again, when used as directed, ABW works just fine (for many, many users).
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Andrew Rodney
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gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2011, 09:10:00 PM »

You want to use QTR, great.

I don't use QTR (the driver). Apart from the fact that it doesn't work on the 7900/9900 I have, I found I could achieve comparable results with tweaks to ABW settings (sans split-toning as mentioned above).

And yes, adequate support for the papers I choose to use is a major consideration in any future printer purchase.
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digitaldog

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2011, 09:11:33 PM »

And yes, adequate support for the papers I choose to use is a major consideration in any future printer purchase.

Do not the newer Epson’s provide this? Provide the means to create custom media settings?
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gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2011, 09:22:06 PM »

Do not the newer Epson’s provide this?

No. The papers I use will generally take more ink than the media presets allow. They just aren't linearized for this. Not that the output isn't satisfactory (even excellent) but they could be better still. It's like any tool, the more you use it, the more you learn what it can and can't do, what its limitations are.

Actually, a more correct answer is that there are custom presets but these only allow for paper thickness, drying time, stepping adjustments etc ... not ink loading or linearization which must be modeled on an existing media preset (and LUT). As such they're not that useful.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 10:45:57 PM by gromit »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2011, 08:30:19 AM »

No. The papers I use will generally take more ink than the media presets allow. They just aren't linearized for this. Not that the output isn't satisfactory (even excellent) but they could be better still. It's like any tool, the more you use it, the more you learn what it can and can't do, what its limitations are.

Actually, a more correct answer is that there are custom presets but these only allow for paper thickness, drying time, stepping adjustments etc ... not ink loading or linearization which must be modeled on an existing media preset (and LUT). As such they're not that useful.
I thought they did address ink loading.  I seem to remember an article by Mark Dubavoy a while back saying that he never uses the Epson presets since they don't allow enough ink on the paper for the brands he prints on (this can be done on the 3880 by changing the color density slider).  When Jeff Schewe and Michael R were requesting input for the new Camera to Print video, this is one of the issues I requested that they address.  We will see if they did so.  Of course all of this takes a fair amount of work to determine what is optimal for you.
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cybis

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2011, 05:43:48 PM »

Maybe there should be. For example, Epson only sells PK papers with gobs of OBA's and their media presets are tuned to the respective whitepoints. Unless you really work at it, you won't achieve B&W output without toning crossovers. It shouldn't be this hard.

Gromit, is there a way to solve toning crossovers on Epson pro printer with Epson ABW and third party non OBA papers? With colorbase maybe?

gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2011, 06:47:43 PM »

Gromit, is there a way to solve toning crossovers on Epson pro printer with Epson ABW and third party non OBA papers? With colorbase maybe?

ABW knows the whitepoint coordinates of each media type selected and attempts a linear progression from paper white to neutral black. If your paper has a different whitepoint, the progression will be wrong. You need to adjust with the Horizontal and Vertical controls (the Color Toning presets are likely to be too coarse). Horizontal/Vertical are L*a*b* coordinates so if you need more yellow output, increase the Vertical setting. With time you'll be able to figure out how much of the respective adjustments you need. These are still fairly blunt tools but you should be able to achieve the results you're after. If not, start again with a different media type. The eye is more sensitive to toning shifts in the top of the range (say L* 40 and above) so don't worry if the shadows aren't perfect. The QTR-Linearize-Data plots are ideal for all this.

ColorBase isn't relevant here.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 08:33:57 PM by gromit »
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cybis

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2011, 07:01:07 PM »

ABW knows the whitepoint coordinates of each media type selected and attempts a linear progression from paper white to neutral black. If your paper has a different whitepoint, the progression will be wrong. You need to adjust with the Horizontal and Vertical controls (the Color Toning presets are likely to be too coarse). Horizontal/Vertical are L*a*b* coordinates so if you need more yellow output, increase the Vertical setting. With time you'll be able to figure out how much of the respective adjustments you need. These are still fairly blunt tools but you should be able to achieve the results you're after. If not, start again with a different media type. The eye is more sensitive to tonal shifts in the top of the range (say L* 40 and above) so don't worry if the shadows aren't perfect. The QTR-Linearize-Data plots are ideal for all this.

ColorBase isn't relevant here.

Thanks. That's pretty much the way I'm currently doing things. I haven't played around with colorbase yet but was curious if there was more to it there.

eleanorbrown

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2011, 07:05:45 PM »

I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

 ......"That said, I suspect thousands if not more Epson customers are printing with canned media settings, 3rd party papers and ABW and producing results they are more than pleased with. Customers like Alan.

There are complaints out there in the printer world we hear about on line. The media settings doesn’t seem to take up much volume there. "
[/quote]
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 07:08:00 PM by eleanorbrown »
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gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2011, 07:12:41 PM »

I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

Compare the results on the same paper (Hot Press Natural) firstly using a colour profile then ABW in the third post in this thread. Look at the tonal smoothness, shadow separation and Dmax.
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eleanorbrown

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #55 on: July 28, 2011, 08:00:42 PM »

With all due respect, I can't make sense of lists of numbers...I look at prints in hand....that's probably my "artist" side...I try not to get real techie but just do what works for me. eleanor



Compare the results on the same paper (Hot Press Natural) firstly using a colour profile then ABW in the third post in this thread. Look at the tonal smoothness, shadow separation and Dmax.

cybis

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2011, 08:05:12 PM »

I'm also printing on third party papers along with EEF. (Harman and Canson)....use canned media settings and get stunning results.  I really cant understand what the difficulties are with ABW. Eleanor

That's also what I thought until I printed some circular stepped gradients (found here: Graham Preston).
In my experience, printing B&W on Epson printer in color mode with canned profile produces good results, but inferior to ABW as far as linearity of color tone goes (not sure I'm using the correct vocabulary here). That's clearly visible to the naked eyes using those circular gradients. ABW isn't perfect either, but much better. And the difference isn't just visible in test patterns but also in real world prints.

gromit

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2011, 08:14:29 PM »

With all due respect, I can't make sense of lists of numbers...I look at prints in hand....that's probably my "artist" side...I try not to get real techie but just do what works for me. eleanor

Fair comment, but with experience the visual and data results will become manifestations of the same thing. You'll be able to confirm suspicions of colour shifts by looking at the plots.
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Doombrain

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2011, 07:50:13 AM »

I can't speak for Windows, but ABW is broken in Photoshop CS5 and/or Mac OS X 10.6 (and presumably Lion).

No, it isn't.

Also, reading through the rest of this topic i would say, "don't feed the troll".

Deanwork and Gromit should start their own forum  ;)

Regrads Lion, it's the same print sub system as 10.5/6 so i'm hoping there will be no issues other than the adobe/apple problem.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:00:14 AM by Doombrain »
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Light Seeker

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Re: Advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2011, 04:42:03 PM »

Also, reading through the rest of this topic i would say, "don't feed the troll".

Deanwork and Gromit should start their own forum  ;)

Three things come to mind.

First . . .  I don't know Gromit, but he simply seems to be passionate about what he believes. John (Deanwork) is a world class printer, and he produces black and white prints at a level of quality few are able to achieve.

Second. . .  The scope of this forum is not limited to colour work, nor is it limited to manufacturer provided black and white solutions. While many here are satisfied with out of the box solutions,  some desire to go further and deeper. Just as there is nothing wrong with those who have chosen the manufacturer's solution, there is nothing wrong with those who wish to go beyond this.

Third. . .  The OP said "I'm searching for advanced info about b&w printing with Epson 9880 and 9890, links - books, everything is welcome.". We've done a poor job in responding to that.

Epson's ABW has made good quality b/w printing readily available to everyone. RIP's are no longer required to get nice prints. However, there are some compromises inherent to ABW, and some limitations. For example, the output may, or may not, be truly linear. The utility already mentioned, Create-ICC which comes as part of QTR (www.quadtonerip.com), is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to address this. You will need a device to measure density (e.g. a spectro) to use it.

ABW uses colour inks in addition to black (K), to create a neutral print. The can lead to metamerism, and also impact print light-fastness. Using QTR to directly control K, and to purposefully choose which colours to add and by how much, can improve on this.  QTR gives you full control over ink limits, ink partitioning and linearization. This kind of control also means you have the abilty to print split tones, which is something ABW cannot do. QTR supports the 9880.

There is a Yahoo forum for QTR. . .

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/QuadtoneRIP/

There is also a Yahoo forum dedicated to black and white inkjet printing. QTR, ABW and various other topics, including custom ink mixing, are discussed. . . .

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/

Whether you're interested in moving to a monochrome ink set, or not, there is a lot of material at Jon Cone's site, and on his Piezography Blog, that will still be helpful in general terms. . .

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/it.I/id.119/.f?sc=15&category=27707#

http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/category/blog/page/4/

In the blog above, I would start on the oldest page (#4) and work forward.

As a final comment I will say that if you're open to working with dedicated monochrome inks you will be rewarded with smoother gradations, longer tonal ranges, virtually no metamerism and better detail. There is an investment required, which you may or may feel to be worthwhile.

I truly hope you find some of the above helpful.

Terry.
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