Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Digital Black & White => Topic started by: cengell on October 18, 2016, 10:12:30 PM

Title: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: cengell on October 18, 2016, 10:12:30 PM
Hello all, I wanted to let others know that Jon cone has his new Piezography-Pro inks, and now I will be able to print at 3 different tones for Warm or Cool or Warm each for Shadow or Highlights or Midtones, so I ordered for my Epson 3800/3880 and looking forward doing a review soon if anyone is interested?

http://shop.inkjetmall.com/Shop-By-Ink/Piezography-Pro/

Christopher
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: aaronchan on October 19, 2016, 03:32:57 AM
The Piezography Pro ink is the best solution for B&W printers.
I have personally seen the print out last week while I was having a meeting with Jon and Walker.
They actually told me actually I was the very first one who had seen the result.
The capability of having warm, neutral and cool tone the same time is amazing.
The black, it's something you have never seen before. I had been printing with all 3 major OEM inks and some old piezography ink and have never seen a black that feels like it sucks in all the light.
But, you can still see the details of it instead of just a mush of black ink.
The new Gloss optimizer allows you to print everything in one pass, instead of what we used to do.
Which create a very good looking of having a unified glossiness on the paper.

I'm considering to acquire a used 7900/9900, setup with this ink and for my personal use.

I can say, this is the best B&W result on the market right now.

Aaron
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on October 19, 2016, 09:09:09 AM
I was very happy when I first read about Piezography Pro inks however, after deeper analysis of description I have some doubts (please shed some light if you have additional info).

For a decade Jon Cone tried to convince (often successful) that 7 shades of gray are better than Epson's 3 shades because 7>3 + all consequences coming from that fact as well as because Piezography is carbon (BTW, Epson's grays are also carbon as far as I know). Those additional shades give us more tonal resolution in both dark and light tones. There is no metamerism because of neutral nature of the inks.

Now, Pro series is going to nearly cancel above mentioned advantages. I am just wondering if it is going to be a better approach for monochrome printing than K7 or just another line offered in parallel to current series.

From all the marketing noise I have read, it looks like, Pro is going to be the best solution ever made. But it only has 4 shades and 4<7 (as for my 3880) and additionally two tints what might have some consequences, e.g. visible metamerism, especially when neutral print is a target.

Definitely, gloss layer put in a single pass will be a serious advantage over K7. The same for the workflow software (but now one has to pay 150$ per year for this ~SaaS), multiple toning is also advantage. All I am thinking about now is if the final quality is going to be better than K7 (even deeper black is not convincing for me since the visible difference between L*=3 vs L*=2 is negligible)?

I am also wondering how much inks make the show compared to RIP approach. To be honest, I was able to make nearly comparable prints using QTR and Epson K3 inks. Now, substituting my 3880 with P800 also matt becomes amazing with QTR. many people report that e.g. ImagePrint B&W prints with Epson OEM inks are of the highest B&W standards.
Furthermore, I have printed last week some matt landscapes using ABW and P800 + Hot Press papers and I am surprised with quality (although I hated ABW in 3880).

Of course, I really appreciate Piezography outcomes and I am wondering to convert my 3880 to K7 Selenium line but just have some doubts about motivation behind marketing noise and wonder if Pro is really worth compared to K7 as well as to QTR with OEM ink (what about Canon Pro-1000 with native gloss optimiser). Any help appreciated.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Paul Roark on October 19, 2016, 12:06:56 PM
You might enjoy comparing the http://piezography.com/ image showing their new (what I call "variable tone") inkset to where MIS Associates (www.inksupply.com) was a decade ago -- https://www.inksupply.com/bwpage.cfm .  The "variable tone" B&W inkset approach is one that works very well.

I'm a big fan of carbon based, dedicated B&W inksets in general.  To my knowledge, none of the OEM inksets have 100% carbon gray inks.  They are blends or carbon with some color to make them more neutral.  Some, possible all, are very good, but once you add color pigs to carbon, the lightfastness and color stability goes down.  "Carbon is king" (to steal an old phrase) when it comes to lightfastness and lack of color artifacts, but it is also warm -- thus the need to add some color for a neutral print.

Particularly if one is familiar with QTR, the "variable tone" approach is very easy and flexible, and with some inks (like the MK carbons diluted with the generic dilution base) can lower ink costs by two orders of magnitude compared to the small cart, desktop OEM prices. 

I started the "variable tone" inkset pursuit with the original Piezo B&W setup.  I added a light blue (cyan + magenta) toner to pull the warm inkset cooler. 

I started with a single, separate light blue toner, then tried a number of inksets with the color pigments blended into just some of the carbon inks, and now I'm back to using just a single position for the light blue toner.  There are arguments on all sides of all the various approaches.  It comes down to what works best for you.

See http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Color-Toner-Approach-for-Carbon-Variable-Tone-inksets.pdf for an explanation of my current toner approach.  It turns out that the same toner mix would work for both matte and glossy carbons.  So, there can be a rather "universal" toner for carbon inksets (and MIS has picked up on that). 

Note that if I want to print only matte paper, I won't use a glossy compatible inkset because the same coatings/binders that stick the pigments to the slick glossy paper also stick them to the heads.  On the other hand, as long as a printer is used every week, clogging is not an issue with any modern inkset I've used.  When I'm gone for a couple of weeks, however, I do notice the difference.  The matte only (generic base) inks are way more likely to give a perfect nozzle check upon returning.

Although I started with Pieizo inks, I soon began to to buy MIS carbons and experiment with lots of different approaches over the years.  MIS would pick up some of my formulations, which I published as open source inkset mixes (with profiles for the papers I was interested in).  Some of these were similar to Jon's new inkset, including the one MIS marketed as "UT14," aimed at the Epson 1400.  I have not used it since soon after the 1400 family was introduced, but it has had a good following -- that is, lots of people found the approach worked well for them and continued to use it over the years.

After using many approaches to "variable tone" B&W, I'm back to my original approach -- all carbon except for a single light blue toner.  This keeps all the print tones using all the ink positions, unless one is printing 100% carbon warm.  Then there is no toner.  The approach is also very Epson driver compatible, which allows printers that are not supported by QTR to use them.  With the toner in the yellow position, the Photoshop curves can control it (though QTR is always what I recommend if the printer has support).  An ICC "color managed" (Lab L only) workflow is very feasible with the approaches I use, however.  The single toner approach is simple and works for me.

The open source approach I use is not for everyone.  Piezo is going to have a much more turnkey system.  I do not work for MIS/inksupply.com (including no royalties, etc.) and do not make profiles for vast numbers of papers for all of the printers for which this approach works.  I simply publish/document what I do in PDFs.  My B&W pages -- http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/ and many non-linked PDFs -- are, in effect, my cloud storage of what I do.  I need and use Google searches to even find my own information.  It's simply a resource for open source types, not, from my perspective, a commercial venture.  I have allowed MIS to use my name on one of their pages if and only if they include there only the inputs I use, or, with the latest MIS light blue toner, have tested and found to be plug-compatible with the Canon-based blue toner I use. 

(I use the Canon Cyan and Blue pigments with either the generic base [c6b as described in http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Ink-Mixing.pdf] or the glossy base that MIS markets as its "amber" base.  The Canon OEM color pigments give me the most lightfast solution I've found.  The issue with neutralized carbon prints is that the color pigments fade differentially, usually causing a tone shift toward the cyan -- over many years of display.  As a practical matter, the third party color toners are stable enough for the vast majority of uses.)

Once the OEMs came out with the K3 inksets, life for the third party B&W companies became, from what I can see, more difficult.  I hope we B&W types will always have two independent competitors/suppliers to push the envelope and keep the B&W market competitive.  While what I use is carried by MIS (I actually buy from STS, their main wholesale supplier), when it comes to things that affect the health of the dedicated B&W market, I'm a fan of both companies.  B&W has always been a niche where the enthusiast could and can still experiment with unique and different approaches.  These independent B&W carbon ink suppliers help keep that true.

Good luck to the Piezo group with their new inkset.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Ferp on October 20, 2016, 07:42:03 PM
Unesco's questions about 3 vs 4 (or 5) vs 7 (or 6) are valid.  I take it that Aaron only saw prints created by IJM rather being able to print his own images. We won't have answers until regular users report their own experiences in their own printers with their own images.  We need a volunteer.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: aaronchan on October 22, 2016, 04:51:02 AM
Unesco's questions about 3 vs 4 (or 5) vs 7 (or 6) are valid.  I take it that Aaron only saw prints created by IJM rather being able to print his own images. We won't have answers until regular users report their own experiences in their own printers with their own images.  We need a volunteer.

You are correct.
But a little more information.
The way they create natural print is the blend both tone to create the natural tone.
But let's say for shade 1 of cool and warm, they are not created equally.
They are kind of in a separate shades with some overlapping.
So instead of 2 inks in 1 shade, I would say something to 2 inks in that covers shade 1-1.5
with 8-9 inks, you still have something like 5-6 shades of ink.
Again, I have not personally tested the ink yet, this is what they have told me during our discussion of this new inkset.

aaron
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 23, 2016, 12:42:59 PM
I haven't tested them yet either. What I'm going to do, and what I would suggest you guys do is pick out a great file from your archive, make the absolute best possible print you can make from it on the surface paper you like to use, with the workflow you have, and then have them make a print for you with the new dual quad set on a comparable media. 

About 12 years ago a number of us from around the country had a "print off" in NY where we all made prints from the same file, pinned them up and compared them. A few of us were using the just released Piezo K7 neutral and sepia set out of QTR or Studio Print rips, and some of them used Epson inks with QTR, some the just released HPZ monochrome, etc. These were all on H. photo rag.

The K7 inks had better highlight rendition but it wasn't that much better, the HP the best dmax by far, but overall, in my opinion, and the opinion of most of the people there if not all of us was, the best prints of that view camera drum scan file were done with a "dual quad" piezotone configuration printed out of Studio Print. That system designed by Jon back 17 years ago or so, was taken to full potential by Walker Blackwell and Tyler Boley at that time. These were done with the old Epson 9600 printers, the quad blend and studio print, carefully linearized by them. Also because of the way Studio Print laid down the inks, they are also the sharpest by far, even on matte media there was a big difference. Better than anything you see oem today even.

This workflow is basis of the new Piezo dual quad inkset that allows you to "blend" warm and cool hues in an infinite way. However, the new QTR workflow is vastly simplified so that anyone can do this now. Walker and Jon worked together to offer this. How many people will be able to devote a separate  printer for this kind of effort, I just don't know, but I hope they do. They would probably offer a dual 6 or 7 channel set if there were that many available slots. But I don't see that is necessary and it gets to the point where you have to buy too many inks to make it practical. And Aaron is right, depending on the print color dialed in, you may be using 5-6-7 inks at one time anyway as I understand it.

 I use the K7 Carbon in a 9890 for my personal work. I don't know if I"m going to leave that for the new set or not. That would be hard to do as I am addicted to it, bigly. Two really big advantages of the new set is gloss capability ( the k7 inks on Platine have never been acceptable to me ) and the ability to make digital negatives, even huge ones, for myself and my clients, with the same exact inkset that I would use for warm,neutral, and cool prints.. This will be with one printer and one inkset. Not bad at all !

What is significantly different with this new dual quad set from what the pioneers did years ago, it seems to me, are three things.:

1.  much better dither in the new printers. 2. better black inks for both matte and glossy media 3. professional functionality and super smooth surface of the new inks on the great new semi-gloss media we have now such as Platine, etc with the gloss enhancer in the same pass.  4 Ability to do the kind of subtle spit toning that Tyler and Walker labored over with endless tests back 15 years ago, ( and Tyler still does ) is now accessible to everyone with little or no technical knowledge, students, anyone. With the supplied curves they probably don't even have to own a spectro, though I would advised doing your own linearization for unsupported media since they have simplified that dramatically as well, as TBW did for the Canon platform.

The big issue facing us all going forward is having printers available to use that will accept the third party ink carts, especially with Epson printers its a never ending battle.  The more advanced the bw underground gets, the more serious Epson gets about locking them out. This is also true of the software. QTR should have been supported by Epson a decade ago but now it's going to be harder than it has ever been to utilize with all future printers.

We need a Tesla device for inkjet, color and bw. Someone will do it. Hope it doesn't take too long, and I'm still young enough to enjoy it.  Yes, there are a lot of bridges to cross and  complications to adapt to by doing a run around of the big three for finessed, experimental ink bw, but eventually it will happen. The sooner the better. It would be a different world if we could use Jon's or Paul's inks in a machine that did not try to reject them. I just hate having to buy a used Epson printer and pray that one of the nozzles doesn't go out when I'm in the middle of a big job. I did that for soooooooo many years. But I'll do what has to be done.

john






You are correct.
But a little more information.
The way they create natural print is the blend both tone to create the natural tone.
But let's say for shade 1 of cool and warm, they are not created equally.
They are kind of in a separate shades with some overlapping.
So instead of 2 inks in 1 shade, I would say something to 2 inks in that covers shade 1-1.5
with 8-9 inks, you still have something like 5-6 shades of ink.
Again, I have not personally tested the ink yet, this is what they have told me during our discussion of this new inkset.

aaron
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Ferp on October 23, 2016, 07:01:26 PM
John, thanks for your reply, which being even-handed and balanced and not-an-advert was particularly helpful.  As I read your report of the print-off back in the distant past, it struck me as a testimonial for Studioprint, rather than quadtone per se.  But that piece of software is expensive, difficult to learn and as I understand it Epson now refuses to allow them to support alternative inks in recent printers. 

I guess the question is how close can QTR get in modern printers with modern dither patterns and Piezography Pro?  After all, using QTR with OEM inks is only one less shade of black and you can tone with the colour inks.  unesco's point stands that until the performance of Pro is tested, IJM have undercut a lot of their past marketing.

A modern print-off with OEM vs Piezo Pro vs K7 would be interesting.  As would seeing whether the choice or matte or gloss changes this comparison.  Getting a comparison print made would shed some light, but I think that committing and testing it yourself would the only way to really understand what is possible.  I'm still hoping for a volunteer.

We all share your concerns about the future of independent ink makers.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 23, 2016, 09:15:08 PM
Hey  man,

Back in the day with the printers and quad inks available at that time, which is what I was describing, Studio Print linearized by the end user, who knew what he was doing, for me was the gold standard but the learning curve was quite high and the software expensive. However, that was a long time ago in the digital age. After Ergo Soft gave Piezography the cold shoulder, due to the pressure from Epson ( a much bigger concern for them than our little monochrome world ) Jon got in touch with Roy, the developer of QTR, and they worked out a great driver for the K7 inks. Roy also supported Paul's various mis inksets, and the Epson ultrachome sets.

 At that time I was using both Studio Print and QTR with a few printers and in regard to K7 there was very little difference in the outcome of the two drivers. K7 had such subtle overlaps that it was kind of a no-briainer. I fell in love with that.  As a matter of fact my submission to that print off was out of QTR I believe, where I made my own curves with an I1. A bunch of us were doing that on various printers and they all looked close.  The printers were not as close in tolerances as they are now so generic curves were not great to say the least. You needed to do your own profiling for your specific printer.

Where the Studio Print workflow really showed it's capability was with the old dual quad inkset.  Not only could you partition each channel independently, but you could control exactly how much ink was laid down along with a specific dither that worked the best for your printer and paper, thus the greater sharpness due to the amount of ink laid down from each channel. You could choose your own black ink to put in there. You could also mix your own hues in the ink carts themselves, allowing you to find custom mixes to suit your own quirky needs in that regard. That is what these guys were doing with the 9600s and it was beautiful, and still is. My use with the quads was limited to specific hue sets like carbon quad, selenium quad, etc. I used SP for that also but moved to K7 shortly after so I was never an expert with the quads back then, but Walker was and Jon and Tyler were.

Now with this new Pro set they have designed something comparable to what was done in a much more difficult and trial and error way  with Studio Print. I think you could still do it with SP but you would be on your own in regard to support, where using QTR it's all set up for you. Now the splits and blends are already worked out for you technically so you just set the sliders to the preconfigured numbers for the color you want and of course it is endlessly repeatable from batch to batch. This is similar to what TBW does with the Canon IPF printers, only in that case you only have black and two grays to work with for neutral work ( those inks are neutralized already ), and split toning is very complicated and not at intuitive, so I use Lightroom for that.

Since this set just came out I'm far from the guy to describe it's subtle uses. I haven't even seen the results but I do know where these guys were in their creative development and they wouldn't even be wasting their time unless it was a step forward for them. What interests me personally is it's adaptability to many kinds of media, especially gloss fiber that we could never do in a great, easy, and variable way in the past.

 I always had to do my multichannel splits and blends the old fashioned way by mixing inks together outside of the printer and putting them in the separate ink carts and then beginning to do tests on paper. And after that finding what images that blend would actually work well with ! I don't think anyone has the patience to do that anymore unless you just want to create one blend and stick with it. With Studio Print you create pre established "environments" within the software, that actually does the blending for you. That is the principle that is being done now with this  "Pro" inkset using QTR. Sharpness is not an issue as the new printers are printing even on matte very precisely at 2880 with a much superior dither and smaller variable dot placement than what we had in the past. Not to mention that the Canson paper coatings are sharper as well. I want to see what these inks look like on Platine. I'm curious about that.
What does the neutral look like on gloss media, etc.

john



Quote from: Ferp link=topic=114117.msg939897#msg939897 date=147 7263686
John, thanks for your reply, which being even-handed and balanced and not-an-advert was particularly helpful.  As I read your report of the print-off back in the distant past, it struck me as a testimonial for Studioprint, rather than quadtone per se.  But that piece of software is expensive, difficult to learn and as I understand it Epson now refuses to allow them to support alternative inks in recent printers. 

I guess the question is how close can QTR get in modern printers with modern dither patterns and Piezography Pro?  After all, using QTR with OEM inks is only one less shade of black and you can tone with the colour inks.  unesco's point stands that until the performance of Pro is tested, IJM have undercut a lot of their past marketing.

A modern print-off with OEM vs Piezo Pro vs K7 would be interesting.  As would seeing whether the choice or matte or gloss changes this comparison.  Getting a comparison print made would shed some light, but I think that committing and testing it yourself would the only way to really understand what is possible.  I'm still hoping for a volunteer.

We all share your concerns about the future of independent ink makers.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 23, 2016, 09:20:32 PM
Hey  man,

Back in the day with the printers and quad inks available at that time, which is what I was describing, Studio Print linearized by the end user, who knew what he was doing, for me was the gold standard but the learning curve was quite high and the software expensive. However, that was a long time ago in the digital age. After Ergo Soft gave Piezography the cold shoulder, due to the pressure from Epson ( a much bigger concern for them than our little monochrome world ) Jon got in touch with Roy, the developer of QTR, and they worked out a great driver for the K7 inks. Roy also supported Paul's various mis inksets, and the Epson ultrachome sets.

 At that time I was using both Studio Print and QTR with a few printers and in regard to K7 there was very little difference in the outcome of the two drivers. K7 had such subtle overlaps that it was kind of a no-briainer. I fell in love with that.  As a matter of fact my submission to that print off was out of QTR I believe, where I made my own curves with an I1. A bunch of us were doing that on various printers and they all looked close.  The printers were not as close in tolerances as they are now so generic curves were not great to say the least. You needed to do your own profiling for your specific printer.

Where the Studio Print workflow really showed it's capability was with the old dual quad inkset.  Not only could you partition each channel independently, but you could control exactly how much ink was laid down along with a specific dither that worked the best for your printer and paper, thus the greater sharpness due to the amount of ink laid down from each channel. You could choose your own black ink to put in there. You could also mix your own hues in the ink carts themselves, allowing you to find custom mixes to suit your own quirky needs in that regard. That is what these guys were doing with the 9600s and it was beautiful, and still is. My use with the quads was limited to specific hue sets like carbon quad, selenium quad, etc. I used SP for that also but moved to K7 shortly after so I was never an expert with the quads back then, but Walker was and Jon and Tyler were.

Now with this new Pro set they have designed something comparable to what was done in a much more difficult and trial and error way  with Studio Print. I think you could still do it with SP but you would be on your own in regard to support, where using QTR it's all set up for you. Now the splits and blends are already worked out for you technically so you just set the sliders to the preconfigured numbers for the color you want and of course it is endlessly repeatable from batch to batch. This is similar to what TBW does with the Canon IPF printers, only in that case you only have black and two grays to work with for neutral work ( those inks are neutralized already ), and split toning is very complicated and not at all intuitive, so I use Lightroom for that.

Since this set just came out I'm far from the guy to describe it's subtle uses. I haven't even seen the results but I do know where these guys were in their creative development and they wouldn't even be wasting their time unless it was a step forward for them. What interests me personally is it's adaptability to many kinds of media, especially gloss fiber that we could never do in a great, easy, and variable way in the past.

 I always had to do my multichannel splits and blends the old fashioned way by mixing inks together outside of the printer and putting them in the separate ink carts and then beginning to do tests on paper. And after that finding what images that blend would actually work well with ! I don't think anyone has the patience to do that anymore unless you just want to create one blend and stick with it. With Studio Print you create pre established "environments" within the software, that actually does the blending for you. That is the principle that is being done now with this  "Pro" inkset using QTR. Sharpness is not an issue as the new printers are printing even on matte very precisely at 2880 with a much superior dither and smaller variable dot placement than what we had in the past. Not to mention that the Canson paper coatings are sharper as well. I want to see what these inks look like on Platine. I'm curious about that.
What does the neutral look like on gloss media, etc.

john
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: datro on October 24, 2016, 02:48:16 PM
I want to see what these inks look like on Platine. I'm curious about that.

john

Me too.

As a B&W printer I've been on the fence for a LONG time with regard to Piezography and have been especially following the ongoing recent discussions around the "past" (i.e. PiezoTone, K6, K7, etc.) vs. the new Piezography Pro inks and system.  With Piezography Pro, and especially the new Professional Edition toolset that will allow me to fine tune the curves to MY printer and new papers which I (or clients) might want to use in the future, I have finally jumped in with both feet.  The timing also works for me since I have an idle 7900 with one dead channel that is otherwise in perfect condition.  So I've ordered the K8 (Set 9) inks that will give me a dual quad system (cool set and warm set), full ability to print either matte or glossy, endless ways to do split toning, and single pass printing with the Gloss Optimizer (which was a concern for me with the previous Piezography systems since there were known paper sensing problems on some X900 printers when doing a second pass for the Optimizer).  My only concern going forward regards the future of QTR on the Windows platform.  Although there are some minor gremlins with QTRgui on Windows 10, it still prints just fine.  But I'd really like to see an updated QTRgui and improved interface and full functionality.

In any case, once I have the new PiezoPro inks installed and running after they ship next month, I plan to do a number of detailed B&W printing system comparisons and measurements, and I'm especially interested in how the new Pro inks will look on Platine as well as Harman by Hahnemuhle Gloss Baryta and the Canson matte papers (Edition Etching, Rag Photographique).  Since I also have a P9000 I'll have the ability to do a good comparison of ABW (with the improved black ink) on the P9000 and the new PiezoPro system.  But I won't be able to do a K7 vs. PiezoPro.  I'll have to leave that to John :-).

Dave
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Ferp on October 26, 2016, 08:08:29 AM
... and especially the new Professional Edition toolset that will allow me to fine tune the curves to MY printer and new papers which I (or clients) might want to use in the future,

You do realise that you can do this now fairly well using the QTR-Linearize-Quad program that Roy Harrington now includes in QTR?  IJM will undoubtedly say that the new toolset will be better, but the fact remains that it can be done today.

I value John's views and experience, but I do feel that he has slipped from even-handed mode back into advertorial.  We await first-hand independent reports.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: datro on October 26, 2016, 10:48:12 AM
Yes, you are right that it's possible to linearize QTR and make new curves when using OEM inks.  But the number of threads I see on this topic (e.g. on the QTR Yahoo group) suggests that it is not as straightforward as what I'm expecting with the new PiezoPro system.

For me the new PiezoPro system appears to offer enough incremental additional flexibility and "ease of use" to get me off the fence and jump in, not to mention what I am hoping will be the capability for very high quality B&W on both matte and glossy papers.  It's not that I perceive any technical challenges with QTR's existing workflow (I don't), but rather that with PiezoPro I expect to eventually spend less time on technical tinkering and more on making great B&W prints.  But as you point out, we'll have to wait and see how things develop once the system has been out there and we have real user data and feedback.

In any case, depending on time I may expand my comparison testing to include QTR/OEM inks (from my P9000) as well.  Hmm, looks like it's going to be busy next month :-)

Dave

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 26, 2016, 11:12:50 AM
Hell yes we've done that for well over 10 years. I did it with the quads on the original Epson 700s and 10K ( remember them ) and the 9600 with Epson inks and QTR and right now with the Canon IPF and True Black and White which I love ( if only they had one more light gray).

The comparison now was with the new Epson quad set in the P10K and P20K printers which will be the competition for Piezography, Canon and everyone else looking at the highest end monochrome it seems to me. That is what is on my mind at the moment.

You can not use QTR with these new Epson large format printers and there is a good chance according to Roy that you will never be able to.

With Epson ABW as it is now you can't print out a grayscale target on any media, adjust the ink limits for that media and linearize it in a precise way. Jon, Paul Roark and all these guys have done this forever, Canon allows it with TBW, and Epson apparently still isn't serious  as far as software goes but they won't work with QTR either. Without the ability to linearize this system to YOUR printer and YOUR media, you are not even in the ball game in my opinion. Will Epson finally ever get there, who knows, I doubt it. I'm a believer in iconoclasts like Cone because without these people we would still be nowhere, and not even remotely approaching the bw I did in the early 70s in the darkroom. Come on.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on October 27, 2016, 08:32:42 AM
Yes, you are right that it's possible to linearize QTR and make new curves when using OEM inks.  But the number of threads I see on this topic (e.g. on the QTR Yahoo group) suggests that it is not as straightforward as what I'm expecting with the new PiezoPro system
Most of the questions are reasoned by bad quality of QTR documentation and almost lack of clear description of the workflow using QTR, not the ink itself.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on October 27, 2016, 10:29:11 AM
Most of the questions are reasoned by bad quality of QTR documentation and almost lack of clear description of the workflow using QTR, not the ink itself.

Take a look at this PDF.

http://www.diallophotography.com/pdfs/QTRworkflow.pdf

Though I do agree, QTR is poorly documented. Richard Boutwell has promised a new comprehensive book on QTR for prints and digital negatives.

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 27, 2016, 12:32:59 PM
Amadou did a great job in the section about linearization, which was the part that confused most people in Roy's original documentation  which was really non-intuitive to say the least But for $50.00 and fee support online what can one expect. It was fantastic for us to have at the time.

What is sad now though is that this great workflow will not be functional with the new Epson quad inks on the new printers where it would REALLY shine.

We still don't have anyone even giving a useful review of the capability of those printers with bw. The new ABW update may be good or not, I don't know anyone with any experience who knows.


john



Take a look at this PDF.

http://www.diallophotography.com/pdfs/QTRworkflow.pdf

Though I do agree, QTR is poorly documented. Richard Boutwell has promised a new comprehensive book on QTR for prints and digital negatives.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Paul Roark on October 27, 2016, 03:33:00 PM
...
You can not use QTR with these new Epson large format printers and there is a good chance according to Roy that you will never be able to.

With Epson ABW as it is now you can't print out a grayscale target on any media, adjust the ink limits for that media and linearize it in a precise way. Jon, Paul Roark and all these guys have done this forever,...

Without the ability to linearize this system to YOUR printer and YOUR media, you are not even in the ball game in my opinion. ...

Being able to linearize my profiles using QTR tools was a major advance in the art for me. 

One of QTR's applets ("Create ICC-RGB") allows us to make grayscale ICCs.   The approach allows users to linearize the ABW workflow if one is a Windows 7 user with PS CC.  However, I don't think many use the approach.

The general "Create ICC-RGB" approach, more importantly from my perspective, allows me to use an ICC workflow with variable tone B&W inksets, if they are designed to be compatible.  While I prefer the QTR full rip approach, there is a workflow that allows linearization and utilizes the standard Epson driver (non-rip) printing approach.  This can cover printers even if there is no rip support.  I have done this with a number of printers.

QTR and other such rips, however, are more flexible and easier to profile.  And most should stick with a standardized system where profiles are make available.

FWIW

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 27, 2016, 10:03:27 PM
Yes, your right. There are a lot of ways to come at it. One of the ways I use is the with the HPZ using an srgb work space. The amount of color ink I have to add is so tiny to achieve a pure clean neutral that I prefer, but that is because the HP grays are really useful for great bw with no color channels at all. Just imagine what they could have done with a 5 or 6 gray sub-system, that you shift over to for high end bw. The ink carts are small and the heads are cheap and pop out at will. All they needed to do was to dilute a couple more light grays and put them in the red and blue channels. The hardware is already set up to linearize it with no extra equipment. It could be so damn easy. I wish I had the time to figure it out myself with Studio Print which supports the Z.

The one really great thing HP achieved, besides off the charts permanence, and easily disposable heads, is the ability run their on board "calibration" which is really a linearization that you can do in 15 minutes any time you want. it is SO damn easy, on any media at any time and totally automatic. I think that is really missing in Epson and Canon oem workflows, especially for bw where linearization is critical. Then you do the icc profiling after that either with the HP on board spectro or an I1 and X-Rite. But the complete separation between linearization and icc profiling is a really good idea. My Canon does allow you to do a linearization at any time but it is a printer linearization, not a media linearization. So, in that sense it is crude. Thankfully the True B W Bowhaus people offered the solution there and Canon allowed it. But with the HPZ you don't even have to have a spectro or know how to use one. Thats really a no brainer and those Barcelona guys really were something. I wish they had branched off into a "fine art printmaking" division. They  could have done done miracles within the last 9 years or so since the Z was released.




Being able to linearize my profiles using QTR tools was a major advance in the art for me.   

One of QTR's applets ("Create ICC-RGB") allows us to make grayscale ICCs.   The approach allows users to linearize the ABW workflow if one is a Windows 7 user with PS CC.  However, I don't think many use the approach.

The general "Create ICC-RGB" approach, more importantly from my perspective, allows me to use an ICC workflow with variable tone B&W inksets, if they are designed to be compatible.  While I prefer the QTR full rip approach, there is a workflow that allows linearization and utilizes the standard Epson driver (non-rip) printing approach.  This can cover printers even if there is no rip support.  I have done this with a number of printers.

QTR and other such rips, however, are more flexible and easier to profile.  And most should stick with a standardized system where profiles are make available.

FWIW

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Paul Roark on October 28, 2016, 10:51:01 AM
...[T]he HP grays are really useful for great bw with no color channels at all. Just imagine what they could have done with a 5 or 6 gray sub-system, ...

Yes, the HP PK diluted or HP OEM grays are the best, in my experience.  (I have not tested or seen tests of the newest Epson LK & LLK.)  The HP PK dilutes well with the generic base (http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Ink-Mixing.pdf at p. 5), as well as the MIS/www.Inksupply.com (STS Inks) gloss optimizer if one wants to cut the bronzing.  So, these types of inksets can be very effective for the DIY B&W types.  I've used them in a number of ink setups for Epson printers.  (HP inks work fine in Epson printers.)

That said, I still prefer a variable tone B&W inkset with lots of 100% carbon channels.  Adding yellow and magenta (via a rip) to the gray inks to make a warm print doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of longevity and simplicity.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 28, 2016, 12:02:47 PM
In the distant past I would have agreed with you but the Vivera yellow and magenta are fantastically durable. Even the Canon and new Epson hues are amazingly permanent when used in such small amounts according to Aardenburg. I had tests that I sent in to Mark with this HP "neutral" formulation right when he started accepting submissions to test. I also put up the Cone Carbon K7 and neither one of these tests ever showed any change at all. And these were not even coated with a uv spray and even before I started using the Canson media that Wilhelm had rated at >450 years with the HP with full color. I wish Mark had let those tests go on for years and years but I totally understand why with his budget he had to stop somewhere. It gets expensive keeping the lights on for years. With all the good products out there now I'm mainly concerned with gradients and more dilutions of gray with the ability to tone them as apposed to longevity.

One thing I find curious is that Epson comes out with three versions of their 44" printers and two of the 24". One with 11 channels, and two with 9 channels in the 44" size. Why wouldn't they just come out with one or two 11 channel printers and if you didn't have use for the orange and green have the ability to put grays or whatever hues you wanted in those slots. People say oh that would take effort in designing the software, yea if they refuse to let QTR help out, but not as much effort as constructing a different set of hardware.




Yes, the HP PK diluted or HP OEM grays are the best, in my experience.  (I have not tested or seen tests of the newest Epson LK & LLK.)  The HP PK dilutes well with the generic base (http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Ink-Mixing.pdf at p. 5), as well as the MIS/www.Inksupply.com (STS Inks) gloss optimizer if one wants to cut the bronzing.  So, these types of inksets can be very effective for the DIY B&W types.  I've used them in a number of ink setups for Epson printers.  (HP inks work fine in Epson printers.)

That said, I still prefer a variable tone B&W inkset with lots of 100% carbon channels.  Adding yellow and magenta (via a rip) to the gray inks to make a warm print doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of longevity and simplicity.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Paul Roark on October 28, 2016, 12:51:36 PM
I agree the best OEM yellow and magenta are far better than many that we used early on.

My main source for longevity information has also been Mark's work at http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/ .  I used 100 mlux hour tests on the same paper to compare the color inputs I was looking for to make the cool toner needed to offset carbon warmth.  I paid a lot of attention to the delta-e values of the blue and purplish-blue test patches.  In addition to their delta-e values, I looked at the change in the Lab A values.  This is what causes the greenish shift that has been a problem.  Happily, with the best modern color pigments used to cool carbon, we can print neutral "carbon" prints (toned with an offsetting blend of color pigments) that are more lightfast than the traditional lightly selenium toned silver prints.  As a practical matter, it's the paper that limits silver and carbon print performance in these tests. 

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 30, 2016, 11:14:26 AM
HP has had the digital high volume press called Indigo for close to a decade now. This system allows the publisher to switch from cmyk insets to a quad black and with a simple change of inks. This capability is just now starting to be used for limited edition book editions at an affordable price ( roughly twice the price of cymk Blurb books ) which is radically cheaper than traditional trip-tone or quad tone offset. We had a photographers book fair here in Atlanta which featured the best photo book publishers from across the country. I saw a few samples of the quad tone Indigo output in direct comparison to the equivalent offset version and it is amazingly good.

What I can't understand is why if HP and offer this for print on demand books why they can't offer the same for their inkjet pigment printers. Same with Epson and Canon.

This one of the companies that is using it. http://www8.hp.com/us/en/commercial-printers/indigo-presses/10000.html

john

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Farmer on October 30, 2016, 03:09:22 PM
Installing an Indigo, depending on what you do exactly, can be a million dollar investment.  Even done "cheaply" is many hundreds of thousands of dollars.  You simply can't compare that technology with inkjet and say "oh, the press can do this, why not the printer".
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 30, 2016, 04:38:48 PM
I wasn't suggesting people go out and buy an Indigo.  ::)  The resolution is too low anyway for portfolios.

My point was that this technology for swapping out the cmyk inks for a quad set was sitting there for years and years ready to go, and established by HP for books. But small run book publishers are just now starting to use it for small edition books, that rival really good expensive tri and quad tone offset, and beats the cymk monochrome books being done cmyk in China for much less cost and much faster turnaround.

The HP Z printer for super permanent hi-res inkjet could be used the same way, easily, now, if HP offered the diluted gray Vivera inks for it and a simple driver based on what they have now, with the onboard spectro that they have now to linearize it. The carts are so small, and the heads so cheap that there is no big issue of doing that.  What I have heard over and over again over the years is, yea they could do it, but there is no big market for it. That is exactly what Blurb and others were about using the monochrome version of the Indigo, until now. Once people see it they say, wow, I want that.

john



Installing an Indigo, depending on what you do exactly, can be a million dollar investment.  Even done "cheaply" is many hundreds of thousands of dollars.  You simply can't compare that technology with inkjet and say "oh, the press can do this, why not the printer".
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Farmer on October 30, 2016, 07:19:25 PM
Presses have almost always support changing inks more easily (analogue and digital).  For a small use market (and the critical B&W photo market is extremely small compared to almost everything else), it's a high cost for little return.

There are many, many things that can be done, but most people aren't prepared to pay for it (either individually or as a group if amortised over the whole user-base), particularly when photographers are amongst the first (some, not all) to complain about a few cents worth of ink per print :-)
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on October 30, 2016, 07:23:24 PM
Don't believe it. That's like saying there is no market for bw film and chemistry. You'd be surprised how big of market there is globally.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Farmer on October 30, 2016, 10:44:02 PM
As a percentage of the entire printing market, yes, I'd be surprised if it was more than a rounding error.  The reality is the photo is just a very small portion and B&W a much smaller subset of that.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on October 31, 2016, 07:47:17 AM
Don't believe it. That's like saying there is no market for bw film and chemistry. You'd be surprised how big of market there is globally.
How big? Do you have any numbers?
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: richardboutwell on October 31, 2016, 12:09:33 PM
You do realise that you can do this now fairly well using the QTR-Linearize-Quad program that Roy Harrington now includes in QTR?  IJM will undoubtedly say that the new toolset will be better, but the fact remains that it can be done today.


I don't have time at the moment to respond with my hopes and opinions on the new PeizoPro  system, but if you are interested in the Linearization tools for existing quad curves that go beyond the QTR LINEARIZE-QUAD app and the error correcting tools the like the PiezoPro/DN system uses check out the updated version of my QuadLin tools here:
www.bwmastery.com/quadtoneprofiler

One of the best things is that you only need 51-steps, and you can change the shape of the final density curve with input and output points and watch the quad curves remap in real time before you export them to a new .quad file. You might thing 51 steps isn't enough but lithe actual correction is done with 128 control points before calculating the final 256 step quad curves.

This is for 1-8 ink printers now, but I will have an update at the end of the week for 10 ink printers—it will just take some time to extend all the lookups, interpolation functions, and final quad compiling functions.




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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: deanwork on November 01, 2016, 04:19:40 PM
Hi Richard,

Your link is not working.

What brands of printers does this software work with?

John

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: richardboutwell on November 02, 2016, 12:14:03 AM
Hi Richard,

Your link is not working.

What brands of printers does this software work with?

John

I fixed the link. the capital letters in the URL from a text expander snippet was the problem...

here is the working link again: http://www.bwmastery.com/quadtoneprofiler

This is made for making QTR profiles and curves so it is Epson only.

Everything QTR supports will be able to use the ink descriptor files and the .quad curves made with these tools excluding the 10 ink models—the x900 printers and their replacements.  The issue is with how I make the RGB values used to create the ink separation images for the auto ink limit and auto cross over point calculations. It should be an easy fix, but there are a lot of small changes behind the scenes to work out and test. The curve smoothing and curve linearization tools will be updated in a few days to support the 11 ink printers. Again, there are a lot of lookups and calculations I need to copy/edit/expand for the additional channels and some VBA code I need to redo that generates the final quad values. I'll send an update to all who have already purchased and update the site with the new info.
Title: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on November 19, 2016, 10:47:26 PM
Hey everyone. Walker here (creator of PiezoPro ink and one of those dual quad printmakers at the print off in NYC in 2006). We are delayed a week or so in production as we are waiting on some final equipment for the creation of the final few shades up here in Vermont.

Our current i1pro2 test of pre-production UltraHd-MK 100 carbon is 1.81 dMax on Hahnemühle photo rag.

We strive for this balance in all inks:

1. How good does it look: we gloss optimize through the white of the paper and offer advanced bezier-curve split toning and diy Lin.

2. How easily does it print: as easy as Epson when it's all loaded.

3. How long does it last: carbon and pigment. It will not last as long as 100% carbon, but we will all be long gone before anything shows. It encapsulates the paper edge against pollution though and this, I believe as a survivor of the professional printmaker real-world, is the most important thing, even more so than ink!! And nobody is talking about it.

This is a holy trinity of fine art ink and there are trade-offs in all of these areas. But as someone who has dreamed and wanted Piezo to do this for 13 years, well, now it's doing it.


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Title: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on November 19, 2016, 10:53:00 PM
Oh, and we'll be updating the calibration tools to enable profiling of Piezography using actual xRite i1profiler algorithms for any labs needing more than 129 steps. Working on it.  And, the error correction algorithms in the diy calibration tools are specifically designed to fix flicker and averaging errors in spectrophotometers while using high-patch count targets.


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on November 19, 2016, 11:15:03 PM
And last but not least, there is some wiggle room in where one places quad shades. We worked out a shift in L between the middle warm and middle cool shades enabling an overlap that was not 1-1. This + the fact that we are actually using just as many nozzles as k7 for printing gives great nozzle frequency. PiezoPro on the x900s can be anywhere from dualK4 to (preferred) dual K5. When 10 channels print monochrome ink, it's pretty impressive.


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on December 27, 2016, 03:01:22 PM
Hi all, Any news also, form independent users-early adopters, about print quality of Piezography Pro inks? Is metamerism a problem?
I was wondering if/when those inks are available in Europe also for pre-tests? I am still between conversion to K7 Selenium or Pro or using Epson inks by making my own  K6/7 by diluting/mixing Epson inks ...
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on December 27, 2016, 03:33:24 PM
As the creator of the ink I can't say I'm independent. Initial demand was so strong that we sold completely out in a week. More raw materials are arriving at our facility in early January for more production. We will then have enough made to fulfill more orders.

On bare scientific levels, we are getting to a dMax of 1.82 with the new matte black ink on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag (specifically on the x900 series printers. Some dmax varies from printhead model by a few percentage points.)

Best,
Walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Cincinnati on December 29, 2016, 12:29:22 PM

For a decade Jon Cone tried to convince (often successful) that 7 shades of gray are better than Epson's 3 shades because 7>3 + all consequences coming from that fact as well as because Piezography is carbon (BTW, Epson's grays are also carbon as far as I know). Those additional shades give us more tonal resolution in both dark and light tones. There is no metamerism because of neutral nature of the inks.

Now, Pro series is going to nearly cancel above mentioned advantages.

From all the marketing noise I have read, it looks like, Pro is going to be the best solution ever made. But it only has 4 shades and 4<7 (as for my 3880) and additionally two tints what might have some consequences, e.g. visible metamerism, especially when neutral print is a target.

It wasn't that Jon Cone was trying to convince the world that Piezo was better than Epson b/c 7>3. Epson inks could not seamlessly generate all densities while maintaining print detail.

As far as Piezo PRO being a step backwards for the same mathematical reason of 7>4, here's why I don't see it that way. The original Piezo ink set was 4 shades. That's b/c printers - the Epson 1160 -,were 4 ink CMYK .  PIEZO software was able to apply those 4 shades in a way to create 1% density changes from 0-100%. When Epson changed from 4 to 6 inks, Jon added 2 additional shades to fill the ink heads, but Piezo quality in terms of stemless density changes and detail rendering were no better on the 6 ink system than on the 4. The additional 2 shades were a mixture of the four inks.  That same mixture was being created in the four ink system, but it was mixed on the paper at printing. So Piezo is better than Epson ABW, but not because 7>3, but because of seamless density step changes with increased resolution of detail.

With Piezo PRO, we essentially have 2 four ink systems, a warm and cool set, and curves that control the amount of each shade so that it still prints stepless increments of density across the imaging spectrum.

If Epson or Canon we're still making professional 4 ink photo printers, I would surmise we would have a 4 ink Piezo system.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on December 29, 2016, 01:01:39 PM
4 shades is not as good as 7 (although much better than 3). Dual K4 is much closer to 7 than single K4 and much better than 3 (in certain circumstances it can have more nozzle fault tolerance than K7). When changing the variance between the warm and cool shade L values (shade 3 cool is not the same L as shade 3 warm) a slightly uneven relationship (k7-ish) overlap takes place that adds more than dual K4 tonal gradations.

This is only one of a full range of factors that make the ink good.

dMax, gloss diff, bronzing, material, etc, are the others.

Best,
Walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: Rado on December 29, 2016, 01:18:59 PM
The piezography website recommends sourcing an used Epson 4900 7900 or 9900, flushing it and converting it to piezography. Do these printers suffer from the same clogging issues with piezo inks as they do with original Epson inks? I would like to try piezography but it's not available for my P800 (and maybe never will be) and I'm not a frequent printer (I've had zero clogging issues with P800 so far).

Separately, Epson sells continuous ink tank systems in Asia and here in cheaper parts of Europe (the L800/L1800 models) which use 6 dye based inks and seem to side step the whole issue of chipped ink cartridges - is that something that could be converted to piezography?
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on January 03, 2017, 04:10:31 AM
As the creator of the ink I can't say I'm independent. Initial demand was so strong that we sold completely out in a week. More raw materials are arriving at our facility in early January for more production. We will then have enough made to fulfill more orders.

On bare scientific levels, we are getting to a dMax of 1.82 with the new matte black ink on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag (specifically on the x900 series printers. Some dmax varies from printhead model by a few percentage points.)

Best,
Walker

Hi Walker,

It is great to be able to chat with the ink creator!
So, good, it looks like you've cought up with HP Vivera density on matt and are a bit beyond Epson HD what was great improvement for my 3880-->P800 switch.

Number of questions comes to my mind:
1) What level of neutrality (and its homegenity through shades scale) are you able to achieve with Pro setup compared to K7?

2) As for discussion about 7>4>3, I still wonder, as written in my initial post in this thread, what is split of quality reason between the new ink and QTR software? I print a lot with QTR and Epson K3 and it gives outstanding quality compared to ABW. I just wonder if it is going to be better (and in which circumstances) when switching my 3880 to Piezography (K7 or Pro).
So, what makes the show - ink or QTR?

3) Are you going to have preset curves simulating your K7 look, especially carbon and selenium?

4) Where is a difference between 8 and 10 channels setup? What gets improved - light tones?

Best Wishes (B&W) in the New Year
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on January 19, 2017, 11:07:13 AM
The piezography website recommends sourcing an used Epson 4900 7900 or 9900, flushing it and converting it to piezography. Do these printers suffer from the same clogging issues with piezo inks as they do with original Epson inks? I would like to try piezography but it's not available for my P800 (and maybe never will be) and I'm not a frequent printer (I've had zero clogging issues with P800 so far).

Separately, Epson sells continuous ink tank systems in Asia and here in cheaper parts of Europe (the L800/L1800 models) which use 6 dye based inks and seem to side step the whole issue of chipped ink cartridges - is that something that could be converted to piezography?


Sorry for the late reply. Piezo ink does not clog print heads anywhere near epson ink. This is well known among current piezo users so don't take if from me.

At cone editions we recently got back to our pro 9900 printer after a month dry (humidifier off, we all make mistakes). Not a single nozzle was missing on boot. The "wet" time for this new ink is an improvement as well.

Best,
Walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on February 11, 2017, 11:07:43 AM

Sorry for the late reply. Piezo ink does not clog print heads anywhere near epson ink. This is well known among current piezo users so don't take if from me.

At cone editions we recently got back to our pro 9900 printer after a month dry (humidifier off, we all make mistakes). Not a single nozzle was missing on boot. The "wet" time for this new ink is an improvement as well.

Best,
Walker


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So what is the official release date for the new Piezography-Pro inks? Can these inks be used successfully with PiezoDN?

Thanks,

Don Bryant
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on February 11, 2017, 12:04:22 PM
So what is the official release date for the new Piezography-Pro inks? Can these inks be used successfully with PiezoDN?

Thanks,

Don Bryant

Second release for pro is soon. I'm in the clean room next week making it but it takes some time after for bottling and fulfillment.

Initial Beta PiezoDN pro curves are completed but they will need some tweaking before they can be finalized.

-walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: richardboutwell on April 05, 2017, 09:00:48 AM
I did some tests of the new MK over the weekend and wrote a blog post about it yesterday. I made tests with two different measurement devices on Hahnemühle Museum Etching and (i1Pro and SpyderPrint) and get consistent densities between 1.78-1.81 depending on how it is measured (i1 Pro in the tray will give slightly lower densities than directly on the paper, but directly on the paper will scuff it and give lower densities after repeated measurements). I will fire up the SpectroScan when I get back in town next week and see if I can get cleaner readings from that. 

Here is a link to the full blog post: http://www.bwmastery.com/blog/testing-the-new-piezography-matte-black
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 29, 2017, 10:23:52 AM
Just a quick update. After a few months of t


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 29, 2017, 10:27:19 AM
Hey everyone. After a few months of testing PiezoDN curves with pro ink and qtr, I am still not happy with it. In doing this work, I realized that the dot sizing, dithers, and micro weave in QTR are all about a decade out of date compare to where the newest epson printer/driver technology is.

So I'm going back to ground zero and building PiezoDN and Piezography drivers. These will work on MacOSX and Linux (Linux is free and can run as a virtual machine on any windows computer).

More soon,
Walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on May 29, 2017, 12:59:53 PM
Hey everyone. After a few months of testing PiezoDN curves with pro ink and qtr, I am still not happy with it. In doing this work, I realized that the dot sizing, dithers, and micro weave in QTR are all about a decade out of date compare to where the newest epson printer/driver technology is.

So I'm going back to ground zero and building PiezoDN and Piezography drivers. These will work on MacOSX and Linux (Linux is free and can run as a virtual machine on any windows computer).

More soon,
Walker


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This is a bit disappointing to hear since I just purchased the PP starter kit last week for my Epson 3800 using Windows 7 64.

I really don't get the attachment to Apple but I suspect it's because of the underlying UNIX OS allowing you guys to develop your products faster with the myriad of FREE development tools.

I was going to install the inks this week but I might just return them. My plan was to completely adopt Cone Color for my 3880 and PP for my 3800 both of which are in excellent condition.

The PP inks beckoned to me for the potential flexibility making B&W inkjet prints and inkjet negatives.

Life is never simple but Piezo Pro developers are really screwing with my acceptance of this product.

Don Bryant
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: richardboutwell on May 29, 2017, 01:18:26 PM
From what I understood from Walker's post in a separate Facebook group, the new driver/dithering algorithms are first going to be used for the higher resolution print heads in the P600 and 1430/1500. I think the step up to a dual quad system is going to be better regardless of the increased resolution of whatever the new driver is going to do.

I think the best thing you can do from there is to get an old Mac Mini or Apple laptop as a QTR print server. It will allow you to print 16-bit images and multiple image layouts.

Piezography wouldn't even be an option if it weren't for QTR, and now PiezoDN/PiezoPro relies on the Linearize-Quad app, so my first question about this new driver is if it will be compatible with .quad style curves or it is going to use some kind of new proprietary/standalone printing system.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on May 29, 2017, 01:36:02 PM
From what I understood from Walker's post in a separate Facebook group, the new driver/dithering algorithms are first going to be used for the higher resolution print heads in the P600 and 1430/1500. I think the step up to a dual quad system is going to be better regardless of the increased resolution of whatever the new driver is going to do.

I think the best thing you can do from there is to get an old Mac Mini or Apple laptop as a QTR print server. It will allow you to print 16-bit images and multiple image layouts.

Piezography wouldn't even be an option if it weren't for QTR, and now PiezoDN/PiezoPro relies on the Linearize-Quad app, so my first question about this new driver is if it will be compatible with .quad style curves or it is going to use some kind of new proprietary/standalone printing system.

FWIW, I was a UNIX SYS ADMIN running SCO, Solaris, Linux, and HP for quite a few years.

I loved Sun equipment and HP servers. But I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I fucking despise Apple. I have a G3 which I use to operate a Scitex smart 340. My point here is that Apple obsolescence seems to occur about every 6 months. Fuck Apple and the horse they rode in on!

Anyway now that I have vented about the idea of getting an old Mac Mini or Apple laptop to be used as a print server; that propect does not make me happy AT all. I'm going to have to chew the cud on this.

Thanks Richard,

Don Bryant

Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: richardboutwell on May 29, 2017, 02:01:41 PM
I really don't understand the irrational Apple animosity some people have. Yeah, so they removed some ports... but your G3 is still running ins't it? I have a few beige G3s running some specific things that any other "modern" computer won't do—regardless of platform. The point is, you pick a tool for the task you need to do. If a tool, in this case, Windows, is not able to do the job, then pick another tool. 
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 29, 2017, 03:22:07 PM
Don. This is only for digital negatives. PiezoPRO is working totally perfectly for printing on paper with windows QTR although that driver may not be supported for much longer on post win10 systems FYI (Roy did not program it.)

I'm sure you will be very happy with your pro ink with QTR GUI and the hundreds of curves we made for it.

Dig negs are a totally different ball game though. They require much more complex inking and dots and the tech is no longer there inside of QTR for this newest ink especially with small format surecolors like the p400.

W


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 29, 2017, 03:25:34 PM
FWIW, I was a UNIX SYS ADMIN running SCO, Solaris, Linux, and HP for quite a few years.

I loved Sun equipment and HP servers. But I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I fucking despise Apple. I have a G3 which I use to operate a Scitex smart 340. My point here is that Apple obsolescence seems to occur about every 6 months. Fuck Apple and the horse they rode in on!

Anyway now that I have vented about the idea of getting an old Mac Mini or Apple laptop to be used as a print server; that propect does not make me happy AT all. I'm going to have to chew the cud on this.

Thanks Richard,

Don Bryant


Dear Don, part of why I'm building the driver to support any flavor of nix system here. supporting Linux or variant thereof is long-term-viable and we can distro a virtual appliance easily for anyone on windows. This way they can update their windows machines forever without worrying about breaking their print workflow.


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on May 29, 2017, 04:07:16 PM

Dear Don, part of why I'm building the driver to support any flavor of nix system here. supporting Linux or variant thereof is long-term-viable and we can distro a virtual appliance easily for anyone on windows. This way they can update their windows machines forever without worrying about breaking their print workflow.


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Walter I appreciate your efforts and you two Richard.

I won't bloviate anymore about Apple other than to mention I watched Jobs at an exclusive presentation years ago demo'ing the Next Cube. Billed as the last computer we would need; of course that was when he was competing with Apple. Next came the pizza box Next.

Before that, introduction of the Lisa broke new ground. You know the history. I'm just tired of purchasing computers. The late Judy Siegel used to rue the continuous upgrading paths. I'll talk to IJM tomorrow to get a Piezo-Flush kit for the migration of color to PP B&W. Perhaps being able to use cheap used Macs is much better than buying expensive new Macs. I have several extremely fast and powerful i7 based PCs on my LAN. If Apple would allow PC owners to run their OS's then I probably wouldn't be so sour.

Thanks for your dedication and hard work. The world needs young guys like you and Richard to forge the new ways for printing nirvana. I can understand only wanting to develop and support an open source system. But I can tell you from experience that there are pitfalls to watch out for so it's not as perfect a solution as it might seem. At least you are now blessed with fast PCs for running Linux. Now if you come up with something that allows me to use a dual boot a lower end PC when I need to print I may be more tempted than using an Apple. Least we forget the symbolism of the bite of knowledge from the apple grown in the garden of good and evil. Apple sycophants have been paying the price ever since.

Don Bryant

Title: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 29, 2017, 04:12:05 PM
No need to dualboot. Just use virtual machine (Linux is incredibly light system resource user.)

Also, it's easier than one might think to install OS X on PC hardware. The non prof I started in Chicago (latitudechicago.org) has been doing it for half a decade. You can build machines that way at a fraction of the cost of Apple hardware that are frankly even more stable. OS X is a great system on any hardware. Just have to edit a few kexts. It breaks EULA but it's worth it in my opinion.

-walker


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on May 29, 2017, 04:16:58 PM
on post win10 systems FYI (Roy did not program it.)


I remember when QTRGui was introduced and I believe the author's name was Tom Moore. And there were one or two other developers working on the Apple side. Too bad the source code for QTRGui is gone. It would be nice to be able to run it from a command line, Never the less I've been able to make some very nice split toned prints with QTRGui running an Epson 2200.

I used Cone inks back when I had the driver for the Epson 1160. So I'm a long time customer of IJM. I've met Jon at SPE nationals. I led a local user group when we all lusted over an Epson 3000 and Piezo prints looked kind of funky.

I'll adjust ...

Don Bryant
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: datro on May 29, 2017, 05:04:02 PM
Following this with some interest.

@Walker:

@Richard
("If a tool, in this case, Windows, is not able to do the job, then pick another tool."):  Can't argue with your intent; picking the right tool is definitely what you want to do.  But the better way to state this is that "the tool you want was built by the developers to work only on XYZ platform, therefore that's what you have to use."  Not that it can't be built on a different platform.  These days it is very feasible to build fully functional large software systems that work equally well on Windows, Mac, and Linux.  It all boils down to what the developer is willing to do, their software knowledge, and the resources available.  In this case, a choice has been made for MacOS and Linux.

Dave
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on May 30, 2017, 08:31:25 AM
Do you have piezo professional tools and a spectro? That is almost required if you want smooth tones out of the k4/k5 combos. Your system is an adaptation for a printer with a dying head (missing channel). There will always be complications there related to linearity compared to where abw was when the head was good. Generally we offer a custom lin for pro users who need a k4/k5 setup but I don't remember doing this for you. Regardless, I recommend the PPE tools. The standard Lin/tune workflow for qtr doesn't quite get there.


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: datro on May 30, 2017, 09:09:36 AM
Thanks Walker.  Yes, I do have the PPE tools and have done the full linearization exercise with the K5/K4 combination with my i1Pro2.  (You may reference my thread on the private PPE forum on this a while back.)  I am still trying to tune things a bit and my next step is to double check the paper feed settings for my custom paper types to see if that has any effect.

Anyway, I'm on the road today and will follow up on this on the private forum when I get back (probably should have posted this on the private forum anyway...sorry about that).

Dave
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: wblackwell on June 11, 2017, 09:33:17 PM
No problemo. If you read the 256 step target and send me the data and quad I can send a custom Lin. It would allow me to tweak the algorithm for your particular spectro. Every person's is different so that is partly why it's hosted live online (we can support each person individually).


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Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on July 12, 2017, 04:58:38 PM
Hi all, any new independent reviews of Piezography Pro since my December post in this thread? Still have no answers to number of questions asked including:
- metamerism issues (if any) compared to K7
- how much QTR makes the show compared to inks themselves
- are any preset-curves simulating various K7 flavours?
Are any early-adopters of Pro inks here? :-) I am still waiting with my 3880 conversion and have P800 for Epson inks in parallel.
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: donbga on July 13, 2017, 06:08:46 PM
Hi all, any new independent reviews of Piezography Pro since my December post in this thread? Still have no answers to number of questions asked including:
- metamerism issues (if any) compared to K7
- how much QTR makes the show compared to inks themselves
- are any preset-curves simulating various K7 flavours?
Are any early-adopters of Pro inks here? :-) I am still waiting with my 3880 conversion and have P800 for Epson inks in parallel.

I've purchased the P. Pro inks for my 3880 but haven't done the conversion yet.

Don Bryant
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: datro on July 17, 2017, 11:37:23 AM
Hi all, any new independent reviews of Piezography Pro since my December post in this thread? ...
Are any early-adopters of Pro inks here? :-) I am still waiting with my 3880 conversion and have P800 for Epson inks in parallel.

Well, I was one of the early adopters and finally got my batch of Pro ink from IJM in late December, 2016.  I converted my 7900 with a bad Green channel, so I initially installed the "Cool K4 / Warm K4" setup of the Pro inks.  This "dual quad" setup uses the following 9 inks:

Cool Dark
Cool Medium
Cool Light
Ultra HD Matte Black
HD Photo Black
Warm Dark
Warm Medium
Warm Light
GCO (Gloss Chroma Optimizer)

I also purchased the PPE ("Piezography Professional Edition") toolset so that I would be able to linearize my own curves and create my own blendings of curves as needed/desired (I use an i1Pro2 with these tools).  All of my early testing, linearizing of curves, and print evaluations were done using the above setup.  Since I still had one unused slot available in my printer, I added the Cool Very Light ink later in April when IJM released the 2nd round of Pro ink production.  Of course adding the new ink required doing new linearizations and creating my own "Neutral" curve for use in QTR (using the Blender Tool in PPE).  So now I am running a "Cool K5 / Warm K4" setup which gives me the best total utilization of Pro inks for my printer in its current state.  (If you have a 7900 or 9900 with all channels working, you'd get the full "dual quint" (K5/K5) setup which also includes a Warm Very Light ink.)

Overall, I am pleased with the prints I'm making so far compared to previous work using Epson's ABW system, but I'm still exploring, including experimenting with blends/splits to find what I like and learning how to best edit my files for the new printing system.  Most of my work is on matte paper, primarily Canson Rag Photographique (though reading other threads here suggests I may have to switch to a different paper due to reported issues now with this paper).  If it makes any difference, my files are from drum-scanned 4x5 TMAX100 negatives and I do mostly landscapes.

Regarding comparing Pro with K7:  Sorry, I cannot provide any personal feedback on that question since Pro is my first Piezography system.  However it's important to know that the Pro inks are completely new formulations and have been engineered for different design points, most notably the ability to have infinite blending/split possibilities and single-pass use of GCO on Photo paper prints.  Regarding "dither" and tonality, Walker has commented elsewhere that Pro holds up to K7 standards (in a dual quint system it may use up to 9 inks depending on the print values and curves being used).  In terms of hue, I've read that there are some K7 hues that cannot be exactly matched with Pro inks.  Anyway, you'd need to get your own test prints made to really understand if Pro will do what you want.  For me, the primary motivation was the flexibility for blends/splits which is simply not possible in ABW.  Single-pass GCO is also nice, but since I do mostly matte papers this was a secondary driver.

Here are a few general tips I can give based on my experience so far:

Sorry for the long post.  Hope this helps.

Dave
Title: Re: Jon Cone Piezography-Pro inks!
Post by: unesco on July 22, 2017, 06:12:27 AM
Dave, thank you very mach for your great post! I have to think out your findings and definatelly come back with some more questions if you don't mind...