Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?  (Read 3015 times)

FrankG

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 359
Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« on: March 23, 2019, 10:58:02 pm »

P400 & Cone Inks
Anyone using this combo for Neutral exhibition/gallery quality prints
Pros & cons?

Thanks
Logged

nirpat89

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 476
    • Photography by Niranjan Patel
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 10:47:22 am »

P400 & Cone Inks
Anyone using this combo for Neutral exhibition/gallery quality prints
Pros & cons?

Thanks

I do have the P400 that I considered converting to Cone inks for a short while before deciding not to do it.  You did check the Inkjetmall forums on this subject, I assume.  And also the QTR board on Yahoo where you will have better luck with your query.  I have read that there is some issue with the firmware for P400 (apparently the new firmware makes the printer incompatible) that may or may not have been resolved by the Cone folks.  Better to check there for the latest.

:Niranjan.

Logged

Paul_Roark

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 11:45:09 am »

Just to let you & others know, there is an alternative to Jon's system.  I am a fan of dedicated B&W inks, but I found I wanted more control than the Cone inks provided.  So, I started pursuing alternatives and developed what I call the "variable tone" approach.  The latest and best iteration of that, which is now in my 7800 and 9800 is described here:  http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/7800-Glossy-Carbon-Variable-Tone-2016.pdf .

In general, my inksets that have "Eboni" in the title -- the trade name of MIS's MK ink -- are for matte paper only.  If the name has "glossy" in the title, they are for both matte and glossy.  Matte only allows the use of the open source, generic dilution base that allows DIY mixers to drop costs to a fraction of commercial inksets.  The glossy base, while way less expensive than OEM inks, is more expensive than the DIY matte-only generic base.

Note that the above inkset is designed to allow me to print on Arches Hot Press (140 lb.) watercolor paper ("full sheets" 22x30 inches).  That is why it has 2 MK ink positions.  I do not recommend this for most.  One has to be very careful to iron the deckle edges or they'll crash your heads.  My preference for Arches is based, in part, on the fact that it's not a laminated product.  In my view, it's the most archival substrate available.  If you want your work to look good 500 years from now, this is what you want.  Otherwise, stick with inkjet paper.  Then again, if you cut the deckle edge off Arches, you have the best for the least -- again.  Arches is not as smooth as inkjet paper and has a modest dmax.  But it's still my favorite for a museum quality print.  I use Museum glass and float Arches full sheets, which their deckle edges, for the classiest display.  That said, I use a roll of satin paper for most of my volume and sales.  I dispaly it un-glazed, protected somewhat by 4 light coats of sprayed Print Shield acrylic.  Very few buyers appreciate/care about the attributes of Arches.

For most people who print on inkjet paper, the variation of this inkset I made for the 3800 is probably the way to go.  See http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Glossy-Carbon-Variable-Tone.pdf, (or http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/3880-Eboni-Variable-Tone-01-2017-fr.pdf if you speak French and what matte paper only).

Note that while I publish my profiles where I have them, I'm not in the ink business.  If you want a turnkey system that is ready to go, use Jon's.  Those profiles and support are what you're paying for.

For B&W printing, which is the only type I do, my basic approach is to have 100% carbon in all but one of the positions -- in various dilutions -- and then have a single bluish "toner" ink in the remaining position.  For the toner ink I use a blend of Canon Lucia EX inks for the color.  While carbon pigments are the strongest/most lightfast there are, the Canon Lucia EX (not "Pro") pigments are the strongest/most lightfast color pigments that are available to us. 

Note that while I did a lot of fade testing myself, I now rely on Mark's outstanding work at https://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/ -- simply the best fade testing information available.

Note also that I use QuadToneRip (QTR) for my printing.   (See http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRoverview.html ) Again, this, in my view, is simply the best for the least approach.

When we do just a little of the mixing ourselves -- nothing complicated at all -- we end up with a final inkset that is the best and for the least money.  Particularly if you print only on matte paper such that you can use the open source, generic dilution base (matte only) (outlined in my PDFs), the ink costs drop so low they become rather irrelevant in the overall process.  I, personally, now use a Red River Ultra Pro Satin 44" roll in my 9800 for most printing.  As such, I use the glossy compatible base/mix described at http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/7800-Glossy-Carbon-Variable-Tone-2016.pdf.

For years I worked informally (no financial or other connection) with MIS Associates.  They set up a page that attempts to group the inputs I've use.  See https://www.inksupply.com/roarkslab.cfm .  In fact, I now have enough volume to buy directly from the supplier of these inks -- STS Inks.  The inputs are not listed on the STS webpage, however.  (If you do volume work, contact me about how to tap into this source.)

I have no financial connection to any or these suppliers and don't recommend this DIY approach for someone who doesn't want to get a little ink on their hands.  But for those who want the most control of their process and art, it's an approach that you might find very satisfying.  And most of us don't mind saving a bunch of money either.

Enjoy,

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com



Logged

Ferp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 202
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 05:48:34 pm »

I am a fan of dedicated B&W inks, but I found I wanted more control than the Cone inks provided.  So, I started pursuing alternatives and developed what I call the "variable tone" approach.

It's true that the K6 and K7 inksets developed by Jon Cone weren't very flexible, in that there were only five tonings available - neutral and four others.  However the Piezography Pro inkset launched a few years ago is variable tone, and so someone starting out now with a dedicated B&W inkset isn't so constrained.  Cone's inks are more expensive than the MIS ones, but it is more of a turnkey solution and Cone's InkJetMall offer full support.  You pays your money and you takes your choices. 

As to their use in a P400, my understanding is that it's a supported printer.  There shouldn't be anything unusual about using Cone's inks in that printer as opposed to any other recent supported Epson.  Except that it's only 13" and uses small cartridges.  But that can be an advantage, as it is therefore easier and cheaper to hibernate with flush solution, although the smaller cartridges can be more troublesome than the larger ones that don't sit on top of the head.

Regarding firmware, anyone with an Epson printer who wanted to use third-party refillable cartridges would be ill-advised ever to update the firmware.  The P400 is not alone in this regard, although the R14x0 series seems to have had the most trouble with firmware lock-outs.
Logged

Paul_Roark

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 11:38:49 am »

There are differences in the variable tone approaches that I use compared to Jon's.  I believe the Cone system has 4 inks of two different tones -- basically two different inksets.  What I use is a single cold toner and then 100% carbon, which is warm.  So, even at the warm end of the scale, all but the toner ink position are being utilized.  With Jon's if you want to be at the end of either cool or warm scale, you're using only part of the inks in the system.

Since I most often print with a neutral tone, not long ago I thought maybe it would simplify things to just have a monotone inkset.  So I fashioned such and tried it.  What I found, however, is that different papers printed at slightly different tones.  Not good.  So, I went back to my old favorite of a single toner plus carbon.  That allows me to more closely hit my preferred neutral tone with different papers.

At any rate, it's good for the market to have some options in the dedicated B&W field.  Different approaches will better fit different people.  As a former darkroom, silver print guy, being involved with my process has always been a part of what I like about the field.  At one point I was even mixing my own POTA developer for Kodak Tech Pan.  A physician friend gave me access to the Cedars Sinai hospital lab to carefully weigh the POTA ingredients to make developer packet quantities appropriate for single roll tanks. I always wondered what the others in the lab thought this stranger was doing weighing out small packets of white powder in the Cedars lab.  :) 

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com &
http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/

Logged

nirpat89

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 476
    • Photography by Niranjan Patel
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 11:14:58 am »

There are differences in the variable tone approaches that I use compared to Jon's.  I believe the Cone system has 4 inks of two different tones -- basically two different inksets.  What I use is a single cold toner and then 100% carbon, which is warm.  So, even at the warm end of the scale, all but the toner ink position are being utilized.  With Jon's if you want to be at the end of either cool or warm scale, you're using only part of the inks in the system.

Since I most often print with a neutral tone, not long ago I thought maybe it would simplify things to just have a monotone inkset.  So I fashioned such and tried it.  What I found, however, is that different papers printed at slightly different tones.  Not good.  So, I went back to my old favorite of a single toner plus carbon.  That allows me to more closely hit my preferred neutral tone with different papers.

At any rate, it's good for the market to have some options in the dedicated B&W field.  Different approaches will better fit different people.  As a former darkroom, silver print guy, being involved with my process has always been a part of what I like about the field.  At one point I was even mixing my own POTA developer for Kodak Tech Pan.  A physician friend gave me access to the Cedars Sinai hospital lab to carefully weigh the POTA ingredients to make developer packet quantities appropriate for single roll tanks. I always wondered what the others in the lab thought this stranger was doing weighing out small packets of white powder in the Cedars lab.  :) 

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com &
http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/

Hi, Paul:

Thanks for the detailed background on the Eboni inks and also for the extensive knowledge base you have put out there for people like me to tap into.  I have a "new" refurbished 1430 that I want to use for B&W.  After doing a lot of reading on Cone and Eboni inks, I am definitely sold on your approach.  Hopefully this is the year I am going to do it.  I am not intimidated by the idea of mixing stuff (I used to do that for a living.)  I will be reviewing the info on the links you provided as I dive into this in the next few weeks.  If I run into some issues, which I am sure I will, I hope to get your advice.

Thanks again for the generosity to share your work.

:Niranjan.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 12:48:48 pm by nirpat89 »
Logged

FrankG

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 359
Re: Epson p400 & Cone Inks?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2019, 09:24:52 pm »

thanks all
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up