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Author Topic: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural  (Read 1036 times)

IanBarber

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Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« on: July 25, 2019, 04:36:24 pm »

Ive just bought some Epson Hot press Natural paper and would like some advice printing it through the Epson ABW with an R3880


I appreciate the ABW is just a black box so I may have answered my own question here. Is it just a lottery as to what comes out. I have the image looking how I want it on the screen but at this stage I have no idea what the ABW is going to do to it. Is it just a case of printing it and hoping for the best?


What do you chaps do ?


Ian

BradSmith

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 07:55:29 pm »

Er, ah..............I'd make a print and look at it to see what it looks like
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Arlen

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2019, 11:15:54 am »

I haven't used ABW for a while, but as far as I know you can't soft proof it. You just have to print it and see what happens. It's my sense that most people don't use ABW mode anymore; at least I rarely see anyone commenting on it.

In case you  haven't seen or heard about it, quite a few years ago Eric Chan of Adobe made some ABW paper profiles for the 3880 available for download, including one for Hot Press Bright (but not Hot Press Natural). https://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3880/abwprofiles.html

This link might also be useful:  http://www.ronmartblog.com/2010/08/how-to-using-epsons-advanced-b-photo.html
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IanBarber

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2019, 11:33:11 am »

It's my sense that most people don't use ABW mode anymore; at least I rarely see anyone commenting on it.


What are people using these days to print their black and white .

Arlen

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2019, 12:09:23 pm »

Well, I take it back about not being able to soft proof. I had forgotten that you can soft proof Eric Chan's profiles in Lightroom. But I don't think there's a profile for HPN.
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datro

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2019, 09:37:45 pm »

Quote
What are people using these days to print their black and white .

I think ABW is still alive and well, but it has been discussed so extensively here in the past that you may not see a lot of traffic on that topic these days.

Today you have essentially three broad workflows for doing grayscale printing on Epson printers:
  • Epson ABW, using OEM inks, does not require dedicating the printer to grayscale
  • Piezography from InkjetMall, using Piezography Pro or K6/K7 inksets, requires dedicating the printer, use QTR/Print-Tool for printing
  • Custom inks of your own mixing, requires dedicating printer, use QTR/Print-Tool for printing (see Paul Roark's comments here)

With ABW, you basically have to print to get a sense of the controls in ABW and how they affect the print.  I think the best approach is to adopt a "standard" test grayscale image you will use to evaluate any new grayscale printing system, new papers, new inks, etc.  If you always use the same image, you will over time get a sense of how the various systems compare.  Make sure the test image has some gradients for evaluating smoothness in the transitions.

I think the first thing to determine with ABW is which "tone" you prefer.  In ABW "tone" refers to Light, Normal, Dark, Darker, Darkest.  For most people, Dark should generally be the starting point.  Then you can experiment with the "Color Toning" if you find the default color of the grayscale is not to your liking.  Those two things are mostly all you have to settle on.
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Ferp

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 09:01:30 am »

In addition to datro's three options, you can also:

4.  Print using QTR and OEM inks.
5.  Print a B&W image using the Epson color driver.  This tends to be frowned down on by serious B&W people, but you can get surprisingly good prints this way and it's an easy way to print if you want to tone or split-tone your images. 

I don't believe that Eric Chan's profiles work any more and haven't for some time.  Many years ago the ABW driver was modified in a way that prevented their use, and it was only an option on Mac anyway.

There is a way to soft-proof ABW.  QTR, which datro referred to, comes with ICC creation tools.  You can use them to create ICCs for ABW in much the same way as you would for options 2, 3 and 4.  You can then use the ICCs to soft-proof in Photoshop, but you have to select the "preserve numbers" option in the soft-proof dialog, which shows you a proof of the image if you don't print using the ICC.  There are a few traps for young players along the way depending on your OS, but that's the short version.  Or you can print ABW using these ICCs, but again there are traps along the way.  On OS X you would have to use Roy Harrington's Print Tool.
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smthopr

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 01:23:46 pm »

I'm still using an Epson 3800 and print using ABW using Eric Chan's workflow and profiles.  The results very very closely match my display.  The workflow works the same in Windows as on a Mac.

If I get a new printer, I'll need to re-learn QTR and make my own correction profiles.

Years ago, I did have a dedicated B&W printer with quadtone inks and used QTR.  The prints were fantastic, but the inks (from the old days) destroyed the printer... :)  For printing on glossy media as I like to do, I find the ABW gives me very pleasing results without creating a whole new hobby.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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Ferp

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2019, 07:38:14 am »

I'm still using an Epson 3800 and print using ABW using Eric Chan's workflow and profiles.  The results very very closely match my display.  The workflow works the same in Windows as on a Mac.

Please describe your workflow, including your OS and all other s/w.
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smthopr

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 07:09:45 pm »

Please describe your workflow, including your OS and all other s/w.

The instructions are located here:  https://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/abwprofiles.html

I'm using windows or mac and printing via photoshop.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 11:45:14 am »

My 3880 died back in February and I've moved on to a Canon Pro-1000.  I frequently used the ABW driver to print monochrome.  For those users on Windows, it is still possible to soft proof images using monochrome profiles.  Eric Chan stopped making profiles when Apple broke the path for the ABW driver.  However, you can use QTR to make your own profiles if you have a spectro to read a B/W patch set.  Keith Cooper of Northlight Images had details on this up on his website (don't know if it is still there).  I prepared ABW profiles for a variety of papers I use and the results with that print driver were quite good.  I used a 51 step A/W patch set and read the patches with an i1 Pro using ArgyllCMS tools to automate the readings.

Alan
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Ferp

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 09:37:53 pm »

The thing that is puzzling here is that in order to print using ABW from recent versions of Photoshop, you need to print using "Printer Manages Colors", which precludes you specifying an ICC in the Photoshop print dialog.  At least that's the case in Windows and I'm fairly sure that that's the case in OS X as well. 

I seem to recall that in very old versions of the Epson Driver on OS X, you specified one of Eric Chan's ICCs in the ABW settings, rather than in the Photoshop print dialog.  Epson removed that option many years ago.  I don't think Windows users ever had it.  Perhaps I've got this wrong and back in those days you didn't have to specify "Printer Manages Colors" in order to access ABW, and so you could specify an ICC in the Photoshop print dialog, and the change was removing the option to do that.  This point of history is not clear to me, since I never saw it in action.

The Eric Chan instructions on the page that Bruce linked to are not clear on this point, probably because they didn't need to be at the time they were written.  They say "This makes it easy to get screen-to-print matching when using the ABW driver: you can use exactly the same workflow as when printing color images, from any printing application (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). The only difference is that you select an ABW profile instead of a RGB color profile."  Could be either.

So how is Bruce using Eric Chan's ICCs in the modern age?  Is he doing the conversion to the ICC manually in Photoshop before then printing using "Printer Manages Colors"? This is how you would use a QTR-generated ICC.  I'm not aware of any alternative.  Hence my question about workflow, which was not answered by that link.
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IanBarber

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2019, 05:59:47 am »

Quote
So how is Bruce using Eric Chan's ICCs in the modern age?  Is he doing the conversion to the ICC manually in Photoshop before then printing using "Printer Manages Colors"? This is how you would use a QTR-generated ICC.  I'm not aware of any alternative.  Hence my question about workflow, which was not answered by that link.[/font][/size]


In the modern age, simply selecting Printer Manages Color and then choosing the ABW driver is the only route we have (well o n OSX) anyway. Having said that, Print Tool by Roy Harrington still allows you to use ABW and also an ICC profile



Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Advice On Epson Hot Press Natural
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2019, 08:25:48 am »


I seem to recall that in very old versions of the Epson Driver on OS X, you specified one of Eric Chan's ICCs in the ABW settings, rather than in the Photoshop print dialog.  Epson removed that option many years ago.  I don't think Windows users ever had it.  Perhaps I've got this wrong and back in those days you didn't have to specify "Printer Manages Colors" in order to access ABW, and so you could specify an ICC in the Photoshop print dialog, and the change was removing the option to do that.  This point of history is not clear to me, since I never saw it in action.

The Eric Chan instructions on the page that Bruce linked to are not clear on this point, probably because they didn't need to be at the time they were written.  They say "This makes it easy to get screen-to-print matching when using the ABW driver: you can use exactly the same workflow as when printing color images, from any printing application (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). The only difference is that you select an ABW profile instead of a RGB color profile."  Could be either.

So how is Bruce using Eric Chan's ICCs in the modern age?  Is he doing the conversion to the ICC manually in Photoshop before then printing using "Printer Manages Colors"? This is how you would use a QTR-generated ICC.  I'm not aware of any alternative.  Hence my question about workflow, which was not answered by that link.
I don't know how things work these days as I no longer have an Epson printer as already noted.  You can do a search here on LuLa and see posts from Eric and others regarding the lack of support for ABW profiles with MacOS (maybe around 2012 or so????).  WinOS users could still employ ABW profiles whether those created by Eric or through the QTR tool.  I was still printing using this workflow last year with stand alone LR6 (I didn't upgrade to LR CC until I purchased a Nikon Z 6 which required the upgrade).  the whole issue of support was based on the OS and certain changes that Apple made.  You never specified Printer Manages Colors in WinOS and LR.
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