Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: QTR vs ABW  (Read 964 times)

Eric Brody

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 453
    • http://www.ericbrodyphoto.com
QTR vs ABW
« on: April 04, 2022, 08:41:08 pm »

I've been a happy user of Roy Harrington's QTR RIP for many years with my Epson 3880. I'm not a sophisticated user but have made a lot of prints using the supplied profiles. I live in fear that my beloved 3880 will bite the dust one of these days; it is almost 9 years old. If that should happen, I'd like to get a printer that will run QTR. For whatever reason(s) Roy has not been able to get QTR to work with matte paper on the P900. In the Epson world of 17 inch printers, this pretty much leaves only the P5000, which is often hard to find and is an older printer. I'd love a 24 inch printer but cannot justify it for a lot of reasons.

I recently started using the Epson Print Layout software which allows decent previewing of the ABW effects on screen prior to making the print. I used Keith Cooper's (Northlight Images) black and white test image and made a print with QTR at my usual settings. I then made prints with ABW through the Epson print layout software. After a few iterations, I got prints that were pretty close to the QTR print, good shadows and good highlights and an almost identical tonality.

Has anyone else compared QTR and ABW for black and white images? I'd appreciate hearing about others' experiences.
Logged

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2245
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2022, 09:32:42 am »

For me, ABW doesnít start getting good until the P800 came out, and the whole P series really for the larger ones.

On the 800 I did tests on Platine and Rag Photographique comparing the p800 with ABW and QTR , right out of the box the neutral tone setting was cleaner with ABW in terms of print color than the Qtr, but that is without making a custom Qtr curve, which is what I would do. I love the split toning capability of QTR and the custom linearization for different . But you can do good split toning in Lightroom also.

With a good rgb custom profile on the P900 with ABW you should get good results on matte media. You could pay to have someone make you one.

Yea, the price for the used old 3880s and the P800s have gone up a lot on EBay and you never know what you are going to get. People want those for alternative inks. I got lucky and found a perfect 3880 on eBay but that was 5 years agoÖNever used the 5000.

John





I've been a happy user of Roy Harrington's QTR RIP for many years with my Epson 3880. I'm not a sophisticated user but have made a lot of prints using the supplied profiles. I live in fear that my beloved 3880 will bite the dust one of these days; it is almost 9 years old. If that should happen, I'd like to get a printer that will run QTR. For whatever reason(s) Roy has not been able to get QTR to work with matte paper on the P900. In the Epson world of 17 inch printers, this pretty much leaves only the P5000, which is often hard to find and is an older printer. I'd love a 24 inch printer but cannot justify it for a lot of reasons.

I recently started using the Epson Print Layout software which allows decent previewing of the ABW effects on screen prior to making the print. I used Keith Cooper's (Northlight Images) black and white test image and made a print with QTR at my usual settings. I then made prints with ABW through the Epson print layout software. After a few iterations, I got prints that were pretty close to the QTR print, good shadows and good highlights and an almost identical tonality.

Has anyone else compared QTR and ABW for black and white images? I'd appreciate hearing about others' experiences.
Logged

Eric Brody

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 453
    • http://www.ericbrodyphoto.com
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2022, 05:58:57 pm »

Thanks John (Deanwork). I suspect I could live with ABW on matte paper with a P900 should my 3880 go to printer heaven. I appreciate the opinions of an experienced printer like yourself.
Logged

aaronchan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 614
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2022, 03:52:15 pm »

Thanks John (Deanwork). I suspect I could live with ABW on matte paper with a P900 should my 3880 go to printer heaven. I appreciate the opinions of an experienced printer like yourself.

To be honest, I never like neither of them.
I have been making color ICC profiles for years, and I can make very good, or even better B&W prints out of it.
I do use QTR for some other purposes such as making digital negatives for alternative printing.
I never use ABW, most of the reason why is because I do make a lot of prints, and I make my custom ICC profile once a year to make sure I get consistant color due to the printhead might shift after a year of workload. But ABW is kinda like a rabbit hole, and I don't want to investigate something that doesn't really make my print looks better.

Just my personal experience, whatever workflow works for you, that's the best workflow.

Aaron

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2245
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2022, 04:32:14 pm »

ABW used to be horrible but someone printed my file  on the 9570 and it was shockingly good . But yes making extended patch icc  rgb profiles can be more subtle, but not within the grasp of many non tech savvy printers. You can custom linearize QtR for your specific printer if you have a spectro.  Actually in my case Iíve been making 6000 patch or 10,000 patch icc profiles on my Z3200 onboard spectro because it is automated. That is the best Iíve done with rgb monochrome prints. Studio Print is the best Iíve done using grayscale workflows, itís very sharp and you can do multiple iterations of patch readings, but itís very expensive these days and has a significant learning curve.



To be honest, I never like neither of them.
I have been making color ICC profiles for years, and I can make very good, or even better B&W prints out of it.
I do use QTR for some other purposes such as making digital negatives for alternative printing.
I never use ABW, most of the reason why is because I do make a lot of prints, and I make my custom ICC profile once a year to make sure I get consistant color due to the printhead might shift after a year of workload. But ABW is kinda like a rabbit hole, and I don't want to investigate something that doesn't really make my print looks better.

Just my personal experience, whatever workflow works for you, that's the best workflow.

Aaron
Logged

Doug Gray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2169
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2022, 05:55:15 pm »

To be honest, I never like neither of them.
I have been making color ICC profiles for years, and I can make very good, or even better B&W prints out of it.
I do use QTR for some other purposes such as making digital negatives for alternative printing.
I never use ABW, most of the reason why is because I do make a lot of prints, and I make my custom ICC profile once a year to make sure I get consistant color due to the printhead might shift after a year of workload. But ABW is kinda like a rabbit hole, and I don't want to investigate something that doesn't really make my print looks better.

Just my personal experience, whatever workflow works for you, that's the best workflow.

Aaron


There's a way to make high quality ICC profiles for ABW printing. And they even show slight tints when soft proofing. See the link to a program and description near the end of this thread:

https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=132251.20
Logged

unesco

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 251
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2022, 01:52:30 pm »

I use QTR together with ABW on my both 3880 and P800. They complement each other. When I want top quality print from top quality analog scan or perfect digital B&W image on top quality paper - I go to QTR. ABW is not that bad as some people try to present it. On P800 it is very good, predictable, especially once you dig a bit and test its settings. Epson Print Layout gives some indications of its behavior, however it is not very precise, rather shows direction. On MK it does not simulate black point shift in proof so, it renders image as being printed on eg. luster paper. Also it makes nearest neighbor interpolation, as in Epson driver. Because it is rather targeted to production management of image layout, one needs to be careful to keep 1:1 pixel in terms os scaling to avoid that dumb interpolation.
I have never seen good icc color profile using Epson driver that could match QTR print.
I have seen great icc grey profiles for ABW made using some QTR tools.
QTR natively interpolates to 720 ppi (using splines).
ABW does not allow of duo or tri toning, as QTR does.
Just my a few cents.
Logged

datro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2022, 02:06:55 pm »

I use QTR together with ABW on my both 3880 and P800. They complement each other. When I want top quality print from top quality analog scan or perfect digital B&W image on top quality paper - I go to QTR.

Since you mention that you are using either QTR or ABW on the same printers, I assume you are talking about using QTR with the OEM Epson Inks, correct?  And a few more quick questions:

Have you ever experimented with QTR and Piezography inks?  I'm curious how you would compare QTR/OEM Inks with QTR/Piezography Inks.

What tools do you use for making/tweaking your curves (quad files) for use with QTR?
Logged

unesco

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 251
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2022, 03:26:43 pm »

Since you mention that you are using either QTR or ABW on the same printers, I assume you are talking about using QTR with the OEM Epson Inks, correct?  And a few more quick questions:

Have you ever experimented with QTR and Piezography inks?  I'm curious how you would compare QTR/OEM Inks with QTR/Piezography Inks.

What tools do you use for making/tweaking your curves (quad files) for use with QTR?

Yes, OEM Epson inks.
Yes, I have experimented with Piezography K7, but not on my printers. In my private opinion, in pair QTR/Piezo, QTR makes the hob even more then Piezo itself, it is enabler for good inks. In most cases I had, difference is not big when comparing OEM to Piezo K7 (both using QTR, but I have not tried Piezo Pro). Difference can be visible when you have many nuances in very light areas or dark ones (high key / low key), but is not large. In all cases you need to learn how to make good curves, what is not easy.

Now, I use Color Munki Photo, well prepared test chart with 51 patches but randomly placed and at least 3x repeated, own algorithm for curve smoothing after Munki scan for linearisation and QTR own built in tool for curve creation.

I do not use external tools now (tried bwmastery.com, but early versions were interface unfriendly - now should be better, and was not very happy when the one I purchased was not allowed to be upgraded to newer one. You can try one, if you want some more colorisation options, since they are hard to achieve by yourself, but you need to remember that it generates not curves as QTR built in tool, but result/final quad files).

QTR own built in tool is quite good once you make long try and error learning, or get a hand from some more advanced users.
Logged

Ferp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 282
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2022, 06:57:32 pm »

In most cases I had, difference is not big when comparing OEM to Piezo K7 (both using QTR, but I have not tried Piezo Pro). Difference can be visible when you have many nuances in very light areas or dark ones (high key / low key), but is not large.

unesco made this point in a recent thread and I agreed with him, with the caveat that the HD black inks that InkJetMall now produce can make a significant difference, particularly compared with older OEM inksets.  The thing I mostly learned from Piezo is control over QTR.  The Piezo advantage is subtle.  I've never made a QTR curve from scratch, I've simply reused existing ones that were close to what I needed and relinearized them.

The big problem with QTR in 2022 is finding a new printer that you can use it with.
Logged

datro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2022, 09:51:00 pm »

The big problem with QTR in 2022 is finding a new printer that you can use it with.

Yes, you are right about that.  And for Piezography the problem is further compounded by the fact that it's looking pretty bleak for their ability to use/support refillable carts in the newer Epson printers (at least in the U.S.).
Logged

unesco

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 251
Re: QTR vs ABW
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2022, 02:23:42 am »

unesco made this point in a recent thread and I agreed with him, with the caveat that the HD black inks that InkJetMall now produce can make a significant difference, particularly compared with older OEM inksets.  The thing I mostly learned from Piezo is control over QTR.  The Piezo advantage is subtle.  I've never made a QTR curve from scratch, I've simply reused existing ones that were close to what I needed and relinearized them.

The big problem with QTR in 2022 is finding a new printer that you can use it with.

Agree, however I think that P800 MK is black enough to make perfect prints on matt papers, especially when used with Epson Hot Press paper.
As for myself, I do not use existing curves, they are good starting points but need tweaking before linearisation - of course depends on paper, some of them might be enough.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up