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Author Topic: Do I use Epson ABW mode?  (Read 16455 times)

Schewe

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2010, 12:54:12 am »

John, Epson actually touted the ability to send a colour image to the printer via ABW and presto-magico-changeo you would get a beautiful b&w print.   ::)  There was a video with, if I recall, Schewe and Dan about ABW that included the 'send a colour image and magically get a wonderful b&w print with ABW'.  What you got, if you tried it yourself was a blah, POS b&w print in which the colour image had been put through a canned conversion not dissimilar to the Desaturate or Image>Mode>Grayscale command in PS - at least based on my experiments with it.

What was touted was the ability to use special ICC profiles to soft proof the ABW mode and to tweak the conversion PRIOR to actually sending it to the printer in ABW mode. Eric Chan even wrote about and gave away profiles to do just that.

I NEVER advocated sending color to the ABW mode willy-nilly without first understanding exactly HOW the ABW mode would modify your underlying color image to B&W.

If you are going to give me credit (or blame) for something it would be useful to be accurate in assessing the credit (or blame).
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2010, 05:57:51 am »

There are B&W images in different formats, an R=G=B Tiff with a more or less 2.2 Gamma color space assigned; AdobeRGB, sRGB or a 1.8 Gamma; Colormatch, ProPhoto. The greyscale Tiff with different Gammas or dotgains assigned. And one could send a color image with profile or not right into ABW.
Then there is the possibility to convert the image file to a QTR printer profile or alike (Chan), depending on the application/OS you print from this conversion can be done at print time automatically or in a PS P2P conversion and after that through a CM-off path.

Not considering the better control one has in a PS channel conversion of color to B&W there is the other question: what ABW expects as the assigned profile and how it copes with the variations described above.  Even if ABW didn't have any CM (not even a gamma check) an image with an assigned profile will be edited and the profile plays its role then. If you go for ABW then it is wiser to follow all the descriptions of a particular workflow to keep odd results limited.

BTW, it was Steve Kale who was the first to use QTR profiling for ABW printing. I guess 5 years ago on a 2400.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +180 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm






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KEH

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2010, 03:29:50 pm »

I have found this a very useful forum over the years, so I have finally stopped lurking and signed up. Having just got a satisfactory ABW workflow going on a new Epson 3880, I thought I would share what works for me.

Obviously reading Eric Chan's site is a good starting point (http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/index.html), and he helpfully gives a link to Giorgio Trucco's essential piece as well. The key points seem to be that the ABW driver is essentially grayscale, that the 'dark' setting is the most linear, and that a gamma of 2.2 is needed for the file you are printing.

For a non-ICC workflow, the following seems to work pretty well:

1 Convert your rgb file to grayscale in PS using the Gray Gamma 2.2 profile, then print
2 Choose ABW, set to 'dark'
3 Choose the appropriate paper in the driver
4 Set the print dialogue to 'Printer manages color'

What works best for me is an ICC workflow using QTR's CreateICC program. Create the ICC as follows:

1 Print the untagged 21-step target using ABW dark setting, appropriate paper setting, 'Printer manages color' (this works in CS5 in spite of the well-known issues with color targets)
2 Read the grayscale ramp to create an input file for CreateICC - PrintFix works great for doing this
3 Create a grayscale ICC (not RGB - this is important) and install

Then printing uses the following workflow, assuming that you have created a B&W rgb file:

1 Convert your rgb file to the Gray Gamma 2.2 profile
2 Set up ABW as above (dark setting, correct paper type)
3 Print using the ICC you created, choosing 'Perceptual' rendering (this is important - otherwise prints are too dark)

The ABW driver is actually pretty linear based on what CreateICC reports, so it is possible to get good prints without an ICC workflow. But the ICC gives you that much more accuracy - basically what I see on the screen is what I get on the print.

Hope this helps.

Kirk
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RFPhotography

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2010, 06:38:58 pm »

What was touted was the ability to use special ICC profiles to soft proof the ABW mode and to tweak the conversion PRIOR to actually sending it to the printer in ABW mode. Eric Chan even wrote about and gave away profiles to do just that.

I NEVER advocated sending color to the ABW mode willy-nilly without first understanding exactly HOW the ABW mode would modify your underlying color image to B&W.

If you are going to give me credit (or blame) for something it would be useful to be accurate in assessing the credit (or blame).

Oh, Jeff.  Don't get your panties in a bunch.  Maybe I was mistaken about who was in the video.  I know that's a foreign concept to you but we mere mortals do make them.   :-*  I do remember a video, when ABW was introduced, wherein a colour image was sent through and the commentary was that via the magic of ABW a colour image could be turned into a terrific b&w print.
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Schewe

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2010, 06:45:00 pm »

Oh, Jeff.  Don't get your panties in a bunch.

My panties are not bunched...but if you are gonna put words in my mouth at least do me the service of being accurate...you COULD have said "somebody" said something about printing RGB images to ABW mode directly without mentioning my name. You didn't...you mentioned ye name...so I responded to correct your memory.

I don't mind getting blamed for what I actually say but I draw the line at getting blamed for saying something I've never said. Ya know what I mean?

If you DO have accurate profiles for showing what the panchromatic response of the ABW mode does, then yes, you CAN soft proof the RGB color image and predict (and correct) for the way the ABW mode converts to B&W. That's actually useful. But it's pretty silly to convert from color to ABW mode willy-nilly and "hope" the color to B&W mode works.
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NigelC

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2010, 03:50:47 pm »

As I didn't have any of papers Eric Chan has produced ABW profiles for in A3, had to use profile for paper which I guessed might be similar (think I used VFA profile for Permajet Museum Classic) and prints were too dark. Now that's out of the way have tried some A4 papers that I had to hand. Used Ilford Gold Fibre Silk with Eric's profile and followed all settings, but still coming out too dark, to my eye. Can't figure ou why, will try some Harman matt as well.
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eleanorbrown

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2010, 10:50:03 am »

And just to add......I use ABW on all my monotone printing..it gives absolutely gorgeous warm tones and wonderful tonalities...but I never send a color image to it blindly...and I don't know why anyone would want to...I always want to see my rgb to bw conversion prior to printing. Eleanor

What was touted was the ability to use special ICC profiles to soft proof the ABW mode and to tweak the conversion PRIOR to actually sending it to the printer in ABW mode. Eric Chan even wrote about and gave away profiles to do just that.

I NEVER advocated sending color to the ABW mode willy-nilly without first understanding exactly HOW the ABW mode would modify your underlying color image to B&W.

If you are going to give me credit (or blame) for something it would be useful to be accurate in assessing the credit (or blame).
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Eleanor Brown
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scholt64

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2010, 09:17:52 pm »

Kirk, a couple of questions about your process for generating profiles for use with ABW:

1) When you initially load the untagged target, do you assign a profile to it (such as Gray Gama 2.2) or do you leave it "as is" (untagged).
2) When printing the target, you didn't mention setting any rendering intent... is this important when printing the target?

I'm also curious whether there is any substantial difference in profiles generated using a 21 step target vs a 51 step target.

I've been considering building my own ABW profiles (using Spyder3Print and the CreateICC tool in QTR), but figuring out exactly how to print the target in the first place has been a bit of a challenge.

Thanks!
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gromit

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Re: Do I use Epson ABW mode?
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2010, 07:54:51 am »

Used Ilford Gold Fibre Silk with Eric's profile and followed all settings, but still coming out too dark, to my eye. Can't figure ou why, will try some Harman matt as well.

Printing in ABW mode with Photoshop CS5 on Mac OS 10.6.5 would appear to be broken. For years I've been printing from CS3 on 10.5 through a linearization profile (same as Eric's workflow) but it doesn't give the correct results with CS5/10.6. Nor does there appear to be any means to print a grayscale target without conversion (Adobe's new utility didn't work for me for grayscale).
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