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I recently purchased a demo model of a 2200, for a really good price, good condition too. I know we have some 2200 users here. I've seen some great b&w prints made with this printer. Can anyone recommend a plan of action for producing quality b&w output, or point to some good online resources for setting this up? Sorry for the generalized question, but I'm a bleeping newbie on this end. TIA.
I get great b&w results from this printer without resorting to inks other then the original Epson. I always desaturate my b&w scans and adjust from there - contrast, saturation, etc.. I print with all the colors on and use Epson Fine Art paper. If you have more specific questions, please PM me.
Thanks Keith, it's encouraging to know that I'll be able to achieve good output with the Epson inks. I've heard about the 3rd party ink sets, and thought I'd have to go that route to get anything decent. I've seen output using the Lyson (?) inks and they looked great.
Are you just printing straight from PS (or other image-editing software)? I've heard about people using special RIP's. Thanks again.
Hi Ray, the very best source of info on digital b&w printing is the yahoo group DigitalBlackAndWhiteThePrint. however, it's not easy to search the archives of yahoo groups and there have been tens of thousands of messages posted to that group. so, here's a short summary of some of your easiest alternatives:
1. Epson UC inks plus some software RIP, most likely QTR or QuadToneTip by Roy Harrington. QTR is a piece of shareware that has some learning curve but with it you can get good results without going into it to deeply. Its cost is $50.
2. Third party quadtone inksets, such as those available from MIS. (Jon Cone also has developed a new inkset, but to use it you must use the QTR.) The MIS inksets can give great results using a variety of relatively simply workflows. One set of inks made by MIS is called UT7 and is designed to be used in conjunction with the 2200 printer and the Epson driver; this is probably the simplest quad ink workflow for the 2200. Paul Roark has developed a number of inksets for MIS and his website as well as the MIS site has articles to read.
3. The "black-only" method. This method uses only the black cartridge for printing. The results are free of the problems associated with using color inks to print grayscale images, because no color inks are used. The downside is that 1) the prints can be on the warm side, since the black ink is carbon-based and 2) since black is being used to print all levels of gray, in the brighter levels, the print becomes somewhat dotty looking (imagine trying to print 90% white - lots of raw paper with scattered black dots on it.) The black-only method has been called "digital tri-x." But it can make great looking prints and it's easy as pie to try though, just select black rather than color from within the Epson driver. A fellow named Clayton Jones is one of the big proponents of this method and if you search on his name and find his website, you'll find a wealth of articles he's written, with details on how to refine the black only technique.
Finally, although this is obviously a subjective and personal opinion, I have never found I could make satisfactory b&w prints using the standard Epson UC inkset and the Epson driver. I had *all* kinds of problems. On glossy papers you get bronzing; on glossy and matte you get the phenomena known as metamerism; color casts are difficult to control.
I'm VERY familiar with the search limitations of Yahoo Groups. I belong to a few myself (though not the digital printing group), and have experienced that nightmare. I checked out the Paul Roark page (with the UT7 inks). I'm starting to get clue, and catching some of the terminology, which helps. It sounds as if every option has its benefits and drawbacks.
At the last (only, thus far) SF Bay Area RFF meeting some very nice inkjet prints were presented and I was sold on the quality. I've printed some images off my all-in-one Epson, using its standard inkset, and I was impressed. So much so that after seeing the RFF prints, I was blown away, so I think I'll eventually end up going the 3rd party inkset route. I'm open to all options at this early stage—even the standard inksets.
As soon as I find some desk space for the 2200, I'll be printing.
Further to what Ed said, the QuadTone Rip works well, but there is a bit of a learning curve in getting it to run.
Without a RIP I had all kinds of problems with colour casts. In the end I bought the 'lite' version of ImagePrint and have been extremely happy.
QTRgui is literally the easiest and most rewarding new photography software I've seen.
Amazingly intuitive and effective, well documented.
Bronzing is mostly a function of yellow ink and the wrong paper. If you use QTRgui's sliders to print neutral or cool using Epson pigments the yellow is terminated around 30 (see the ink graph)...at that point there's no bronzing.
Metamerism simply doesn't cccur if you use good matte papers, such as Moab Entrada or Epson Enhanced Matte with Epson pigments...but several big name alternative brands are simply no good wtr bronzing.
Epson's semi-gloss/semi-matte surfaces are prone to bronzing, as seem to be all semi-gloss/semi-matte papers.
The single cheapest glossy paper is also the best glossy: Costco's Kirkland, which may be the same as Moab's Kokopelli.
..also, take a look at www.inkjetart.com ...a great supplier and advisor.
Just an update: I finally got the desk space to setup the 2200, and I made some b&w prints using the black Epson inks that came with printer. I used some glossy Kodak paper we had lying around the house, and the results were surprisingly good (once I found a decent setting in the driver). I'm considering purchasing the MIS UT7 inkset next to try it out.
The bronzing made me forget about all the glossy and semi-glossy papers for the Epson 2200. So i strictly use the enhanced matte papers.
For B&W on this paper you should realy try the Harrington RIP for 50$..... it's hard to beat.
Framed and behind glass you do not see it is matte paper. But the difference in shadow detail compared to (semi) glossy papers is day and night.
If you try the rip just starr with a mix of 50% cool & 50% warm .... and you have neutral black!
The Epson velvet fine art paper is just beautiful.
Han, I can see the bronzing effect on the glossy paper. I'm not big on glossy paper, but I noticed the UT7 inks have an optional black for certain glossy papers. I think initially I'll try the Epson papers that you and Keith suggest.
Ray .. you are right .. there are 2 types of black. There is "Photo black" for (semi) glossy.
For enhanced matte paper you have to use a " Matt black" cartridge instead.
The Harington Rip has profiles for enhanced matte Epson paper ......... just make sure you have the matt black cartridge installed.
I'm not sure which Black ink you need for the Velvet paper Keith suggests.
I want to try that paper myself .. but it is not sold/ recommended for the 2200 in Europe.
So i have to import.
U se an Epson 2200 with Matte Black ink, using the enhanced matte paper in the Epson driver, but printed on Photo Rag 308 and 188. It seems to provide a good solution. Just wish the light photo ink laster longer. I have also printed with this on Epson's paper and the result is good. Just make sure you have the Matte black ink. When compared to reserve samples of six color blacks that I have, it's a little colder toned, but still a nice combo black and white and color printer.
Be sure to download the new ICC profiles for the different papers from the Epson site under the 220 model in the drivers/support area. They made a world of difference. They have specialized ones for all the Epson papers at different print resolutions. Then follow their suggestions on how to set up the printer dialog box, including the "No color adjustment" box.
Like others, I recommend going with QTR. It is actually very _easy_ to use in my opinion. Just getting started is quick, it's the tweaking that takes a while. I use it with my Epson 1280 with the MIS inkset.
We should have another get together soon so we can share prints with the various systems. I got a 2200 & a 9600 at work (3'x4' print, anyone?) and a 1280 at home. I use QTR all around.
Yay! I got the UT7 inks, Epson Enhanced Matte paper, and the QuadTone RIP (QTR). Everything installed easily.
In the QTR print window, I did a 50-50 tone mix between cold and warm profiles, seeking a neutral tone, and I made my first two prints off the Epson—the two images that I'm submitting for RFF Book 2.
I'm impressed! They look great! The prints closely match the my monitor, and they look neutral under my various indoor/nightime light sources, so I'm looking forward to a daylight examination (and a future SF Bay Area RFF Meeting).
I've finally established a complete Hybrid Workflow! :D
Thanks to all who've posted here! :p
Print swap anyone? ;)
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