Printing Black and white Images from MM
Old 10-16-2016   #1
sansanaba
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Printing Black and white Images from MM

Hello Everyone,
I am ready to start printing some of my pictures for display in my home. I was wondering what experience anyone has with printing B&W from your monochrom.

Are their any websites or services you recommend.

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2016   #2
Richard G
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I am a novice, but i have had some great results with the Epson 3880 and good Ilford paper. You can download the precise printing profile for the chosen paper eg Ilford Prestige Gold Silk etc. I've actually found that just letting the printer handle everything works well with that paper. Make sure to choose printer settings and choose Advanced B and W. On this forum if you search for printer threads Calzone is one of the most sophisticated printers. I'm not ready to follow him all the way but a thread where he contributes is well worth tracking down. I've found RFF better for getting my bearings in a new area than looking at web sites no-one's vouched for.
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Old 10-17-2016   #3
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
I am a novice, but i have had some great results with the Epson 3880 and good Ilford paper. You can download the precise printing profile for the chosen paper eg Ilford Prestige Gold Silk etc. I've actually found that just letting the printer handle everything works well with that paper. Make sure to choose printer settings and choose Advanced B and W. On this forum if you search for printer threads Calzone is one of the most sophisticated printers. I'm not ready to follow him all the way but a thread where he contributes is well worth tracking down. I've found RFF better for getting my bearings in a new area than looking at web sites no-one's vouched for.
Richard,

Thank you for the kind words.

I too have an Epson 3880, and it is a good sized printer that is a work horse. Being a 17 inch printer it allows making 13x19's and also allowing big borders if 17x22 is used.

There are limitations to the 3880 though because the Monochrom produces such clean files of high resolution that one can print really big. I use Heliopan 2X yellow filters that are marked "Digital" that enable me to shoot 10 zone histograms with broad midrange at image capture. It seems these "Digital" filters besides offering added contrast also feature both UV and IR filters that removes signals that otherwise would be recorded as noise that also add to clipping, and by removing this floor of noise one can shoot more to the right (add exposure) and not have clipping.

Anyways the point is to shoot a Monochrom like a large format shooter to make a perfect histogram that requires the least amount of post processing.

Know that I use Piezography and I print B&W glossy which uses 7 shades of black and a second printing of "Gloss Overcoat" that adds detail, contrast, and durability. My ink jet prints are durable and can be handled without damage. My results look like medium format and at times even large format as far as tonality and detail. For me the M-246 has more shadow detail and smoother highlights, but the original MM has the vast midrange of larger formats.

Anyways I have friend who also print with the 3880 using the Epson OEM color inkset. Also there are many here on this forum that print 13x19 and have compared Piezography against Epson OEM. I would be in agreement that at 13x19 that the Print IQ are both very high and there is no clear winner, but I will say if you go crazy and want to print "Monster" big prints where 20x30 image size on 24x36 paper for huge borders required for museum framing exhibition prints then Piezography becomes my choice.

Just know that once you start printing that you are compelled to print on a regular basis or you will have maintenance issues and problems with clogging. Currently after spending about $8-9K on paper and ink this year my 3880 and 7800 are in storage mode loaded with Piezoflush where my printers can remain unused without ill effect.

Even if you don't decide to use Piezography, Jon Cone's site, Piezography.com has a lot of helpful understanding, but realize it is a bit of information overload. If you decide to print B&W using a color inkset I would look into eventually buying refillable carts and buying Jon Cone's color Pigmented inks for a major cost savings. Be aware that the costs of running a printer gets costly. Do all the research before you start, but know that printing made me a better shooter.

This year at PhotoPlusExpo I hope to secure another promo/special that involves pre-paying and doubling my purchasing power to get a 4 foot by 6 foot silver wet print made on fiber paper by Digital Silver Imaging. I just want you to know that with proper technic guys like you and me can do a "Salgado" and print crazy big.

Good luck.

Cal

BTW I consider myself just a serious photographer who is perhaps a bit crazy. LOL.
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Old 10-17-2016   #4
Calzone
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If you want to consider the most advanced dedicated B&W printing consider Jon Cone's Piezography Pro system that will soon be released later this month. The advantages include one-pass glossy printing, all new ink formulations, and three slider dial in split-toning.

In my current system I first print the 7 shades of grey, I have to let the print dry, and then I have to print the "Gloss Overcoat" generally a day later. With Canson Papers I have to do a second Gloss Overcoat for a total of three passes of printing. This new system prints glossy with the durable Gloss Overcoat all in one pass. Know that printing a 24x36 using unidirectional takes about 45 minutes to print each pass.

I currently blended my own warm neutral shadows with Selenium highlight splitone inkset, but understand that my custom inkset is fixed and not infinately variable.

If you are considering being a fine art printmaker, or are printing for exhibition, I would seriously consider Piezography Pro.

Anyways I call my 7800 (24 inch wide) the "Jersey Barrier" because it is that big. Right away I discovered very early on that the 3880 isn't really that big of a printer and that for fine art printing one really need a true large format printer because the MM is capable of producing such great files. I have some 40x60 prints that I had Digital Silver Imaging print for me. They use a laser and digital projection to make silver wet prints on fiber. Not inexpensive. If I had a 44 inch printer I would use it.

Cal
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Old 02-11-2017   #5
Michalm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Richard,

Thank you for the kind words.

I too have an Epson 3880, and it is a good sized printer that is a work horse. Being a 17 inch printer it allows making 13x19's and also allowing big borders if 17x22 is used.

There are limitations to the 3880 though because the Monochrom produces such clean files of high resolution that one can print really big. I use Heliopan 2X yellow filters that are marked "Digital" that enable me to shoot 10 zone histograms with broad midrange at image capture. It seems these "Digital" filters besides offering added contrast also feature both UV and IR filters that removes signals that otherwise would be recorded as noise that also add to clipping, and by removing this floor of noise one can shoot more to the right (add exposure) and not have clipping.

Anyways the point is to shoot a Monochrom like a large format shooter to make a perfect histogram that requires the least amount of post processing.

Know that I use Piezography and I print B&W glossy which uses 7 shades of black and a second printing of "Gloss Overcoat" that adds detail, contrast, and durability. My ink jet prints are durable and can be handled without damage. My results look like medium format and at times even large format as far as tonality and detail. For me the M-246 has more shadow detail and smoother highlights, but the original MM has the vast midrange of larger formats.

Anyways I have friend who also print with the 3880 using the Epson OEM color inkset. Also there are many here on this forum that print 13x19 and have compared Piezography against Epson OEM. I would be in agreement that at 13x19 that the Print IQ are both very high and there is no clear winner, but I will say if you go crazy and want to print "Monster" big prints where 20x30 image size on 24x36 paper for huge borders required for museum framing exhibition prints then Piezography becomes my choice.

Just know that once you start printing that you are compelled to print on a regular basis or you will have maintenance issues and problems with clogging. Currently after spending about $8-9K on paper and ink this year my 3880 and 7800 are in storage mode loaded with Piezoflush where my printers can remain unused without ill effect.

Even if you don't decide to use Piezography, Jon Cone's site, Piezography.com has a lot of helpful understanding, but realize it is a bit of information overload. If you decide to print B&W using a color inkset I would look into eventually buying refillable carts and buying Jon Cone's color Pigmented inks for a major cost savings. Be aware that the costs of running a printer gets costly. Do all the research before you start, but know that printing made me a better shooter.

This year at PhotoPlusExpo I hope to secure another promo/special that involves pre-paying and doubling my purchasing power to get a 4 foot by 6 foot silver wet print made on fiber paper by Digital Silver Imaging. I just want you to know that with proper technic guys like you and me can do a "Salgado" and print crazy big.

Good luck.

Cal

BTW I consider myself just a serious photographer who is perhaps a bit crazy. LOL.
I wish I could have a chance to see prints made with such dedication as it is really hard to see them in the wild.
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Old 02-13-2017   #6
Calzone
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Originally Posted by Michalm View Post
I wish I could have a chance to see prints made with such dedication as it is really hard to see them in the wild.
M,

Looks like in 2017 I will be booked to do another "Symposium" at ICP. I show and share prints with my friends at the NYC Meet-Up. My friend Joe just bought a refurbished 3880 to dedicate to the Piezography Pro inkset after seeing my initial results.

Currently my Monochrom is at Leica N.J. undergoing sensor replacement. I got on a waiting list for 4 months, then sent in my camera, and I was told 8-10 weeks turnaround. I expect my MM to come home perhaps later this month.

In the meantime I am printing B&W from color files from my Leica SL...

Cal
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