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After reading Sean Reid's review on LL a while back, I found this forum and have been following with interest.
I've just sent off my order for the following kit, mainly on the recommendations I've read here, as I haven't tried them yet (mad, huh?!)
body with 40mm f1.4 Nokton and hood
28mm f1.9 Ultron
spare battery and 1 GB fast card
I figured this is the minimum I can live with to get started! I'm looking for a digital to replace the Leica/tri-X/D-76 combination that I used for years when I had room for a darkroom.
If anyone can recommend a good system for b/w printing I'd love to hear. I'm currently using an Epson 1290/black only/2880dpi/matt paper.
welcome, pfogle...40mm f1.4 Nokton rocks!
well, if I get results anything like yours, I'll be stoked!
I don't have an R-D1 but I own a Bessa R2. For my film, color or whatever, I have the local lab process and scan them. I then pick the ones I like, re-process in Photoshop and print on a dedicated B&W printer at home. The setup is cheap, you need an Epson C86 printer, a black ink cartridge, and a set of gray scale cartridges to replace the OEM color ones. You will have the truiest B&W prints than you can get anywhere else. I learned about it here
I second DHu's response....I heard a lot of folks really find that the black and whites look great using that method.
I have the HP Photosmart 7960. For b/w it uses a 3-tone cartridge (black and two shades of grey). Print quality on HP Premium Plus Glossy is outstanding! However, the prints are costly, and it is not as good as Epson for color.
Recently I've been using a 28/1.9 Ultron in a Leica M2. Seems to be very high quality.
I'm been experimenting with quadtone and all kinds of B&W digital printing for six years now. I was a B&W exhibition printer. The best combo I've used to date (and my normal set up now) is Quadtone RIP driving standard inks in an Epson 2200. Amazing but true. Can't think of the URl but google it.
Welcome to the forum!
You should be able to get decent B/W results with a 1290..
I use a 1270 (stock inks), and printing at full resolution takes quite some time but the prints are beautiful!
Epson Heavyweight Matte paper has given me the best results so far, I also tried HW Enhanced/Archival Matte (which is best used with pigment based inks) and apparently Epson ist right, it looks not half as good with the dye based 1270/90 inks as with i.e. a 2200.
Another really classy looking paper would be Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl/Glossy for B/W and Epson ColorLife (for color).
Haven't tried any other papers yet, and I am still in the process of experimenting for the best workflow, but the results are suprisingly good.
My father recently bought a 2200, and though it is definetly more capable than the 1270/1290, he paid 3 times the price of my 1270 and the inks are more expensive.
Gicen the price I'd rather try getting the best out of the 1270/90, which should be just fine for B/W than investing in a pigment based printer which is "whole different beast".
OTOH if you can afford it, the new R1800 looks promising :)
thanks to everyone for their suggestions... I'll be checking out a few things...
Sean... I assume you're printing b/w files in rgb... no color casts? For me the hardest part seems to be getting a dead neutral grey in the midtones.
I didn't like the warm tone from HP inkset (7960), just personal taste.
Dhu's suggestion of using a C86 appeals for up to A4 - I think I'll have a look at that too!
By the way, the camera arrives tomorrow! I'm sooooo excited!
I also print Black Ink only with the 2200 from scanned negs. Very easy and very good. I use mostly Epson Enhanced Matt paper but sometimes the very nice but expensive Hanamule (sp) Photo Rag paper.
For those who scan film I've found that old tech HC-110 with Kodak TMZ 3200 is a very good combo, better than Tmax developer. Better in that it scans really really well and the 2200's (at 2880) version of grain at those film speeds is superb. Nobody believes I shot at 3200 with this combo.
Quadtone RIP is the key and yes the tones have no unintentional color cast. This program is wonderful and bypasses the Epson driver all together. I've never seen neutral B&W from any inkjet printer using color inks except for the QR prints. The file goes to the RIP program as a grayscale TIFF and the RIP itself allows one to determine how cold or warm the print will be. It is dramatically better than most other systems I've tried. The only other combos that do well, in my experience, are the Jon Cone Pezio inks/software and the MIS quadtone inks with careful application of curves. QR is as good as either of those and much easier to work with. For the first time in years, I no longer use a dedicated B&W printer.
Free to try, $50 on the honor system if you like it. I have no affiliation with the company - am just impressed with them.
Good to see another R-D1 user in the U.K.
Sales of the camera seem to be doing really well here (I woundn't have expected it given the price). I have just got back from 'Focus on Imaging' and Epson had quite a number of R-D1's at the show and were getting a great deal of interest. It was difficult to speak to anyone on that part of the Epson stand.
Re. printers for B & W and colour without a dedicated Black ink set. I can get "passable" B & W results on my old Epson 1200 A3+ with Epson's inks and Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl paper using the film setting and adjusting the colour controls (lots of trials to get there)but it's still a long way from a monochrome silver print so I also want something better.
I was interested in the new Epson 1800 A3+ or the new HP A3+ (although very wary of the running costs of that one). At the Focus show monochrome prints (from their own files) looked pretty good from both. The HP being particularly impressive. I had taken my own monochrome 'test file' that I had prepared for them to print but in the end I wasn't prepared to spend the long wait while others were getting their colour files printed. Both printers are due out in the UK in April.
I have though seen really impressive B&W from my friends Epson 1160 A3+ printer, which has been in the Epson range for years. Its their cheapest A3+ printer about £225 here and is only 4 (not 6) inks which you would think would be a disadvantage, but I don't really see it in his results. He uses the printer with Lyson Fotonic Dye inks and has had two custom profiles made by Neil Barstow (www.colourmanagement.net). One is for Lyson Darkroom Gloss & the other is for Hahnemeuhle PhotoRag. I partictularly like the Darkroom Gloss which is very close to unglazed glossy fibre base. The depth of Blacks in this set up are about the best I have seen from an inkjet print. Colour prints are pretty good as well with no real sense of seeing the dots in light smooth tones that I had expected to see from a 4 ink printer.
I think the secret of all this is in the custom profiles (or RIP's as Sean suggests) which by pass the printers own profiles and adjust your particular example of the printer to the inks and paper you are using to a much higher standard than the best generic profiles. I think the custom profiles cost about £60 each to have made.
I still want to check Epson 1800 but whatever I finally end up with I will probably get a custom profile made for it.
Sean--you just reminded me to pay my honor system $50 to QuadTone. I too am very impressed with the setup. Sure makes it easy to print decent B&W on the same printer.
Have you messed with the ICM profiles that are put out with the QuadTone system? I've been just shooting with the Greyscale 1.8 gamma ICM profile, but apparently you can assign a generic B&W ICM geared toward editing B&W (like Adobe RGB) and then apply a Matte or Glossy profile for printing that you embed for the QuadTone print. I haven't messed much with it. But I'm curious who has.
I haven't tried them yet.
Welcome Pfogle ! Seems the RD-1 is getting fans pretty fast :) And that's good !
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