Piezography Pro
Old 10-21-2016   #1
Calzone
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Piezography Pro

Many here know that I exploit Piezography to print Monochrom files big.

Because I purchased so much ink and paper I have been invited to be an "early adopter" of a new system that Jon Cone recently has developed called "Piezography Pro." Earlier today I placed a "Pre-order" on a 700ml kit and two sets of new carts to be able to load my 3880 and 7800 with this new inkset that offers the following advantages: a blacker black; variable split-tone via three sliders on Roy Harrington's Print Tool; and the most important to me, one-pass glossy printing.

Sometime in mid November I should get the first batch.

I only print glossy on either: Jon Cone Type 5 with is basically Jon Cone's version of a Crane's Silver Rag clone that is optimized for Piezography for a denser black that offers what I call a "Satin" finish, even though Jon Cone calls it glossy; or Canson Platine Fibre Rag which gives me a true glossy finish. Both 100% rag papers feature no optical brightners and have a Bayrata coating.

With the standard K7 inkset I blended my own custom inkset to create a three way split-tone where I have a true black, warm shadows and cool highlights that add dimention to my prints. Out of the seven shades of black I blend only in shade 3 and shade 4 to tone down the warmth and to give the highlights more range, but realize that my split-tone is fixed, and soon I will have control over the split-tone.

With K7 glossy printing a second printing of Gloss Overcoat is required. This eliminates bronzing and gloss differential, but an added benefit is that it makes ink jet prints durable so they can be handled without damage. I tend to use mostly the Canson Platine Fibre Rag for the true glossy look, but Canson papers require two passes of Gloss Overcoat with drying inbetween so basically printing a 20x30 image on 24x36 paper takes 41 minutes to lay down 7 shades of black, 45 minutes of a Gloss Overcoat, and lastly another 45 minute layer of Gloss Overcoat. Know that these times are so long because I only print unidirectional for higher IQ.

One pass glossy reduces all these extra steps and eliminates all the air time the print head sees that can lead to clogs and added maintenance.

Currently my printers are in storage mode loaded with carts filled with Piezoflush. Initially I will load first the 3880 for trials and testing. I recently refilled the 400 ml carts for the 7800 even though they are not presently loaded onto the 7800 to get an idea of how to expend my remaining K7 inks.

Some of you might question of why I might want to have two printers or double trouble, but my reasoning is that my most common print size is 13x19.9 on 17x23 1/2 inch paper, and to save wear and tear on my 7800, a 24 inch printer, it makes sense to use the smaller printer as a workhorse for small printing and proofing and keep the big printer fresh. Also know that because I own a spare set of refillable carts that I can safely store either or both printers safely by loading and flushing my printers with Piezoflush.

Anyways be aware that printing is where photography gets expensive, but printing surely has advanced me as a photographer.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2016   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post

Anyways be aware that printing is where photography gets expensive, but printing surely has advanced me as a photographer.

Cal
I fully agree, 101 %

Cheaper for me because I like to print very small which reduce of course the costs. But I like to get the tones I need and this means they in spite of calibration and other procedura sometime a print has to be redone in order to get what I want.

But another benefit of printing, large or small is that you are force to a very selective editing and this is where I learn a lot.

Ciao, robert
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Old 10-21-2016   #3
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I fully agree, 101 %

Cheaper for me because I like to print very small which reduce of course the costs. But I like to get the tones I need and this means they in spite of calibration and other procedura sometime a print has to be redone in order to get what I want.

But another benefit of printing, large or small is that you are force to a very selective editing and this is where I learn a lot.

Ciao, robert
Robert,

Although I push the envelope, not all images are meant to be printed big. In my symposium at ICP we compared the same images via print size and with and without borders.

It seems that wide borders enhance a print by creating a space. The same sized prints looked and appeared signifigantly bigger with borders. The print also seemed a lot more spacial and 3-D with broad borders.

Then many like being able to handle the prints, feel the weight of the rag paper, and holding the print made the viewer become intimate with the image. Kinda like holding a baby. My friend Robert Rodriguez who is the Artist In Residence at the Canson booth explained to me that he likes using rag papers whenever there is the opportunity for a person to handle a print, but the problem with ink jet prints is that they are delicate and easily damaged.

My friend Joe says he can always make another print, but the Gloss Overcoat allows me to freely give the viewer the experience of handling the print without the worry of damage.

It does seem that 13x19 1/2 is a great print size because the viewing distance is at arm's length.

Printing for exhibition is a different story...

Cal
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Old 10-21-2016   #4
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...so basically printing a 20x30 image on 24x36 paper takes 41 minutes to lay down 7 shades of black, 45 minutes of a Gloss Overcoat, and lastly another 45 minute layer of Gloss Overcoat. Know that these times are so long because I only print unidirectional for higher IQ....
That's quite a process! Do you find that once under glass, the gloss overcoating still distinguishes the print from one without it?

I admire your commitment to the printing process and would love to see your work. Now that I think about it, after all these years on RFF, I don't even know what you photograph.

I spend my work days immersed in complex technical information and processes, and that last thing I want to do evenings or weekends is dig into more of it through photography. I'm thrilled with the way my new P800's ABW function spits out a very nice print with so little effort on my part.

Good luck with the new line of Cone products. Sounds like an enjoyable and beneficial partnership.

John
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Old 10-21-2016   #5
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That's quite a process! Do you find that once under glass, the gloss overcoating still distinguishes the print from one without it?

I admire your commitment to the printing process and would love to see your work. Now that I think about it, after all these years on RFF, I don't even know what you photograph.

I spend my work days immersed in complex technical information and processes, and that last thing I want to do evenings or weekends is dig into more of it through photography. I'm thrilled with the way my new P800's ABW function spits out a very nice print with so little effort on my part.

Good luck with the new line of Cone products. Sounds like an enjoyable and beneficial partnership.

John
John,

Nothing wrong with Epson OEM. Seen plenty of great prints. In my case I'm struggling to define myself as a fine art printer, and know what I do is kinda crazy and obsessive.

I don't post because I don't belive it is the best way to present my work. I'll present you with a link that basically set the hook that got me into a group show that is presently running. These are 5 large Piezography prints that are the product of a Leica Monochrom, but oddly the curator picked a silver wet print that was shot with a Tele Rolliflex.

I have a boring day job, so pouring through technical information is my way of exploiting the boredom to my benefit.

Know that I have this manner of annoying people because I don't post, do social media, or even carry a cell phone. LOL.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2016   #6
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John,

Check out FreshOutOfStorage.com, click on Artists, and then on Calvin Lom. There is a slide show of some 20x30 Piezography images printed on 24x26 paper. The internet in no way captures the IQ and tonality. The one vertical image was taken on that NYC Meet-Up field trip where seven New Yorkers hooked up with 3 Philly locals to shoot Eastern State Penitentuary, a prison that operated for 142 years and that was abandoned in 1971.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWhMVrbAZ8

The above link came up when I googled "Fresh Out Of Storage" and somehow I saw my name in one of the citations. There are a bunch of shots at the opening where basically I somehow being photgraphed and somehow some of my work is being shown. The photo of the Asian making "Chinese Eyes" is actually me when I was 26. Compare me to the almost 59 year old and you will say I am unrecognizable.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2016   #7
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WOW.

I found another link by googling "Fresh Out Of Storage" that actually has some video when the Curator, Ariela Krader, visiting my storage unit. It reveals this 40x50 inch "shipping container" that has about 70-80 pounds of exhibition prints.

Anyways this seems like a clip from the documentary that just features me, my photography and my Manhattan Mini Storage unit.

It seems the YouTube links do not work.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2016   #8
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Thanks for the vision of your printing, Cal. If the exhibit stays up long enough, I'll see it on the next trip to NY, though my priority would be to make the monthly lunch meet with ya'll.

Could you hazard a ballpark figure on your cost per 13x19 print in ink/paper, i.e. setting aside the startup costs of a 3000 series printer and the Cone conversions? So guesstimating the cost of your paper and cartridge refills--though you may need to extrapolate those costs over 10-20 prints or more to get a realistic cost divisible down to one print! If it has been part of your budgeting to think about this and you can share the info, great. If not, send me a Buzz Off Robert PM.

I'm trying to decide whether to keep a 3800 and switch to piezography, but don't know whether I can or even want to print enough to keep the machine humming i.e. Unclogged. I know what I can pay my neighborhood developer/printer pro for a good 13x19 print, and it may be more sensible in the long run to not maintain a big printer at home.

Thanks for whatever light you can shed on cost. The benefits for you are plenty clear ;-)
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Old 10-24-2016   #9
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Thanks for the vision of your printing, Cal. If the exhibit stays up long enough, I'll see it on the next trip to NY, though my priority would be to make the monthly lunch meet with ya'll.

Could you hazard a ballpark figure on your cost per 13x19 print in ink/paper, i.e. setting aside the startup costs of a 3000 series printer and the Cone conversions? So guesstimating the cost of your paper and cartridge refills--though you may need to extrapolate those costs over 10-20 prints or more to get a realistic cost divisible down to one print! If it has been part of your budgeting to think about this and you can share the info, great. If not, send me a Buzz Off Robert PM.

I'm trying to decide whether to keep a 3800 and switch to piezography, but don't know whether I can or even want to print enough to keep the machine humming i.e. Unclogged. I know what I can pay my neighborhood developer/printer pro for a good 13x19 print, and it may be more sensible in the long run to not maintain a big printer at home.

Thanks for whatever light you can shed on cost. The benefits for you are plenty clear ;-)
Robert,

The 3800 is a robust printer with a long print head life. Basically the difference between your 3800 and my 3880 is basically my 3880 uses an improved inkset.

A set of refillable carts is about $135.00 and two sets I feel is required: one for inks; and a second for Piezoflush to store and maintain your printer.

I bulk up on inks and buy 700 ml bottles to keep costs low. The cost of ink is roughly about a quarter the price of the OEM inkset, but know that I think with Piezography one lays down more ink than OEM printing. The tonality has to come from somewhere. Add onto that the added ink of a second or third printing of Gloss Overcoat (depending on paper used) that costs as much as ink per ml. In the end any cost savings in ink is kinda slight in my case.

Know that when I print a 24x36 that basically I use about six times the amount of paper and ink than a 13x19. I really drain the carts the way I print and on my 3880 when I printed only with that printer I had to refill my carts every other week.

In the end the cost savings I think gets washed out, so why do the extra work, and what are the real benefits? Cheap local printing is just that, but the quality of an Adorama print for me is really not so great and is unlikely to be archival like my prints. I have total control, there are no compromises, and I get what I envision to fully exploit the medium.

My prints are archival, printed on 100% rag paper, and I consider them fine art prints of superior quality. Because Piezography is based on carbon and has no color it will have more permanence than any color inkset used for B&W. Then there is the durability where Piezography prints can be handled and are not so delicate like an OEM inkjet print due to the Gloss Overcoat that acts like a protective layer. With the new Piezography Pro and the one pass glossy printing "Pizzawheels" when printing on Canson papers won't be an issue anymore.

Anyways I strongly feel that printing has made me a better photographer, and I think I am making better prints than I could get made by an outsider. Know that by having a second set of carts loaded with Piezoflush that you can flush out all the inks, can even restore a clogged printer, and that you can store your printer unused safely for a year so you don't have to be chained to your printer.

In my case I mostly exploit my printing capabilities in the winter. Now with Piezography Pro the one pass glossy printing saves me lots of time and gives me added capabilities. Jon Cone has done all the engineering and heavy lifting. More or less the system is turnkey. Then there is the next advancement for me: printing digital negatives and making silver wet prints via contact printing using a vacuum frame. Jon Cone already has another system for this built up, but I don't have the studio space required. Basically we can do a "Salgado" and we don't need the best lab in Paris.

Cal
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Old 10-24-2016   #10
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Cal, thank for a thorough and authoritative answer that is likely to make my decisions about printing much harder ;-).

The explanation about dedicating a set of carts to piezoflush really does change the economy of use equation with a big printer being idled.
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Old 10-24-2016   #11
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Cal, thank for a thorough and authoritative answer that is likely to make my decisions about printing much harder ;-).

The explanation about dedicating a set of carts to piezoflush really does change the economy of use equation with a big printer being idled.
Robert,

You already have one of the most durable Epson printers ever made. You can really print with that printer for a very long-long time. Parts are still available and Piezoflush freshens up any printer.

Jon Cone also has a lot of free info on maintenance. When was the last time you cleaned the capping station? Do you know how to reset your maintenance tank, and that basically you can use it twice before replacing it? Did you know that you can use other materials as bedding? I even cleaned the bedding in a lab sink at work on my 7800 maintenance cart.

If you get a free clogged printer many can be saved. I also down loaded the 7800 maintenance manual for free. Basically my 7800 is one of the most durable printers Epson ever made, and they had a long prodiction run. Call me a Hill Billy but if I had the space I would collect printers and have a salvage yard for printers. I could likely keep my 7800 going the rest of my life kinda like an old pick-up truck.

Whatever you do keep that 3800 stored in Piezoflush because it is an asset. Do your research and there are just too many possibilities. Even if you decide to print at a later time know that you have an asset to preserve. Know that the 49XX, 79XX and 99XX series of printers are prone to clogging and do not have long print head lives.

Cal
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Old 10-26-2016   #12
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I had the original Piezography setup years ago and kind of miss the results. At that time, it was pretty much a matte paper only system. I'd always been a glossy paper darkroom printer, but came to like the matte prints quite a lot. I haven't kept up with what Cone has been producing, so will have to check out the current offerings.

After a fling with the lovely, but flawed, HP B9180, I've been using an Epson 4900. I've been very happy with the black and white results straight out of the printer, but don't know how much permanence I'm giving up with that.

Cal, sorry if I missed it, but do you print color too? I bought the 4900 mostly because it lets me produce the large panoramic color prints I make for my business. I imagine switching carts on that printer would involve some expensive ink waste. Anyway, thanks for these updates on an alternative to the usual printing solutions.

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Old 10-26-2016   #13
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I had the original Piezography setup years ago and kind of miss the results. At that time, it was pretty much a matte paper only system. I'd always been a glossy paper darkroom printer, but came to like the matte prints quite a lot. I haven't kept up with what Cone has been producing, so will have to check out the current offerings.

After a fling with the lovely, but flawed, HP B9180, I've been using an Epson 4900. I've been very happy with the black and white results straight out of the printer, but don't know how much permanence I'm giving up with that.

Cal, sorry if I missed it, but do you print color too? I bought the 4900 mostly because it lets me produce the large panoramic color prints I make for my business. I imagine switching carts on that printer would involve some expensive ink waste. Anyway, thanks for these updates on an alternative to the usual printing solutions.

Mark
Mark,

I owned a HP9180 that someone gifted me. I took it home on the Subway and kinda broke both my arms. LOL. I ended up giving the HP9180 to a friend. I understand it is a pretty good printer for matte, but not so good for glossy.

The 4900, 7900 and 9900 do not have the long print head life of the 38XX, 78XX and 98XX, but they have 10 functional channels and 11 carts for switching blacks which makes it interesting printer. One reason is that it is well suited for proofing on paper and also printing digital negatives for contact printing without needing to change inksets or purging channels. For me I am interested in contact printing silver wet prints, but alternative processes are also available.

My 7800 only has 8 functional channels so I have it dedicated to glossy only where I print 7 shades of black and then either a second printing of Gloss Overcoat, or a second and third printing of Gloss Overcoat depending on paper (Canson papers require two passes of Gloss Overcoat). Now imagine me trying to print 5-6 prints in a batch. The result is added maintenance.

The new Piezography Pro is "One-Pass" glossy printing which is a boon for me because I print in batches where one night I will lay down the seven shades of black, and the next day Gloss Overcoat. This batch processing leaves either one channel on my print head to go unused, or alternately 7 channels to go unused when I am applying GO. This can expose my print head to too much "air-time" and can require added maintenance to deal with ink drying (partial clogs where I don't get a perfect nozzle check). Know that when printing 20x24 on 24x36 that it is 41 minutes to print my blacks and 45 minutes to print a pass of "GO."

An inkset made of carbon is less prone to fade than any color inkset, but the term "Archival Pigment Print" applies to inkjet prints made with color inksets, but clearly the carbon based inkset is more archival. The application of Gloss Overcoat makes prints as durable as a traditional wet print as far as handling. I think matte prints can be wonderful with the right image, but I have not explored any matte printing yet.

I only printed heavily using Jon Cone's Type 5 paper and Canson Platine Fibre Rag. Both are 100% cotton and Baryta coated. Understand that the Baryta coating makes the print a more fragile surface, but the Gloss Overcoat allows me to handle my prints and stack my prints without interleaving. It is truely a great thing to allow someone to hold your print and feel the paper. Jon Cone Type 5 to me is a satin paper and not a true glossy like the Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

I have read that many early adopters had problems with clogging and even destroyed printers, but over my 1 1/2 years of Printing with Piezography K-7 any clogging/maintenance was due to me printing and using my printers heavily.

Blending inks is a development I exploited where I blended and merged two inksets to have a three way splitone: black; warm shadows; and cool highlights. I blended warm neutral and Selenium inks in shades 3 and shade 4 that seems to create more depth, and this particular splitone is really beautiful for urban NYC night shots.

The Leica Monochrom and Piezography is a match made in heaven. The Monochrom files are so clean, and they print big/huge. For me that is a problem because a 20x30 on 24x36 for wide borders is about six times the surface area of a 13x19. A 50 foot roll only gives me 16 prints.

It seems that the difference between my new K-8 Piezography Pro glossy and the K-10 Piezography Pro for your 4900 is the addition of a matte black and a warm light grey a nd a cool light grey for better highlights.

Your 4900 is also a good machine for proofing on paper and also exploiting digital negatives because you can do both without any ink changes due to the 11 carts. You are correct in assumming that purging inks to go from color to B&W is not practical, but know that you already have a good printer for exploiting Piezography Pro, and even digital negative. Understand that to contact print like a large format shooter it requires a vacuum frame and mucho studio space, but for printing large limited editions of wet prints it would be impecable IQ.

If you saw the Salgado Genesis show at ICP you saw a masterful presentation of where analog and digital manipulation created extreme image quality. It is really amazing how even a guy like me can get really-really close to that level of image quality in my one bedroom apartment without the best lab in Paris like Salgado exploited. It seems that revolutionary jumps are now available to people like us.

PM me with your e-mail and I will forward you some information. BTW I recently bought a Leica SL (still own my Monochrom). For Color I will have to add printers. It seems that some people use the K-7 Gloss Overcoat over Epson OEM inkset prints as well as Cone Color inks (Epson OEM compatable). The GO adds saturation and detail. I would get another Epson printer (the bigger the better) to print color, but then I would have a dedicated "GO" printer where all the carts would print "GO" for speed and utility. The GO printer could be used for K-7 printing with other inksets.

Cal
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Old 10-26-2016   #14
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Cal,

Thanks for all the info. I probably have more questions, but need some time to process all you've written.

Yes, the HP was pretty much a matte only printer, but unmatched longevity. I recall the other carbon inks I used to have would warm up tremendously under a variety of conditions. I thought the Cone inks did that too at the time, but maybe not. I learned to "age" my prints by hanging them in my very bright stairwell for a couple weeks to avoid surprises later. Luckily, I really liked the warm tone. Still, the whole thing was a bit of a hassle, as your separate run for gloss sounds like. I'm glad you've come up with a solution for that.

I miss the tested permanence of the HP, but this Epson sure makes nice looking prints. A friend has an older printer, I think 7600, but maybe 7800, and his black and white prints on baryta kind of sold me on the system. I came to like matte, but also wanted to be able to print glossy, especially on baryta paper.

I tend to print fairly small (other than the panoramas) and would be perfectly happy with a 13" printer, but the 4900 was the smallest that was really effective for long roll printing. I do runs of about 60 to 80 4 foot long prints over a day or two. I'm down to doing that only a couple times a year now, so might look at other options when this printer quits. It has been hard to keep it alive through the winter. I intended to do my film proof sheets on it last winter just to keep it running, but just didn't get it done.

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Old 10-26-2016   #15
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Hey Cal

Would you say that the quality of the prints you are getting out of the Pro version is better than the K7 version?

I would be running this on a 2880.

The one pass gloss feature seems like an enormous time saver

thanks
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Old 10-27-2016   #16
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Hey Cal

Would you say that the quality of the prints you are getting out of the Pro version is better than the K7 version?

I would be running this on a 2880.

The one pass gloss feature seems like an enormous time saver

thanks
Harry,

I do not know yet. I pre-ordered the Piezography Pro Glossy K-8 set, and it will be shipped November 17th.

This is a brand new product that Jon developed in house over the years, but the story told is that he was patient with development and this is not the first iteration. PM me with your e-mail and I will forward more info.

From what I glean partly this was a long evolutionary process, and then again it was re-engineered, redeveloped through several iterations, and tested extensively in house. So now it is being offered to the public, but it hasn't scaled up into a warehouse full of inksets on the shelf yet, but sometime after January 2017 it will be available to the general public. I have been invited to be an early adopter because I have placed some big orders before and evidently I print a lot to have been noticed.

I still have a huge stockpile of K7. 400 ml carts are loaded and I still have mucho shade 3 and shade 4 blended. All I need is more shade 5 to print a lot. Know that my mid tone shades get depleted and consumed the most, and my prints look like and resemble medium format in tonality.

As an early adopter I got a big savings on the price and new sets of carts, so I loaded up the truck. I surely will be comparing and running two systems to evaluate both of them: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think one pass glossy is a game changer for me. Speeds up printing by requiring either half or 1/3rd the time. Multiple passes are a pain, and drying area is a serious limitation in my studio. The "air-time" on my print head presented maintenance problems for me where I did not get good nozzle tests and developed micro clogging due to the alternating cycles of printing 7 shades of black and then Gloss Overcoat in long sessions.

Jon raves about the black being the most dense available, even against Epson's latest inkset. It is reported that that this denser black opens up the dynamic range so one has to shift the tonality to compensate.

I already blend inksets and developed my own "fixed" splitone, but it seems like my big plan of needing several printers to dedicate to inksets will likely be surplanted by the variable splitone.

If you use Roy Harington's "Print-Tool" it seems the three sliders that are normally set at 100% are utilized to infinitely blend a warm and cool inkset embeded within a K-8 inkset along with that dense glossy black.

It seems the 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers with their 11 slots have an additional warm light-light grey, and an additional cool light-light grey to enhance the highlights. From what I understand a R3000, 3800 or 3880 would be a better choice for you as a small printer then your 2880 due to the other printers having "pressurized" carts. Basically they are heavier duty. Again PM me with your e-mail and I will forward more information for additional clarity.

Anyways sounds promising, but I will report sometime in November with some real experience.

Cal
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Old 10-28-2016   #17
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This discussion made me remember the Piezography print exchanges I participated in years ago. I was surprised to see that was around 2000.

I dug out my box of prints from the exchanges a itt was nice seeing all those again. There were some very nice prints, and a chance to see papers I've never used. Plus a number of people experimenting with split tone a lot like you describe. It is hard to believe, but that was early days for digital cameras, and there was a disproportionate share of large and medium format film shots, probably because scanning those was easier for most people than 35mm negatives. A lot of landscapes and urban landscapes and interiors, but some nice people shots too. These were open to everyone, but some very good photographers participated which made it nice.

Anyway, Cone has been at this a long time, and I'm glad to hear about the latest progress. I'll check out his site and catch up on what has been going on the past decade or so since I used his system.
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Old 10-28-2016   #18
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It is really unbelievable at all the developments.

I have been watching very closely the develpment of turnkey digital negative systems. About 4 years ago I used a credit card to put down a deposit for a 13x19 portfolio that featured an image from Lewis Hines of a coal miner. The idea was to have one image printed on various papers with different inks, but one was a digital negative for contact printing. I brought this folio to a NYC Meet-Up to share with the group.

About two years ago I decided to explore Piezography and a new development was being able to blend inks and do splitone. My splitone is fixed, but now a new formulation is blended via the print head and infinately variable between warm, neutral and cool.

Eventually I would love to not only do silver wet prints, but also platinum via contact printing, but at this time I do not have the studio space. Presently fully developed systems with profiles exist today. I believe the silver wet printing profiles uses Ilford Gallery as its paper. A system like this is ideal for printing limited editions.

How crazy would it be to contact print on a paper with a vast tonal range like AZO with a digital negative printed on overhead projection film. How about large format shooters using digital manipulations to make the perfect negative and printing an enlarged negative for contact printing.

We basically are almost in paradise if you are a fine art printer. I can see one day using Pigmented Archival Prints as a system for proofing wet prints that were made by contact printing. The future is almost now.

Cal
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Old 11-02-2016   #19
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Please give us a full report on differences/improvements when you've installed the new inkset. I heard some time ago that the Pro version was in the works – I think it was supposed to be ready much earlier? – and have been putting off experimenting with Piezography until I could try the new version. If you're impressed, I might go to one of J Cone's workshops.

Kirk T.
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Old 11-03-2016   #20
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Please give us a full report on differences/improvements when you've installed the new inkset. I heard some time ago that the Pro version was in the works – I think it was supposed to be ready much earlier? – and have been putting off experimenting with Piezography until I could try the new version. If you're impressed, I might go to one of J Cone's workshops.

Kirk T.
Kirk,

Will do.

I'm also upgrading my studio. I'm repurposing my gal's 21.5 inch IMAC to have a bigger screen than my Mac PowerBook. I have to set up Vuescan and a Nikon LS8000 I acquired, and this all involves rearranging my workstaion and intergrating my 27 inch EIZO. I utilize hardware from ELFA acquired from The Container Store that offers modular flexability and efficiency. Know that My studio is also a shared space with a Fashion Blogger, so it is like a huge closet filled with clothing racks, woman's clothing, and shoes.

I'm also wondering about the new "Gloss Optimizer" verses the older "Gloss Overcoat." On the Piezography some color printers rav about using "GO" over color prints for added contrast, detail and saturation. For me the added durability of Gloss Overcoated prints is a very big bonus because this allows for simple and safe storage of archival prints that is easy.

I'm hoping that the new Gloss Optimizer uses the same cart and slot as the Gloss Overcoat when doing K7 on my 7800 because then perhaps I will set up 3880 as a color printer with Cone Color pigmented inks. I could then use the new Gloss Optimizer printed using the K7 GO process with my 7800 to top coat a color print made on my 3880 and still have full Piezo Pro one pass glossy.

Anyways if the above is possible then I have no compromise or loss of capability, and I best exploit having two printers in a very clever manner.
I believe my guess is likely and highly probable to be true.

Funny thing how creative printing can be.

Cal
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Old 11-22-2016   #21
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UPDATES:

It seems there has been some delay to the 17th of November shipping date due to some production difficulties. Understand that Piezography is a boutique product, so this is no big deal to me. I believe that Shipping will be today.

I also have been actively been receiving corespondance from Walter Blackwell who is new to the Piezography crew. Know that Walter is an artist and fine art printer.

So today I was surprised by a personal level of support to a private forum of early adopters and users. I am getting a personalized (I assume tailored to my glossy only, 3880 and 7800 printers) download to set-up my systems. I will still be able to do K-7 seamlessly.

The download of the new Piezography Professional Edition manual will be released when the shipping begins, again I think today.

Then there is Piezography Professional Edition which features a DIY Linearization Workflow. Basically with K-7 in the past I used the downloaded "canned" profiles offered by Jon Cone for my papers and inks. I was notified that new profiles are being updated into the new library, but that part of this new system makes it seamless to profile my own printer and papers, and on top of this I can also use this new capability for K-7.

At PhotoPlusExpo my friend Robert Rodriguez, the Artist In Residence at the Canson Booth gave me some sample packs of a new Baryta coated paper that just came out. How cool is that, and perfect timing.

So anyways this winter I can do my full immersion into my own little space, and leave the larger world and all its problems outside. I have new things to learn to take printing to a new level, and a lot to obsess about. LOL.

I have always enjoyed great support from the crew at Piezography, but this is a whole new level. It seems that all the data mining and journalism required to navigate the Piezography website is no longer needed as things are really being streamlined.

At this point, as was a year and 9 months ago, I am a bit overwelmed and anxious. Pretty much about $3K worth of ink and carts will be delivered shortly, as I ordered two 700ml glossy inksets, so I have 1.4 liters of eack ink to start.

Cal
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Old 11-23-2016   #22
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23 November 2016

Yesterday I had difficulties setting up a password via a link to set up and gain access to all the downloads.

Today I e-mailed Walker and somehow he got me in. It seems the hospital I work in and also the compounding of a second firewall by an academic institution provides a double firewall to negociate. Even placing an order online can present difficulies.

Anyways I have to tell you that the support is superb. I will likely download and read the just released Piezography Pro Manual over the Thanksgiving break.

Via my G-mail account I recieved a Piezography Error Corrector for 51 step and 129 step linearizations for profiling. Basically a download of a look-up table.

Cal
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Old 11-28-2016   #23
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28 November 2016

Downloaded and read the new manual. I learned that part of Piezography Pro includes the capability of using a Spectrophotometer to linearlize and profile my printer and papers. I also got sets of step wedges and instructions on a new way to think about printing. Jon calls it "printing-by-numbers." BTW being able to profile my printer, inkset, and papers extends to K7. Understand that I only have used the "canned" profiles and got stunning results, but even with my 27 inch EIZO dimmed down to 85 Lux I print more than I can see on my EIZO in a darkened room.

I learned in the new manual that I can reduce the DPI from 2880 to 1440 and go bi-directional when applying "Gloss Overcoat." Anyways the shorter exposure of my print head will save me lots of time and lower maintenance.

I took advantage of a Black Friday sale (20% off) and ordered 700 ml of Selenium Shade 5 to fill out my stockpile of K7 splitone, and I further decided to load the new Piezography Pro into my 3880. One reason is that the 3880 does not have a vacuum platine for the paper transport like my 7800, and when gloss overcoating Canson papers I get "Pizzawheeling." The one pass printing of Piezography Pro will eliminate this artifact.

In reading it seems that the 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers that offer 10 functional carts (11th is switchable) utilizes two additional light-light greys for better highlights, so for the ultimate Piezography Pro set-up a X900 is required for the expanded inkset. K-7 with my custom made splitone is mighty good with seven shades of black, but Piezography Pro features glossy black with three warm greys and three cool greys.

I am not sure which inkset will be smoother or have a wider range of tone. Perhaps a X900 series printer might be required to match my K7? Maybe not? It seems like my 7800 is the ultimate K7 machine and only a 9800 or 9880 is better only because it is bigger. the 7800, 7880, 9800, and 9880 are durable printers with long print head life that are user rebuildable, but the X900 printers have the added cart slots for the wider range of inks (larger inksets).

It seems that part of the system allows for cleaning individual nozzles instead of wasting ink doing Power Cleans. Since I already have Quadtone RIP installed and Print-Tool basically I just have to install the Piezography Pro and set up the curves library.

For Christmas I will either get a Color Munki or I1. It seems all this will make me a better printer and a better photographer. Tally for Piezography Pro and 700 ml K7 ink is about $3.1K. Know that in my first year of printing I spent $10K on paper and ink. I started in January 2015 and loaded my printers with Piezoflush for 6 months to take a break from printing. I still need to stockpile papers.

Cal
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Old 11-28-2016   #24
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UPDATE: I learned that my K7 on my 7800 can be used for making digital negatives without having to do any ink changes. It the past Piezography Digital Negative required exchanging two carts and flushing, but now the updated digital negative system is designed around a straight glossy Selenium K7 inkset.

I am currently running a glossy Warm Neutral to Selenium splitone where I blended my own custom inkset, but the new ability to profile my system from Piezography Pro Edition allows me to profile my printer and inkset so I can use my custom K7 inkset to also make digital negatives without having to exchange carts and purge ink.

About 4 years ago, when I got my Monochrom, I envisioned that I wanted to make silver wet prints via digital negatives utilizing contact printing to make editions of my work. It seems now my dream has come true: one printer (24 inch wide) with one inkset where I can print a Piezography print as a proof, and then print a digital negative to contact print editions to make silver wet prints.

I'm in heaven. I know what I want to do when I retire in a few years...

Cal
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Old 11-28-2016   #25
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UPDATE: I learned that my K7 on my 7800 can be used for making digital negatives without having to do any ink changes. It the past Piezography Digital Negative required exchanging two carts and flushing, but now the updated digital negative system is designed around a straight glossy Selenium K7 inkset.

I am currently running a glossy Warm Neutral to Selenium splitone where I blended my own custom inkset, but the new ability to profile my system from Piezography Pro Edition allows me to profile my printer and inkset so I can use my custom K7 inkset to also make digital negatives without having to exchange carts and purge ink.

About 4 years ago, when I got my Monochrom, I envisioned that I wanted to make silver wet prints via digital negatives utilizing contact printing to make editions of my work. It seems now my dream has come true: one printer (24 inch wide) with one inkset where I can print a Piezography print as a proof, and then print a digital negative to contact print editions to make silver wet prints.

I'm in heaven. I know what I want to do when I retire in a few years...

Cal
That's very cool Cal, and something I've been thinking about for a while as well. Looks like I might get back into a wet darkroom after all.
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Old 11-28-2016   #26
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That's very cool Cal, and something I've been thinking about for a while as well. Looks like I might get back into a wet darkroom after all.
Tim,

I really love my K7 and 7800. What a surprise that the updated PDN now uses K7.

Using digital to optimize your image and contrast, proofing, and then contact printing like a large format shooter. It does not get better than this.

It also seems like a DN system will eventually evolve from Piezography Pro.

Seems like my PPE inks will ship at the end of November. The original shipping date was November 17th. I know it will be worth the wait. The early adopter availability is reported to have been sold out in the first week. Glad I doubled up my order and took advantage of the discount pricing.

Cal
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Old 11-28-2016   #27
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Interesting developments Cal. Thanks for sharing all this. I've got a partially clogged 3800 and some empty carts - time to order some pizeoflush to rescue it and get printing again.
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Old 11-29-2016   #28
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Interesting developments Cal. Thanks for sharing all this. I've got a partially clogged 3800 and some empty carts - time to order some pizeoflush to rescue it and get printing again.
R-D,

It seems the 3800, 3880, and all the X800 and X880 are all highly regarded as durable workhorses that have a long print head life. I feel really lucky to have both a 3880 and a 7800. I was able to download the service manual for my 7800 for free. These printers are deemed user servicable.

Piezoflush is a wonderful thing. Check out all the info at Piezography.com on maintenance and reusing the maintenance tank. My 7800 I bought for $100.00. In its 9 year life before I got it, it only made 1802 prints, and it was used just enough not to have any clogs. I let the 7800 sit for months with Piezoflush which really freshened up the printer. I made about 2000 prints, but because of a deadline I abused my printer a bit, so I am reconditioning the printer yet again with Piezoflush.

For me I already got impressive results with only the "canned" profiles. Some of my friends call my prints "stunning." I can only imagine how big a jump will be having a fully calibrated system.

Even if you are not ready there is lots of data mining available by reading through the forums and articles that explain all the nuances. The information use to be speadout all over the place, but now their website is streamlined, updated, and definitely more concise.

The support is amazing. Fast response and it is like I have an engineering team helping me.

You just missed cyber Monday and Black Friday sales, but I think there still is a 20% off inks, carts and Piezoflush. I tend to bulk up for savings. In my most recent reading they state that they print 35%-40% more ink than OEM. Add on top of that a layer or two of Gloss Overcoat on my K7 and I'm not too far off as far as being correct: "I use about twice the amount of ink as OEM."

What is really scarry is having to top off my 7800 refillable carts. The Jon Cone carts are oversized, so I removed the doors/covers off my 7800. Perhaps they are 400-450 ml. With these carts you do not use large syringes to load ink, you use funnels and literally pour to fill. It seems that I do mostly have to fill shades 3,4 and 5 which are mid-tones.

A further reading tells me that my K-7 splitone already uses the Warm Neutral shade 1 and Selenium shades 5,6 and 7; so the only shades that are different in my custom splitone are a Warm Neutral shade 2, and shades 3 and 4 that I blend Warm Neutral and Selenium inks. It seems by buying Piezography Pro I am getting a calibrated system that is engineered for DIY. Know that the PDN system utilizes the black from the Warm Neutral inkset (more opague than the Selenium black) with a Selenium shades 2-7.

Know that I went to art school and have a good eye, but as far as computer skills I consider myself a computer "Bone-Head." All I know is Lightroom 5.

Two books, The Digital Negative, The Digital Print, by Jeff Schewe taught me a lot about how the algarithems in LR5 interact. Jeff was involved with the development of Lightroom, and gave me great insights to understanding how to exploit its functions.

For me because all this involves spending big money, and the requirement of investing an obsessive amount of time, I think it very wise to explore all the free exchange of information. All this requires careful consideration.

Cal
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Old 11-29-2016   #29
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It is my understanding that the new Piezography Pro has a new black that is darker than even the newest Epson OEM inkset.

Already there is clamour on the Piezography Forums about when the new black will be adopted and intergrated into P7, P6, P2 and Cone Color Archival Pigment inks.

So eventually I will be able to update my K7 with a blacker black.

Cal
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Old 12-05-2016   #30
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Piezography Pro has a new UltraHD-MK ink that we worked long and hard on. It is 100% carbon and it passed final QC on the production batch. That is the major hold-up on the new ink at the moment. We'll have the first batch bottling this week so we hope to have stuff shipping out the door from our Vermont facility this week.

Current measured dMax on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag is 1.81 and on Epson Hotpress it's 1.82.

Those numbers will differ with curves, paper, humidity, printhead type, etc, but will fall within the 1.77 to 1.82 range in general for matte papers that are good. This is a significant change for both Piezography and inkjet printing in general.

You will be able to drop-in replace it with current Piezo MK ink. It is not a cheap ink to make or purchase but it is superior to even HP K and it's encapsulated.

Cheers!
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Old 12-05-2016   #31
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Piezography Pro has a new UltraHD-MK ink that we worked long and hard on. It is 100% carbon and it passed final QC on the production batch. That is the major hold-up on the new ink at the moment. We'll have the first batch bottling this week so we hope to have stuff shipping out the door from our Vermont facility this week.

Current measured dMax on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag is 1.81 and on Epson Hotpress it's 1.82.

Those numbers will differ with curves, paper, humidity, printhead type, etc, but will fall within the 1.77 to 1.82 range in general for matte papers that are good. This is a significant change for both Piezography and inkjet printing in general.

You will be able to drop-in replace it with current Piezo MK ink. It is not a cheap ink to make or purchase but it is superior to even HP K and it's encapsulated.

Cheers!
Walker
Walker,

Thanks for joining this thread.

I am looking forward to upgrading my MK (gloss black) to the new MK-HD to enhance my K7. I actually need to order some and have been holding out.

Also thanks for all the support.

Cal
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Old 12-06-2016   #32
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SMUT: My(our) friend Dirk raves about this Red River paper that prints well and is not costly. I have been reluctant to try it because I don't have a profile.

In the past I could of purchased having one custom made for me for about $100.00 from Cone Editions, but now I will have the capability to create and share profile rather easily.

A community of users is being developed in a private user's forum, and yesterday I learned in a thread that eventually Red River paper will be in the updated curve library soon for the people who are going to make books.

Anyways I'm getting really-really excited. I did a bookbinding workshop with Susan Mills a great book artist almost two decades ago. Also know here in NYC there is the Center For Book Arts. I'm pretty sure that I can collaborate and elevate my pursuits in an interdiscplinary manner.

Anyways lots of possibilities are opening up. One pass printing just makes everything easier, and the Gloss Overcoat makes prints durable. How timely for creating limited editions. Books are meant to be objects that are handled.

Cal
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Old 12-06-2016   #33
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Cal, I had profiles made by
http://www.greatprinterprofiles.com

They were $40 each. I am very happy with the quality. He can do monochrome as well as color profiles for any paper/ink combination.


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Old 12-06-2016   #34
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Cal, I had profiles made by
http://www.greatprinterprofiles.com

They were $40 each. I am very happy with the quality. He can do monochrome as well as color profiles for any paper/ink combination.


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Christian,

I was very happy with the "canned" profiles available for free from Piezography. I did mucho printing of my favorites: Jon Cone Type 5 and Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

Soon I will be able to roll my own and optimize the precision further.

With the new PK-HD I also will be able to print digital negatives for contact printing using my custom splitone without having to do any ink change on my 7800.

It seems the system has become more turnkey than ever. Anyways it seems there are many possibilities and a lot to learn. As printing evolves it does seem I am advancing into surprised spaces I only dreamed about. Pretty much I'm in heaven.

Thanks for the link.

Cal
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Old 12-13-2016   #35
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Piezo PRO HD-PK will not work as a drop-in for Piezography WN1 ink. We tried it. The problem is that PiezoPRO HD-PK is actually "less opaque" than WN1. It is a "stacking" ink, meaning that we can put a large amount of HD-PK ink down without seeing gloss differential and this creates the amazing dMax. This also creates so much gloss that even after gloss optimizing the darkest tones are glossier than the other tones with tradition Piezography. So, after a few other projects we hope to work on some new curve architectures that may enable PK-HD to work with traditional Piezography.

tl:dr; UltraHD-MK will work with Piezography K6-K7 directly, but HD-PK will require a different curve architecture.

best,
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Old 12-13-2016   #36
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Piezo PRO HD-PK will not work as a drop-in for Piezography WN1 ink. We tried it. The problem is that PiezoPRO HD-PK is actually "less opaque" than WN1. It is a "stacking" ink, meaning that we can put a large amount of HD-PK ink down without seeing gloss differential and this creates the amazing dMax. This also creates so much gloss that even after gloss optimizing the darkest tones are glossier than the other tones with tradition Piezography. So, after a few other projects we hope to work on some new curve architectures that may enable PK-HD to work with traditional Piezography.

tl:dr; UltraHD-MK will work with Piezography K6-K7 directly, but HD-PK will require a different curve architecture.

best,
Walker
Walker,

Thanks for the clarity. Really excited to set everything up.

I know that some color printers like Gloss Overcoating color prints for enhanced detail and more color saturation. Is this possible with the new Gloss optimizer?

I know K7 and PP use the same cart slot for the overcoating, so in theory I could run say a modified K7 GO pass to maybe Gloss Optimize a color print. Anyways this is just a creative thought. If possible it would be my dream come true.

I am wondering about this before I load my inks because I already have two printers and want to consider of maybe as an option setting up the 3880 as a color printer (Cone Color Archival Pigment) and using my 7800 for PP and K7. The third option is yet another printer: color; PP; and K7.

Thanks in advance.

Cal
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Old 12-21-2016   #37
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At Cone Editions Press we gloss optimize a ton of our color prints. It makes them more archival as well as better gamut and scratch resistance and zero gloss differential, etc. We have not tested the new GCO with color ink. My first thought it that it will work, but it's very different chemically so it might not. If you have a 7800 w/ old-school GO in it, this is the best printer for color gloss optimizing.
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Old 12-21-2016   #38
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At Cone Editions Press we gloss optimize a ton of our color prints. It makes them more archival as well as better gamut and scratch resistance and zero gloss differential, etc. We have not tested the new GCO with color ink. My first thought it that it will work, but it's very different chemically so it might not. If you have a 7800 w/ old-school GO in it, this is the best printer for color gloss optimizing.
Walker,

I do have a 7800 with old school GO that I do my K7 Splitone. I really love the K7 with the 7800, but it seems like I will likely add a color printer in the future to my studio. The paper handling of the 7800 (vacuum) is superior to the 3880.

I have delivery of my inks. The latest e-mail blast that included the results from an early adopter shows that you guys did a great job in engineering a great system. Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting. Have a great Holiday break: you guys deserve it.

Cal
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Old 12-26-2016   #39
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Today is Christmas the legal Holiday, and I am at work borrowing a Dymo printer because I am now ready to load inks. This is a job that requires care and no rush because mistakes could be costly. I intend to label all my carts with slot numbers and ink shades for clarity.

The 3880 and 7800 are both loaded with Piezoflush currently and have been in storage mode for months. Saturday I ran power cleans on both printers and cleaned the wipers and capping stations to the extent that I dab only pink piezoflush with no traces of ink. I had to install my spare maintenance tank on the 3880. Know that Piezoflush seems to resolulize any ink, so that storing a printer for prolonged periods kinda inadvertantly refeshes a printer. My 7800 was nine years old when I bought it for $100.00, but over its 9 year life it had only made 1802 prints. Piezoflush made it like a new printer. I expect both my printers to be "fresh."

At work I took advantage of a lab sink to see if I could salvage the bedding of the full 3880 maintenance tank like I did on my 7800, but it seems while the 7800 bedding is felt, the bedding on the 3880 maintenance tank is only compressed paper. Oh-well. I improved and used a box of Kim-Wipes as replacement bedding.

My intentions are to replace the maintenance tank on the 3880 with my rebuilt one. Particularly with the 3880 one needs a brand new tank to fool the printer to accept a resetted maintenance tank, so I want to keep my spare as new.

Also know that a new 3880 maintenance cart can be reset and be continued to be used to capacity a second time by simply resetting, using a brand new maintenance tank to fool the printer, and replacing the used tank that has been reset to be continued to be used.

This was the present state of my maintenance cart. Basically Epson designed the maintenance cart to measure full when the capacity monitored reached only 50% to make more money by increasing sales.

So after a delivery delay I recieved delivery of my carts and two sets of 700 ml glossy Piezography Pro ink.

So here is what I learned so far, even without having printed.

Compared with two years ago performing the required instalation is very much more straight forward with easy and clear instructions. Two years ago I had to connect the dots a bit, and the information presented was not streamlined like it is now. Instructions are clear, organized and planned.

My old curve library automatically gets archived to eliminate future confusion and is arranged by date. ICC profiles got placed into Lightroom automatically. And updating the curve library and future updates is no longer spread out all over the place. When they say "Pro" they mean it.

After I use the canned profiles, for $150.00 I can upgrade to Piezography Professional Edition, which is an optional add-on software to calibrate my system so I can make my own curves and paper profiles. Now I can profile myself my custom K7 Splitone instead of relying on the "canned" profiles. I also will have to buy an I1 Pro.

A surprise bonus is I now have Digital negative capabilities using the Piezography Pro inkset, and all I have to do is use the supplied "Pro Curves."

The Piezography Pro curves overlap less than the K7 or K6 curves, so it is recommended that on the X900 series printers that the printing speed be slowed down to avoid banding on these higher speed printers. Also with the X900 series that Platine Gaps might require more consideration. Each nozzle has a curve that crests like a wave on a beach with a long trailing tail that overlaps with other curves. A lot more ink gets laid down, the tone is continuous, and this is what give Piezography its depth and look. My guess is that K7 or K6 might be smoother, but PP is likely to offer mor control. Might be a question of differences rather than which is better.

There seems to be suggested that in the future a K7 one-pass system is the next challenge to be developed. Also know that the profiling and curve building capabilities of PP extend to my K7, and that with this capability that Digital Negative capabilities get extended to my 7800 and K7 inkst.

It seems because of the one pass printing, there are some possibilities of bleeding under high contrast edges like text. Anyways of course this is highly paper dependent, and know that the curves are specifically designed and optimized for GCO to be printed at the same time of the image. Doing a K7 second pass is not a solution with PP.

It has become clear to me that to evaluate and compare my K7 to the new PP that I have to set up my 7800 and use the new updated curves. In a ways with PP my K7 got updated, so to do any fare comparison I would have to use the new updated profiles and curves to make any evaluation.

Anyways I'll report more after tonight's first prints.

Happy Holidays.

Cal
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Old 12-27-2016   #40
Calzone
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Last night I didn't make that first print with PP. I ended up getting organized and spent a lot of time labeling sets of carts to avoid future confusion. I also had to clear out some drying space.

Probably the best because after the initial loading it is wise to let the air settle in the carts, and very soon I'll have to refill the carts again.

I was fortunate to take advantage of a Container Store sale. Their Elfa modular systems are great to construct a work space. Know that the bedroom of my Luxury Madhattan apartment is 66% fashion blogger's closet filled with clothing, clothes racks, and shoes. My printing and work area is about a third of a bedroom, but it is well laid out in a vertical manner.

Kinda funny to have a 7800 that I call "The Jersey Barrier," a titanium bicycle and a Juki commercial sewing machine in for good measure to create the ultimate crazy print studio like no other. What really makes it insane is that I tend to print big. LOL.

So tonight is the night for my first prints.

Cal
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