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Thread: Printing Black & White

  1. #1
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Ian (the other one)

    Printing Black & White

    Firstly my apologies if I haven't (after a search) found a similar theme

    I have a recent Epson Stylus Photo 1400 which, for the most part, seems to print what I want - until it comes to black and white. I know that I'm not going to have the black as black as I used to in a wet darkroom, but it does seem odd in a 6 ink printer that I can only get a decent black if I print in color. The rest of the time it's a sort of muddy grey...

    I shoot in Adobe RGB then I import to Lightroom, where I do a B&W conversion (in the 'Develop' module). Then when I print, I have to specify 'Grey levels' and 'ordinary paper' in the dialogue boxes to get a B&W image.(Choosing a mat or glossy paper and the print will be grey tones in color - which looks awful!)

    I've looked around the Web for people using the same printer but still haven't been able to answer this. I'm not looking to change the printer, just to know if a reasonable black is possible without conversion to color.

    If anyone out there has had similar problems, I'd be grateful for your input.

    Merci!

  2. #2

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    Neil

    Re: Printing Black & White

    I use an Epson 1290 which has only one black ink and used to have dreadful problems ie virtually impossible, to get decent B&W prints from it horrid colour cast, although the colour prints are still superb. But if I let "printer manage colours" and then tick greyscale in the printer pref I get really good B&W prints

  3. #3
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Ian (the other one)

    Re: Printing Black & White

    Thanks Neil - yes I too tick the 'Let printer manage the colors' box, and the prints are ok - I just feel they could be better.

    I know that there are also third party piezo systems with something like 6 shades of grey inks for the 'aggressive' B&W photographer, but I don't know if any modifications to the printer (to feed the print heads) are actually reversible, and I don't want to b***** up the machine

  4. #4
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Homer

    Re: Printing Black & White

    Ian:

    I have the 1400 printer and am getting excellent results using the MIS (inksupply.com) UT-14 ink set. This a six cartridge set with a 100% carbon black ink, four diluted blacks and gloss optimizer. I was never able to get satisfactory results from the color set either. There are several write ups at inksupply.com and links to the Paul Roark web page. Paul has done a lot of work setting up black and white profiles for inkjet printers.

    I've found that using the black from the color set in place of the 100% carbon black, with the five others, seems to work best. The whole set up; inks, cartridges and a refill kit, will run you about $100 USD, but that is enough ink to print for several years. There are a number of tricks to getting your results right, which I can share with you if you decide to spring for a black and white ink set. But I think you will need to get dedicated inks if you want good results.

  5. #5

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    Allan Short

    Re: Printing Black & White

    Ian: two other things to try, paper as each paper will show colour differently, I use to use a Canon with Photo Black and Matte Black, I found that for me HP paper gave me a better B&W look that I wanted than canon, epson or another supplier. Another is a special program for B&W, a friend who is a landscape photographer in the UK, said that he uses NIK Silver Efex Pro for his B&W work. This program has helped in my B&W work on screen, however it is putting ink to paper that the final outcome is seen, a good black or combination of blacks' and the right paper I would suggest a good rag for B&W work. All the best of luck.

    Allan

  6. #6
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Ian (the other one)

    Re: Printing Black & White

    @Homer
    That sounds interesting...I'll check it out as I'm fully prepared to give anything a try, just so long as I don't have to permanently modify the printer.

    @Allan
    I use Ilford GALERIE 290gsm Smooth Pearl and Hahnemüle 308gsm smooth Photo Rag. I have the NIK suite so perhaps I'll try passing a couple of images through that to so if it makes a difference.

    In any case, many thanks to everyone who has replied!!

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