Dedicating a printer to Black and White
Old 07-07-2006   #1
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Dedicating a printer to Black and White

Is this possible? I have two desk top printers at the moment (Canon i850 and Epson R800) and if it were possible I would like to dedicate one of them to B&W. Is there an expert in this out there?
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Old 07-07-2006   #2
BillBingham2
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Not an expert, but there are B&W only ink systems. I was never able to find one for my epson 825 through. I want to say the epson 1280 had several. Lawson or Larson rings a bell.

You might want to take a look at some of the sites that are linked to www.dpreview.com. It's a great site for digital stuff and he links to many sites where you might find a pointer. Take a look at his forums, there is a printer forum and an canon and epson forum as well.

Good luck.

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Old 07-07-2006   #3
kaiyen
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Only some printers can be converted to be dedicated b&W printers with grayscale ink sets. A good place to start is http://www.inksupply.com

The best resource is a mailing list, but it's got too much information, almost.

allan
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Old 07-07-2006   #4
amateriat
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Once upon a time (well, up to about a year ago), I had two printers: an Epson SP 2200, which i dedicated to color work, and an older Epson SC 1160, which I loaded up with Lyson Quad Black Neutral inks for black-and-white. The 2200 could do "okay" b/w, provided you used a RIP such as ImagePrint's (pricey), or the shareware QuadTone RIP (much less pricey). But you still had to tweak, which is why I decided to take the two-printer approach.

Then (finally) came printers that could switch-hit with some authority. Epson came out with the SP 2400 (and, in larger format, the 4800/7800/9800); HP, meahwhile, came out with the Photosmart 8750 same format as the Epson 2400 (prints up to 13x19", my minimum requirement), had similar archival ratings in terms of lightfastness and dark storage, and cost quite a bit less than Epson's 2400 (I paid $362, shipped, for mine, just before Christmas of last year). Great color output, and all-but-spectacular, dead-neutral black-and-white, all exhibition-quality, and all from one printer, which also doesn't give me headaches with head-clogs, metamerism, gloss-differential or bronzing (do a Google search on any of these terms to get a look at what contemporary inkjet-printing pros are still putting up with in some circles). I won't say I've found the magic bullet, but I'm damned happy with what I see in my prints, and the number of necessary reprints has gone down noticeably, which more than makes up for the relative thirstiness of this printer when printing b/w.


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Old 07-07-2006   #5
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Lots of leads there folks. Thankyou.

John
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Old 07-07-2006   #6
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What Allan said.... check for quadtone inksets at inksupply.com and search for R800 in the yahoo group, DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint. It's a great group.

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Old 07-07-2006   #7
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I've got an i850 and have bought the Lyson inks from www.specialistinks.com with the intention of using them in the next month or so (I don't print a HUGE amount). The point of my post? Well just to let you know it's possible with the i850. Great cheap printer I think.
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Old 07-07-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiyen
Only some printers can be converted to be dedicated b&W printers with grayscale ink sets. A good place to start is http://www.inksupply.com

The best resource is a mailing list, but it's got too much information, almost.

allan
I have contemplated this as a nice cheap solution and haven't bit the bullet yet

I received as a gift an HP 7000 series photo printer about 2 years ago and its color output is adequate but the B&W almost always comes out with a bluish tint... sometimes I can get lucky

However I think with the ability to go to the bay and get an Epson C84 for 20 bucks (of course like 20 shipping) and then by the MIS inks ... I have heard nothing but good things about this combination

Here is a good article about the MIS inks on luminous-landscapes


And here is a very good forum on digital B&W printing in yahoo groups

Here is a very up-to-date article on Fine Art B&W printing which gives a pretty good endorsement for the MIS inks

I know I am going to start looking at these a bit more myself and probably get an Epson C84.... leave my HP for the color prints
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Old 07-08-2006   #9
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I will admit myself that I don't spend as much time tweaking my prints as I should. For the most part I print proofs, and only print finals if someone happens to want to buy something. I'm lazy, what can I say.

But when I do tweak and refine a print, I still say that I get a smoother range of tones out of my UT2-equipped 1280 than anything I've seen from the HPs or the 2400. That is my _PERSONAL_ opinion. And a biased one, of course.

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Old 07-08-2006   #10
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I used the Lyson inks in an Epson Photo 750, good results if you don't mind printing a lot of tests until you get the settings right. A bit on the expensive site, too.

The minilabs CAN print B/W from any digital IF there is a capable operator willing to cooperate. I'm lucky, my lab does, so I don't need a printer for photos.
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Old 07-08-2006   #11
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I've had good luck in the past with Mediastreet's Generations quadtones for the 1200 and later epsons (used them in a continuous feed system until the printer died of other causes).

I'm thinking of going that route again myself.

http://www.mediastreet.com/site/index.html

edit//upon looking at the site, it seems they are no longer selling cartridges for that series - but the inks should still be available if you wanted to fill your own.

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Old 07-08-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socke
I used the Lyson inks in an Epson Photo 750, good results if you don't mind printing a lot of tests until you get the settings right. A bit on the expensive site, too.
My experience with Lyson Quads in my Epson 1160 wasn't quite that bad, but there's a definite learning curve – not the "turnkey" experience lots of people want, that's for certain.

Quote:
The minilabs CAN print B/W from any digital IF there is a capable operator willing to cooperate. I'm lucky, my lab does, so I don't need a printer for photos.
You are quite lucky. Hopefully the cost isn't too dear. For me, the luxury of of on-the-spot printing, and being as anal as I want about the final print (without putting anyone else through hell in the process) makes makes having my own setup more than worthwhile.

Finally having a "turnkey" printing system has also helped a lot. A colleague bought an Epson 4800 over a year ago, and couldn't be happier with the results. About 98% of his work is black-and-white (damned good stuff, too), and the printer – which not only replaced a quasi-quadtone printer setup, but his Zone VI enlarging setup to boot – has met his needs and expectations rather well (his current paper of choice is Crane's Museo Silver Rag, which in its short time on the market seems to be getting the most buzz among serious printers). I was on-track to get a 4800 for myself when unforseen expenses involved with moving laid me quite low...which was quite bad, as I had already sold my two Epson printers in anticipation. That's where the HP 8750 came in, and I've been working happily with it ever since. The big thing for me is being able to print to glossy and semi-gloss paper convincingly and without wrestling with the usual artifacts previously mentioned. And I don't have to make an all-points-bulletin to find ink and paper, either – the standard-issue stuff works, looks beautiful, and is, as far as current standards can ascertain, "archival". (Let's not start on that subject here just yet...the industry's just barely coming out of the woods on this one, and the food fight isn't quite over yet.)


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Last edited by amateriat : 07-08-2006 at 07:58.
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Old 07-08-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amateriat
My experience with Lyson Quads in my Epson 1160 wasn't quite that bad, but there's a definite learning curve not the "turnkey" experience lots of people want, that's for certain.
My results were far from bad IMHO, still have some hanging on the wall. But without Photoshop or any other ICM capable software it takes some time to get it right.

Another problem was the small number of prints I make, I have a cellar full of Epson printers with clogged print heads

I wasted more Ink on printhead cleaning than on prints and so a A4 print on the wall ended up at some 10 to 20 Euro all cost considered.

Since I have some PJ friends and worked part time as an editor at a local magazin I was recomended a lab run by a real photographer who still does E6 and RA4 hand development. He has one of the biggest Fuji Frontiers and can print up to 25x38cm from negs up to 6x9cm. The closer Agfa minilab can print from 135 and digital up to 13x18cm and there I just have to give them my scans in RGB jpeg and wait a bit longer than the usual 30 minutes :-), they know me by now and don't print my files together with the usual stuff when there is time and I pick it up the next day.
So it is either a 20 minute drive to very good quality, even in B/W, or a 20 minute walk to good quality, again in B/W too.
A real die hard B/W printer will see some color cast in the shadows and highlights and the paper used in minilabs is very different from FB B/W paper but framed behind glass the difference is not visible to 99% of the people I know.

And I found a new love, printing paper wise, Kodak Portra Metalic Paper. It gives a different look to anything but man do I like it!
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Old 07-08-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latecomer
Is this possible? I have two desk top printers at the moment (Canon i850 and Epson R800) and if it were possible I would like to dedicate one of them to B&W. Is there an expert in this out there?
Here is a site for a low key approach to B&W inkjets:
http://www.cjcom.net/digiprnarts.htm

I think Jon Cone makes a K7? inkset for the R800 also.
http://www.piezography.com/site/piez...eutral-k7.html

I am using a R220, < $100 and MIS pigment ink set made for it, I am satisfied for now.
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Old 07-12-2006   #15
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I have an Epson R800 setup with k7 neutral inks and when it works, it's simply beautiful! Nice tonality, no color casts. On epson matte paper it looks almost like a platinum print. The problem is that the heads get clogged frequently (in my personal case) and shipping the inks to europe is quite expensive, so I'll probably start looking for another option. Oh, and they only work with matte papers.

I was at the Arles photo festival last week and HP is a big sponsor, they had the new B9180 on display as well as samples. The output looks nice but that's as far as I know about it.


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