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Author Topic: B&W prints. Are they your cup of tea?  (Read 23056 times)
Fred A
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« on: June 23, 2009, 01:20:41 PM »

I really never got to embrace the love that some of you have for B&W prints. I have to be honest. I see in color, and my prints should echo what I see. No?
I also realize that there are some scenes/faces that actually look better (mood enhancement, I guess) in B&W. The faces seem to hold some inner memories which adding color just diminishes.
So, since I have nothing better to do. I decided to experiment with what I have on hand. (Paper and profiles)
I have HP glossy, Ilford Smooth Gloss, and Epson Prem. glossy, and Ilford Pearl.
I wont waste a lot of space with gory details, but using my Epson R 1800 printer, I printed B&W images created from color images by use of the Qimage predefined B&W filter.
First of all, I decided to make two sets. One using Mike Chaney's pRGB profile which is part of Qimage when you set Qimage to Let Printer Manage color, and of course, set driver to ICM.
The second set was made using the correct matching printer profile for the paper; eg Ilford Gallerie Smooth Gloss with the Ilford Gallerie Smooth Gloss filter, etc.
Talking all the dried prints out into daylight for comparative viewing, and having my wife, AKA Eagle Eye, doing the search for an off color cast, to my surprise, the Epson Premium had a greenish tint.
The best one was the Ilford Smooth Gloss using Mike's pRGB profile and the driver set to ICM.
Second best and close, was The Ilford Smooth Gloss using the Ilford Profile.
Third was Pearl using the pRGB profile..
Definition of best: True grays, and no apparent color tint to the print.

That was just for fun. I don't have any matte paper on hand. That might show different results.

Any thoughts from others?

Fred
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Terry-M
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 09:15:00 PM »

Hi Fred,
I agree with your comment:
Quote
I really never got to embrace the love that some of you have for B&W prints. I have to be honest. I see in color, and my prints should echo what I see. No?
I also realize that there are some scenes/faces that actually look better (mood enhancement, I guess) in B&W. The faces seem to hold some inner memories which adding color just diminishes

I do dabble with B&W on my R800 now and again. My photo club has a regular "monochrome" competition so I'm always keen to have a go with the enthusiasts.
Like you, I use the one of the Qimage Select Color filters, usually with a curve to modify the contrast and extra USM.
My usual papers are Ilford Smooth Pearl & Gloss and I have custom (not Ilford) profiles. I have found that, to my eye (perhaps I should ask my ealge eye lady too), Smooth pearl is closer to neutral; Gloss is a little "warm". I prefer the finish of the Pearl paper too.
I have Epson Archival matt and their profile and that is quite acceptable. I once tried a sample of Ilford Smooth Gold, very expensive with a warm base colour. Nice result but really too thick for my printer, I had to use the thick envelope setting for it to go through.
Terry.
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hedwards
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 12:49:59 AM »

I think that it really depends on the subject matter and technique. A few years back I was scanning some older photos for one of my parents friends. It happened to be in black and white, but what was sort of notable was that the original print had been done incorrectly, resulting in the image being mirrored around the way that it shouldn't be. I showed it to her the proper way and she had me just leave it the way that she'd looked at it. It's sort of weird how photos come to become the memory rather than just representative of it.

Sometimes I have photos which just work better as a black and white photo. If I ever get around to it, I'd like to get a set of color filters and go around Ansel Adamsing everything, because who doesn't love a guy with a beard. But for me the color is always going to be an important portion of the photo. It's a totally different way of looking at things, I'm not personally convinced that it's better, but there is indeed something about a well executed black and white landscape or portrait.

Really it's a style thing more than anything else, sort of like that school of photography from a few years back where they were using the cheapest worst equipment possible and turning hundreds of the photos into collages.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 10:24:56 AM »

What surprises me is that you both could get good B&W print from an R1800-R800 model.
Unlike several other photo inkjet printers the R1800/800/1900 models do not have one, two or three extra grey inks to replace composite greys (CcMmY mixes) so are harder to keep neutral in their tone range and they will show more pronounced metamerism and later on more color shifting.
On the Digital B&W list the preference goes to printers with more grey inks, some custom inksets up to 7 inks. Of course they are seriously into B&W printing.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Fred A
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 10:59:12 AM »

 :-Ernst,
Being just experimental here, (R1800 has two blacks available all the time), my first approach showed the paper selection to be the most significant factor in color shift/tint or whatever you call it.
Then, trying different driver selections for color management, and Mike's internal p/rgb profile proved to be the most stable on the 4 types of paper I had in stock.
Might be a totally different result using some quality matte paper.
Thanks for the comments.
I was hoping that others would share too.
Fred
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philelrod
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 09:50:42 PM »

I have an Epson r2400 printer . I have tried a lot of different papers including the Gekko Green which was honored by some society ( can't remember  which ) as the best bw paper on the market. I finally have settled on the Epson Exhibition Fiber as my favorite. I use the factory profile with the bw printing section of the printer driver and add 1red and 6 yellow to counteract the slight color cast and give it a slightly warm look---very subtle. Density is set to darker. By the way, I also consider it the best paper for color work. With any of the other papers, I got either a green or magenta cast which was impossible to compensate for. The results with the Epson paper give what I would consider a very neutral natural looking print, however there are times I would like to emulate the warm look of Portriga Rapid . I use Picture Window as an image program and I obtained from one of their contributors a curve to give the warm look of Portiga paper, but as far as I know  that can't be used as a filter with Qimage; anyway I don't know how if it can be done. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
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Fred A
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 03:52:17 PM »

Quote
I obtained from one of their contributors a curve to give the warm look of Portiga paper, but as far as I know  that can't be used as a filter with Qimage; anyway I don't know how if it can be done. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

If you open Qimage, and place the image into the queue, and then open the batch filter screen, click on Curves, there's an icon to load a saved curve file.
All that being said, whether what you have is compatible, or standard, only a try will tell.
Worth a shot!
You can even go to Levels in Qimage; raise the red channel a bit, and lower the blue channel a bit; nice and warm!
You can do the same thing in Curves and SAVE your own curves filter. Of course you will be judging the warmth by eyeball, but once you get what you want, SAVE the filter.
Just some thoughts.
Fred
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stcstc
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 01:48:56 PM »

one of my faves for B&W is hanemuhle photo rag pearl

Its a really nice paper, all the major organizations like it

downside is its quite expensive per roll and you do have to spray it after to make it very stable
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Seth
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 02:10:46 PM »

I really never got to embrace the love that some of you have for B&W prints. I have to be honest. I see in color, and my prints should echo what I see. No?

Hi Fred-

Try this (it's how I was trained):  try viewing the scene in B&W.  Not through the camera; just with your eye.  Highlights, shadows, midtones.  Kind of the eyeball zone system.

I am confused as to how you are working the B&W.  Perhaps I am not reading this whole thread correctly.  Wouldn't be the first time.  Which QImage B&W "filter" are you referring to?  (I do most of that stuff in PS3.)

Also, are you setting the printer profile to let the printer manage it for B&W?  I use a 2400, but am guessing the 1800 has ABW also; or, doesn't it?  If it does THAT is the way to do your B&W.  The other option is try Black Only, commonly called BO printing, and check out the Clayton Jones web site.  It gives a Tri-X effect.

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Seth
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 02:57:19 PM »

Fred, you spray Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl with what and how?
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Fred A
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 04:50:59 PM »

Quote
Fred, you spray Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl with what and how?
It wasn't me!!
Look up about three or 4 posts, and you will see the one who said to spray.
Fred
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stcstc
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2009, 03:35:46 PM »

oh sorry it was me

hanemuhle actually sells a spray, it takes 3 coats to do it properly

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