View Full Version : Black-and-white images via HP DesignJet 130
I am new to black-and-white photography and I don't know how to get a good print with my current setup, which is: Fuji Neopan Arcos 100 -> 4x5 camera -> Vuescan / Epson 4990 scanner -> Photoshop on Mac OS X 10.4 -> HP DesignJet 130. I'm satisfied with the DesignJet for color printing, but I need assistance in using it and Photoshop to achieve a pleasing image with black-and-white negative film. I've downloaded the B&W printer drivers from HP and they help, but I need more help. Any suggestions?
You could contact Neil Snape for icc profiles tuned for B&W:
or use ImagePrint with their gray profiles for the 130.
John Berry ( Roadkill )
Put paper in printer. Immerse printer in tub of Dektol 1:1 for two minutes with agitation. Sorry, I broke my brain and I can't get up.
John - just add twelve ounces of a nice Ethiopian dark roast to the mix and all will be well!
First, what paper are you using? I have good luck with the HP Satin. I use the profiles from:
I use the neutral one, seems to work for me. I run the BEST setting in the printer driver, and I calibrate the printer for Satin and Best. This works great on bigger prints - if I were doing 8x10, I might use max detail. Are you having specific problems?
I am using the same paper and printer driver as you. I don't have a specific problem with the print that I can describe; it just doesn't look quite "right". Also, I haven't printed large yet, just trial 8x10s. Perhaps I could improve the image elsewhere in the processing chain. Are there Photoshop techniques specific for black-and-white images?
Thomas Pindelski has written in his blog (http://pindelski.blogspot.com/2006/03/hp-designjet-90-part-iv.html) about the 130's mid-sized brother, the Hewlett-Packard 90, including an entry about black and white profiles. (In general, Pindelski finds it an excellent product that's sometimes hobbled by obscure documentation).
I believe the profiles Pindelski mentions can be found here. (http://h41186.www4.hp.com/country/us/en/iccprofile_bw/index.html?pageseq=222446) Be sure to read the linked article (http://h41186.www4.hp.com/country/us/en/iccprofile_bw/instructions.html?pageseq=222447)on selecting and downloading the right profile.
First, given the nature of the absorbant papers, the image does not have etched look of an Epson print. This makes small prints like 8x10 look less sharp. I would try calibrating for max as well as best, and try a few at max. Uses more ink and time, but might make a difference on the small prints.
Second, you are going to need to burn some ink and paper until you get a feel for how to use the levels and curves to get mid tones you need to make the 130 prints look right. I find levels to be useful to see where my blacks and whites are, even if I choose to not use the levels to change them. Sharpening is critical on the 130 (maybe on everything, but the 130 is what I know) - it enhances midtone contrast and makes the print pop. I use Qimage so I only have to sharpen once, but that does not matter as long as you are careful to sharpen each image for the size you print. I am not a color printer, so this is OTA speculation, but I bet that you need to sharpen B&W more than you are sharpening your color prints.
Viewing light is also important - if you have a diffuse light source, the prints will never look quite right.
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