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Thread: ImagePrint Experts Question...

  1. #1

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    ImagePrint Experts Question...

    I am about to send a few of my latest image proofs to a local lab for processing. They have a new 9800, compared to a 9600, and the latest version of Imageprint, which reportedly allows the use of 16bit files. I am curious to know if someone could answer a question, regarding this software?

    I researched the Yahoo Imageprint Group for an answer, but to no avail...

    It is my understanding that an Epson 9800 is capable of receiving files with a native resolution of 720 pixels per inch, since this can be set within the Epson printer.

    If I send a file to print that is 16bit and set to 720dpi, will the latest version of Imageprint knock my image file back to 360, before it is sent to the 9800?

    Yesterday I saw a print window within Imageprint, that seems to regulate the dpi to the printer with two settings, which are 180 and 360. My local printer struggles with these questions, since they must ask Imageprint, and they do not have great success in that area.

    Just curious...

    Thank you in advance,

    jim k

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Jim,

    The 720 native resolution claim is argued by many people. The Imageprint manual is obtuse on this subject, but I believe Image print interpolates to 360 if that setting is used. I send everything to it at 360. IPs interpolation is excellent by the way.

    The real question is what you can see in a print. I did the 360/720 input test thru the Epson Rip test and could not see the difference with a 16x loupe on mat paper. I can however see the real difference between 1440 4-pass, 1440 8-pass, and 2880 output.
    Last edited by Kirk Gittings; 5-Sep-2006 at 22:13.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

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  3. #3
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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jim kitchen
    It is my understanding that an Epson 9800 is capable of receiving files with a native resolution of 720 pixels per inch, since this can be set within the Epson printer.

    If I send a file to print that is 16bit and set to 720dpi, will the latest version of Imageprint knock my image file back to 360, before it is sent to the 9800?
    The 720/360 ppi question is really one for the Epson driver, not the printer itself. The first thing the Epson driver does is resize the image to 360 ppi, and drop 16 bit images down to 8 bit. This makes the math easier for creating a dither pattern. The results are quite nice; it's not a bad way to make a driver.

    My understanding is that Imageprint drives the printer directly, bypassing the Epson driver. If it's anything like StudioPrint, which I use, it will use all of image information you send it and create its dither pattern without resizing the image data. IOW, ImagePrint is not sensitive to the file's output resolution, and doesn't need or want a specific output resolution in the same way that the Epson driver does.

    So, send it all the information you have. Don't upsize or downsize your file. Let the RIP do its job.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Thank you gentlemen for your feedback...

    I just supplied the print house with three files, all set to 16bit, where the files are set to 360, 720 and 1440dpi. I will have the 16X20 proofs this afternoon. According to the print house, their latest Imageprint software handles 16bit files, but they did not know if Imageprint simply lowers the file to 8bit automatically.

    That said, I will see if there is a difference under a loupe later today. I suspect that the files will be equalized, and that there will not be a difference at the 1440 4-pass setting.

    The next test will be the 8-pass setting.

    Thank you again,

    jim k

  5. #5
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    With 4 pass there is oftentimes subtle banding in smooth areas of midtone. I don't find it good for anything but proofing. I find 8 pass a necessity.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

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  6. #6
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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jim kitchen
    I just supplied the print house with three files, all set to 16bit, where the files are set to 360, 720 and 1440dpi.
    In re-reading this thread, it seems somewhat confusing to me. Probably has something to do with my caffeine-deprived state when I wrote my first post ;-) Just in case, I'm making this post just to be sure that we are all on the same page. If it's not necessary, please forgive my intrusion.

    I think it's possible that we might be confusing the output resolution of the file (in ppi) with the print resolution from the printer (in dpi). The two are completely separate things.

    The file's output resolution is typically set in an image editor like Photoshop. In Photoshop, it's set in the Image...Image Size dialog box. This is the actual density of pixels, and is expressed in ppi.

    The print resolution is typically set by the printer driver (or RIP in this case). This is the actual density of ink droplets used to form the image on the paper, and is expressed in dpi.

    If you send a 360 ppi file to the printer, you can have the printer print it at a range of settings - for example, from 360 dpi to 2880 dpi. What the printer/driver is doing is deciding how many ink dots to use, and where to place them, to create your pixels (this is the "dither pattern"). In the case of 2880 dpi printing, the printer is using 8 ink dots to make each pixel (2880/360 = 8). Note that these ink dots can be, and usually are, different colors.

    For fine art printing, most people set the printer for 1440 dpi or higher. I think you'll find prints run at 360 dpi and 720 dpi less than optimal for fine art purposes.

    Now, off in search of even more caffeine! I have a feeling I'm going to need it...

    Bruce Watson

  7. #7

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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Yes, my mistake...

    I sent files to the printer with 360, 720, and 1440 ppi.

    You did not require a coffee to see that typing error of mine.


    jim k

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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Well I received the proofs...

    The three images all look the same under a 6X lupe. I can not tell if one image is better than the other. Tomorrow I will see if there is a difference with the 8-pass setting, as Kirk suggests, and the 4-pass images printed today.

    jim k

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Jim, Which suggests that ImagePrint interpolates everything to 360 or the difference is too fine for us to see. I suspect the former. I suspect if you had sent a 180 file to the printer you would see a difference because it it would be upresing rather than downresing. I don't remember. Are these on mat paper? What paper? I think you will find the difference on toothy papers is subtle but there. On smooth papers it is more pronounced.
    Last edited by Kirk Gittings; 6-Sep-2006 at 20:33.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

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  10. #10

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    Re: ImagePrint Experts Question...

    Kirk,

    I think you might be correct with the 360 number, and hopefully Imageprint will confirm this, but for the moment I do not think they will. As I mentioned earlier, and since I only had a glimpse at the screen, there seems to be only two settings 180 and, or 360 in Imageprint's printer dialog window. Imageprint will probably think I can't read...

    At the moment, I am experimenting with Silver Rag, and it looks quite nice actually, but I have Phil Bard of Cirrus Digital Printing do all of my major printing with carbon inks. I always send him files that are 360ppi, and he does not use Imageprint as a RIP. His work is rather outstanding.

    His site is here: http://www.cirrus-digital.com/home.html

    K3 inks and Imageprint seem to do a brilliant job on Silver Rag, and the finished product is quite different compared to Hahnemuhle 308 and Cone inks. I just do not put them in the same room, since I want to compare forever. I love my carbon prints and they sure do hold their own in a gallery, but it sure is nice to see a broader range of tones, and deeper blacks with the K3's, once in a while. Unfortunately, this paper and ink combination still produces minute metamerism, even with Imageprint as a RIP.

    My local print house can not produce carbon prints.

    That said, I will finish my testing tomorrow afternoon, and see what happens.

    Thank you again,

    jim k

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