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Thread: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Ann Arbor, MI
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    132

    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Boley View Post
    II only worked with 2 papers of interest to me. Ilford Gold Fiber Silk, and Innova F Type Ultra Smooth.
    Thanks again Tyler for sharing those prints with us all! That in itself must have been quite a bit of work.

    I am just now starting to use GLOP myself. I am printing with Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta and the Innova Glossy Warmtone. I also have the Harman Glossy FB Ai.

    After printing with those I will pull out the prints that you sent and **finally** be able to comment on them accurately. I am using a 20x24 inch portrait for testing on mine.

    I am comparing the GLOP to the Premier Art Printshield, not sure if that was one of the standard sprays that you were trying to think of Tyler?

    What did you determine as the best timing for GLOP on those 2 papers? It certainly is much easier to use than the sprays (which require a trip to the garage.)

    Interestingly, the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta in rolls is not much more expensive than the Ilford Gold Silk. They are $130 vs. $110 for a 24"x40' roll at Calumet, not much of a difference. The sheets are almost 2x as much.

  2. #12

    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    actually it was Lumijet, I think there is something about Mark's work with it on the Piezo list. I am NOT going to spray prints, I did not leave the darkroom to move into a spraying room, no thank you.
    My dry times between 1st and second passes will not be relevant to anything other than the exact ink I used, including the inclusion of some GO (Cone's) in 1st pass. With the Ilford, if I did not wait overnight the highlights had bronzing which did not show up until at least 8 hours of dry time. With the Innova, if I waited over an hour, the shadows had gloss differential. This was tackled from all kinds of standpoints, mostly individual ink limiting (each of the 7 inks effects gloss differently), total ink, GO percentage in pass one, etc.. All these things play a part. Throwing even one more paper into the mix would have been overwhelming. 2 papers, 2 different problems, 2 different solutions.
    Waiting for the chemistry to be addressed makes much more sense to me, particularly since there was not overwhelming enthusiasm about the results.

    I also have to say, all of the fine art paper ink prints laying around here are just miles and miles ahead of this faux photo paper approach. It has a long way to go, the ink sits on top. I think that was apparent to everyone at the last workshop, and we had tons of samples of various kinds of output. There was one exception, there always is to keep our eyes open and avoid dogma, Walt Oddet had gorgeous digital Leica street work done on Harman with a simple Roark solution putting a light K in the yellow slot on a 4800 and using strange settings in the ABW driver.
    Good luck in your efforts. I have seen some very nice UCK3 ABW prints on the Innova warm tone.
    Tyler

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
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    132

    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    Thank you for the info!

    Printing on the Epson Premium Semi-Gloss, I tried one 2nd pass GLOP coat after waiting overnight, and one within an hour. The overnight coat seemed to reduce contrast and dmax, the immediate coat had the opposite effect. I am also using a first pass GLOP with the LK and PK curves. Think I copied it from an 1800 curve set. I am using the Image Specialist GLOP right now.

    I agree 100% on spraying! I have only sprayed a few prints. Most of them have been done as tests in the last few days.

    This is my 9th or 10th ink set so far this year. I have also been doing a lot of color printing also. I am off of work, so I have had a lot of fun playing with inks and papers all winter. I bought at least 35 papers and spent more than $2,000, mostly on samples, plus larger quantities of a few that I liked the most.

    I wish I could get the experience of viewing many, many prints that you folks had at the workshop! Mostly sitting here alone, just looking at my own tests.

    I mixed a couple of the ink sets, like Paul Roark's Carbon 6. That was a very beautiful ink set on Moab Entrada Bright White. I just pulled that a few days ago when I ran out of printers and needed one to test with my latest ink set (after my 2200 CIS started leaking everywhere.)

    Total cost for this set was about $20 - $10 for the ink, $10 for the base that I had lying around. Eventually I will stop testing and buy a production ink set when I get back to work, probably about 6 months. The Cone MPS is the most likely contender right now.

    It is getting to be too nice outside to sit here inside all day playing with printers. Time to make new images.

    Thanks again!! Sorry to hijack the thread - hope the discussion was somewhat useful.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Boley View Post
    actually it was Lumijet, I think there is something about Mark's work with it on the Piezo list. I am NOT going to spray prints, I did not leave the darkroom to move into a spraying room, no thank you.
    My dry times between 1st and second passes will not be relevant to anything other than the exact ink I used, including the inclusion of some GO (Cone's) in 1st pass. With the Ilford, if I did not wait overnight the highlights had bronzing which did not show up until at least 8 hours of dry time. With the Innova, if I waited over an hour, the shadows had gloss differential. This was tackled from all kinds of standpoints, mostly individual ink limiting (each of the 7 inks effects gloss differently), total ink, GO percentage in pass one, etc.. All these things play a part. Throwing even one more paper into the mix would have been overwhelming. 2 papers, 2 different problems, 2 different solutions.
    Waiting for the chemistry to be addressed makes much more sense to me, particularly since there was not overwhelming enthusiasm about the results.

    I also have to say, all of the fine art paper ink prints laying around here are just miles and miles ahead of this faux photo paper approach. It has a long way to go, the ink sits on top. I think that was apparent to everyone at the last workshop, and we had tons of samples of various kinds of output. There was one exception, there always is to keep our eyes open and avoid dogma, Walt Oddet had gorgeous digital Leica street work done on Harman with a simple Roark solution putting a light K in the yellow slot on a 4800 and using strange settings in the ABW driver.
    Good luck in your efforts. I have seen some very nice UCK3 ABW prints on the Innova warm tone.
    Tyler
    Tyler, I have seen a few examples of ABW on glossy, and have not seen any of MPS. Although subjective, in what order would you rate the overall image quality, tonality, microcontrast, resolution etc. of these three: ABW on glossy media/ MPS on glossy / Cone NK7 on matt?

  5. #15

    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    oh boy, that's comparing apples and oranges. If I had any samples left I'd just send one to you to see for yourself. ABW prints are tritone black and gay ink prints made neutral, or tinted, with color inks. The MPS set is 7 black and gray inks, and a clear gloss optimizer. The hue is built in, there's no adjusting it. The dither pattern is completely different.
    Maybe others here who got samples can give their impressions. One of the reasons I sent out so many to a lot of people is that I'm a poor judge of this look, none of it seems right to me yet.
    What you'd have to do is try and get an ABW print setting that matches as closely as possible the contrast, density, scale, and hue of the MPS set, then compare them side by side.
    I did not do that, I don't do ABW prints, I think B&W prints should not be made with color materials, and properly used multi density K inks have been in the lead for many years. So I was not really concerned about ABW comparisons, they are out of the question for me anyway. When I do "Photo" surface UCK3 B&W printing for others who want that, I do careful ink setups with a RIP to maximize how the K inks are used, and minimize the use of color inks.

    Any of the Cone inks, or MIS used well for that matter, has a completely different tonal life than any of the above. There's a clear esthetic choice for the artist. It's not a matter of which one is "better", and it would very from image to image as well. Also, one clearly has to edit their files for the sweet spots of each of these different approaches. We should start throwing the HP output, both surfaces, into the mix as well, totally viable performance.

    Sorry, it's very hard to have these conversations about print quality without everyone around a table of prints...
    Tyler

  6. #16

    Join Date
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    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Boley View Post
    oh boy, that's comparing apples and oranges. If I had any samples left I'd just send one to you to see for yourself. ABW prints are tritone black and gay ink prints made neutral, or tinted, with color inks. The MPS set is 7 black and gray inks, and a clear gloss optimizer. The hue is built in, there's no adjusting it. The dither pattern is completely different.
    Maybe others here who got samples can give their impressions. One of the reasons I sent out so many to a lot of people is that I'm a poor judge of this look, none of it seems right to me yet.
    What you'd have to do is try and get an ABW print setting that matches as closely as possible the contrast, density, scale, and hue of the MPS set, then compare them side by side.
    I did not do that, I don't do ABW prints, I think B&W prints should not be made with color materials, and properly used multi density K inks have been in the lead for many years. So I was not really concerned about ABW comparisons, they are out of the question for me anyway. When I do "Photo" surface UCK3 B&W printing for others who want that, I do careful ink setups with a RIP to maximize how the K inks are used, and minimize the use of color inks.

    Any of the Cone inks, or MIS used well for that matter, has a completely different tonal life than any of the above. There's a clear esthetic choice for the artist. It's not a matter of which one is "better", and it would very from image to image as well. Also, one clearly has to edit their files for the sweet spots of each of these different approaches. We should start throwing the HP output, both surfaces, into the mix as well, totally viable performance.

    Sorry, it's very hard to have these conversations about print quality without everyone around a table of prints...
    Tyler
    Thanks Tyler. I know it's a difficult question to answer, I really just wanted to get your rough impression since you have seen all three.

    I have a 2200, so no ABW mode. I have made many prints with the NK7s and so I know their capabilities.

  7. #17

    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    well then in many ways you have seen the best available, they have been able to get somewhat better dmax with the new curves method with the 1400. The Selenium set, Sepia, Split sets, and Special Edition sets all have different tonalities of course. But for matte fine art papers, the NK7 has the cleanest, most continuous tone, and least mechanical image structure available. There are those who find the hue a bit uninspiring, who might like the others sets better for their subject matter. The Selenium set is just gorgeous on some of the H papers and remains quite clean looking, for lack of a better word. The splits, sepia, and Special Edition sets all have a bit of the "printmaking" feel to them. Great if you like it and if it's appropriate. The NK7s don't have that built in "prettiness", very straight.
    Of course the MPS on photo media (when it becomes a viable option) and the ABW as well, are going to have higher dmax, which some insist on at all cost.
    To me though, they still lack that something extra of a good silver print. But the ink on a great matte fine art paper look has matured and come into it's own. It's just not to be compared directly with photo surface prints in my opinion. It's like Platinum and Silver.
    I was in a show last year with a very brilliant and snappy silver worker. Very nice darkroom prints using a lot of black. The inkjet prints left nothing to be desired next to them, but each process was used appropriately for the imagery and tonal vocabulary of each artist.
    For some workers, the ultra long scale and slightly shorter available density range of the NK7 system you use will never be acceptable, for others it's a dream come true.
    One last comment, a direct comparison is also hard because you have to erdit for the materials. I made a Selenium MPS Ilford Gold Fiber Silk print of a file that prints beautifully on William Turner and Cone inks, as a comparison to take to a workshop thinking it would be interesting. It sucked. So the only intertesting thing to learn was- it's not the materials and process, it's the choices we make and how we bring our chosen materials to life. It's up to us, not the materials (even though some inherently suck)...
    One totally viable possibility for those who love the photo surfaces, rarely mentioned in these discussions... stay in the darkroom! It's gorgeous, it works, it got worked out long long ago.
    on that note... I talk too much,
    Tyler

  8. #18
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone tried Cone MPS?

    I was in a show last year with a very brilliant and snappy silver worker. Very nice darkroom prints using a lot of black. The inkjet prints left nothing to be desired next to them, but each process was used appropriately for the imagery and tonal vocabulary of each artist.
    For some workers, the ultra long scale and slightly shorter available density range of the NK7 system you use will never be acceptable, for others it's a dream come true.
    One last comment, a direct comparison is also hard because you have to erdit for the materials. I made a Selenium MPS Ilford Gold Fiber Silk print of a file that prints beautifully on William Turner and Cone inks, as a comparison to take to a workshop thinking it would be interesting. It sucked. So the only intertesting thing to learn was- it's not the materials and process, it's the choices we make and how we bring our chosen materials to life. It's up to us, not the materials (even though some inherently suck)...
    One totally viable possibility for those who love the photo surfaces, rarely mentioned in these discussions... stay in the darkroom! It's gorgeous, it works, it got worked out long long ago.
    Well said.....
    Thanks,
    Kirk

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

    KIRK GITTINGS
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    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

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