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Thread: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

  1. #31
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    rdeloe ...

    Re: #10

    I think the SureColor P5070 is the new P800. The P5070 ha 99% gamut with 11 inks whereas the P800 has 93% gamut with 9 inks. However, I also see that Mr Piezography does not yet have a get-around solution to the electronics of this printer (yet).

    Personally, if Mr Piezography gets too much traction, Epson will do away with him eventually. They could do this instantly by offering an inkset from initial purchase that does the same as Mr Piezography. So the business model is not secure.

    If I am to print B&W with something like a P5070 I personally would want to use the 3rd party inks simply because it will be a better outcome. What I'm not enjoying is the idea that it means I need to have a dedicated B&W printer. It gets expensive to think of buying 2 printers of the same build at the same time (so that there is only one learning curve, one supplier, one everything ...)

    I like the idea that inkjet printing isn't a dead art. Buying anything to do with optical printing means buying secondhand items 99% of the time. Having said this, I cannot imagine what further noticeable gains could be had from a P5070 or its cousins. I don't think there has been or will be a significant increase in the printhead density because they would clog too much and surely 11 inks is enough?! All the noticeable R&D has been in the inks I think perhaps for the past decade almost. It is certainly a mature technology.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  2. #32

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Steve, regarding 11 heads versus 9, 9 is already more than you need for a full monochrome inkset. Paul Roark's approach is called "Eboni 6" because it only needs 6 positions for a pure carbon print. His Eboni Variable Tone formulation replaces the Y position in Eboni 6 (which is very dilute) with a light blue toner. On a 9 ink printer like the P800 or my 3880, one of the 9 is glossy (so not used in matte printing); the other 2 are duplicates of other positions, and used as cross-cutting toners. You drive the printer with a piece of software called Quadtone RIP. Jon Cone's Piezography works in a similar fashion (but last time I looked at what he offers, he had nothing comparable to Paul Roark's variable tone approach).

    If this all sounds like gibberish, did I mention there's a learning curve!

    If you want to dip your toes into the world of dedicated monochrome inkjet printing, you could invest in a version of the Epson Artisan 1440. I think it was called the 1500 in Australia. It's a nice little 14" printer that uses Eboni 6


    Would it make sense to get a sample print from someone to see if you even like the results? The money you would spend on the printer and inks is actually the least of the costs. The major cost is the time it takes to figure out how everything works. This is where Cone's Piezography has an edge: it's closer to a turnkey system. Mind you I prefer Roark's system because it's vastly cheaper (and it's also kind of neat that I'm mixing my own inks...).

  3. #33
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    There's a P5070 on our local Craiglist going for 2/3rd RRP at this very moment ... I asked the seller what configuration it had been set to (LLK or violet). Does anyone here know whether it needs to be LLK or violet ?

    rdeloe I don't mind whichever setup I use. I see the reasons for going to a dedicated B&W printer as ongoing costs are lower and I think one re-uses things like cartridges. Chances of me meeting someone who has a sample for me to look at are Buckley's and none. I did look at maybe getting something clapped out and trying to see if I could get it running (unclogging it ...) but there is nothing like that for sale at present. Yep, I do understand 11 'inks' is not needed and that one of them is a archival covering or gloss as you say. My point is that the technology is very stable.

    Another thing I won't like is having to have a dedicated Windows computer for the thing.

  4. #34

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    I like the idea that inkjet printing isn't a dead art.
    Yes... inkjet technology is amazing, for good reasons it's the most convenient way for home HQ digital printing.


    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    Buying anything to do with optical printing means buying secondhand items 99% of the time.
    This is a great advantage, today an amateur can have a super Pro darkroom for little money, me an amateur I use a Durst 138S with lenses resolving an insane overkill of image quality on paper, making prints that are totally sharp even when inspected with a x4 magnifier. That image quality overkill may not be perceived by a viewer, this is true, because human eye has its limits, but anyway this is technically impressive.


    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    Having said this, I cannot imagine what further noticeable gains could be had from a P5070 or its cousins. I don't think there has been or will be a significant increase in the printhead density because they would clog too much and surely 11 inks is enough?! All the noticeable R&D has been in the inks I think perhaps for the past decade almost. It is certainly a mature technology.
    Yes inkjets are mature and do a great job, but a silver print (say FB with some toning) has refined nuances that provide great pleasure to the educated eye.

    Also it is not the same bending curves in Ps than crafting a silver image from a scene visualization by a refined chemical/optical process, this requires a wise artisan in command.

    The traditional process sports autenticity, the hand of the artist is seen in the art object, and if the artist is a true master then this object has a great value.

    Here you have the "new acquisitions" of the Schott Nichols gallery: https://web.archive.org/web/20180802...-acquisitions/

    An inkjet print (IMHO) will never reach that status, the single value it has it's the artist autogragh on it, the rest is reprography substituting a monitor. For this reason galleries are reluctand to sell inkjets, they sell art objects, not reprography.

    This said, inkjets may fullfill what a photographer wants, of course, the single question is if bare RC BW photopaper printed with a Lightjet or Frontier service is a better alternative.

  5. #35
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Pere,

    I have no shortage of enlargers. I have nowhere to set them up and get them running ! In the meantime ... it might be a good idea to dive into the inkjet world.

  6. #36

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    Pere,

    I have no shortage of enlargers. I have nowhere to set them up and get them running ! In the meantime ... it might be a good idea to dive into the inkjet world.
    No doubt it's worth, this is something I did before (diving into the inkjet world) and really it's amazing, in special because of the freedom in the tonality, we can make shadows more or less cold easily, this is really great. Later I started using the ilford lab direct service to print on RC photopaper, they print with a frontier for 10" and under and with lightjet beyond, the drawback is that control on tones is lost, having only pure BW, but I liked the prints a lot more, then I started contact printing 8x10, and now I'm enlarging, still most of it in RC because I'm still learning, a lot of people moved in the counter sense, this is from darkroom to digital... YMMV !

  7. #37

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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    rdeloe I don't mind whichever setup I use. I see the reasons for going to a dedicated B&W printer as ongoing costs are lower and I think one re-uses things like cartridges. Chances of me meeting someone who has a sample for me to look at are Buckley's and none. I did look at maybe getting something clapped out and trying to see if I could get it running (unclogging it ...) but there is nothing like that for sale at present. Yep, I do understand 11 'inks' is not needed and that one of them is a archival covering or gloss as you say. My point is that the technology is very stable.
    It is possible to clean a clogged printer... However, some clogs simply can't be fixed. If you're getting the printer for next to nothing it's worth a try. Were I you I would look for a used Epson 3880, or a 3800 in a pinch. Inkjetmall has excellent videos and instructions on how to clean. You don't need to buy their special cleaning fluid; I have a recipe you can use to mix up a safe solution from cheap ingredients.

    Another thing I won't like is having to have a dedicated Windows computer for the thing.
    You don't need a Windows computer to run Quadtone RIP. The operation is a bit different on a Mac, but it works fine. In fact there are some extra tools you have access to on a Mac that you don't have on Windows. If you do use Windows, an old laptop with Windows 7 on it will do just fine.

  8. #38
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    Re: What does a newbie do nowadays in the printing game?

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    Umm Bob ...

    Re: #16

    What is a silver digital negative ? Is it a normal film negative that is scanned into a digital file ?
    It is Ilford Ortho Film that I run in large rolls off my Durst Lambda... the film is then processed in trays as normal with Ilford sequence for permanence...

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