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Thread: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    klamath falls, oregon

    Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    A friend gave me his Epson 3800, and I already have one of my own. I have used mine for both color and B&W printing, using the Advanced Black & White mode for the latter. I've been happy with the results, but may not be as discerning as others. I am thinking of converting the second printer to use the Piezography B&W inks.

    I don't really enjoy the very serious technical side of printing. I currently process using an older CD version of Lightroom on a Windows 7 machine, with an old CRT monitor. No fancy calibration of anything. I get what I like on the screen, and when I print images, the prints look the way I expect them to, so I'm happy. I've honed in on a slight toning of B&W images that I like using the Epson ABW.

    So part of my concern with Piezography is whether it will be too fussy for me. Can I just get the inks, convert the machine, load Quadtone RIP, use the appropriate paper profile and be off to the races? Will I be happier with the results than I am with those from the Epson ABW?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    You might find these two articles helpful:

    I recommend you download the image provided by the first article. Depending on your monitor, you many not see its 2% changes along the tonal curve (especially at the lower end), but they are present in the image. Print it using the standard EPSON drivers and see what you get. It will also reveal how much resolution you can get when printing the fine lines.

    A 50-step wedge shouldn't be a big deal to print, since 8 bit B&W contains 256 shades (a lot more than just 50), but you might be surprised just how poorly calibrated ordinary profiles are. In fairness, a typical profile has to handle all the colors and gray is the hardest thing to get right. You can find a nice circular 50-step wedge here:

    You can pay for a sample print from Piezography: send them an image with whatever you like on it. I made a test image containing skin tones, clouds, dark values plus my 50-step wedge and had them print it on several papers. I was impressed that the prints they sent back were all perfect. At the time, they were made on an Epson 3880.

    As far as I know, Piezography profiles are linearized to 128 steps or more. They also provide tools for you to make your own profiles for any paper/ink combination. (You need to purchase a sensitometer to make your own measurements). I have done that in the past but I have settled on one paper and their profiles are so good that it works for me. Like you, this isn't my favorite part of the process.

    After switching to Piezography Pro, I ended up buying a better monitor so that I could see the all the tones in my images which my Macs with Retina display can't discriminate. Your CRT on the other hand, may work just fine.

    For me the compelling issue was being able to print images like this flower - which contains large smooth gradients - without any banding or gaps in the tonal scale.

    Comparing two prints side-by-side, almost anyone can spot the difference but depending on your style of photography and who actually views your prints, the differences you find may or may not be worth the effort.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 20-Oct-2020 at 06:55.

  3. #3
    Pieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I can't speak for what might be involved in setting up your printer, etc. but the piezography prints that I have had made by Cone Editions are amazingly beautiful, far richer than what I can produce with my Epson R3000.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    klamath falls, oregon

    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Thanks Ken and Pieter. I had already read all the stuff on your website about this, ken. Thanks for the additional information. I'm going to hook up the gifted printer sometime in the next week or so to see if it works. If so, I'll probably go for it!

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