Comparison

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
Alan, do you use the Advance Black and White driver with the P600 and if so, how neutral do you find the results. I use the Epson R3880 and by default, the blacks tend to be a little warm.
Try QTR - Quad Tone RIP, it's shareware but only $50 to buy, it only works with Epson printers, I've used it with my R3880.

A friend of mine is an ex Ilford engineer and LF photographer and goes on holiday with Roy Harrington (QTR software developer) and others like Howard Bond, his work and prints made using QTR are superb. It's a B&W only RIP but gives excellent control over image colour etc and is very easy to use, there's also profiles for making digital negatives for alternative processes. Knocks spots off the Epson drivers.

Ian
 

Ian-Barber

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Staff member
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Try QTR - Quad Tone RIP, it's shareware but only $50 to buy, it only works with Epson printers, I've used it with my R3880.
I have QTR and have tried it on several occasions. The only issue I have with it, is the very long process of creating curves for papers. Out of the box it only comes with a few prebuilt curves mainly for papers found in the USA.
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
Ian,yes I do use the Advanced Black and White driver with the Epson P600. For those not familiar with this, it's very useful because it allows you to select cool, neutral, warm or sepia for the final "colour" of your black and white print. It is accurate Ian but the output does vary according to the paper being used. For example, the Brilliant satin matte papers come out very slightly warm when printed on the Neutral setting. But Canson Baryta Photographique ( a very nice paper indeed) comes out slightly cool on the Neutral setting. I can live with that, as it is very easy to find the effect you want.
Previously I had an Epson R2880. This printed warmer on all the settings than my P600, but, again, was no problem in use.
I should say that I don't use paper profiles. I select "printer manages colours" and always have the file in Greyscale rather than RGB.

Alan
 

Ian-Barber

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Thanks for the update Alan. I was just curious about the new HDR Inks used in the P600/800 series to see if they had managed to remove the warmth from the black pigment.

With the 3880, I have managed to get extremely close to a linear line by changing the vertical offset in the ABW colour Wheel to -10
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
Ian it seems as though they may well have removed the warmth, as my P600 prints colder overall on the Adv. B&W settings than my previous R2880 did.
This actually isn't a problem for me as I do like a slightly warm-toned print. Ilford Warmtone fibre is my favourite paper for darkroom printing. Before that I liked Forte Polywarmtone, and in the good old days Agfa Record Rapid (blue label - before they took the cadmium out)
I didn't see Ian Grant's comments about a Quadtone RIP when I was posting my previous reply. But I won't be rushing out to get one as I get exactly what I want out of my P600 with the Adv. B&W driver, i.e. prints that are hardly any different from my darkroom prints.
Nevertheless I do like the idea of Ian having a friend who goes on holiday with this expert who says the RIP knocks spots off the Epson driver. I was talking to a fisherman across the river at the bottom of my garden the other day. His biggest chub weighed just over 4 pounds. When I told him I'd had a 5 pounder, he told me that his sister's boyfriend's brother's dog regularly caught them over 6....(only joking Ian!)

Alan
 

Joanna Carter

Active Member
Registered User
I've just done some tests.

I too have an Epson SC-P600, so I downloaded QTR and tried it with both the UCpk-raw-neut and the UCpk-PremPhoto-neut curves. Both of them produced a black that was decidedly warmer than the default Epson ABW neutral but also definitely visibly warmer than the Ilford print that they made on their laser (which is the tone I am looking for)

So, I decided to burn some paper and play further with the Epson ABW settings.

On the Advanced section of the Printer Settings tab, I am using a Tone of Darkest and I have shifted the tint "wheel" by +5 horizontally. Now, comparing the rendition with my Ilford prints, I am very satisfied with the result.

Certainly, if using QTR is going to involve testing and creating custom curves, etc., I shall stick to the Epson ABW.

Unless I am missing something :rolleyes:

Ian, how are you measuring the linearity?

Alan, Would/did changing the tint solve your problem of "colder" prints?
 
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Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
The advantage of having a friend who's a knowledgeable user of QTR is he offered to help me calibrate everything, he uses (UK) papers I like. I've not used the printer since moving house, but will take him up on his offer when/if I begin using the printer again.

I didn't have any issues or difficulty with QTR which is why I'd use it again, I didn't find it a problem tweaking curves to suite the other papers I was using.

Ian
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
Hello Joanna,
Yes, I did change the tint wheel when I couldn't get a warm enough print on Harman Baryta FB warmtone paper, when selecting the "warm" setting. I added more red and more yellow. I found that 16 red and 40 yellow gave a nice hint of colour. It reminded me of an Ilford Warmtone fibre darkroom print that had been selenium toned. So I called it my "selenium " setting. I opted for something similar with Canson paper. With Brilliant papers I get the effect I want with Eoson's default "warm" setting.
As you will know, varying the proportions of red to yellow in the tint wheel gives you the option of making "yellowish" or "brownish" warmtone prints; just as you can do with a sepia toning kit and wet prints..So the whole system is very user-friendly.

Alan
 

Ian-Barber

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On the Advanced section of the Printer Settings tab, I am using a Tone of Darkest and I have shifted the tint "wheel" by +5 horizontally. Now, comparing the rendition with my Ilford prints, I am very satisfied with the result.
The Tone options (Normal, Dark,Darkest etc) are in effect gamma shifts. Dark is gamma 2.2
Rather than let the driver do any changes, I always send the image to the printer as gamma 2.2.

Ian, how are you measuring the linearity?
I created a stepwegde in Photoshop in gamma 2.2 in both 5 and 10% increments with known L values.

After printing the step wedge and allowing for dry-down time, I then measured each value with the color-munki spectrophotometer and then plotted a graph to see the curve.

Back in 2012, I wrote a small pdf eBook on my experience using the ABW driver. I have uploaded the pdf to the Resource area of the forum.
 
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David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I too use ABW and it seems to work well for me. Epson's idea of neutral looks a bit cold to me so I usually use the Warm setting. Epson Sepia looks horrible to my eye.
Can anyone explain why the default setting is Darkest and not Normal? A sensible person, or even a fool, would expect Normal to lie in the middle of the range, surely? (Darkest, dark, normal, light, lightest. Or a slider? -2, -1, 0, +1, +2.)
I changed papers and a friend with a very keen eye asked if I liked the greenish tint, but this was also under different lighting. I haven't tried adjusting the tint wheel, but I might do now.
Before ABW, I was using duotone images to get the print colour I wanted. This is rather more variable and the settings (which you can save) don't always translate as expected into a different print.
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
David, I agree on both counts. I too find Epson Sepia horrible. And the brightness default setting shouldn't be "Darkest"
I did hear that if you choose "Darkest" then less colour ink added to the black ink. But don't quote me. I can't remember where I got that from. It might even have been from the fisherman across the river - who I mentioned earlier - who got it from his mate's dog...

Alan
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
Ian, I like all four of the Brilliant papers I mentioned earlier. Currently printing on the Brilliant Satin Matte natural, which Calumet were selling at 25 x A2 for £39 (their 25 x A3 was £40) Very chep. I bought two boxes.
If you like a neutral print, then the white may be better than the natural for you; available in Satin Matte and Silver Gloss. The white base isn't glaringly bright. And the Natural isn't creamy. And the Gloss surface isn't very glossy -less glossy than the now gone Harman Baryta FB warmtone. And the Matte surface has a hint of a sheen....Blimey! It's like that advert for Red Rock Cider..."It ain't red, and there's no rocks in it"
Maybe you should get a sample pack.

Alan
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
Before someone points out that you can't do A2 prints on a P600, I should explain that I cut the paper up into A3, A4 and A5 sizes.

Alan
 

Sal Santamaura

Member
Registered User
For the record, I prefer prints as close to neutral as possible. With my now-standard Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth on the P600, I make PhotoPlus X8 files 16-bit grayscale; in the printer dialog, select "velvet fine art;" set color management "off" and, in the "manage devices" color management window, manually select the downloaded Hahnemühle profile for that paper and printer.

Resulting prints show no warmth or coolness to my eyes under a variety of illuminants, including diffused sunlight.
 

Ian-Barber

Admin
Staff member
Registered User
By choosing the profile for that paper, you will be printing in RGB. Nothing wrong with this but it does consume more of the yellow ink than if you chose to use the ABW driver.
 

Alan9940

Active Member
Registered User
For anyone who might like diving down the rabbit hole a bit further, I can highly recommend the following tool:

https://www.bwmastery.com/quick-curve-k3/

If you have a spectrophotometer available, this tool makes it fairly quick & easy to build a series of quad curves for the QTR software. Then, with QTR you can blend multiple curves targeting different tonal ranges for a nearly infinite variety of split tones in the B&W print.
 

Ian-Barber

Admin
Staff member
Registered User
For anyone who might like diving down the rabbit hole a bit further, I can highly recommend the following tool:

https://www.bwmastery.com/quick-curve-k3/

If you have a spectrophotometer available, this tool makes it fairly quick & easy to build a series of quad curves for the QTR software. Then, with QTR you can blend multiple curves targeting different tonal ranges for a nearly infinite variety of split tones in the B&W print.
I have had my finger on the Buy button for over 4 weeks on this product. The video tutorial I found frustrating which has put me off making the plunge otherwise I might have gone for it because it does look interesting.
 
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