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Digital B&W Printing

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User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 5:13PM
Printing Black and White/Monochrome... Do you and how do you go about it.

When I first started working with B&W in digital, I'd not really thought about the difficulties of printing, but I still like to have that final beautiful print of some of my favourite pictures.

Colour management seems to be more of a problem than with colour, although the range of papers available now is improving all the time. Whether it's getting pure B&W or the right tone it's not easy.

How do you manage your printing of B&W images?

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Gaucho e2
12 2.4k 2 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 5:29PM
Short answer....badly. I reckon half my problem is not being able to afford a printer that will print true black and white. That's my excuse anyway. There is no way I can get pure B&W and I suppose a cop-out would be to tone the image slightly. However Brett, if you or anyone else have some brilliant ideas I'm listening Smile

Malcolm
fatherpie 6 18 12 England
10 Aug 2010 5:45PM
I use an Epson A3 printer (Photo R1900) and for B&W I generally use Epson Archival Matte paper as this gives a textured print not unlike those I used to produce in a darkroom many moons ago. I sometimes use Semi-Gloss but never full glossy papers. I calibrate my monitor regularly and as with my colour prints I do not get too many issues with reproduction - when I'm next at home I'll try to remember to post the printer settings I use if that would be of use to anyone.

Printing, especially at A3+ is a great way of seeing how good your technique is! Tongue

Dave
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 5:54PM

Quote:a cop-out would be to tone the image slightly


I have used a warming tone quite often, but if the whole process is not right it can still come out a slightly odd colour.


Quote:Printing, especially at A3+ is a great way of seeing how good your technique is! Tongue


I've only got an A4, but was considering an A3 with grey cartridges for pure B&W.
JohnParminter 7 1.3k 14 England
10 Aug 2010 6:04PM

Quote:Printing Black and White/Monochrome... Do you and how do you go about it


Yes, it is simple if you have a correct colour management set up for all of your printing then print to a printer that has dedicated B&W capability, such as the HP B9180.

My B&W prints are reproduced perfectly as are my colour ones.

If you have a correct colour management, calibrated monitor, good quality profiled printer, paper and inks then there should be no reason why B&W is any different from colour printing.

Quote:
Whether it's getting pure B&W or the right tone it's not easy.



You seem to be resigned to defeat but I don't think you need to be.

John
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 6:15PM

Quote:You seem to be resigned to defeat but I don't think you need to be.


I didn't mean to give that impression - as I have got prints I am happy with, but I wouldn't say it was 100% reliable, but I am determined to do it. Maybe one issue is:


Quote:a printer that has dedicated B&W capability


which mine doesn't (Canon i965).

I calibrate the monitor and use dedicated printer profiles. I have done best with Perma Jet and the profiles they do based on your own printer (free).

I have noticed though, that with B&W particularly the appearance does vary considerably under different lights (or at leat the differences are more obvious), and that the prints do need time to 'settle'.
Gaucho e2
12 2.4k 2 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 8:29PM
I'm in a similar position. I have a Canon ip4600 which is fine for a4 colour. Again, calibrated monitor and printer profiles for the paper I use, Canon Photo Paper Pro II. It's possible the paper doesn't help, being glossy, but I get a sort of coppery sheen to it. Not unpleasant, but not black!
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 12:27PM
The other option is to get them printed for you.

Black & White Photography magazine did a review of The Printspace. A reliable print is not going to work out significantly more expensive than printing your own - taking into account the cost of the printer, ink, paper - and even if you don't include time there's the cost of any mistakes you make, and when setting up for a new paper and profile they can be expensive too.

There is something though, about wanting to have control of the whole process. I think if I went for getting them done for me I would probably print far less.

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