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What Bit Depth is required for Inkjet printing

psiman 14 572 Wales
21 Jan 2008 4:22PM
I'm trying to create a fully colour managed work-flow and I've bought a Spyder2PRO to calibrate my Samsung monitor and had a custom printer profile produced by Permajet for the Epson 1290S, Epson Inks and Jessops 260 gsm Gloss paper combination I most commonly use. I'm using Photoshop CS3 and I've set up all of the Colour Management and Print Management settings as recommended and I've been having a go at Soft Proofing. The soft proof display for the custom profile does look closer to the raw print than the un-proofed display but its still leaves a bit to be desired. I normally work in 16-bit mode but I was at a Photoshop4Photographers workshop run by the RPS yesterday and it was mentioned that it was better to convert 16-bit images to 8-bit before printing before printing on older Epson inkjet printers.

I've tried to find some background to this on the net but the little I'm finding seems to be a bit contradictory so I thought I'd make use of the accumulated wisdom of the ages here on ePz.

Can anyone enlighten me?


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justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
21 Jan 2008 4:39PM
I always tend to send the files as 16bit tiffs or psd files to my Epson 1290s and all has been well 99% of the time.
I guess one reason to convert to 8 bit first may be to reduce the size of the file which could possibly prevent errors whilst printing, to do with insufficient memory,etc.

As far as I'm aware there certainly isn't any advantage in sending a 16 bit file to an Epson 1290S, as opposed to an 8 bit file. Although I stand to be corrected if this isn't the case.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
21 Jan 2008 5:21PM
I think your about right Justin, The way I read it, Most if not all desktop printers tend to be 8bit........Like monitors...!

No harm in transmitting an 16 bit data flow, But only 8 bit is read......!
psiman 14 572 Wales
22 Jan 2008 8:30AM
Thanks guys,

So as I understand it I can send my files in either 8 or 16-bit to my 1290S. Does anyone know if viewing them in either 8 or 16-bit will make a difference during soft-proofing?

joolsb 13 27.1k 38 Switzerland
22 Jan 2008 8:33AM
It shouldn't make any difference at all. The important thing is using the right profile. But I'm sure you know that already.

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