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Digital B&W Printing

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User_Removed 15 455 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 16 2.8k 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 10 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 15 455 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 11 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 15 455 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 16 2.8k 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 15 455 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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