Black and White (and Blue)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by embee, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. embee

    embee Guest

    Hi, I've been experimenting with black and white printing using my Epson
    1280 printer and I am unhappy with the results. I've noticed my prints have
    a distinct blue tinge in grey areas and I recently printed an A3 sized
    mozaic of more than 160 BW crops from pictures of a recent holiday which
    really is very blue when viewed under daylight (although it's not as
    noticable under tungsten light).

    I made the pictures black and white using the Monochrome option under the
    Channel Mixer in Photoshop 7. I kept the Blue Channel input to a minimum
    because looking at the Channels, blue is the worst channel. A typical
    picture would be about 40 per cent red, 50 per cent Green and 10 per cent
    blue and they look fine on the screen.

    Is the blueness due to the limitations of my printer for Black and White
    printing? I'm happy with my colour prints, but Black and White just lacks
    any impact and is too blue. Before I give up completely and take my black
    and whites to a printing lab in future, can anybody explain what is going
    on?

    Thanks
     
    embee, Dec 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. embee

    Guest

    >Is the blueness due to the limitations of my printer for Black and
    White
    printing?

    Yes. Although it depends on the paper, what ink batch you have, etc.
    To my eye, they look a bit purplish.. It is VERY difficult for any
    colour printer to use colour mixing to get neutral greys right through
    the range.

    You have a few options:
    - careful manipulation of the color balance may help (eg if it's blue
    in the midtones, add yellow to the midtones), but you will most
    probably simply shift the color problem elsewhere.

    - try different papers, some of the matte papers seem to be better

    - print everything in sepia tones!

    - put printer into monochrome mode too, but then your image will suffer
    and grey shades will dither

    - if you're willing to dedicate your printer to b&w, get a third party
    ink system (they use various shades of grey ink to get nice neutral
    greys)

    - just accept that these printers are good for colour, not so good for
    b&w.


    The second last one is the only real solution.
     
    , Dec 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. You just need to go into printer properties and ensure it is black ink only
     
    graciette belform, Dec 12, 2004
    #3
  4. embee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: "embee"

    >I've been experimenting with black and white printing using my Epson
    >1280 printer and I am unhappy with the results. I've noticed my prints have
    >a distinct blue tinge in grey areas
    >
    >Is the blueness due to the limitations of my printer for Black and White
    >printing?


    This printer doesn't do a very good job of printing a gray scale with the color
    inks, the profiles aren't especially accurate. If you want to check this then
    create a white to black gradient and print it ... on mine I get a bit of a
    magenta cast (with PGPP anyway ... will vary with paper because of the ICC
    profiles) over part (not all) of the image. If you do this test (print a
    gradient) you can see where the problems are and then open a curves adjustment
    layer (assuming you have Photoshop) and add a curve to try to correct for this,
    save the curve and apply it to other b/w images before printing. This should
    get you much closer to true grayscale. On one paper I tried there was a slight
    magenta cast in the dark gray areas and a slight green cast in the light gray
    areas so you may need to cycle through this a couple of times to get it close
    to neutral.

    You can also just print at 2880 dpi using only the black ink but you'll
    probably find this is too contrasty.

    If you really want to print grayscale I'd recommend the 2200 printer instead
    since the gray balance is better (more accurate) with the Epson profiles and
    the extra 'light black' ink seems to help as well.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Dec 12, 2004
    #4
  5. 1. Going to black ink only (as suggested in another post) may cure the color
    problem but it will result in a grainy print. These printers are designed
    to print using all colors to obtain smooth tonality. That said, it is
    difficult to obtain a true neutral black on these printers.
    2. Don't confuse the ratio of colors in channel mixer with the shade of
    black (blue, purple or whatever cast) in the print. The color cast in the
    print is a result of the printer printing "profile". Worse, the color inks,
    when mixed to produce black and white, tend to exhibit "metamerism", which
    mean that the color cast changes depending on the light source used to view
    the print.
    3. If you want to continue to use the1280. it may be best to convert it to
    B & W inks exclusively, as suggested in another post.
    4. Perhaps the best option, if you don't mind spending the money, is to get
    a printer that handles B & W better. I use an Epson 2200, and print using
    Colorbyte Software's "ImagePrint" product. This is a Raster Image Processor
    (RIP) that does produce outstanding B & W prints without metamerism, and
    excellent color as well. The down side is cost. The printer is > $500, and
    the RIP is about $500 for the lite version (which is all you need). There
    is also another product available (basically a profile, I believe) that is
    much cheaper and can produce good B & W from the 2200 but does not address
    color.

    Good luck.

    "embee" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi, I've been experimenting with black and white printing using my Epson
    > 1280 printer and I am unhappy with the results. I've noticed my prints

    have
    > a distinct blue tinge in grey areas and I recently printed an A3 sized
    > mozaic of more than 160 BW crops from pictures of a recent holiday which
    > really is very blue when viewed under daylight (although it's not as
    > noticable under tungsten light).
    >
    > I made the pictures black and white using the Monochrome option under the
    > Channel Mixer in Photoshop 7. I kept the Blue Channel input to a minimum
    > because looking at the Channels, blue is the worst channel. A typical
    > picture would be about 40 per cent red, 50 per cent Green and 10 per cent
    > blue and they look fine on the screen.
    >
    > Is the blueness due to the limitations of my printer for Black and White
    > printing? I'm happy with my colour prints, but Black and White just lacks
    > any impact and is too blue. Before I give up completely and take my black
    > and whites to a printing lab in future, can anybody explain what is going
    > on?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
     
    Dick Frederick, Dec 12, 2004
    #5
  6. "graciette belform" <> wrote in
    news:BtXud.512$:

    > You just need to go into printer properties and ensure it is black ink
    > only


    Does not really work. Using black ink only will not
    get enough richness in the print. Maximum density,
    evenness and fineness in the grey scale all will suffer.

    There are special monochrome or low gamut inks you
    can use in your printer if you want to print high
    quality B&W.


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Dec 12, 2004
    #6
  7. embee

    David Zou Guest

    I have seen from steven digital cameras that some HP comes with dedicated
    grey scale cartilage and does a decent job.
    It's on the slow end but any one has any idea about the printing qualities
    from HP inkjet?
    "embee" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi, I've been experimenting with black and white printing using my Epson
    > 1280 printer and I am unhappy with the results. I've noticed my prints
    > have a distinct blue tinge in grey areas and I recently printed an A3
    > sized mozaic of more than 160 BW crops from pictures of a recent holiday
    > which really is very blue when viewed under daylight (although it's not as
    > noticable under tungsten light).
    >
    > I made the pictures black and white using the Monochrome option under the
    > Channel Mixer in Photoshop 7. I kept the Blue Channel input to a minimum
    > because looking at the Channels, blue is the worst channel. A typical
    > picture would be about 40 per cent red, 50 per cent Green and 10 per cent
    > blue and they look fine on the screen.
    >
    > Is the blueness due to the limitations of my printer for Black and White
    > printing? I'm happy with my colour prints, but Black and White just lacks
    > any impact and is too blue. Before I give up completely and take my black
    > and whites to a printing lab in future, can anybody explain what is going
    > on?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
     
    David Zou, Dec 12, 2004
    #7
  8. embee

    bob Guest

    "embee" <> wrote in news:1102845140.20569.0
    @spandrell.news.uk.clara.net:

    > Hi, I've been experimenting with black and white printing using my Epson
    > 1280 printer and I am unhappy with the results


    Something you might want to experiment with, since you are using PS, is
    duotone. After you convert the image to grayscale, the Duotone mode will
    become available. It converts the image into a slightly colored image,
    similar to toned images in the traditional sense. But you can use different
    tones for highlight and shadow.

    If you use a slightly warm tone it will probably offset the blue cast you
    see.

    Bob

    --
    Delete the inverse SPAM to reply
     
    bob, Dec 13, 2004
    #8
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