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How to overcome magenta or green discoloration in black and white inkjet printing with Epson printers? Print E-mail
B+W Photo-Realistic and Fine Art Print

Which inkjet printer is best? How to avoid greenish B+W, reddish B+W inkjet prints.

Lots of e-mail comes into the FLAAR evaluation center asking for help resolving problems on B&W prints. Since Piezography switched ink and software from R9 to regular ErgoSoft RIP some people want to know how to continue with the original custom-made black-and-white solution (still available, but no longer from Piezography).

Since we get new information every month, it is turned out to be easier to present the fresh information in our photography course in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Just go to our Premium Report Series on Wide Format Printers for Photo Realistic Quality and lear how to produce exhibit quality photographs.

Our report lists the hardware, software, and friendly sources of follow-up information who can provide you the training, tips, help, and consultation to assist you. The author of the report is a photographer just like you. He really enjoys learning how to achieve pure grayscale. He has accomplished outstanding grayscale of course with laser printers by going into the software. Now he is applying his ingenuity to an Iris 3047, several Epson printers, four HP DesignJets, and quad-black inkset combined with 7 colors to create an 11-ink combo on the Mach 12 from ColorSpan. We will also compare these results with 12-ink system on a ColorSpan DisplayMaker 12.

All of these printers are in the FLAAR giclée printing evaluation center at the university, directly adjacent to the art department. So we get plenty the full diversity of art: oil on canvas, watercolor, computer generated art, plus what we might label as student experimental art. We also have a Cruse reprographic flatbed scanner - digital camera to handle 3-dimensional originals up to 36 x 42 inches. So when you order Nicholas' reports you get access to his knowledge and experience of both art and photography (his background is art, including several research stints at Yale University, Dept of History of Art).

Two things will greatly improve your black and white photographic prints. First, get an appropriate printer. Avoid printers that may have a well documented problem with metamerism such as Epson 7500, Epson 9500, Epson 2000, and potentially Epson 5500 (though ours has not yet shown metameric tendencies so far; it was withdrawn from the market by Epson in Europe initially, reputedly because its inks could not achieve adequate color gamut for photographers).

Not all printers can handle B&W. You also need appropriate inks and media, namely the new seven-ink system from Epson for their substantially improved Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and Epson Stylus Pro 9600. These Epson 7600 and 9600 are specifically designed to produce acceptable grayscale black and white images.

However be aware that the like-named Epson Stylus Pro 10600 lacks the seventh ink system.

To avoid the wrong printer, and be clever to recognize appropriate printers, requires knowing which dealers know enough about B&W to help you. MacMall, MacZone, or PC Connection may attempt to sell the printers at low-bid prices, but then you have absolutely no one who knows photography or fine art giclée printing to assist you. Once you buy low-bid, no professional giclée studio or consultant will work with you (sorry, this is just the way things work). Fortunately, FLAAR is developing courses to assist you after-the-fact, but it is so much safer if you make an intelligent decision and get your cameras, software, and inkjet printer at a knowledgeable value-added dealer.

Second, you can profit from tips based on Nicholas Hellmuth's experiences doing black and white photography with Leica, Hasselblad, and Linhof has now been translated into digital photography in B+W with the full range of cameras from Nikon CoolPix 990, CoolPix 5000, our new Nikon D-100, Hasselblad with Kodak ProBack Plus and our BetterLight Super 6K.

For example, if your blacks are greenish or reddish, may not be a problem in your inks nor printer… could be inappropriate media, lousy ICC color profiles (or no profiles at all). If you learn how to generate your own personal ICC color profiles for your own printer, and the heat, humidity, and conditions in your own home or studio, then your prints may well turn out to be museum quality. Can't guarantee it, but if our students with minimal training can produce exhibit-quality prints on the first day, surely with some help you can do the same.

These tips and all documentation are in Dr Hellmuth's course on digital photography (see

But we are also concentrating our updates in the Premium Report Series on Wide Format Printers for Photo Realistic Quality. Recently we added comments on the Ilford quad-black inset, the ColorSpan quad-black inkset, and the ColorSpan 11-color and 12-color systems (all of which can handle B+W).



Last updated Nov. 8, 2003
Previously updated June 10, 2003; January 13, 2003 , Aug. 27, 2002 July 8, 2002. First posted Aug. 18, 2001.

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