B&W printing problems

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by JonathanM, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. JonathanM

    JonathanM TPF Noob!

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    I've had some problems with printing images that have been greyscaled in Elements 4.0. They appear to have a bluish cast and several people in the postal photo club I belong to have commented on this. the problem isn't with the greyscale conversion, as on the monitor the image seems to be a true B&W.

    the printer is a HP photosmart 8150, and i think part of the problem is that the photo printing is done by a tricolour cartridge; there is a black/greyscale cartrisge available, but I don't fancy swapping continually between cartridges.


    Anyone aware if there is a way of altering the printer to produce better B&W images?
     
  2. TBaraki

    TBaraki TPF Noob!

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    I have the same printer. Have you tried setting the printer itself Greyscale when printing a B&W photo? I beleive there is a pull down menu that gives you the option of colour, greyscale, or black only.

    Not sure if this will help your situation or not, but might be worth a try.
     
  3. JonathanM

    JonathanM TPF Noob!

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    Ok, worth a go, I'll let you know.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I am woefully ignorant about printing BW from digital. I leave it up to my printer (meaning the guy who prints my digital images rather than the machine sitting next to my computer), who knows a lot more than I. He was talking about something called "RIP" or "RIPP"? I think this is software that helps the printer (meaning the machine this time) get neutral tones.
     
  5. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    If you have a use black ink only box on your printer preferences that will definatly solve your problem.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Two problems with printing b&w with color printers:

    1: if you use the color ink, you get color cast. It may not even be the same across the image, like the shadow may have too much cyan and the highlights too much magenta. This makes it really hard to color correct in the driver. It's not the fault of the s/w. The image is in true b&w, but you are still using colors to make grey. That's tough.

    2: Using just black ink doesn't allow you to make true greys. You have to dither the black dots to emulate greys. The closer the dots are, the darker the grey. This can make the image look really grainy and contrasty when the original isn't.

    To get the best b&w prints, you really need a dedicated quad-tone or hex-tone greyscale inkset. Black, dark grey, medium grey, and light grey inks for the quad-tone, for example. This allows you to get true neutral tones, or consistant shifted tones, while also getting very smooth transitions. You don't see any dots at all, even in the very light areas. You won't get that with just black ink, unfortunately.

    Some examples:
    http://www.piezography.com/
    http://www.inksupply.com/bwpage.cfm
    http://home1.gte.net/res0a2zt/photos.html
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/

    I've used both the MIS and Piezotone inks. While some of the early Piezo inks had issues with clogging and the like, the current offerings from both companies are terrific. You should order some sample prints to really see them in person.

    Of course this is only if you are only going to be printing b&w only, since you won't be able to use the printer for color. I found that it was worth it. If you want to continue using your current printer and stock inks, definitely get the black/grey cart. It should make a huge difference. It's nice to see that manufacturers are clueing in on the problem.
     

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