Wednesday, December 02, 2009

BW ink

It seems Lyson is no longer making the special black/white inks, but I found this page for specialized BW inkjet printing. Holy cow, that's a whole science. And that's just one company. (Seems like a good one though.)

Interesting that the ink is not ink or pigment based, it's carbon based. In theory that should last forever, carbon does not fade. (BW photocopies on good paper are very long-lived for the same reason, it's carbon.)

BTW, this article on inkjet art still rocks. For instance, he compares an inkjet print with three other prints of the same picture which were done with various high-end traditional darkroom methods:
"We showed these four prints to several dozen people both in and out of photography to see which they liked best. There was no contest. In side-by-side comparisons the Epson print was everyone’s favorite – everyone. The Epson print was more three dimensional, more tactile, had visually deeper blacks, and felt more alive — and not by just a bit. It was better by leaps and bounds. I cannot tell you, what a shock this was to both of us traditional wet darkroom advocates."


Anonymous said...

Here's another source for B&W inks. Probably higher quality than most. I use his color inks and they are as good as Epson K3 OEM inks. Jon Cone has been in the business for years.

eolake said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look.

Steve said...

You can also find Jon Cone @

They have stopped offering the Piezo inks in the Epson cartridges and an expensive retro will be needed to convert my R1800 over to B&W only printing. That may take some time.

And food the soul.

The interface was a bit odd to me, but the images are very fine

And one from a master B&W printer.

In you B&W print quest, don't forget about the paper. A warm toned paper can impart that subtle look to your prints. For rich B&W prints I have started using Harmon FB AI for gloss and FB Mp for matt.

One tip, when printing B&W from PS make sure you check the box for Black (second dialogue box if memory serves). It helped eliminate the unwanted color casts when using the standard set of inks.

My best and enjoy the ride.

eolake said...

It seems the print dialogues interface, even from the same app like Photoshop, to a large degree depends on the printer driver. The dialogues to the Canon look very different than they did for the Epson. (The Epson for example had a neat option to tone the paper outside the picture proper, so one did not have to make a toned matte part of the file.)