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Problem Printing in Black and White
Old 01-01-2006, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a calibrated monitor/printer and my color prints are right on. I was working on some scanned B&W negatives today and the prints are coming out much darker than the image on my monitor. The images come off the scanner as Indexed color with no embedded profile and I convert that to Adobe RGB for color management purposes, although they are B&W. When I view the soft proof in CS2 the image looks OK. After seeing the prints, as a SWAG, I checked "Retain RGB numbers" in the soft proof view and the image went dark, just as it appears as a print. I never check "Retain RGB numbers" when I print color, so that wasn't the answer. I always turn Color Management in the printer "Off" and let PS do the CM. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Mike

PS The images are years-old informal out-takes of a model with her dog. They were underexposed due to the white backdrop in the background and today I had to work with levels and increased contrast to bring them up to acceptable quality. They look fine on the monitor but print way too dark on the printer.
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Try changing the, , ,
Old 01-01-2006, 07:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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mode to grayscale. It seems to me I read something on this a while back. By using RGB you are allowing color inks to be used that might not be necessary.

"I wonder what this means. . . what? . . .WHAT??"

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Re: Try changing the, , ,
Old 01-01-2006, 10:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks - much better, if fact, almost there. I may have to tweak my monitor a bit. Next, I'm going to try no color management at all from scan to print and see if that works, and several other B&W options and filters. Odd how you can work so hard to get color right and when you switch to B&W it all falls apart!

Happy New Year,
Mike

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Re: Problem Printing in Black and White
Old 01-01-2006, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Black and white printing on professional series inkjet printers is one of the areas that I specialize in, but I have some questions. First of all, what printer and inkset are you using. When you print, are you using photoshop or a standalone RIP. If in Photoshop, are you using the black only (ick) option or the full color inkset? All of these are important and I give some information on my web page in the equipment and colophon sections at:

www.carolina-wildlife.com

Some of the considerations that you must keep in mind are:

1. ALWAYS convert your image to grayscale to be sent to the printer.
2. There are some really GREAT photoshop filters out there that will enable
you to select software based filters that mimic color filters normally
used on the camera in black and white photography.
3. Once you do your conversion to grayscale you will need to re-adjust your
levels for the image again.
4. Working in the 16 bit mode will enable you to obtain more detail in the
dark areas of your image. This of course is only valid if you shoot in the
RAW or NEF modes on your camera if using a digital.


If using photoshop, insure that you are not using the black only image option as the printer will overlay a VERY noticable dither pattern in order to create your grays. On the other hand, using the full color mode will mix the inks to create your grayscale and the end result will be blacks that are muddy rather than true black. Now, a way around this is to print in a color tint mode like a blue based selinium look alike or the brown tinted prints of the past. These can be VERY striking and usually sell quite well. If you are on the hunt for true grayscale images, then invest in a RIP (raster image processor). This software www.colorbytesoftware.com can be quite expensive but for midsize epson printers such as the 2200 and so on it is affordable. Most importantly, they give black and white prints that will stun you with their beauty and your days of sending out to a lab will be over! Now, there is a low cost way to get stunning black and white prints. Myself, I perfere to use professional epson based ultrachrome printers like the 4000. BUT, HP makes several printers like the 7960 that when matched with the optional multi-black cartridge and the SWELLABLE HP PREMIUM GLOSSY paper will deliver beautiful prints. The key to choosing on of the HP printers is that it MUST use as an option the multi-black cartridge.

Good Luck
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Re: Try changing the, , ,
Old 01-02-2006, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I did a bit more research and now use the "Advanced B&W Printing" settings with outstanding results. Just goes to show that, once again, it pays to read the user's manual!

Mike
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Re: Problem Printing in Black and White
Old 01-02-2006, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Mark -

Thanks for all the great info. I'm running an Epson R2400 printer, PS CS2, and have just started trying B&W. I'm scanning some old B&W images and negatives and have had my color "blinders" on. Obviously there is a wealth of information on the digital B&W process - hopefully you won't mind me asking for advice from time to time.

Thanks,
Mike

"So much to learn, so little time"
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