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Printing bw pictures
#1
Hi,

I started printing some of my pictures in our printer, it is a Canon ip4200, and I have problems.... Sad

My pictures have too much contrast. They have beautiful colors indeed, but in the blacks there is no much detail. My bw pictures turned out with a greenish hue they didn't have. They were plane bw, and also with hard contrast.

I have calibrated my monitor with Spyder3Elite. Do I have to configurate my printer? I have used both glossy paper and mate paper and both professional quality and both have the problem.

Also in a picture I printed in canvas. It turned out with different colors a bit more magenta. G looked for a configuration for the printer to use that Canson paper, and after lots of problems we got a CD to configurate our printer from our dealer. The problem was that they don't have any configuration for our printer, just for bigger printers. I still have 8 sheets of canvas and I want to use them.

Do you have any advice about this?

Thanks so much... Smile
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#2
Can't help really. I have the ip 4300 and I just use standard settings. There are so many configurations and combinations on most printers. A test of them all would be counter productive and not cost effective.
I think by the time you had found a perfect solution the printer would be worn out. Sad (and obsolete) Smile
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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#3
Printing black and white on a color printer raises many problems. The green tint is very common, and some inkjet prints suffer from metamerism, in which the tint looks different under different light - often looking magenta under tungsten light. A while ago there was (expensive) software available that would remap the cyan and magenta to other inks, thereby reducing the metamerism effect.

However, for the price you might as well buy a dedicated B&W printer with quadtone inks - these are shades of gray which replace the typical four color inks.

The latest piezography product uses seven shades of gray on modified printers: http://www.piezography.com/site/index.html

Anyway, for general printing and overcoming your contrast issues, you will want to find, or buy, or create, a profile for your printers, just as you have done for your monitor. Then in Photoshop before printing, you can "proof" the image, even allowing for different types of paper, and get an idea of how it will look when printed.

This is all such a hassle that I have completely given up printing at home. I have found a print lab that offers very good B&W printing at a price that is less than if I did it myself, and the turnaround is usually just a couple days. My wife wants me to get a printer for instant snapshot printing, but I refuse! Wink Cool
_______________________________________
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
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#4
Thanks NT, Mitch for your advice....

I am a little sad because I thought it would be easier, but we always have the resourse of sending them to a lab and they will do better.

Few months ago G wanted to buy a bigger one. One that could make bigger prints, but I refused. It was a lot of money and the prints would be very expensive too. After these comments I am very happy we didn't buy it. I know in Hamburg they are labs dedicated to bw printing. I will see if I could send my pictures to one of them.

Thanks again so much to you two... Smile
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#5
There's a difference in how images will look between the bright and backlit computer screen and the dark and reflective printed page, and even full profiling and calibration won't make the two match. The good news is that it's usually a predictable difference between what you see on-screen and in the print, and it's not hard to learn a couple of simple adjustments to get the brightness and contrast right for a print. You could even create a development preset in lightroom to automatically adjust your images from what looks right on the screen to an image that will give you a good print, but I've always just done it the old-fashioned way.

I have to agree with slej about the limitations of black and white on a colour inkjet, within limits. My little Epson R220, which is an inexpensive home photo printer, produces "black and white" prints with distinct colour shifts. It's usually toward green, but it depends on the light (metamerism) and will shift toward blue depending on the tone (greyscale value) of the image, making it impossible to correct.

The last thing I want to do is get in the middle of a household discussion, but my larger Epson R1800 is a completely different beast. Even though it's designed for glossy colour prints, it produces very good B&W with no colour shifts. And the cost per square inch is actually cheaper, because even though the ink cartridges are more expensive they contain more ink. Naturally larger paper is more expensive than smaller sheets, but the cost-per-print is better than what the local labs charge and I get to keep full control over the quality and the output. It's quick and cheap to run off a couple of 4x6 test prints before printing a full-size sheet.

I used to think that it wasn't worth the cost to buy and feed a printer when I could just get a lab to print my images for me. The problem was that I never had any printed. I'd usually only want one or two done a month, so it was never worth the hassle to drop off the files and then carry the prints home the next day (the lab was across the street from my office) and I'd never know if they'd look right anyway. And just like shooting film, I'd be asking myself if it's really worth the $10-20 that it would cost, and usually decided that it wasn't. Now I just suffer whenever I need to buy ink -- a full set costs about $120 -- but I've learned much more about photography and my own photos from being able to see them printed larger than the postage-stamp 8x10 size.

Digital imaging is a mathematical abstraction -- it takes a print to make it into a photograph.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#6
I just read about those preset for printing in LR. I will try to make one... Thanks for the advice.. Smile

You have some points here Matthew.

I don't normally send my pictures to any lab. I did it few months a go just to try my pictures with the 5d in canvas and professional paper but they were just two. Now printing at home I have printed much more. Christmas cards, bday cards and some for my livingroom.

I think the printer you have is one of the many G saw and thought about buying. We read very good reviews on many printers, but I also thought it would be more expensive. That is why I didn't support the idea. I will make a research to see how expensive is a print at home and one in the lab. Still I like very much the idea of watching the result immediately and have the chance of some test prints, the lab won't do.

It is really nice to know that your printer makes good bw pictures. At home, I am the only one that makes bw pictures, and well, I would like to have them well printed.

Quote:Digital imaging is a mathematical abstraction -- it takes a print to make it into a photograph.
That is so true.

I read once that a photographer was telling that we should print our pictures and hang them in the wall, and not become a collector of images. Then I started thinking about printing and having my pictures in my home.

Thanks for your comment Matthew... Smile
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#7
We solved the problem... Smile

We decided to try and make the printer work well, so we took two square picture with different colors one green with orange and the other one magenta with yellow. We printed as it was and it turned out green, then we thought about using some profiles G had for the printer, and we use it with vivid colors and it improved a lot but the orange was red! So we disable the vivid colors and it turned out superb!! The colors are almost as I can see them in the computer. I printed in canvas yesterday and the colors had a bit of magenta so I reduced it just -1 in the manual adjustment color.

I found a writing about canon paper, ink and printer and they explain how I have to work with my pictures in photoshop and what profile I have to use and so on... Anyway a lot to learn about this topic still, but I am happier now. I haven't tried a bw picture yet, maybe it is time to give another try now... Wink
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#8
Im no expert, Irma--and I know you will soon master this by hook or crook--you always do. I know that printing is tricky if you are a perfectionist especially. Papers differ in their ink absorbtion--so have different color biases. I think contrast is usually a problem with printers unless they are very expensive. My monochrome prints are always a little purple--i learned to live with it.

Are you printing in color or monochrome? It wasn't clear from your note.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#9
Thanks so much for your comment Don... Smile

Paper is indeed very important, and I know now that there is a big German company selling photopaper. It is Hahnemühler FineArt, and if I remember well, Toad talked about this paper sometime ago, they have all kind of support for printing.

Unfortunately they don't have any profile for the printer we have, only for bigger or newer printers.

It is also true that contrast is a little problem, it was not much of a problem in glossy paper, but in Matte paper the contrast and somehow also the colors are a bit different.

At the moment I am printing in color, but I will try a bw picture soon again. If it doesn't work we will need to make a big decision, or we buy a new printer or we just find a good lab to print in bw.

But now that you mentioned it, you have a monochrome print, that might be also a good idea. To have a print just for bw pictures... Wink
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#10
You cannot use the Canon Easy Photo Print to print Black & White Photos because it always adds a bit of colour. I have used Photobase which came with my Panasonic Camera and you go into printer setup and CHANGE the paper type to PLAIN. SmileI have found this is the only setting that will give B & W on this printer.
The only other option is get a dedicated black printer.
Smile
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#11
I have run into the color shift problem when using my preferred printer for B&W, but it's always a tiny bit of red channel added.
Never enough to make me angry or be noticed my most people, but it's there.
The same slight red-shift also makes my color prints look better than they were on my monitor, especially skin tones.

To go through so much extra effort by shooting B&W in infrared, with much added time to get the post processing right, only to see pink in my clouds...

I need to find someone in this city with a dedicated B&W printer.
Until that happens I have given up shooting in IR.
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#12
I don't know if this is your problem but selecting the correct paper profile to match the paper you are using makes quite a difference. I don't know your printer and paper profiles but with the Epson I select enhanced matte paper if that is the paper I have loaded. I also found the printing software makes a difference, QImage does a good job for me. I do not think PS CS3 and Ligtroom produce as good a print as QImage but that is just me. One other factor to consider is your color space, sRGB, Adobe or Pro-Photo. Hope this is help-full.

Jim
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#13
Just a suggestion which you may already know, but on my Canon there is a setting for 'greyscale', which is Black and White, although it does not say it.
I have not tried it so I cannot say wether it prints B&W or tinted with colour.
I think it is under the 'advanced' tab.
The manual takes 3 months to read.Sad
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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#14
The problem is that most printers mix different colours to get the lighter tones. So even setting the printer to black and white doesn't guarantee that it isn't using different colours to get its final results. Printers like the Epson 2400 use different tones (black, light black, dark white) for a true greyscale print. Others (like my R1800) do pretty well with only one black, but it still may not be a true monochrome image.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#15
Thanks so much for your advice... Smile

geoffdownunder
I see a dedicated bw printer as a good option. Thing is that I am the only one at home working bw pictures. I am already working my way around to make it necessary ... Wink

Keith
The same is here, but in my pictures is a light greenish hue. It doesn't look too bad, but I get also angry when I want to have a true bw picture.

Lighthouse.
Yes, I use the profiles of the printer, but I don't use profiles for the papers as canvas or pastell as they don't have profiles for my printer. I don't know much about QImage I have to read about this program. Thanks... Smile

NT....
I have also that setting I think, I have to make a try.
thanks Smile

Matthew
I have read a lot about Epson printers, and they say they are really good. Still I have to read and see what would be good for us as we have already a canon printer. Probably there is no problem as every model has its own different cartridges. I like the idea of that print with three different tones for true grayscale prints. I would like to add to my wish list for the new printer to be able to print A3 too... Wink
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
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#16
I had an Epson printer which worked perfectly on any paper including laserjet paper.
It printed photos of various sizes absolutely brilliantly. Until one day when the heads became clogged with ink. I ran the program for declogging until the ink tanks were almost empty, and wet ink was inside the printer head station. After complaining to epson I was given a new printer (or maybe a reconditioned one, which looked like new) After a very short while (maybe three months ) this one did the same and although by using advanced settings I could get a reasonable print it never behaved as the original did. The print head is built into the printer and not the ink cartridge so if the printhead misbehaves then the whole machine is no good.
I now have a Canon with the print head built into the cartridge, so if you get clogged heads/banding etc then change the cartridge and you have in effect a new print head. On Photo paper it prints very good. On plain paper it is nowhere near as good as the Epson used to be.
Horses for courses as they say. Also maybe if you print daily it may stop ink clogging. If you print monthly then maybe not.Smile
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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