Black And White printing with PrintTool and 3 inks


Well, I learned something new, after banging my head against the wall for a couple of hours today. Perhaps (even likely) I'm late to this party, but here it is:

When I print B&W, 99.99% of the time it's on matte paper using Piezography (on a dedicated 3880). Today, for the first time in literally years, I had a need to print a B&W larger than the 3880 allows, for a friend's show. He wanted it on Ilford GFS, which I have in rolls for my 9890, so, while regretting have to leave the excellence of Piezography in favor of K7 inks, I thought it would be a breeze.

No so much. His image arrived with ProPhoto RGB embedded, so I converted to ARGB, and hit print. Looked find, but strongly magenta tints. Fine: I'll just convert it to gray-scale and print. Same magenta tint.  OK... Convert to gray gamma 2.2 and off to Print Tool with no color management. YEAH! - no tint... but the thing looked like it had been posterized: the contrast was horrible.

I mucked about trying a couple of other things, including printing thru Photoshop and the Epson driver, something I'd not done in years. Better, but not right. The image looks fine.... it was a printing thing.

Then finally I did this: convert from ProPhoto, to ARGB. Then to Gray-scale (to toss out  all the color information... and -then- convert that -back- to ARGB. Now I have an image with an embedded ARGB profile, but no color information left in it. Off to PrintTool again; choose color management  and the profile for the IGFS paper... and!

Maybe this is all voodoo; maybe it's all ignorance. Maybe everyone here knew about this technique already, or knows a better, faster way to the same end.  But at least now I know how to continue to use my beloved PrintTool and Epson inks for a decent B&W out of my 9890 printer.

Tracy Valleau, moderator


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