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Piezography and the new Ultra HD black ink and linearizing

 

I recently added it to my strictly selenium set of inks in a 3880, and then proceeded to spend a lot of time and paper re-linearizing for the 5 papers (three fine art, two for sanity tests) and printing out dozens of sample images. The process took place over 5 days in all, and I thought I share my brief observations on switching from the previous matte black ink to the new HD Ultra.  (when I'm rich, I'll buy the whole Pro set of inks, but I've got a couple thousand dollars worth of selenium I'm going to use up first.)

First thing I noticed was that the images are cooler. If you think about it, with the ultra of the ultra-black ink, that makes sense: less paper warmth "coming thru the cracks."

Next, it was apparent that the detail was enhanced. Textured surfaces, particularly with those with strong shadows, look "sharper."

Finally, with proper linearization, the "shadows in the shadows" were easier to see. In other words, there's more detail in the blacks, as the new black #1 stand out more when used with black #2.

Is the 50% increase in price worth it?  IMHO, it is. Magic didn't happen when I saw my first print using HD, but it was better than the previous prints I'd made. A nice, albeit sometimes subtle, difference.

I'd also like to point out something I learned about linearization. Those of you who do it, know that it's a 51-step curve creation followed by a 129-step refinement. On a whim, I decided to refine that 129-step  with yet another 129 print & reading. Instead of 51-129, I used 51-129-129.

Absolutely worth doing!

The resulting linearization was as close to perfect as I've ever achieved, and the difference in the quality of the print (where the rubber meets the road) was obvious.

Stretches new curve creation into three days, to be sure, but I'm convinced.

All FWIW, YMMV, etc.

--
Tracy Valleau, moderator

Imagemakers

www.valleau.gallery

 

On what papers? 

On Apr 20, 2017, at 1:40 PM, Tracy Valleau <tracy@...> wrote:

I recently added it to my strictly selenium set of inks in a 3880, and then proceeded to spend a lot of time and paper re-linearizing for the 5 papers (three fine art, two for sanity tests) and printing out dozens of sample images. The process took place over 5 days in all, and I thought I share my brief observations on switching from the previous matte black ink to the new HD Ultra.  (when I'm rich, I'll buy the whole Pro set of inks, but I've got a couple thousand dollars worth of selenium I'm going to use up first.)

First thing I noticed was that the images are cooler. If you think about it, with the ultra of the ultra-black ink, that makes sense: less paper warmth "coming thru the cracks."

Next, it was apparent that the detail was enhanced. Textured surfaces, particularly with those with strong shadows, look "sharper."

Finally, with proper linearization, the "shadows in the shadows" were easier to see. In other words, there's more detail in the blacks, as the new black #1 stand out more when used with black #2.

Is the 50% increase in price worth it?  IMHO, it is. Magic didn't happen when I saw my first print using HD, but it was better than the previous prints I'd made. A nice, albeit sometimes subtle, difference.

I'd also like to point out something I learned about linearization. Those of you who do it, know that it's a 51-step curve creation followed by a 129-step refinement. On a whim, I decided to refine that 129-step  with yet another 129 print & reading. Instead of 51-129, I used 51-129-129.

Absolutely worth doing!

The resulting linearization was as close to perfect as I've ever achieved, and the difference in the quality of the print (where the rubber meets the road) was obvious.

Stretches new curve creation into three days, to be sure, but I'm convinced.

All FWIW, YMMV, etc.

--
Tracy Valleau, moderator


Imagemakers

www.valleau.gallery



 

Well... duh.  Sorry I left that out.

My fine-art papers are Canson Arches Velin Museum Rag,  Hahnemühle Photo Rag and Epson Cold Press Natural.

The sanity check papers are both Red River: Polar matte (for extra white tests) and Aurora Art Natural (which is a pleasant surprise.)

Of the FA, I prefer the Canson product. (Try as hard as I might, I cannot generate enthusiasm for HPR, despite its reputation. Not that the images are bad on it, but they are just better on AVMR. Could be I'm just an odd duck: I prefer Bollinger RD to Krug, too...  ;-)

--
Tracy Valleau, moderator

Imagemakers

www.valleau.gallery