Custom ink mixes


#1

I think it would be cool to build a library of users’ custom ink blends. After all one of the things I love about these inks is how they can be swapped between sets, or taken further and hand mixed, so easily. Many of us consider the hue of our B&W prints important and personal to our work. Anyone want to join in? I’ll go first with one, and I’ll have others to post as well.
Tyler


#2

this is a mix I worked on for some time, inspired by the old Portriga Rapid paper, in a cold developer, then selenium toned. At first I thought I couldn’t get there with the MPS sets available, then discovered all the sets would be fine with a GO pass. Here it it-
Shade 7= 100% Selenium MPS
Shade 6= 67% Warm Neutral +33% Selenium MPS (two to one)
Shade 5= 50% Warm Neutral +50% Selenium MPS (one to one)
Shade 4= 50% Warm Neutral +50% NK7 (one to one)
Shade 3= 100% NK7
Shade 2= 100% Selenium MPS
Shade 1= MPS black
then of course a GO pass. Looks great on non brightened papers and was primarily worked out on Cone Type 5, with I love. Also looked good on Silver Rag and Canson Platine.
Ultimately I did not use it, I still love fine art matte papers for my personal work, but this is a lovely set.
I’ll post another in a day or so.
Hope others join in with at least their experiences and hopefully their mixes. Anything then generates more interest and uses for these inks is a cool thing…
Tyler


#3

Thanks Tyler for sharing this with us. You are one of the master blenders. :slight_smile: I have a friend and long time Piezographer who is seeking a forumla that can reproduce PiezoTone Warm Neutral using Piezography Warm Neutral. Have you ever tried to do that?


#4

I found a combination that is in the ballpark of the custom PTone mix I used before, but not really like the straight previous WN set. Basically no matter how much you play with the Carbon set mixed into the WN set, you never quite reach the chroma of the original set. I finally let that go, and settled on something appealing rather than insisting on a dead match. Here it is as a quad set-

[U]LK3[/U]
WN shade 5 60%
Carbon shade 5 40%

[U]LK2[/U]
WN shade 4 56%
WN shade 3 24%
Carbon shade 4 20%

[U]LK[/U]
WN shade 2 70%
Carbon shade 2 30%

but this was to try and approximate a match to a legacy quad set that was Piezotone WN with some carbon mixed into all but the mid ink, which was gorgeous as it was, I just liked the highlights and shadows a hair less olive. I doubt this helps… extrapolating this out into a K7 set might ba a pain, and it’s still not intended to match the original WN. You’d probably want less Carbon mixed into the shadow inks, the originals were pretty olive in the shadows, there was a subtle split.
The above is one half of my existing dual quad setup… the other half is a quad Selenium set cooled a bit with some from the neutral set.
Sorry I can’t be more help… I finally decided one has to just move on, find something you love with what exists, the new inks are superior inks anyway and everyone here including me is happy with the result, I just needed to continue with a variable set…
Tyler


#5

Here’s another custom mix… this was worked out during an extremely cool gathering at Jon’s, the full write-up is here-
http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/blog/piezography-and-food/piezography-ink-workshop/

I wanted a somewhat silvery look in the mids and a double split in the lows for more deep shadow hue contrast and richness. The Selenium in shade 7 and 6 gives a slight rosy look in the near whites that contributes to a silvery feel. The interesting thing about getting that together was the impact the paper made. I was convinced I wanted the work on Edition Etching, but the last thing that brought the look together with the inkset was changing to Rag Photographique. The inks really do different things on different papers.
Here’s the mix-

Shade 7- Selenium
Shade 6- Selenium
Shade 5- Neutral
Shade 4- Neutral
Shade 3- Selenium + Carbon, 50/50
Shade 2- Selenium
Shade 1- NU shade 1

I never tried this with GO on a photo surface… bet it would look good assuming one of the MPS shade 1’s is swapped in…
So is anyone interested in this stuff? Anyone else have any results to share… or is there a better place to share where more people will see and participate?
Tyler


#6

Thanks for passing that along Tyler. I’m definitely interested! I’d love to see some examples (or photos of examples… hard to do it justice) on the Rag Photographique. I really like that same type look of selenium highlights coupled with deeper, richer shadows on the right type of paper. I’d like to do some further experimentation with your custom mix on various papers, and try it with some GO & MPS.


#7

Tyler / Jon: I too have been playing around with different combinations (not yet mixing different inks in the same channel). My current experiment is the classic carbon / selenium split: MK, C2, C3, C4, SE5, SE6, and SE7. I have been testing it on Canson Rag Photographique, HFA Photo Rag, and HFA Bamboo papers. The question I have is what profile should I use (before making a custom one) in testing this (or any other blend) ink set? For example, I have made proofs with the following P2 profiles: 1.) Carbon on JC T2, 2.) Carbon on Canson Rag Photo., 3.) Neutral and SPED on JC T2, and 4.) SPED on HFA Photo Rag. I have also printed out the 20 unit step wedge with each of these profiles on each of the papers mentioned. However without measuring them with a photo spectrometer it is very difficult to visually see the differences. It is only when I come prints side by side that I am able to visually discern the difference. However since the tonal distribution of each image is different I am only getting a print to print comparison not the full tonal range the blended inkset can provide. I am printing, of course, with QT Print. Comments?


#8

Sorry I can’t give reasonable suggestions. Those custom mixes I tried on a little 1900 were long ago and I don’t recall the profile I wound up using. The one for the gathering at Jon’s, another 1900, after settling on the blend using one of the supplied, Dana made me a profile.
The vast majority of the work I do is with StudioPrint and not QTR, so I don’t have specific recommendations for QTR based on day to day experience.


#9

Hi Michael,

Just for clarity sake - the P2 curves are NOT for use with K7 inks. P2 curves use only shades 1-6. You can use a regular K7 curve with your K7 splitone. We do not differentiate K7 curves by ink set as long as you use shades 1-7.

Having said that you can use a P2 curve but it will not use shade 7 and therefore your split tone is actually MK, C2, C3, C4, SE5, SE6 and you may be better served with a split at 4 rather than 5. Even better would be the 50/50 mix at shade 4. So instead use the K7 curves to take advantage of your 7 ink splittone.

P2 curves are for substituting Photo Black in the yellow position so that 8 ink printers can print both matte and glossy without changing blacks. GO is in LLK in the P2 setup.


#10

Hi Jon,

Old age setting in :-). Thanks for reminding / remembering for me the difference between K7 and P2. I experiment using the R2880. So if a K7 curve does not differentiate between ink sets, and as long as I put the correct shade in the correct position it does not matter what ink set? Correct? If that is the case then I don’t need a custom profile for any ink blending I do unless I am using a paper type that you currently do not support. Correct?


#11

We ran the 2880s as P2 printers so we did not have to change blacks during the Santa Fe workshop. So therein is the confusion. You’re a young man in my book! so yes - use the regular K7 curves unless you need a custom. Once we hit K6 (P2) we need to be a little more specific so we make P2 curves for each of the ink sets.

So here is something to tickle your interest. We are currently designing a K11 system which will do split toning by using three K4 ink sets (sharing one black) in one printer and using the shadow / midtone / highlight sliders in QTR to blend 2 or more curves. You will select from one to three curves to make the print. One for a straight ink set. Two to blend or split two ink sets. Three curves to blend or split three ink sets (or blend and split!) Runs only on the 4900, 7900, 9900.

We just bought two more 9900s…with extended warranties at a cost less than a regularly priced 9900 (till end of this month or supplies run out.)

We plan to transition this into a two ink set system for the X800 and X880 printers as well!

Something to look forward to for Christmas. :slight_smile:


#12

So here is something to tickle your interest. We are currently designing a K11 system which will do split toning by using three K4 ink sets (sharing one black) in one printer and using the shadow / midtone / highlight sliders in QTR to blend 2 or more curves. You will select from one to three curves to make the print. One for a straight ink set. Two to blend or split two ink sets. Three curves to blend or split three ink sets (or blend and split!) Runs only on the 4900, 7900, 9900.

We just bought two more 9900s…with extended warranties at a cost less than a regularly priced 9900 (till end of this month or supplies run out.)

We plan to transition this into a two ink set system for the X800 and X880 printers as well!

Something to look forward to for Christmas.

…yes, indeed, been hoping you would have the time to develop this system…

John


#13

Jon,

It’s about time you took full advantage of QTR :wink: That’s all I need: to buy another printer :wink: !! I look forward to trying that new system. It would certainly increase my ability to experiment with split toning by using the QTR sliders once I establish a “baseline” inkset to install in the printer.


#14

Michael,

If you want a killer price on a 9900 with 3 year warranty at $4674 delivered - write me off list. The deal ends Oct 31 or as supplies last. I can set you up with a dealer - or you can ask your own dealer to match that. There should be NO reason why they won’t.

NO promises - but it looks like we will be using shades 2.5 & 4.5 in it - so there may be an option to have a dual split toning system and a digital negative option for the third side instead of a triple split. Sort of like 2/3 banana split and one third hot fudge sundae served in one of those long banana shaped boats with whipped cream and sprinkles on top.

[I]ALSO[/I] - I would greatly appreciate your input when I begin development of Piezography Digital Negative for Plat/Plad. Planning a new set of curves based upon UV rather than density and with film dMin and dMax set to a group of specific chemistry (not decided which and how many yet).

Best,

Jon


#15

I’ve been printing WN/Selenium splitone with a 50/50 blend at shade 4 glossy on Jon Cone 5.

With some files I found the warmth too strong, so I mixed 25% Selenium with 75% Warm Neutral in shade 3. The transition of the split is more subtle and overall the prints seem more balanced in a neutral way. Not that I’m not printing high contrast so in effect the spiltone gets more pronounced. I really love the results.

Next test will be shifting the 50/50 split to shade 6, and blend 25% selenium with 75% WN at shade 5 to get back the warmth but with a subtle transition into the highlights. I expect that perhaps the highlights might stand out more with the expanded warmth.

Cal


#16

I’m a lapsed Piezo printer experiencing information overload upon my return. I loved the old PiezoTone inks and reluctantly confess that, for me, the K7 Warm Neutrals don’t sing as sublimely. I’d like to blend the K7 inks to get print color similar to “Piezography Warm Neutral Glossy on JonCone Studio Type5” as I see in this link: http://piezography.com/blog/2010/09/02/mps/ My preference is to print on mat paper, if possible. I work with an Epson 9880, Studio Pro RIP, and traditionally print on Innova Photo Smooth Cotton (which, last I checked, was essentially PhotoRag.) Is there an ink-blend recipe I can mix and relinearize to get the desired print color? Plus I’m confused about the nomenclature - especially abbreviations - of the various ink sets.


#17

I am also a past PiezoTone printer. My favorite ink was the warm-neutral which I would occasionally split-tone with selenium using a dual-quad inkset and studioprint. I printed with Portfolio Black ink which had a small amount of dye in it. It was still extremely archival and I would spray the prints to make sure they were museum-ready.

When K7 warm-neutral came out it was slightly more yellow. The base tone was just different as it used an entirely different carbon particle that was encapsulated.

What I’ve been doing for the last many months is re-creating (to a certain extent) the magic that I had with studioprint and warm-neutral PiezoTone. I’ll admit this is a somewhat selfish endeavor but in the process of making Piezography Pro I discovered that a warm ink that is slightly less yellow (but more yellow than our current carbon Piezography K7 ink because it’s an encapsulated carbon still) is the exact right color for a split-tone system that can go from cool to neutral to warm.

So, to answer your question, yes, we’ve been thinking right along the same lines as you and it’s going to be in Piezography Pro. We are also developing an industry-leading new Matte Black carbon ink that is darker than the old Portfolio Black ink (that had dye in it) and darker than all current new MK inks on the market from all leading OEM brands. This will be available in Pro as well.

cheers,
Walker


#18

Thanks, Walker. Piezography Pro sounds great! My 9880 is presently loaded with perfectly good K7 Warm Neutral ink, though, so I was hoping to add another two or three shades of K7 and use it up. Once it is gone, I look forward to Piezography Pro. Any suggestions until then?

Ricardo