General / Philosophical Question Regarding Piezography Curves



Dana, Jon,

I’m a couple weeks into my exploration of Piezography using the Warm Neutral K7 inkset on my Epson 3880. After a hundred-odd prints, on a number of different papers, both glossy and matte, I am deeply impressed with the tonality and richness I am seeing. I am loving Piezography!

My question is regarding curves in general… why are there so few, especially relative to the number of inksets you sell? Certainly the major paper [I]types[/I] - though not specific papers themselves - are covered, such that one can choose a curve that is “close.” But that seems like a less than ideal approach, particularly given that Piezography’s benefit - its competitive advantage, if you will - lies in subtlety and nuance.

I’ve installed all the curves included in the QTR download, the glossy curve library, along with a handful of others that I’ve found scattered throughout the forum here. Yet I don’t see a single glossy curve specific to my inkset (Warm Neutral). The Selenium and MPS curves have worked great, but I’m left wondering if I would have even better results with a curve specific to my inkset. Broadly, I would expect best results with a curve specific to each ink on each paper. Am I incorrect in that? And if so, why are there, using Canson’s [I]Baryta Photographique[/I] as an example, separate curves for Selenium and Carbon inksets ([I]3800-SEL-CanBarytaPhoto[/I] and [I]3880-CAR-CANbaryta[/I])?

All this is circling around my larger question… what difference, if any, would I see in a (theoretical) Warm Neutral curve for, say, [I]Canson Platine Rag[/I] versus the (existing) Selenium curve for that paper? Do I need to consider buying custom curves?

Finally, if I do purchase custom curves, are ICC profiles (for soft proofing) included?

Thanks again for a wonderful product. I haven’t enjoyed printing this much in a long time… :wink:



I am glad that you are loving Piezography. I will try and answer your questions.

With K7 we find that one curve handles all of the five ink sets. We did not attempt to profile each ink set individually because we did not feel it was necessary. When we went to Piezography2 which is a K6 system on LF printers, we did find that with only 6 overlaps and with the slight differences in L values in the five ink sets - that profiling the separate K6 ink systems on the LF printers offered some benefits. I think that our regular library of curves will work fine for your 3880.

We will assume that your system is dead linear or near linear. If not - then you will benefit from custom.

As print heads age, the reliability of their producing micro dots decreases. The volume of ink that prints at each dot location begins to change as fewer and fewer micro dots are formed and in their place are larger dots. Epson documented this quite well on their DX3 heads. They published a life expectancy droplet count. Partly this is due to the piezo function of the print head. That which changes shape and ejects ink wears out. In the case of an older printer - there probably is a very good reason to custom profile it. It rejuvenates the system prolonging head replacements.

When you have a custom curve made. You would need to print the ICC target with the custom curve. Otherwise we would be making an ICC from the un-profiled data. SO we can not offer ICCs with a custom curve.

Hope this answers the question.




Thanks, Jon. Your explanation is very helpful.

Part of why I was asking is because I am so smitten by the results with my Warm Neutral inkset that I’m already thinking of trying others. Selenium and Special Edition both look very interesting. And I definitely want to try Carbon at some point. I may end up buying a second 3880 just so I can have two inksets running at the same time.

Thanks again for a terrific product…




The new Piezography PRO is going to be a very exciting product in the 3880. It allows installing two quad black ink sets (we recommend Carbon and Selenium) into the 3880 controlled by two sets of curves - allowing you to choose only one curve to print only Carbon or only Selenium. Or you can choose two curves and blend the two ink sets together in ratios of 1% - 100%. Or you can choose two curves and split between the two ink sets separately or concurrently in the shadows, mid tone and highlights.

These curves are characteristically Piezography with long back slopes and no visible dot is present in the print. It’s a very expressive system. Blending the two inks sets covers a large range of possible tones. Blending and splitting allows millions of possible combinations. So its incredibly subtle with a range from very warm to very cold. You can even make a neutral with it as Carbon and Selenium do balance one another out… Neutral is arguable in eyes over 30 years… so it will be in the eye of the beholder… But I do recommend it if you get a second printer. You can go between WN and SEL. But the Carbon extends the range of warmth.




Piezography Pro sounds very intriguing, Jon. I’d love to have Carbon and Selenium simultaneously at-the-ready (in addition to the Warm Neutral I’m already using… I have yet to see anything that dissuades me from the viewpoint that it is probably the best all-around inkset when considering a broad range of subjects.). And being able to blend Carbon and Selenium in software, rather than blending inks, would be very cool! (Not to mention being much more easily repeated…).

Have any idea when it will be released?