Loss of density of shade #2


I converted an Epson 3880 for digital negatives (meth.3) with Piezography Warm Neutral Inks . (I made myself the 2.5 and 4.5 mix)

Flushing and switching inks ran without problem following the manual. After be sure there was no more color staining, I began my calibration process and was quickly able to make some very nice and smooth negatives for silver print. The results are really good.

After 2 days whiteout printing, I printed a negative and discover it had no more enough density to reach the paper white on silver print. I then printed the Inkseparation from QTR and compared with another one printed 2 days before. Every channel had the same density except for the #2 channel (Cyan). I heard it could happens and printed a few sheets with cyan only, the density increased and came back to the original one. I also ran a power clean just to be sure.

I started printing again (every day), everything ran good for a few days until the #2 channel density changed again. I purged the channel again. I also cleaned the wiper blade, capping station and bottom of the print-head every time I purged the #2 channel. After a few days, same problem, same solution, I hopped it was the last time but it happened again some days after and today again.

I now print for more than 3 weeks with the system on a daily basis and it seems that the #2 channel is still not stable. Do you have an idea on this problem?

Please let me know if you need further informations

Best regards,

It happened again today after only 24hours without printing.

Here is what I have to do before almost every print session :

Please take a screen shot of the shade 2 bottle front and back and post it to us. This is really most unusual.

Here are 2 pics of the bottle.

I can also see a blue color in the bottle after gently shaking :

This one is too difficult to troubleshoot. We have never seen anything like this before. You have a bonafide lot# without issues - but are experiencing such a strange behavior. We will USPS you a new bottle of ink. You should empty your existing cartridge and fill it with this batch. If the trouble persists - change printers! Your 3800 printer must be very old by now. Maybe only requiring new filter dampers - but possibly more.

I remember that you started off by buying Piezography inks from an unauthorized source and those inks were very out-dated. I do not know if that had some affect on your printer or the ink damper in the Cyan position.

If this remedies it - I can’t really imagine what happened to your bottle of ink. But, it will be good news. I know you have been through the wringer already.


Thanks for your offer,

For info :

I had some problems before with an old 3800 but this is another one, a 3880.

I bought this 3880 new for one year now, I only used OEM inks before Piezography inks with it and it worked perfectly. This printer never touched the old inks that I bought from this unauthorised dealer. The cartridges are new too. I’m really sure everything was done properly from the beginning with this printer.

This has been discussed recently:

Hello there,

The new bottle of shade 2 crossed the see.

I installed the ink in a new cartridge. I also done a new mix of shade 2.5 and purged the two channels.

The density of the negatives changed with the new shade 2 : I can reach the paper white on Ilford IV FB with the 1.4 curve, I had to use the 1.8 curve before!
The 21 steps wedge I printed seems to be good in both the shadows and highlights, I will measure it tomorrow.

I only installed the new ink for 3 days now but I did not notice any loss of density so far.

I will let you know

Thanks for the update. I’m glad to hear things are looking good so far, and I hope they continue that way. Please do keep us posted!

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hello there,

After more than a week of printing and 2 days off, the density of the channel #2 stayed the same every day. :slight_smile: The old ink was definitely faulty.

I am now wondering if the system work properly or if the other inks are ok too because of a few things :

-Since the beginning, I have to set a dying time of 4s between each pass to avoid a splattered look of the negative on Pictorico.
-The system is far from linear without a strong curve in the highlights (shadows on negative). I attached a screenshot of a correction curve for the 1.4 profile on ILFORD Fiber MG.
-the negatives are softer than the ones I printed with OEM inks.

This is how a sheet of Epson Premium Glossy paper looks like out of the printer whithout dying time (21 stepwedge / 1.8 curve / QTR print tool) :

This is the same behavior on Pictorico OHP.

I didn’t read anything on the Piezzography manual about setting a long dying time to have a correct result.

Setting a dying time of 4s avoid this dirty look but I find that the sharpness is not very good compared to the negatives I made with Epson inks.

Does the other users of the Digital Negative system have to deal with that problem or am I the only one? Is it a normal behavior??

This is not normal at all, and I would like to review your workflow. You should NOT have to apply an adjustment curve or slow the drying time, the Piezography system is specially designed to produce optimal and linear results with curves as they are, without any adjustment.

What is your development process, are you using digital negatives to make Silver, Platinum, or ?
Are you printing from Mac or Windows?
What operating system version?
What version of QuadTone RIP are you using?
If Mac, are you printing from QTR Print Tool, Photoshop, LightRoom, or?
Please send me screen captures of your print windows for me to review.

Please let me know so I can help resolve this issue and get you back to happily printing.
Best regards~ Dana

Thanks for your answer.

I print from QTR Print Tool (1.1.0) on Mac os 10.7.4 (I was previously on 10.8.3 with the same results). QTR is the 2.7.5 version.

I print for Silver on Ilford Fiber Multigrade IV (with Kodak Dektol or Adox Konstant develloper), my devellopment process (temperature and time) is always the same.

Here are some screen captures of my workflow.

Some others informations :

I tried to print from windows with the same results. I also ordered a new batch of Pictorico OHP, it didn’t change anything.

I see you have the Quad 3880 selected, and you should be selecting the Quad3880-K7, though you’re using the correct curve for P2M-PZDN. Since you bought your Piezography system from one of our reseller, I can’t review your order history to see exactly what you’re using, so please check the top chart on the following page, and let me know how your printer is set up: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?171-Piezography-K7-P2-and-Digital-Negative-charts

Thanks~ Dana

Thanks for your help Dana,

My printer set up is :

K – Flush
C --#2
LC – #3
M – Flush
LM – #5
LK – Flush
Y – #2.5
LLK – #4.5

All inks are Warm Neutral. I use the P2M-PZDN… curves.

I was not aware that I should select the Quad3880-K7, I will give a try.

I installed the QUAD 3880-K7 and and P2M-PZDN curves and tried to print with it from QTR.
I have always the same results… the inks still need a long dying time to dry.

Please let me know if you need further informations to find a solution or if I can try anything else.

Thanks for the additional information.

Your originally wrote because you were experiencing a problem with the shade #2 ink losing density over a few days, which was fixed with the new ink we sent. In that first message, you said you were able to print some really nice negatives and everything was working well (making me think this is a new problem?) Have you been having this over-inking problem since the beginning, or did this start after installing the new shade #2 ink (or at a different point)?

What Pictorico film are you using for printing Piezography digital negatives?

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana

François. It is interesting to see your experiences and difficulties with meth 3 piezo digital negs. I am also trying to make negatives using this system and the same warm neutral inks for silver and platinum prints. I was getting a good result a little over a month ago and now the system has crashed again. I am being very careful to make sure that each cart is filled correctly. I am also finding that the density of my highlights are fluctuating or not printing dark enough leading to an awful solarized look. It seems things are very inconsistent.

Hi Jarvman~

What are the lot#'s and expiration dates of your Piezography Warm-Neutral inks?
How often do you shake ink carts and use the printer vs. how long does the printer sit unused?

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana