I just wanted to report back on my experience so far with Selenium K7. I purchased the matte set only, with the idea that if I ever want to go with gloss, I'd probably want to buy a larger bottle of GO than what comes with the original kit. Therefore, my experience is with matte on EEM and HPR. While I can’t say “WOW!” like IJM would like me to, I can definitely say there are improvements that cannot be achieved with K3 inks.
Before I took the plunge, I was told that piezography was able to reveal shadow detail much better. I wasn’t aware of the benefits in all tonal ranges. I now see that piezography reveals details throughout all tonal ranges better than either QTR-K3 or ABW.
My original test print I had a couple of piezographers do for me I now realize was a very poor candidate for piezography because there wasn’t the smooth tonal range. I just printed an image of the “Queen of Oak Bay”, one of our local ferries in dry dock. The first obvious difference was that the QTR-K3 print crushed most of the detail in the shadows. Many of the really dark portions of the QTR-K3 print were much lighter in the Sel-K7 print, with only a few really dark portions.
I was not expecting the next difference, which did “wow” me. There were some darker streaks in the lighter tones of the clouds that were revealed in the Sel-K7 print, but were not present in the QTR-K3 print. It seems that QTR-K3 was unable to show that particular shade, so it had to choose to go lighter or darker. It went with lighter, so it missed some of the dark streaks entirely. Overall, in the cloud region of the piezography print, I could easily perceive 4-5 distinct shades from the very white to the mid-tones. Even the very white tones in the clouds had ink on them. In the QTR-K3 print, I could only perceive 2, maybe 3 distinct shades. No brilliant whites. For QTR-K3 to print the lighter shades, it would have to dither the dots farther apart, or blend colours. I don’t think it was able to do this, so many parts of the QTR-K3 cloud region looked flat.
I don’t recall reading much or anything about mid-tone details in piezography. Also, when IJM refers to details, I was thinking “minute” details, not “macro” details like what I observed in the mid-tones. It’s these macro details that really surprised me.
Sorry of this post is a little long, but I wanted to share my observations that might have helped me choose to get into piezography.