MK vs. PK in Special Edition Inkset


#1

I’m trying to reconcile the differences between printing with Spec Ed on Cone Type 2 (matte) vs. Type 5 (gloss) paper. I would have expected similar toning between the two, but instead see that the glossy prints are much, much warmer than the matte print. Looking at the ink set description on the Piezography website, I see:

Special Edition inks
Shade 1 = Piezography K7 shade 1 black
Shade 2 = Carbon shade 2
Shade 3 = 75% Carbon Shade 3 and 25% Selenium Shade 3
Shade 4 = 50% Carbon Shade 4 and 50% Selenium Shade 4
Shade 5 = Selenium shade 5
Shade 6 = Neutral shade 6
Shade 7 = Neutral shade 7

But on the Inkjet Mall ink set description says:

Special Edition inks recipe as provided in the set:
Shade 1 = Piezography Neutral shade 1 for matte or Warm Neutral shade 1 for glossy
Shade 2 = Carbon shade 2
Shade 3 = 75% Carbon Shade 3 and 25% Selenium Shade 3
Shade 4 = 50% Carbon Shade 4 and 50% Selenium Shade 4
Shade 5 = Selenium shade 5
Shade 6 = Neutral shade 6
Shade 7 = Neutral shade 7

Does anyone know why PK became “Warm Neutral” instead of “Neutral”. Would replacing the PK Warm Neutral with PK Neutral create gloss prints on Type 5 to look more like matte prints on Type 2 paper?


#2

[QUOTE=jim.bartel;13041]I’m trying to reconcile the differences between printing with Spec Ed on Cone Type 2 (matte) vs. Type 5 (gloss) paper. I would have expected similar toning between the two, but instead see that the glossy prints are much, much warmer than the matte print.[/QUOTE]

I’m glad someone else has said this! That’s certainly my view too. I really like the Spec Ed effect on matte, because it’s rather subtle but still noticeable, but find it way too warm on most of the gloss papers that I use. (See Dana’s view here and my view two posts later here and in a number of other posts.)

The shade 1 for glossy / semi-gloss papers has been reformulated and renamed a number of times over recent years, but that’s not the cause of what you see. Shade 1 gets very little use in most K7 curves and as I understand it is fairly close to neutral. The warmth that you’re seeing is from shades 2 and 3. Probably mostly shade 2. Spec Ed is warm on glossy papers. You either like it or not.


#3

Hi Brian. Thanks for the reply. Following on the thread you sent, I see you’ve been experimenting with different inks combinations for shades 2 and possibly 3. Have you settled on a combination you like on glossy papers?


#4

Oops, hit send too soon… I can see now how image structure and the greater d-max of gloss paper has an impact on the dark tone inks. I’m new to Piezography probably should have first purchased the sample print set. I have now (first arrived yesterday) and can see the full range of the ink sets offered. I don’t dislike Spec Ed. on gloss paper, but it would be of limited use for my photography.


#5

I hesitated to refer to that thread because it is in some ways outdated and doesn’t contain the best statement of my views, but it has that post of Dana’s in which she compared the various inksets. No, I never got to the point of mixing inks. It was just more trouble than I wanted in order to be able to print.

It’s not clear what printer you’re using. I print Piezo on an R1900 and what I can do in order to print on gloss / baryta is remove shades 2-5 and put in neutral 2-5, as the other shades are the same. (If I was printing with K7 rather than P2 then I’d also have to swap matte shade 1 for glossy). However if you use a printer with ink lines and (R3000, 3880, P600, or larger) dampers then that can’t be done so easily and cheaply.

The other option for gloss (and this is a bit heretical on this forum) is to print gloss / baryta on my OEM 3880 using QTR and I have a recipe of blended curves that simulates on gloss / baryta the Spec Ed effect on matte. But TBH, I mostly print monochrome on matte, partly because I prefer it, and party so as to be able to use Piezography.

I’ve seen the sample prints, and I don’t think that they are a great leap forward in understanding the differences between the inksets, partly due to the image and partly the small print size, but they are better than nothing I guess.


#6

The history of the PK ink is a bit convoluted.

Originally Selenium 1 was the default PK ink and then IJM developed a new ink (Warm Neutral 1) which was a 100% carbon “opaque black” ink for dig-negs (original “PZDN” system). Quickly it became evident that WN1 was a better gloss/dmax than Selenium 1 and the switch was made for WN1 to become the default.

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Similar things have happened on the Matte Black side and added to this complexity is our new HD black inks (UltraHD-MK and HD-PK) that we now offer master Piezography curves for as a drop-in replacement to the old ones.

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That’s the [I]recent [/I]history.

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Long story short we offer 4 black inks for Piezography

The originals:

a. [B]Piezography Photo Black[/B] (originally known as WN1 but changed to just Piezography Photo Black in late 2015) which says “Opaque Black” in small letters on the label.

b. [B]Piezography Matte Black[/B] (originally known as Neutral Shade 1 but changed the name to Piezography Matte Black in late 2015)

The new ones (don’t worry the originals will be available for a long long time if not forever):

c. [B]Piezography UltraHD-MK[/B] (this is a freakishly dark 100% carbon matte black that is part of the pro inkset but compatible with K7 that gets to dMax of 1.85 on some papers. This can be a drop-in replacement to the original MK and you can just re-linearize whichever curve you primarily use for printing. It’s incredibly expensive to make and we are working on batch #2.)

d. [B]Piezography HD-PK[/B] (This is also an incredibly dark Photo Black and it requires a new master curve that correctly compensates for how extra glossy this black is compared to the other “legacy” K7 piezography shades in the printer.)


#7

Thank you Brian and Walter. In the end, instead of going with the Neutral inks for glossy and Spec Ed. inks for matte, I decided to purchase the Pro ink set in place of Neutral. I think it will give me a little more flexibility, ease of use, and the system seems to have some advancements over the static shades. In hind sight, I probably should have waited and just ordered the Pro set initially. Not sure I’ll use up all the Spec Ed. ink I bought a couple weeks ago.