Spattered/Blotchy Shadows w/ PZDN-X900 Method 3 curves

pzdn
digneg
digitalnegative

#1

I am using an Epson 4900 configured with a full set of Selenium K7 inks including the digital negative inks. I have all ink positions filled following the documentation posted in this thread along with the QTR curves. - http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/showthread.php?639-Minimum-number-of-inks-for-making-digital-negs

However I am unable to create a decent negative using any of the Method 3 curves or the carbon curve, all of the curves cause negatives printed on Pictorico to end up with splattered/blotchy look in the highlights down to midtone region. If I use a the Method 1 curve I get a very clean smooth negative but provides too much density for printing Cyanotype, Platinum, Salt, alternative processes.

A nozzle check, head alignment, paper profile all check out and look good. Also the 10 ink separation in QTR Calibration mode prints very nice with the spatter artifacts.

PZDN K7 X900 Method 3 v2 curves
Epson 4900
Windows 8.1 Pro
QTR 2.7.5.0

MK - NU#1
PK - WN#1
LK - 6
LLK - GO
C - 2
LC - 3
VM - 4
VLM - 5
Y - 7
OR - 2.5
GR - 4.5

Also attaching scans of:
Ink Separation Test
Nozzle Pattern Check
Step Wedge Check - Method 1 Curve
Step Wedge Check - Method 3 1_4v2 Curve
Step Wedge Check - Method 3 Carbon Curve
100 Grid Step Wedge - Method 3 1_4v2 Curve


#2

Adding 100 Step Grid


#3

Thanks for giving such a detailed account for this support case! It really shortens the quest for info on our part! I greatly appreciate it.

  1. Which Pictorio film are you using?
  2. Please upload screen shots of your Mac workflow to include Print Tool and the QTR Print Window. IF using Windows - just the QTR GUI window. Make sure you have whichever you used set as you did when you printed the blotchy film.

Thanks,

Jon


#4

Greetings Jon,

I have tried with both the Pictorico Ultra Premium and Premium and get the same results. All the image attachments I have included are scans transparency positive scans on the Pictorico Premium.

I noticed that the PZDN curves for X900 support have different ink assignments compared to the X800 set of PZDN curves. Would there be a chance that the curves I am using are bad or configured incorrectly?

Cheers,
David


#5

Hi Jon,

Just wanted to follow up if there is any new information you can offer or if there is any other additional information that I could supply.

Cheers,
David


#6

Hi David~

Your settings, curves and ink shade placement all looks correct, and I’ve never seen or heard of ink puddling with any PZDN system. Although I haven’t personally used PZDN on a x900 printer, I have used it on a R2880, which uses the same curves. I checked thru our records and made a list of other x900 PZDN users, and will check in with them to gather info of their setups, and see about their results.

We’ll be in touch!!
~Dana


#7

OK, I just heard back from one customer using PZDN on his 4900, and he says it’s been working great. The only difference is this customer is printing from a Mac. He said to make sure you’re printing on the correct side of the film, because printing on the back will certainly cause the puddling results you’re getting. Do you have a different computer to try, such as an older PC or a Mac?


#8

Greetings Dana,

I could try printing from another computer but honestly feels like I am wasting another sheet of Pictorico. I have been working with printing digital negatives well over 5 years now and have been using QTR to generate them creating custom curves on my own using Epson Inks on a 4880. However, to validate and be a good sport I will connect up a different computer to the printer over USB and give that a try.

Also please note that I get excellent results and clean smooth negatives/prints from using the Method 1 Curve, which lays down way too much ink/density for Cyanotype, Gum, Salt, Gelatin Silver processes. My problem is only with the Method 3 Curves which from my understanding actually lay down less ink/density than the Method 1 Curve. All the Method 3 curves cause the spotty/blotchy/ink spatter look, but only from 100% to 40% density, depending on the curve.

Cheers,
David


#9

Thanks David. The Meth 3 curves actually have higher ink limits than the Meth 1 curve, though they both work well with our R2880 setup (and for other customers on a wide range of K3 printer models).

What other computer do you have available to test with?
Have you tried regular K7 printing on matte or rag papers? If so, how do they look? I ask because I feel like your film prints above look dark, though that’s from viewing a scan on my monitor, and viewing the actual prints in person may not look so dark.

How did you make + print the Ink Separation Print? This is not the standard QTR calibration image, so I assume you modified it (?) The LLK/GO channel should print clear, not with density that matches the LK/shade 6 position… I see it’s also printing with density in the nozzle check. When installing Piezography inks, did you do an initial fill cycle, power clean cycles, or (?) to get ink from carts to the print head?

Please let me know so I can resolve this issue and get you happily printing~ Dana


#10

Dana,

I am going to use a new Windows 8.1 PC that has never had QTR installed and start fresh instead of a PC that has had several years of QTR upgrades installed on it. I am not a Mac person :).

The Ink Seperation target is part of QTR now, it was added once official support for the x900 series printers were added by Roy. The target is installed in the bin folder of QTR. To print the target I set QTR into Calibration Mode and then load inksep10.jpg image and print.

Regular K7 prints look okay and I mentioned in another post here that I get significant micro banding on Hahnumuhle Photo Rag paper and Epson Exhibition Fiber. As far as darkness goes, I believe it is an artifact of scanning Pictorico and not making any other adjustments post scan. Prints on paper look as I would expect them to look, shadows with detail where I want and crisp middle tones.

When I print on glossy or luster papers the LLK/GO does not produce color or perceived density, when printing on the Pictorico it does generate some density because of the nature of the film inkjet coating. The nozzle check image I actually adjusted post scan to crank up the contrast and make darker to demonstrate the nozzle check pattern. Looking at the actual Pictorico it is not visible unless viewed in specific way to get light to refract on the GO solution.

This is a brand new 4900, I installed the Epson Inks, ran calibration and nozzle checks to make sure the printer is working to satisfaction and created custom paper profiles using color inks. I then filled an entire set of cartridges with PiezoFlush and flushed the entire system of Epson Ink, followed by installation of another set of new cartridges with the K7 inks and GO. Ran multiple Fill and Purge cycles using the Epson Maintenance Application along with running individual channel flush targets to make sure nothing but pure ink is running thru the system. Ran thru calibration and head alignment again to make sure everything was up to standards.

I will be able to get some new sample prints tomorrow using the a different computer.

Cheers,
David


#11

Hi Dana,

Spent some more time Sunday and today trying to resolve this problem. I put together a clean install of a Windows 8.1 system with a fresh install of QTR 2.7.5 and am still experiencing the same issues. Curves 1_4 thru 1_8 all produce a spattered look in the shadows up to 40% or so, depending on which curve.

I am completely stuck as what to try next beyond printing purge targets and see what those look like.

Cheers,
David


#12

I just completed a series of print runs on Pictorico of the X900-Purge.tif in QTR Calibration mode and each channel looks good without spray/splatter artifacts. Printed several images on Pictorico using curves other than the PZDN curves and do not have the splatter artifacts.

Cheers,
David


#13

Hi David~

Thanks for the update. I’m glad to hear your prints on regular papers with our K7-x900 curves look good, and your shadows are not blocked up like it appears in your screen captures here. Thanks for clarifying that you adjusted the images, and don’t actually have density printing from your LLK channel. I was hoping to get some results from a different OS for comparison, as I haven’t personally tested Windows 8, and don’t believe we’ve had any reports from other Digital Negative users on Windows 8 (though, I know we have a few successfully using Win 7 with PZDN, and all different Mac systems with PZDN, and have a few customers on Win 8 reporting good results with regular K7 printing, who aren’t printing negatives).

Do you mean you printed with a regular K7-x900 paper curve ON Pictorico film, and got decent (non-puddled) results? Attached is a screen capture showing a regular K7 matte and gloss curves on top, and a x900-PZDN curve on the bottom- they have very similar ink limits. I am working on email from home during our holiday vacation, so can only access the information on my laptop, and in memory from my experience, but can not do any physical testing/investigation until I return to the office next week.

Please let me know, and I will check into this more when I’m back in the office next week.
Warmly~ Dana



#14

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5803]Do you mean you printed with a regular K7-x900 paper curve ON Pictorico film, and got decent (non-puddled) results? Attached is a screen capture showing a regular K7 matte and gloss curves on top, and a x900-PZDN curve on the bottom- they have very similar ink limits. I am working on email from home during our holiday vacation, so can only access the information on my laptop, and in memory from my experience, but can not do any physical testing/investigation until I return to the office next week. [/QUOTE]

Hi Dana,
Thanks for following up during the holiday break, very much appreciated. I did some additional testing/printing and I see very consistent results.

X900-K7-EpsonVFA curve prints pretty cleanly on Epson Glossy media, Pictorico Premium, Pictorico Ultra Premium, Pictorico Pro Hi-Gloss White Film

PZDN-X900-Meth1-v2 prints excellent on Epson Glossy media, Pictorico Premium, Pictorico Ultra Premium, Pictorico Pro Hi-Gloss White Film

PZDN-X900-Meth3-1_4v2 prints with a splotchty/spattered look on Pictorico Premium, Pictorico Ultra Premium, Pictorico Pro Hi-Gloss White Film

PZDN-X900-Meth3-1_4v2 curve prints pretty cleanly on Epson Glossy media

I have ordered a new roll of Ultra Premium Pictorico to see if I happen to have gotten a bad batch of film.

Cheers,
David


#15

Thanks for the update David, this is an interesting/helpful test. Please do let us know your results when the new film arrives.

Warmly~ Dana


#16

Hi Dana,

New roll of Ultra Premium Pictorico direct from Mitsubishi arrived Friday and must have chased all the gremlins away. Dropped the new roll into the printer and as simple as that nice clean smooth gradients and negatives. Made a couple of Cyanotype prints with the negatives and very happy with the results, super easy to get negatives with desired density without days of effort tweaking QTR curves, ink limits, density readings, etc…

Both the old and new roll of Ultra have a UV density reading of 0.03 and regular Premium measured 0.01. Not sure what the real difference is but the older Ultra behaves similar to the Premium.

Is there any chance of curves being made to support both Ultra Premium and Premium?

Cheers,
David


#17

Thanks for the update David.

I’m happy to hear the blotchy issue you were experiencing has been resolved now with the new Pictorico. We developed the Piezography Digital Negative system with Pictorico Ultra-Premium OHP Film, and I don’t have experience with the regular Premium film. After reviewing the info online, I see the Ultra-Premium film can hold 25% more ink than Premium. I suspect the first roll of Ultra is incorrect, based on your results.
Due to the equipment and time needed to make DN curves, I don’t suspect we’ll offer a system for Pictorico Premium film, but possibly other/different systems in the future.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile: