Universal pigment black for MK and PK black?


#1

I honestly don’t see much difference between the MK and PK black on the papers I use, especially if the GO is applied later.

However, more annoying is the damn Epson PK to MK switchover that can sometimes mistakenly be applied during use of QTR where Matte Ink is selected over Photo Black having come off a “locked” profile previously made in Qimage using a PK black. So the printer does a wasteful ink switch and then I have to go back to the other ink once it completes the unwanted switch. Sometimes ending the life of the maintenance tank too in the process. Can’t stop it once it starts, or so I’ve learned.

Is there a pigment black ink that can be used in the MK and PK tanks [U]both[/U] instead of going through this silly/wasteful/expensive Epson PK > opps! > MK > damn it! > back to PK ink change out?

Tia.

Mack


#2

I’ve been making a lot of posts here lately, but I feel compelled to reply to this one.

I can relate to this frustration. It was why I bought a second printer, to do B&W on matte using piezo. It wasn’t that expensive (initially) as I bought an inexpensive 1400 and used K6 inks.

However once we were able to print piezo on glossy, then the same problem returned - wasting ink in the PK / MK switch.

The answer to this problem came in the form of WN shade 1 opaque photo black, which can be used on matte and gloss. There’s a slight dmax loss on matte, but it’s not something that most people notice.

So I wonder if you could use WN shade 1 opaque photo black for colour work. I’ve no idea, and it’s not something that I’ve seen mentioned, but it might be worth a try. Of course you may need custom profiles for both matte and gloss. If you’ve got the kit to create these then that makes it easier. I also don’t know whether you’ll need GO over all prints that use opaque photo black.

One downside to this approach is that the piezo inks cost a little over twice as much. So you’re paying double for your black ink shade in order to save all those head cleans and wastage across all channels. I guess you need to estimate which is better.


#3

Thanks Brian.

Do you mean this black? http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/it.A/id.6108/.f?sc=15&category=60906

I can see what you mean on the cost at $50/bottle it would cost $100+ to fill the two refill carts. The advantage would be getting rid worrying and wasting in the PK>MK>PK>Maintenance Tank (maybe) switch. I don’t know if tossing in MK into both PK & MK tanks would work, even using GO to assist in the gloss if MK is truly matte, or PK ink into both tanks?

I do have a i1 PhotoPro 2 and a ColorMunki both so profiling isn’t an issue. Just the Epson silly ink switch is annoying as heck at times, even in some nozzle check where it departs from the computer driven profile and the printer does it’s own switch thing as a stand-alone.

Dunno…

Mack


#4

Yes, that’s the ink. You can see Tyler Boley’s review at the bottom of the page, although that was for piezo work.

It would be useful to hear from Dana or Jon whether this is a good idea or silly idea. If you’re looking to use it in a desktop printer with carts on the print head then it’s not a costly experiment to try it out. If you have a printer with larger carts not on the print head and with ink lines (3000, 38x00 and larger) then it’s an expensive experiment to try just on a fleeting idea of mine.

I did some mental arithmetic last night, and for the typical printer that I use, I’d need to do a lot of switching to justify the extra cost of the ink. But I guess the same argument would apply to buying a second printer, which is what I did.


#5

I had an afterthought. You don’t need to fill both the MK and PK carts with this ink, only one of them. Let’s say you fill PK and leave the MK cart with the existing MK ink. Then to avoid doing the MK/PK switch head clean, you always tell the printer that you’re printing on gloss / semigloss paper, even when you’re printing on matte. This won’t matter so long as you’re using your own profiles. I think the paper type selection only matters if you let the Epson driver manage colour (heaven forbid!). So you could even put flush solution in the MK cart, since you’re never going to print with it

If you were to fill both MK and PK carts with WN shade 1 opaque photo black and changed paper type I think you’ll trigger a head clean of some sort.

Of course this is all irrelevant if there’s some reason why you shouldn’t use WN shade 1 opaque photo black with the other ConeColor inks.


#6

I think you’re right that you get the head clean on the switch, but if it was in error and one needs to go back again, then it is actually two cleanings/flushes to return to what I wanted.

Example: Printer turned on shows “Photo Black.” I call up the Epson driver for a nozzle check, or maybe Qimage Ultimate to do an unclog pattern, and it may default to “Matte Black” if that was what was saved prior. However, I wanted “Photo Black” but the software called up “Matte” so it switches. The paper might be a glossy that I wanted to use the original Photo Black with, but now I have to go from PK>MK> and now back again to PK. If I don’t catch what QTR says for ink to, that may call up an ink switch with its own driver. Maddening!

There must be some ink that can cover both if GO can make it glossy (I can run it through another printer that has the GO in it, and not the pigment printer above.). If it switches by operator error or accident, it can remain on Matte Black and go ahead and print and not bother with switching back to PK again. That and maybe having the now full maintenance tank lock out the printer entirely.

Mack


#7

I see your point. In that case I’d either fill both tanks, to save having to switch back, or avoid using Qimage for purge patterns. I Use QTR. Or perhaps have the printer off or disconnected until Qimage is setup and ready. Or …

You’ve got a 3880, right? That’s a lot of ink to use to try out what is just a hunch of mine.


#8

A question for you Mack: Are you [U]always[/U] using photo paper? If so, you could just put photo black into your MK cart. Then it won’t matter what “mode” is selected; PK will always print.

I’m curious why people who buy a second printer tend to put flush into their unused channel. I guess the idea is that the unused channel is just that: unused, and thus the ink may go stale in the lines. But if your problem is common, the switch-over will prevent this.

Just my thoughts :slight_smile:


#9

Yes, I have two 3880’s and four others, but the two 3880’s are the main ones I use the most for prints.

I switch papers a lot. I have seven 17" rolls by me now and a stack of Red River, Inkpress in 17"x25" boxes (I prefer to cut the 17" rolls to 25.5" inches as that fits the 24x36mm format perfectly and no cropping.). Problem is some take MK and some take PK, but sometimes I don’ see a visible difference in the two blacks either. Depending on the printer, software, driver, ink type (OEM, Cone Pigment, K7, or Dye), and stored profiles, mistakes happen and if it switches, I have to go back yet again (i.e. “I wanted PK, but an accidental switch occurred, so I have to go back.”) so the “accident” was a wasteful two-flush switch.

That’s why the question if one black ink can serve both MK & PK providing I can do a GO coating for some black ink that could be used in both tanks if it is a gloss or bronzing issue, as well as do a profile to address any dMax issues doing so.

Imho, Epson really bites for that wasteful PK>MK switch as well as ink drying out in the other line at times, but they may like ink sales from doing so more too. Should have had another nozzle set for it and maybe a small sputter of the other while printing just to keep the flow going.

Mack


#10

Hi Mack~

In my tests, ConeColor Pro PK is glossier and darker on gloss and semi-gloss papers than CCP MK. I tested several different black inks on both rag and glossy papers, evaluating the gloss results with and without Gloss Overprint. All inks were tested individually by printing the Ink Separation image thru QTR Calibration Mode (not by printing regular images and changing the black, which would also use other inks in combination with black). I Used our Type 5 paper for the gloss tests, and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag for the rag tests.
The results show that ConeColor Pro PK measures about 1.638 on HPR compared to 1.674 with CCP MK (both are visually very dark). On gloss paper [U]without[/U] GO, PK measures about 2.107 (and is visually very glossy), compared to 2.082 with MK (visually glossy, but not as much as PK). [U]With[/U] GO, PK measures about 2.371 (visually very glossy), compared to 2.269 with MK (visually slightly glossy). Piezography Warm-Neutral (AKA “Opaque Black”) measured about 1.583 on Photo Rag (is visually not as dark as CCP MK or PK), 2.341 on Type 5 paper [U]with[/U] GO (visually very glossy), and 2.034 [U]without[/U] GO (also visually very glossy). Although this test is only evaluating the black inks on their own, and not in “real world” printing applications with other inks, and certainly the other inks can effect the black, I would suggest using ConeColor Pro PK if you wish to use one black on both matte and gloss papers.

As Brian already pointed out, you can print targets with a semi-gloss Media Type Setting (so the printer uses the PK ink), and use the PK on both gloss and non-gloss media as long as you’re making your own profiles. In this case, you could install PiezoFlush in the MK channel to keep it moist + in good working condition, in case you want to use it in the future.

I hope this helps.
Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


#11

Those numbers are helpful, Dana. It’s interesting and a little surprising that WN Opaque shade 1 has lower dmax than CCP PK. It sounds like PK would be the best option for mack so long his testing doesn’t indicate an unacceptable dmax loss on matte. This could be tested now, by printing a calibration chart on a matte paper using PK, creating an ICC profile (which may help “compensate” a little for using the “wrong” black), and running a print on with PK on matte and comparing it to the same print with MK on matte.

Reading this thread again there was one question I missed. You can use QTR to print purge patterns without fear of triggering a head clean. QTR is a RIP, and interacts with the printer directly without using the Epson driver. In QTR there is a matte / photo paper switch, but as I understand it this does nothing for recent printers. For some very old printers it had some effect on the paper feed. Of course QTR doesn’t have the pulsating purge patterns that recent versions of Qimage has. You could create your own, but I’m not convinced that it does anything much and I wonder if it’s just a gimmick. But then I haven’t had to deal with a genuine clog for a while; I’ve been printing purge patterns to deal with leaks and bleeds.


#12

Yes, I feel CCP PK would be the best black ink for Mack’s purposes.

QuadTone RIP has a “black ink” setting, where you can select PK, MK or “installed”. When printing to a printer with two black channels, such as the 3800/3880, I select “installed” and manually keep track of the black mode the printer is in, and papers/curves used. If the printer is in one mode, and the opposite is selected in the QTR driver, it will prompt a black ink change, so make sure to either select the black ink mode the printer is in, or “installed” is safe to avoid an accidental black ink change.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


#13

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5897]QuadTone RIP has a “black ink” setting, where you can select PK, MK or “installed”.[/QUOTE]

I stand corrected. I’d never really noticed that setting, presumably because it’s greyed out on printers that don’t have switchable blacks.


#14

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5877]
In my tests, ConeColor Pro PK is glossier and darker on gloss and semi-gloss papers than CCP MK. I tested several different black inks on both rag and glossy papers, evaluating the gloss results with and without Gloss Overprint. All inks were tested individually by printing the Ink Separation image thru QTR Calibration Mode (not by printing regular images and changing the black, which would also use other inks in combination with black). I Used our Type 5 paper for the gloss tests, and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag for the rag tests.
The results show that ConeColor Pro PK measures about 1.638 on HPR compared to 1.674 with CCP MK (both are visually very dark). On gloss paper [U]without[/U] GO, PK measures about 2.107 (and is visually very glossy), compared to 2.082 with MK (visually glossy, but not as much as PK). [U]With[/U] GO, PK measures about 2.371 (visually very glossy), compared to 2.269 with MK (visually slightly glossy). Piezography Warm-Neutral (AKA “Opaque Black”) measured about 1.583 on Photo Rag (is visually not as dark as CCP MK or PK), 2.341 on Type 5 paper [U]with[/U] GO (visually very glossy), and 2.034 [U]without[/U] GO (also visually very glossy). Although this test is only evaluating the black inks on their own, and not in “real world” printing applications with other inks, and certainly the other inks can effect the black, I would suggest using ConeColor Pro PK if you wish to use one black on both matte and gloss papers. [/QUOTE]

Looking at these numbers again, the one that’s missing is matte shade 1 on HPR. Do you have a comparable number for this combination to complete the set?

By way of comparison, I checked the values produced by my R1900 using Opaque Black on HPR, and the values for black that I measure from the 21x4 calibration print were 1.451, 1.649, 1.641, 1.633, which are mostly higher than what you measured.

[I know that this is a thread about colour inks, and so a strange place to be asking about piezo shade 1 on matte, but it’s the only place that I’ve found where all these numbers come together in one spot.)

Edit: I realised that the 21X4 chart is not just the opaque back - since we’re not in calibration mode it also includes other shades, hence the higher dmax I guess. If I want to measure dMax of just that ink on my system I’ll need to print 100% black in calibration more. But my question about whether you have a comparison still stands.