Mono man­ual PER­FECT Prints

It’s only black-and-white, so why is it so dif­fi­cult to get neu­tral-toned prints?

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Colour inks don’t lend them­selves to black-and­white. They can work in com­bi­na­tion to pro­duce a near­black tone which will look per­fectly neu­tral in a colour print, but when the whole im­age is mono­chrome even the slight­est shift away from true black (or grey) be­comes ob­vi­ous. It’s tempt­ing to think that printer pro­fil­ing soft­ware should sort this out, but the chemical in­ter­ac­tions be­tween dif­fer­ent coloured inks and the paper coat­ings are very com­plex and hard to cor­rect. The plain fact is that you need a printer equipped with grey inks as well as colour ones.

Your printer soft­ware may of­fer the choice of print­ing in black-and­white, but that doesn’t mean you will get neutraltoned ex­hi­bi­tion-qual­ity prints. ‘Am­a­teur’ print­ers are geared up for colour, not black-and-white.

The right-hand shot is the kind of ef­fect you can ex­pect to see. The colour inks in this ex­am­ple have pro­duced a ma­genta tinge that’s par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able in the mid­tones. Com­pare this with the neu­tral ver­sion on the left.

This is why it’s worth spend­ing ex­tra for a high-end printer like the Ep­son R3000. They’re more com­plex to run be­cause of the additional ‘grey’ inks, but it’s the only way to do jus­tice to your black-and­white im­ages.

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