BW with Canon dye printers

Started Mar 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
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ddushko
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BW with Canon dye printers
Mar 7, 2011

I am using a very old PIXMA iP8500 and am still very happy with it. Recently I have read the instructions posted by zone8 ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1003&message=33148491&changemode=1 , http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm ), on how to print BW with Epson printers using only the black ink tank. I have tried to do something similar with my printer (8xBCI6 OEM dye inks), and make it print using only the black cartridge. According to some instructions I have found in the net (but for one of the Multipurpose Canon printers), one can make the thing use the black cartridge only, if:

1. The media is set to Plain Paper (similar to the zone8 instructions for Epson).
2. The borderless printing is OFF.
3. The double side printing is OFF.
4. Quality is set manually to high.
5. Diffusion.

So, I have fulfilled these requirements in all test print jobs. According to this Canon guide, it is irrelevant whether the grayscale option is ON or OFF in the printer driver, if the file is already grayscale. I have used the BW test Print Image from Northlight Images ( http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/digital_black_white.html ), printing with Qimage to Canon PPP, Epson PGPP, Plain Paper, and a no name paper (produced by Hahnemuehle 210 g/m2). I was printing with CM turned completely OFF, as for printing test targets, then letting the printer manage the colors, and finally using some custom profiles (Spyder3Print) and letting Qimage to do the CM. Generally, what I get looks strange to me. I will explain in details the results with CM OFF, but they are very similar to the ones with the custom profiles. The print looks very good from the resolution point of view. The tones from 0, 0, 0 to 1/3rd of the range, look OK. Then the midtones have a clear red tint, and the light 1/3rd part of the tones looks better (less red). The transition between the part with the red tint and the "neutral" looking parts is smooth, but clearly visible. I am wondering if the effect I see, has something to do with the properties of the BCI6 BK ink, or whether the printer is simply not using the black cartridge solely. The reason that I am suspicious to the properties of the BCI6BK ink is, that I have an old photo (color, on Canon PPP with OEM inks) hanging on the wall uncovered since 2 or 3 years. The colors have faded away considerably, but it seems that the overall look is retained. The part of the photo below the Tesa film I used to put it on the wall, is still black. The surroundings show a clearly visible red tint in what has been black before, similar to the midtones in my test prints.

So, after this relatively long story, is there a way to check or to make sure that the printer is using only the black cartridge? Is there a guide, how to print BW with the Cannon BCI6 inks, that I have not been able to find?

Thanks in advance!!!

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