Greyscale inks

Started Jul 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Thomas Mitchell
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Greyscale inks
Jul 29, 2012

I used MIS quadtone inks on an Epson 1160 large format printer way back in 2000. Loved the results. Of course, no glossy papers back in those days.

I've missed BW printing. Although my 1400 can achieve neutral tones with Zone8's method, I'm just still not sold on it, detail-wise. After all, it's intended for plain paper and, I am assuming, is printing at a pretty low dpi.

Anyway, I've recently acquired a second 1400 printer. Had clogged nozzles, so I got it for a song and unclogged them. I'd like to convert it for dedicated BW printing. However, I'm interested in using a method which may be unconventional.

First, I want a dye-based printer. I don't like having to choose between glossy or matte, as seems to be the case with the MIS inksets. And second, I'm not terribly interested in archival quality. If a print lasts a few years before fading, then great.

My idea is to use standard Epson (non-oem) dye ink and dilute it with MIS's clear ink base, designed for "ink tinting". That is, dilute yellow to 15%, cyan to 60%, and so forth. Like my color 1400, I'll be using a continuous flow system.

The question is this, then: what would be a good workflow for printing? I am aware of several options:

1 - Print directly with the Epson driver.

2 - Print with the Epson driver but "mix" the colors as necessary for fine-tuning.

3 - Print with QuadtoneRip.

4 - Use the MIS/Photoshop quadtone workflow (which I now understand may be obsolete... it's how we did it in the "old days")

I've used Method #1 some years ago with an R200 and MIS Ultratone inks. Worked quite well. Not perfectly, but certainly fuss-free and with extremely high detail levels and tonal gradations.

Method #2 seems the most appealing to me. Seems logical that I could fine-tune each ink level and get a good balance using standard greyscale test strips. And it might allow me to address how inks overlap to produce darker shades.

Anyway, any ideas?

Thank you

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