Mixing quadtone inks

Started Aug 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,551
Two-shade "quadtone"

Interesting little thing here.

I seem to recall back 11 or 12 years ago when I had a couple of Epson 1160 wide format printers that the one set up for BW printing with MIS inks used 4 separate shades. At least that was my impression.

In an attempt to match the right shade with the right color, I ran a simple DESATURATION in Photoshop on the standard MIS 4-Color Purge sheet. This sheet is designed for purging each cartridge individually with pure CYMK tones.

Here are the results:

Although I have understood that some colors produce the same shade, it is amazing that all these years it never clicked with me all three of these particular and distinct color had exactly the same value in greyscale.

Rourke talked about using the 2-tone ink configuration in the 4-color Workforce series, but I didn't understand why until I saw this. And it does show why a printer which excels with black and white printing right out of the box, such as the new Canon Pro1, only comes with 2 blacks. It also illustrates why 6-color printers, such as the old Epson R200 and the Epson Photo 1400 might produce the ultimate in greyscale tones since they will enjoy three shades rather than just two using Light (or "photo") Magenta and Cyan, each having the same corresponding greytone value.

That said, two distinct shades (black plus grey in three color tanks) should be more than capable of producing far superior results than just black alone, especially since the printer can "mix" the tones using all three of the color tanks despite being the same shade. That, coupled with using dye inks rather than pigments, should allow the Workforce WF-7510 to produce stunning glossy prints, which is my goal. (By the way, with a current instant rebate, that printer is only $179 right now, an absolute bargain for a wide format printer which ALSO features a wide format 11x17 scanner, plus copying and faxing. The use of dye inks will enjoy the bonus of allowing it to truly serve as a multi-function office printer since, unlike the pigment inks, the dyes can be used on virtually any type of paper, including standard copy paper.)

So, I will go with the 2-tone configuration rather than 4 distinct shades. My only question remaining is whether to add any magenta to the mix as Rourke talks about.

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