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Old Feb 12, 2005, 1:00 AM   #1
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Did you ever make a print, and just stare in amazement that this thing came off your desktop? I hadn't had that experience in a while, not until about 15 minutes ago when I printed my first black and white using the Epson Stylus C86 with MIS inks.

If you've ever tried to make black and white prints with a color inkjet, you know that they have a nasty color cast. That's just the way it is when you attempt to make exacting shades of gray using color inks. MIS, an independent ink manufacturer, makes cartriges for the Epson Stylus C82, C84, and C86 that replace the cyan, magenta, and yellow positions, as well as two different black carts - one for printing on glossy photo, and a black for matte paper.

I picked up a C-86, NIB on eBay for $70 shipped. A couple days ago the inks arrived, and tonight I set it up. All I can say is WOW!

Rather than rant on about this black and white printing solution, I'll just give you some links, and say that I can fully attest to the beauty of these prints from personal experience. The C86 uses archival pigment (rather than dye based inks, and the MIS inks are likewise pigment based, so these prints will last 100 years without fading. Here are the links: http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?s...ml/bwpage.html
Excerpt:
EASY B&W Ultratone for the C82, C84 & C86 Epson Printers

In the past, computer/software skills were an important part of printing a B&W image. Now we have made B&W printing really EASY. Our new Easy B&W inks have the following advantages.... Photoshop is not required. Use any software that will print images. Adjustment curves are not required
No Workflow to learn or complicated procedures to follow
No RIP, Plug-in or ICC profile is required
Compatible with any computer that will support the printer (Mac, PC, Linux) Two inksets available, one for warm prints, one for neutral prints. Prints on matte with Eboni black, and on glossy with Photo black. At the moment, Easy B&W inks are available for the Epson C82, C84 and C86 printers. No workflow required, great for getting started with Digital B&W Printing. We hope to add more printers to the list this year. These are UltraTone inks and make fantastic archival prints on a variety of paper, both matte and glossy. Click on the UltraTone Family above for more info.

More information:
http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?source=html/qn.html


Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, but I spent quite amount of time researching quick, easy, inexpensive black and white photoprinting solutions. Hopefully someone with like interests will stumble on this, and it will save them some time or provide valuable nfo.

Nick




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Old Feb 12, 2005, 8:46 AM   #2
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Tell me when you use matte/gloss - is it a matter of the pic or how you intend to use it? And when you say that they'll last 100 years, what paper are using or how important is that? Thanks for the info. you're just a gem of knowledge and experience. Joe
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 9:46 AM   #3
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shotgunbride wrote:
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Tell me when you use matte/gloss - is it a matter of the pic or how you intend to use it? And when you say that they'll last 100 years, what paper are using or how important is that? Thanks for the info. you're just a gem of knowledge and experience. Joe
Hey Joe,

Matte/gloss is more of an aesthetic preference, I think. Black and whites just seem to look better on a slightly textured matte paper. But they look fine on glossy paper too. The photo I printed last night was on premium glossy. There are lots of exotic papers you can print on. I am not an expert on any of it, but I might pick up different types and check them out.

As far as permanence, the C-86 is one of the Epsons that use their "Durabrite" inks, which are very different than most printers out there. The inks for these printers use micro particals of pigment (think toner) suspended in solution, instead of dye. Pigments last a long time, and are much more durable than dye based inks. However, the colors are a tad duller than dye printers. In answer to your question, I think permanence has more to do with the ink in the case of pigment-based inks, and the paper matters less. I would imagine the matte paper lasts longer but that's just a guess. Any "archival" ink is pigment, rather than dye-based.

B&W printig is an art/science that gets complicated and expensive, often requiring expensive software called "RIP"... skill in Photoshop messing with profiles and curves... Screw that. This was the best solution IMO. I selected the "EZ Black and White" product from MIS along with this printer for that reason. It's "EZ". Plunk in the ink carts and print.

Around $50 to $60 for the inks (they're about $10.50 per cart. I got both matte and photo blacks...) and around $70 for the printer.

Check out the MIS Inks website (...which is experiencing technical difficulties as of 10 minutes ago. Not to worry. They're highly reputable ink supplier for the art print and commercial crowd...) if you're interested. It's a wealth of info on things black and white.

Nick
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 9:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for the link. Good site with info on paper as well.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 10:45 AM   #5
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I like the idea of a B/W set up. A good place for me to start.

Just got back from a tour of my neighborhood. I noticed bizarre spots on the LCD. Is it affected by cold? Not that I'd ever leave a camera in the elements, but I walked for about an hour, camera in hand. It's 37 degrees here, and blowing 25-30, reinforcing my need to go south this week. I avoided the beach today so as not to get sand in the camera. Back in the studio it appears to be fine.

I did some bracketing shots. I'll play with them now and post if there's anything not too embarrassing to show.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 4:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for that B&W solution info Nick always thorough you are , MIS are well regarded. btw.

This solution epson C86 B&W inks is far easier than the old Ilford silver halide Ilfobrom paper ... developer // fixer // rinse // dry.

Digital darkroom is a revolution.... + INKJET

Inkjet papers are droping in price too..
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 5:04 PM   #7
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boyzo wrote:
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Thanks for that B&W solution info Nick always thorough you are , MIS are well regarded. btw.

This solution epson C86 B&W inks is far easier than the old Ilford silver halide Ilfobrom paper ... developer // fixer // rinse // dry.

Digital darkroom is a revolution.... + INKJET

Inkjet papers are droping in price too..
Thanks all... very enthusiastic about it. There's just something about a black and white print. Often the subject matter just lends itself. You can't beat it for the price. $60 for the inks (two blacks one for glossy, one for matte), $70 for the printer. These things look awesome. Wish I could show them to you. I actually think I like the glossies a bit better. Only downside is two printers take up space. Highly recommended.

By the way, everything I've printes is 8X10. Interpolation up to 300 ppi. The detail and quality is remarkable coming from a 2 megapixel camera.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 5:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info, Nick. I like b&w alot and have been frustrated by the green tint color printers give to the prints. Space is the limitationregarding a second printer. Maybe they will produce some of these easy mis blackinks for some morecommon photo printers in the furure.AsI read it, you can simply replace the color cartidge(s) with the appropriate black without flushing the system, print your b&w and then go back to the color ink. That sounds like a very doable solution.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 6:06 PM   #9
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fmoore wrote:
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Thanks for the info, Nick.¬* I like b&w alot and have been frustrated by the green tint color printers give to the prints.
Agreed. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try they alway look like crap.

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Space is the limitation¬*regarding a second printer.
Me too, but I rearranged this, moved that... where's there's a will there's a way. Also, the HP 76XX series has a #59(?) gray tank. Same principal. But I decided on this one because the printer's cheaper, the inks are cheaper, MIS makes a great quality ink, and there's a variety - neutral, "warm" tones, etc. Plus, I still like an Epson printer. If you like B&W and are pressed for space, maybe look at this HP line next time you need a printer.

Quote:
Maybe they will produce some of these easy mis black inks for some more¬*common photo printers in the furure.¬*¬*As¬*I read it, you can simply replace the color cartidge(s) with the appropriate black without flushing the system, print your b&w and then go back to the color ink.¬* That sounds like a very doable solution.
I think you can do this with other printers using MIS inks but it's a rigamarole (not "EZ"), you have to fool around with continuous flow systems, or drilling holes in carts, etc., fool around with profiles. This is fast and relatively inexpensive. Only downside is space but with these to printers - R 200 and C-86 I can print color dye, color archival, black and white archival, and print on CDs. The C-86 is also one of the better text printers.
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