DPP Home Gear Printers Black-&-White Printing Redefined

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Black-&-White Printing Redefined

Now is the time to upgrade your printer. The latest models can output prints that exhibit less metamerism, smoother tonal gradations and

This Article Features Photo Zoom

bw printers
HP Designjet Z3200
Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900
The latest versions of Epson’s large-format printers, the 24-inch 7900 and 44-inch 9900, add orange and green inks to the eight inks found in the previous model printers. The 7900/9900 printers have a distinct advantage for black-and-white enthusiasts that makes them a worthwhile upgrade for many. Both Matte and Photo Black inks are installed at the same time now, eliminating the expensive ink swaps required by the 7880/9880 models. Additionally, the printers have a new screening and dithering algorithm that essentially eliminates any grain appearance in prints and metamerism issues. Along with a smoother tonal range, Dmax, or black density, has improved, and no sign of bronzing can be seen.

For black-and-white output, Epson has an Advanced Black & White mode in the print driver. This mode minimizes any color inks from being used and gives you more control over toning and overall print density. Advanced Black & White will determine the best mix of blacks in order to optimize the tonal range of your monochrome prints through an easy interface that’s part of the print driver. Contact: Epson, www.epson.com.

HP Designjet Z3200
The 24-inch and 44-inch Designjet Z3200 are the latest versions of HP’s large-format photo printers. With 12 inks on board, including Photo Black, Matte Black and two grays, the Designjet Z3200 also includes a gloss enhancer. When printing on photo papers, the gloss enhancer is mixed with the color or blacks to even the reflectance of the ink and eliminate any gloss differential. The Designjet Z3200 is unique in a couple of features. Standard on all models is a built-in X-Rite spectrophotometer for calibrating and profiling papers with no additional hardware requirements. This opens the media possibilities without having to worry about finding ICC profiles for your media/printer combination.

The second unique feature is the ability to print in a strictly quadtone mode where both blacks and both grays are used. When grayscale mode is enabled, all color inks are disabled. On fine-art papers, Matte Black and both grays are used, while photo papers and fiber-based media use all four black and gray inks. Contact: HP, www.hp.com.


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