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  Trade Tricks: Black & White Printing

Digital Photography Has Made Entry Into The World Of Black-And-White More Accessible

Before the advent of the digital darkroom, photographers either had to pay a premium for custom black-and-white prints or set up a personal darkroom. Now with today’s advancements, all you need is a digital camera, a computer and an inkjet printer.

For the occasional black-and-white print, a six-color inkjet printer can provide very good results. Although it won’t rival a traditional master-printed, silver-based photograph in longevity, the print will be pleasing. However, for those photographers who want to create photographs that have the quality and allure of a fine monochrome print, consider a few other options.
  Printers. An off-the-shelf printer that delivers outstanding black-and-white results is the Epson Stylus Photo 2200 inkjet printer. This seven-color, pigment-based printer achieves superior black-and-white prints by including two black ink cartridges. The first cartridge is either a Photo or Black Matte ink, which is optimized for glossy or matte paper, respectively. The second cartridge is a Light Black ink. In combination, the results are black-and-white prints reflecting the subtle changes in the brightness and tone of your original image.

Although all seven inks can be used to produce a black-and-white print (especially when using a color tint or tone), good results can be achieved by using the black inks exclusively. While earlier inkjet printers delivered poor results printing just in black, the ultra-fine, four-picoliter droplets output by the Epson results in nearly invisible continuous tone from darkest to brightest.

Inks. If you have a keen interest in producing many black-and-white prints, both Lyson and Cone Editions provide specialty black-and-white inks that promise to deliver the quality and longevity of the traditional silver-halide photograph. Both systems are compatible with a wide variety of printer models from Epson and Canon.

Cone Edition’s Piezo Inks are based on an archival pigment ink that delivers smooth gradations of tones using a four-ink system. Available in four hue sets, each can produce a variety of looks in the final photograph. As with traditional chemical printing, warm, neutral or cool tones are achieved.

Lyson’s Quad Black inks are available in a Black Cool, Black Neutral or Black Warm tone. The tones are created from four intensities of black ink that promise longevity on a variety of paper surfaces, including matte, glossy and satin. Available in cartridges, the inks can be installed in many Canon and Epson printers.

Both systems provide continuous ink systems that include large-capacity tanks. They’re cost-effective, as you can replace inks for an individual tank without having to discard an entire cartridge. It’s recommended that you dedicate a printer exclusively for black-and-white work. Switching between color and black-and-white inks can result in clogging the print nozzles.

Whether you’re the occasional shooter or the dedicated black-and-white photographer, you have a world of opportunity available to you on your desktop.
(800) OK-CANON
Cone Editions
(802) 439-5751
(800) GO-EPSON
Lyson Digital Ink Co.
(847) 690-1060

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