Inks and Printing Quality

W. Fisher

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I'm using ColorThink Pro 3 for the gamut volume size.

I found increasing the ink load increases the gamut volume with that software. Going much higher in the ink load percentage setting suddenly causes it to drop fast. Sort of interesting and wish there was a faster way without printing test sheets at 10, 20, 30, and maybe back to 25 percent according to ColorThink's gamut volume numbers.

My driver setting is also set too OFF, but I still can increase the ink load percentage in the Epson setup window. I generally leave it paper selection to Luster or Glossy (Whichever is Epson's default.).

Attached below is the screenshots in ColorThink Pro 3 where I increased the ink load shown from 15% in top image, +20% in the middle, and +25% at the bottom.

You can read the color Gamut Volume numbers (Bottom of each window.) as 643,669 for a +20% ink load, 703,882 for a +25% ink load, and 646,721 for a 25% ink load (Color gamut begins to decrease.). So it appears my best setting is to use a 20% ink load with the BCH Dye ink in the 3880 with the Epson Glossy Paper.

So even with the ICM OFF and default paper, one can still increase the color gamut volume with whatever ink by playing with the percentages of the initial ink loading. Lots of trial and error though and software to do it.

W.F.

Ink-Loads.jpg
 

Ink stained Fingers

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yes, there is a point at which an increase of the ink density reverses the actual color saturation, this point of saturation reversal is ink and paper dependent. You typically do another step when profiling a large format printer - you try to linearize the ink density/color saturation curve and to stay before this point of saturation reversal.
Smaller desktop printers don't let you define specific ink densities, such values are embedded in the driver in the paper parameters. You may use some software 'Prinfab' which let you do some of that for smaller printers but I don't like that software otherwise very much.
Anyway, I'm not getting a decent gamut with this BCH ink compared to Epson 106, Epson 664 and even my x-mix of 20+ dye inks from the past, and the black point is disappointing.
The Epson driver is made to give you best results with Epson inks on Epson papers (which is no different to Canon or HP) , and as soon as you pick 3rd party materials you need to find yourself the best parameters.
 

W. Fisher

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ISF, I'd be interested in what dye ink you've found to have a higher volume gamut. I may try it on the next load.

Below is the +20% inkload of the BCH Premium Dye ink on Epson Glossy showing 703,000 for color volume. I know some printers do not allow you to set the ink load, but at least the old Epson 3880's do which may account for a lot of differences. If you have to accept what the driver allows for, it may work against getting the best results no matter the ink brand.

Below it is the Epson Pigment ink in the other 3880 on some really glossy Pictorico paper where I increased the ink load on it as well to +10% and it falls short by ~70K in color volume against the dye ink. I expected the dye to be higher in color volume and you can see it is in the larger wire-frame wrapped around the pigment 3D image. The BCH premium dye seems to fall short in the green area though against the pigment ink, but is much more in the other areas.

Fwiw, I use BasICColor as the profiling software which seems to differ from xrite too for some reason even with the same i1 Photo Pro 2 head.

W.F

Ink-load-2.jpg
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I'm running my profiles with i1Profiler and a robot arm for scanning, 1100 patches on one A4 sheet. And I'm testing inks in a WF2010W with refill cartridges to easily swap inks as necessary. So I'm testing inks on this printer to compare them, same printer, same driver settings - just different inks, there would be too many variables otherwise. When it comes to the perceptual rendering intent software companies have some room how they render the transitional areas between the saturated and unsaturated areas, and you may have some additional settings available in the profiling software like viewing color temperature, contrast, some options how to handle the end points of the gray axis - paper white point and actual black point vs. neutral values and more. Most of that goes beyond the needs of a private user.
I have tested dye inks extensively over the years, mostly for their fading performance. The overall best ink is the
dye ink Epson is offering for the ET-7700/7750 ecotank printer - as fade resistant as the genuine Claria ink, bottled in 70ml bottles and muuch more affordable than the Claria ink in small cartridges, this ink is sold in Europe as Epson 106 ink, numbers may change in other business regions. Epson and Fujifilm are selling professional Photolab printers - Surelab or Drylab - which use volume cartidges up to 700ml as dye inks , you can tap those
cartridges for refill with your printers, these inks are as well performing very well, similar to the Claria inks, those inks were tested some time ago by Aardenburg. I prefer the Epson 106 inks just because they come in smaller bottles than those 200 - 700 ml cartridges. You can find those Drylab cartridges at some US Ebay dealers at steep discounted prices, they are close to or beyond the shelf life as defined by Fujifilm or of other surplus origin. You would have better access to those than I do - transport, customs etc.
Just look to this link as an example
https://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-OF-5-G...547964&hash=item4d7a608c3f:g:IkwAAOSwhCZbdKrP
You can get 3.5 l of the best ink for 370 $, just look on ebay.com for 'Frontier DL ink', and
you'll find as well single cartridges of various sizes.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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that's the BCH ink gamut in 2D at L=50 in red, the middle cut , with the gamut of the Fujifilm DL ink in green, 1202000 vs. 1460000 volume units, Monaco gets higher values overall, it doesn't matter as long as I just compare numbers created by the same software.
BCH.jpg

Other inks like the Epson 106 are very close to the DL ink, wider almost everywhere as well vs. the BCH ink, with a volume of 1392000 . All profiles done on an Epson WF2010W with the same driver settings, on the same paper.
 

W. Fisher

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I had a look at the 3D in Colorthink Pro 3 of the Epson pigment and the BCH dye ink.

The place where the BCH gains is in the reds and yellows, but the Epson pigment does better with the cyan and blues shown below.

The wire-frame is the Epson pigment ink, and the solid is the BCH dye ink. Shown below is both sides. The dye may do better for flesh tones in the studio. Longevity is the question, but I can always reprint too.

Least the BCH dye hasn't led to a plugged nozzle....yet. I don't want to spend two weeks going through that mess again!


Aside, since I had to cut the BCH dye ink for a Light Cyan with their clear dye ink as they do not sell a Light Cyan, wonder if I can use less dilution to punch up that part of the colors? hmmm...... :hu

W.F.

Ink-01.jpg



Ink-02.jpg
 

W. Fisher

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Fwiw, (And my online memo.) this was my mix of the BCH Premium Dye ink for the 3880:

PK Black = Full Strength BCH Technologies Black Premium Dye
Light Black (LK) = 50ml Clear Dye + 7ml Black Premium Dye
Light Light Black (LLK) = 50ml Clear Dye + 3ml Black Premium Dye
Magenta = Full Strength Magenta Premium Dye
Light Magenta (LM) = 50ml Clear Dye + 17ml Magenta Premium Dye
Cyan = Full Strength Cyan Premium Dye
Light Cyan (LC) = 50ml Clear Dye + 17ml Cyan Premium Dye
Yellow = Full Strength Yellow Premium Dye

I may try the following Light Cyan mix at the next refill and see where the gamut cyan/blues go, and if it punches them up a bit more.
Light Cyan (LC) = 40ml Clear Dye + 27ml Cyan Premium Dye

W.F.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The dye may do better for flesh tones
Don't get a hang up on skin tones - most of that is marketing speech, I took a portrait image (with skin tones) and displayed the resp colors of such image ín the Lab color space - skin tones are not saturated, not at all, far away from the gamut limits , please see my recent comments here:
https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/pro-100-compared-to-pro-10-color.12716/#post-109447
posting #3. If 'skin tones' get saturated it's most likely a thick layer of cosmetics applied
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I did a quick fade test over the last 7 days, CMYK patches with the Epson 106, 664 and BCH inks exposed and compared to patches kept in the dark. Measurements are done via scans and histogram evaluations the same way as lots of previous fading tests over the years. I'm recording just the luminance changes of these patches getting lighter under ozone and UV exposure. I'm adding up the L-changes here for comparison by ink
BCH ink____27
Epson 664__15
Epson 106___8 ____(numbers in the binary range of 8 bit 0-255)
The Epson 664 ink is not a very fade resistant ink, just average and no better than lots of 3rd party inks,
the BCH ink even performs worse, the Epson 106 ink of the ET-7750 photo printer performs the best.
So my rating of this BCH ink is - price (+) ___fade resistance weak (-) ___ black level weak (-) ___
gamut smaller than other dye inks (-) ____ magenta does not clog my L382 (+)

Please see as an example the magenta patches - exposed and unexposed - the histogram
shows 2 peaks in the luminance diagram, and I can read the L values at the cursor position,
and I do the same for the other CMYK colors. I don't need a calibrated scanner since I scan
both patch sheets at the same time.
BCH Fading.jpg
 
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