|Epson Stylus Professional 488|
Black-and-white printing has by no means been extra fashionable than it’s in the present day. Applications like Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop make it simple to transform colour photos into compelling black-and-white pictures that will have made Ansel Adams proud. The issue now could be getting that imaginative and prescient onto paper. Inkjet printers haven’t had the best status for high quality black-and-white output. That is partly on account of the truth that regardless that you’re printing a grayscale picture, it’s being positioned on the paper with colour inks. There are a few exceptions, however usually, you discover that undesirable inexperienced or magenta colorcasts are a typical criticism with many photographers utilizing inkjets.
Just like the enhancements to software program, in the present day’s high-end photograph printers do a significantly better job getting your picture onto paper the identical means it seems on display screen. Thanks, partly, to new ink formulations and the addition of extra grey inks, it’s potential to get really impartial black-and-white prints at an inexpensive price with out sending your photos to a lab. On this roundup, we’ll check out the choices which are accessible in 13-inch and larger-size printers.
Inkjet printers use both dye- or pigment-based inks. Each have their benefits and drawbacks, relying on what you’re making an attempt to perform. Within the class of printers we’re right here, the one actual possibility within the dye-based class is the HP Designjet 130. Essentially the most compact 24-inch printer accessible, it’s additionally the one one with a media tray for cut-sheet paper (all the opposite printers on this dimension require feeding minimize sheets individually). A separate roll-feed unit additionally is offered. The Designjet 130 is getting a bit lengthy within the tooth, having been out for a number of years now, but it surely nonetheless has the power to knock your socks off with the best paper and picture kind.
|Epson Stylus Professional 3800|
The printer makes use of six inks, solely one in all which is black. However, oh, what a black. Dye ink simply produces a darker black than any pigment ink is ready to output. The drawbacks, nevertheless, are an archival lifetime of about 80 years, brief by in the present day’s requirements, and the fragility of the prints. For finest outcomes, you could print on a “swellable” floor medium like HP Premium Gloss or Premium Satin, or Ilford Basic papers. If there’s the slightest likelihood the print will are available in contact with moisture, you’ll have to seal it with one thing like PremierArt Print Protect to stop injury.
All the hottest printers in the present day use pigment inks. These are nice for the number of media which you can print on (absolutely anything which you can feed by the printer can be utilized), and the archival life. Most printers utilizing pigment inks have been rated at properly over 100 years, and a few exceed 200 years, making them an answer that works for anybody involved with the longevity of their prints.
Pigment is also the place we start to see extra ink colours being added to the combo. The place six colours—cyan, magenta, yellow, gentle cyan, gentle magenta and black—have been the usual, these new printers use from eight to 12 ink cartridges for smoother tonal gradation and higher colour accuracy. Simply two brief years in the past, you’d have been one producer for a printer of this sort, Epson. Up to now two years, nevertheless, Canon and HP have made robust product introductions within the pro-level photo-printer enviornment, and Epson has continued to refine its lineup with new and improved merchandise. What this implies for us is a good variety of choices to select from, and at higher costs than ever may have been imagined a couple of years again.
|Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100|
Two issues that face many individuals when printing are bronzing and metamerism. Bronzing is the impact that you just see when viewing a print from an angle. The totally different quantities of ink laid down on the web page replicate totally different quantities of sunshine, inflicting some areas to look flatter than others. The second downside actually isn’t an issue, but it surely’s perceived as one nonetheless. Metamerism is the scenario that happens when viewing the print beneath totally different gentle sources. Most printer profiles are optimized for daylight colour temperatures. They’ll look positive beneath this gentle, however whenever you transfer to a fluorescent or tungsten gentle supply, the print takes on a colorcast. The one motive it is a downside for black-and-white prints is because of a basic design problem—black-and-white prints are created with a mixture of CMYK inks. The one strategy to fully get rid of metamerism is to print with gray-only inks (this consists of blacks). After all, you’ll be able to “trick” the print through the use of a profile designed for the particular gentle supply during which it is going to be displayed. For exhibition prints, I all the time examine with the gallery to search out out what the lighting shall be after which select a profile tuned to that gentle supply.
|Epson Stylus Photograph R288|
Canon has one 13-inch desktop printer on this roundup, the PIXMA Professional9500. Like the opposite Canon printers coated right here, the Professional9500 makes use of Canon’s Lucia pigment inks; on this case, there are 10 inks. Along with the usual six colours, Canon added crimson, inexperienced, grey and a matte black. The Professional9500 has a devoted grayscale mode that primarily makes use of the black and grey inks for output. You even have the choice to tone your prints, for instance, giving them a sepia or platinum impact, by mixing in colour. Relying on the kind of paper you’re printing to, you’ll use both photograph black or matte black inks. Like the opposite Canon desktop printers, the Professional9500 works with sheet paper solely, however a straight-feed path lets you print on heavy fine-art media. Estimated Road Value: $849.
|Canon PIXMA Professional9500|
Within the 17-inch printer class, the imagePROGRAF iPF5100 is a work-horse that’s able to glorious black-and-white output. With a tray feed, guide single-sheet feed and a totally motorized roll-feed unit, the iPF5100 is a 12-color printer with photograph black, matte black, photograph grey and grey inks which are able to glorious black-and-white prints. One distinctive profit is an included plug-in for Photoshop that provides you full management over output in a single location. When you’re utilizing Canon paper, all you could do is choose the paper kind from the listing reasonably than deciding on the suitable profile. When printing in black-and-white, this makes use of particular info to combine inks within the optimum method to generate very impartial black-and-whites. You even have the power to print in 16-bit mode, one thing that the opposite printers can’t match right now (Epson has a 16-bit possibility for Mac OS X 10.5 customers, however Canon’s resolution works with all platforms). When selecting the Auto Monochrome setting, you might have entry to a full-featured software to regulate the properties of your grayscale combine from heat to chill, together with a Curves editor to fine-tune the output. Estimated Road Value: $1,995.
The imagePROGRAF is offered in bigger sizes, together with a 24-inch mannequin, the iPF6100, which drops the tray feed however provides a stand. Print output from each is equivalent as they use the identical ink and printheads. Estimated Road Value: $3,495.
|Epson Stylus Professional 7880|
Epson is well-known to anybody who has been printing photos for any period of time. In actual fact, Epson basically created the power for digital photographers to output photo-quality prints from their desktop. Epson additionally pioneered using pigment inks for improved stability and print life. Epson gives the widest lineup of printers designed for the professional or superior newbie, beginning with the brand new Stylus Photograph R2880. A 13-inch desktop printer, the R2880 is a nine-color printer with photograph black, matte black, gentle grey and lightweight gentle grey inks, together with the Vivid Magenta and Vivid Gentle Magenta inks discovered within the large-format 4880, 7880 and 9880 fashions. Solely photograph or matte black ink might be put in at any time, so in essence you might have three shades of black accessible to you. Epson has an Superior Black-and-White mode in its print driver that permits you to regulate the firming of your prints with presets or by adjusting sliders for brightness, distinction, tonality and density. The R2880 can print to single sheets or to roll paper, in addition to onto printable CD/DVD media. Estimated Road Value: $799.
The subsequent step up in dimension and efficiency is the Stylus Professional 3800. Essentially the most inexpensive 17-inch printer in the marketplace, the Professional 3800 is a wonderful possibility for many who don’t have to print on roll media. It makes use of 80ml ink cartridges with the identical formulation as these discovered within the R2880. All 9 inks are put in within the printer, however you continue to have to flush one ink line when going from photograph black to matte black. The Professional 3800 does have a brand new print head that improves the smoothness of tonal gradations. Estimated Road Value: $1,295.
|HP Photosmart Professional B9180|
If greater quantity and roll paper are in your listing, the Stylus Professional 4880 has the identical 17-inch-wide paper path because the Professional 3800, however provides a high-capacity tray and roll feed. The ink capability is also bigger, with the choice to make use of as much as 220ml cartridges. In contrast to the Professional 3800, you’ll have to swap the photograph and matte black cartridges when altering paper sorts. The Professional 4880 makes use of a brand new Vivid Magenta and Vivid Gentle Magenta ink components that will increase colour gamut, particularly within the blues and purples. For panorama and nature images, these colours are generally arduous to breed. The brand new inks make a giant distinction right here. You’ve gotten the identical Superior Black-and-White mode choices within the print driver because the R2880 and Professional 3800. Estimated Road Value: $1,995.
The Stylus Professional 7880 has the identical function set because the Professional 4880 however drops the paper tray and provides a stand. Just like the 4880, the 24-inch-wide Professional 7880 can use ink cartridges as much as 220ml. All of Epson’s Professional collection printers embody Ethernet ports for shared use on a community in addition to USB. Estimated Road Value: $2,995.
|HP Designjet Z2100|
We talked about the HP Designjet 130 because the lone dye-based printer on this lineup. HP additionally has a spread of pigment printers, and a few of them have distinctive options you gained’t discover within the others.
The Photosmart Professional B9180 is an eight-color, 13-inch desktop printer that makes use of Vivera pigment inks. It consists of photograph black, matte black and grey inks. In contrast to the opposite printers, you’ll be able to select to make use of solely these three inks to print a black-and-white picture. By deciding on solely grey inks within the print driver, you basically flip your printer right into a tritone machine. If you wish to use firming on the print, you’d choose Composite grey, which forces the printer to make use of primarily the black inks, mixing in colour as wanted to attain the tone you’re on the lookout for. The B9180 has a paper tray however no roll feed. You possibly can print panoramas, however you’ll have to precut your paper and use the guide feed path. Estimated Road Value: $699.
|HP Designjet Z3100|
HP doesn’t have something within the 17-inch vary right now, so the next move is the 24-inch Designjet Z2100. The Z2100 makes use of the identical eight inks because the Photosmart Professional B9180, so the output is just about equivalent between the 2, making it potential to make use of the B9180 as a proofing machine earlier than sending the ultimate print to the bigger Z2100. What’s distinctive in regards to the Z collection printers from HP is the addition of an onboard spectrophotometer for colour calibration and profiling. Primarily, you might have an X-Ceremony i1 Photograph constructed into the printer. This allows you to create customized profiles for added paper sorts, in addition to calibrate your printer to maintain print high quality constant. Estimated Road Value: $2,895.
Outwardly equivalent to the Z2100, the Designjet Z3100 is a 12-ink printer with 11 colour cartridges and a gloss enhancer. In contrast to the gloss optimizer utilized in among the Epson consumer-level printers, the Z3100 mixes the gloss optimizer with the inks at totally different ranges to make sure that the whole print has the identical uniform density. That is the one printer I’ve used that has completely no gloss differential when printing on shiny paper. The Z3100 additionally has no seen metamerism when viewing prints beneath totally different lighting sources. Estimated Road Value: $3,395.