Monochrome printer

Discussion in 'Digital Printers' started by Sewin, Nov 9, 2018 at 4:51 AM.

  1. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Hi All,

    Need some help.

    It's probably been asked before.

    I'm looking for a dedicated A4 monochrome printer, it won't be used for colour and I can't seem to find anything with grey + black cartridges, unless I'm missing something.

    Apart from going up to A3 are there any monochrome inkjet conversion kits for A4 printers.
    Or any tricks to make a colour A4 printer run on black and grey only by replacing colour cartridges.

    I can remember Lyson doing a monochrome inkset, but I think they were for Epson 1400.

    EDIT: I just discovered Quad Tone RIP, not sure if that is the answer though?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 5:34 AM
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    I use an EpsonStylus 3880 as a dedicated monochrome p-rinter with much success butmthat might be too big for you.
     
  3. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    As you say a bit too big. Might just go for one of the better Canon Pixma series with 6 inks.
     
  4. nmp

    nmp Member

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    It looks like you want to print only B&W with this printer (with no color channels) with various shades of greys. There is no commercially available printer that I know of has this capability, however some of the newer printers have significantly better capability to print B&W with better black ink (higher DMAX) and a couple or more of greys that are capable of giving very nice monochrome prints, much better than in the early days of inkjet printing. However, you won't find a small A4 size printer in this category from the majors like Epson and Canon.

    So the next option is QTR RIP. Now this option is only available for Epsons. The reason you have to use this RIP is if you put your own black and grey inks in the cartridges, you have to be able to control the relative amounts of each of them so you get the full range of shades out of them. The software will also allow "calibration" that is required to get a linear output. You also need to use refillable cartridges with third party inks (such as from InkjetMall and inksupply.com) to make the whole thing work. Best to go to their website and forum and look/ask:

    http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRoverview.html
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QuadtoneRIP/conversations/messages?guccounter=1

    I would say if you get hold of an old Epson 870 which is an A4 printer which seems to be a QTR compatible, you might be able to make a go at it.

    Have fun!

    :Niranjan
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 1:38 PM
  5. markjwyatt

    markjwyatt Subscriber
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  6. nmp

    nmp Member

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    Piezography works on top of QTR.
     
  7. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Member

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    The two best-known approaches to pure-monochrome inkjet are both after-market adaptations - Jon Cone's Piezography system, as linked just above, and Paul Roark's carbon-almost-only approach: http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/.

    QuadTone RIP is a software tool that can be used to optimize monochrome printing either with the standard inkset of Epson printers, or with adapted inksets such as Piezography.

    There's plenty of stuff on the web about all of these, and about the tradeoffs involved in using these approaches compared to just sticking with the standard inksets and printer drivers provided by the respective printer manufacturers.

    FWIW, I currently do monochrome inkjet using an Epson P800 with the standard Epson inkset and the "ABW" monochrome print mode provided by the standard Epson driver. If you don't have much experience printing monochrome using the standard inksets and drivers, I recommend starting there and seeing whether that works well for you before you start fussing with the more specialized tools. The aftermarket substitute inksets, in particular, involve a fair amount of up-front cost and hassle, and in general the specialized systems have a steep learning curve to get everything working smoothly and appropriately calibrated.

    EDIT: One final observation: depending on your taste, prints made with black-only or carbon-only inksets don't necessarily have a pleasing color. "Monochrome-only" printing approaches often use small amounts of other ink colors to produce a pleasing overall shade, whether it be neutral, warm or cool. Do not assume that the best way to make monochrome prints is necessarily to use solely pure black/gray inks, or that the other colors are wasted or useless when you print monochrome using the manufacturer's standard inksets and drivers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 1:44 PM
  8. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Many Thanks All for all the information,

    That's really appreciated.

    I think the best route might be to try and find a used Epson to experiment with.

    I'm not rigidly tied to an A4, it was more of a space issue (I've already got A4, A3 and A1 printer plotters in my small office, but they are not photo printers).

    It seems A3 offers the only solution.

    For my smaller prints I've been using an ancient Canon iP6000D, I've managed to get through three printheads on that and it's finally given up the ghost.

    My experience is not so good with Epson, my fault though for not maintaining them so well and letting them stand too long without running them.
     
  9. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Member

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    Epson has come a long way in that respect. Performance of my P800 has been flawless despite my use being intermittent, with the printer sometimes sitting idle for weeks at a time.

    I don't mean that to be a recommendation of Epson over other brands, just to suggest that you shouldn't rule out their current models based on past experience.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    I think, getting a printer one Size bigger than what you need is a bad idea; plus this one works great monochrome with standard inks and driver; much less hassle and start-up cost or testing.
     
  11. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Yes,

    I'm starting to think, just get a decent printer without having to use Quad Tone RIP, one step at a time methinks.

    (I also scan and need to print black and white artwork), the quest continues.:smile:
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    good idea
     
  13. Jim Jones

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    A serious photographer should be concerned about the print life of his photographs. This may have been more rigorously tested for popular printers like the Epson 3800, 3880, and P800 than for after market inks. As for wasting the color inks when printing monochrome, I've never had an out-of-date cartridge fail. Epson sees to be conservative in their use-by dating, and I've gone through their ink by the liter, more often printing B&W than color.
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    photographers fade before photographs do
     
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