Sandy King was kind enough to allow me to share his observations about the Piezography Digital Negative ink set and his use of it with the carbon process. If you have an interest in the alternative process of carbon printing – there is no better resource than his carbon process yahoo group.
If you own a printer that works with Jon Cone’s Digital Negative Methodology #3 system I would recommend it for high quality digital negatives for carbon printing. I have installed this inkset on my Epson 3800 and after a couple of weeks of experimentation am getting negatives for carbon printing that are much freer of artifacts than I was ever able to get with the Epson K3 ink set. You can find more about the methodology at http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/blog/piezography-digital-negative-update/
Last year I tried Cone’s Methodology 1 system with an Epson 7600 but this did not work out to my satisfaction, in part because the digital negative profile created too much UV transmission Dmax, and in part because changing from a digital negative to regular K7 inkset for printing on paper wasted lots of ink. And overall quality was not any better than I was getting with my own profile and the Epson K3 color ink set.
The new Methodology 3 system is a much better solution for those who own one of the supported printers. I am using the Epson 3800 with the Cone Auto Reset cartridges. First, image quality is very high in that the negatives on Pictorico are very smooth with virtually no digital artifacts (grain, dithering patterns, etc). Second, there are several different quad profiles from which one can select in order to more or less equal the UV density range of your current negatives. And third, with a purge of two inks you can switch back and forth from a system that makes K7 prints on paper, or digital negatives.
One thing you need to bear in mind is that Cone’s data for density range is made with optical reading, not UV, so that the profiles give a lot more DR than the ending figure would suggest. For example, there are five PZDN-X800-Meth3 quad profile, from -1_4.quad -1.8 quad. The last figures suggest a DR of 1.4 to 1.8. In fact, for UV printing these DR figures are much higher, about 2.4 – 2.8. This makes them pretty much ideal for carbon printing as one can easily adjust the strength of the dichromate sensitizer to match the DR of the negative. So basically you match the DR of the negative to the ES of your particular carbon process by adjusting the strength of the sensitizer.