PiezoDN (Digital Negatives) F.A.Q.

What is PiezoDN exactly?

PiezoDN is a set of tools and QuadtoneRIP curves for printing and calibrating high-quality negatives using Piezography ink. PiezoDN is also a set of quality standards and ideas for revolutionizing both darkroom printing and digital printing as a whole.

How do I buy PiezoDN?

You can buy it right here. You will get an email with a username and password to this site (piezodn.inkjetmall.com) that will allow you to download the PiezoDN package and all its updates forever. It may take up to 24hrs for us to build your username and password if you buy PiezoDN on a weekend. It’s a manual process right now. Just like the darkroom!

What Inkjet-capable film to I need to use with PiezoDN?

The only film that we support and the only film that is capable of absorbing the amount of ink that PiezoDN prints is Pictorico OHP Ultra Premium Film. Regular Pictorico OHP or other films will not absorb the additional ink that PiezoDN prints. 

How much support will I get with this new-fangled system?

The first place to look for information is The Piezography Manual 2016 Deluxe Edition that comes installed with PiezoDN and includes detailed instructions on PiezoDN workflow and calibration. This website also has a private members-only forum that you’ll be able to post questions on and share curve-files on. This will be the place to ask questions. Lastly, there is tons of general Piezography support at our general forum found at http://inkjetmall.com/tech

What operating systems does PiezoDN support?

Currently PiezoDN  works on both OS X and Windows (*beta release on Windows). Both OS X and Windows versions will print “linear” just like Piezography. Windows does not allow printing with ICC profiles. The OS X version of PiezoDN gives you two choices:  printing a linear print (slightly lighter than the monitor) or combining with an ICC profile to match the print to the monitor.

Will I be able to make Piezography paper prints with my PiezoDN system or just negatives?

You can print BOTH! PiezoDN uses Photo Black 1 with Selenium shades 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & Gloss Optimizer on all supported printers with 8 or more ink channels. The 1430 and 1500W have only 6 ink channels and the GO which is printed at the same time as the inks to increase the durability of the film can not be used on these two printer models. We call this combination of 6 or 7 inks the PiezoDN ink set. This ink set is already present in the “P2” Piezography system and curves. If you have an eighth channel available, you can also install Shade 7 and do full-tilt Piezography printing with the same printer. On the Epson 1430 or 1500W, the Photo Black cartridge can be replaced with an optional Matte Black cartridge to print regular Piezography K6 prints.

What inkset does the PiezoDN system use?

PiezoDN uses the Selenium Piezography inkset. This is because the Selenium inks have demonstrated a predictable UV response from batch to batch. The turnkey curves that come out of the box with PiezoDN are all calibrated for the Selenium inkset. That said, PiezoDN can by calibrated DIY for any Piezography K7, K6, or P2 inkset on a compatible printer. PiezoDN curves will also be released for Pro ink in the near future.

Can I use some other Piezography inkset other than Selenium?

Of course! The other ink-sets may not match the exact tonality guaranteed by the Selenium ink but PiezoDN comes with tools able to calibrate your system. If you have some smarts, you can use any Piezography gloss-capable inkset you like and PiezoDN will work perfectly with it.

I already have the Piezography Digital Negative inks installed (with shades 2.5 and 4.5). Can I use those with PiezoDN?

While PiezoDN comes with a full set of initial curves built for specific processes, at its core it is a “profiling” system. That means there is no reason why PiezoDN wouldn’t work with the classic “Piezography Digital Negative” curves that have been the pinnacle of digital negative printing up to this point. The only requirement to make PiezoDN work with Meth1 and Meth3 curves is a conversion and we’ve done that. PiezoDN includes the converted “classic” PZDN Meth1 and Meth3 curves located inside of the CURVES/PZDN_to_PiezoDN directory. 

These curves will act like PiezoDN curves: aka, they will invert the image so there is no need to invert in Photoshop. These curves can then be calibrated exactly like normal PiezoDN curves can. This means that you can no longer use any Photoshop Adjustment Curves if you have been using them with Meth 1 and Meth 3 workflow. You will print the unadjusted 8bit, 16bit or raw image file with PiezoDN and it will print linear after you have calibrated with PiezoDN. 

If you are new to all this and don’t have a classic system already installed, don’t get the classic “PZDN” ink-set. Get the new PiezoDN one!

Does the PiezoDN manual show me how to print in the darkroom?

No. In this sense, PiezoDN is meant for people already adept at darkroom printing. PiezoDN is a digital negative solution. PiezoDN does include datasheets for each of the supplied curves that sketch out the darkroom conditions that were present when each turnkey curve was built.

That said, the private forum that you have access to after buying PiezoDN does have some goldmines of darkroom information. 🙂

Does PiezoDN allow me to “linearize” my own negatives for whatever process I want?

Yes. PiezoDN has a set of tools for modifying .quad curves in very unique ways that allow for truly calibrated darkroom work with up to 129 individual calibrated data-points. PiezoDN also allows you to LIMIT your neg density to allow for printing on “delicate” darkroom emulsion such as gum bichromate and cyanotype.

Can I give these curves and tools too all my friends?

You can share the curves with your friends (who are customers) only at piezodn.inkjetmall.com/forum but not out in the world. We have put such an investment into the Research and Development of PiezoDN that the package is sold with a software license. PiezoDN can be installed on up to three individual computers owned by the buyer or on up to 10 computers in a classroom setting.

I’ve never used Piezography before so can PiezoDN work without Piezography ink?

PiezoDN is built only for Piezography ink. Piezography ink is micro-encapsulated and uniquely gloss compatible with finer carbon particles than leading OEM inks. The PK1 (previously WN1) Piezography black ink is also incredibly opaque and full resolution on gloss material. This enables PiezoDN negatives to be printed and manipulated in very unique ways for processes like Ziatype and Salt. Other inks just can’t cut it and PiezoDN will not work at all with other inks. Piezography can be a complex system.

The best way to learn Piezography is to take a class with us at Cone Editions. The alternative is to research Piezography at http://piezography.com and also to download the Piezography Manual, 2016 Edition.

Does PiezoDN support the new P-series Epson printers?

Not at the moment. Currently we are seeing some dither issues with the P-Series printers related to QuadtoneRIP. We want to resolve this and then we can release Piezography and PiezoDN for the P600 and P800 first, and then P7000/P9000 later.

The USA versions of the The P800, P7000 and P9000 printers are locked so that 3rd party chips will disable the printer on the first auto-reset operation.

These same  printer models are unlocked in Europe and Asia and can be used with 3rd party chips. The auto-reset does not affect an unlocked printer. As a result, we may release PiezoDN for European and Asian printers using cartridges that should not be used with USA version printers. These cartridges may be currently being offered in the USA by China owned companies or companies with distribution agreements with China companies and are being done so with the knowledge that your printer would eventually be disabled upon the first complete disharge of ink from the first refillable cartridge to read empty and auto-reset cycle. When you see these cartridges being offered on InkjetMall for USA version printers, you will know they are safe for use. 

What printers does PiezoDN work on?

PiezoDN supports the following Epson Printer models: 1400, 1430, 1500W, R2880, R3000, 3800, 3880, 4800, 4880, 4900, 7800, 7880, 7900, 7900, 7890, 9900, 9890.

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