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. 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 is compatible with many of our ink sets. For example, it is compatible with Piezography Pro inks and any of the Piezography P2 ink sets on all supported printers with 8 or more ink channels. It is also compatible with some specific ink sets. On the Epson 1430 or 1500W which has only six channels, the Photo Black cartridge can be replaced with an optional Matte Black cartridge to print regular Piezography K6 prints. The PiezoDN system requires the photo black and gloss optimizer options which are included with the aforementioned ink sets. The easiest way to pick out an ink set is on the Inkjetmall website using this page which has been pre-filtered for PiezoDN compatible ink systems. Then choose your printer model and the type of ink set you prefer.

What inkset does the PiezoDN system use?

We include some pre-built curves for the Selenium ink set, but PiezoDN can be calibrated for any Piezography Pro, K7, K6, or P2 inkset that is PiezoDN compatible on a Piezography supported Epson printer.

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 older 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 Epson SureColor P-series printers?

Yes it does. Many models are now supported in USA and Europe. 

The P400, P600 require our special refillable cartridges. The P800 requires our special decoder board which the user must install to disable the mechanism that Epson is using to prevent use with non-Epson branded cartridges. The P5000 is not currently supported. The P6000, P7000, P8000, and P9000 are supported. The newer SureColor printers released in 2020 are not supported yet.

What printers does PiezoDN work on?

PiezoDN supports the following Epson Printer models: 1400, 1430, 1500W, R2000, R2880, R3000, 3800, 3880, 4800, 4880, 4900, 7800, 7880, 7900, 7900, 7890, 9900, 9890. SureColor P400, P600, P800, P6000, P7000, P8000, P9000.