Piezography Glossy – the mere existence of the concept implies that Piezography is matte. And historically, Piezography has been only matte. But, several years ago we rolled out glossy versions of our inks in the Selenium and Warm Neutral range. Slowly and silently, we reformulated all of our inks and by 2012 all inks became matte and glossy compatible! Yes, Carbon, Neutral, Special Edition and Warm Neutral inks are all now both matte and glossy compatible.

Piezography Glossy ( we call it Piezography MPS in official release form) is to the air-dried silver print, what Piezography K7 is to the palladium/platinum print. For those of you who have tried your hand at Piezography K7 matte printing – you are well aware of the high standard that the system produces. Piezography Glossy has again raised the bar this time significantly higher.

Note: Piezography MPS and Piezography K7 are the same inks. We use K7 where we mean matte only. We use MPS for the Gloss only components. All Piezography K7 inks shades 2-7 are matte and glossy compatible. The ink has a multi-encapsulation method that makes them compatible with both surfaces. For matte-only printing we supply the traditional Shade 1 black (bottled as “Matte Black” or “Neutral” Shade 1), and instead of supplying a Gloss Overprint in the unused 8th position we supply a bottle of PiezoFlush. A Glossy MPS system adds the MPS Shade 1 “Photo” Black and the Glossy Overprint and requires optional workflow in comparison to the matte only version to utilize it.

Piezography MPS is similar to the traditional air-dried silver print in dMax (2.70 and higher), has a surface which is imitative of an air-dried glossy fiber paper, has zero metamerism, and zero bronzing, and has a perfect gloss differential…but there the similarities end. Piezography Glossy is capable of higher detail than silver paper, and has a greater dynamic range with better shadow and highlight detail. Piezography MPS may be the best printing method you have ever tried.

Note: “MPS” is short for Master Photography System or Master Piezography System or Master Printmaking System.

Piezography MPS is a very high-resolution process. If an image file is of extremely high optical resolution* is printed, it will resolve significantly more detail than Canon, Epson and HP inkjet processes can using their own drivers or other RIPs. Yet, Piezography MPS is an inkjet process that is resident on one of these platforms and is technically possible to adapt to any of these printers. Right now there is no plan to adapt it to any platform other than Epson.

*Piezography will continue to resolve detail at resolutions as high as 1,800 ppi.

Note: Piezography MPS uses a unique printer driver called QuadTone RIP (QTR) that is capable of transforming a supported printer from its native RGB driver to a multiple channel driver according to how many print heads it has. QTR has also been driving the Piezography K7 matte ink sets. Jon Cone produced a profiling application that is able to produce media specific profiles that are compatible with QTR, and take advantage of the QTR driver by having it print at significantly higher frequencies in the highlights and mid-range (where detail is most noticeable). Cone’s profiler organizes seven partitions of seven densities of carbon ink in a complex series of printing curves that produces a near perfect Gamma 2.2 linearization from dMin to dMax. Think of it as the traditional “S curve” transformed into a perfect diagonal. You may never have seen your work like this before. Very few displays and monitors are capable of revealing the tonal latitude that Piezography Glossy is capable of. These curves are supplied for free as part of the $50 shareware download of the QuadTone RIP.

Piezography Glossy prints are available now either through Cone Editions or as a complete inking system that you can buy and adapt to a supported Epson printer, and perhaps upgrade your current Piezography system.

The availability of glossy and matte is dependent upon the amount of ink slots your printer has. InkjetMall already sells combined matte and glossy systems for the Epson R2880, R3000,  and the Epson Pro3800/3880, 7890/9890 and 7900/9900 printers. These printers have enough ink slots to allow the use of both a matte and photo black, a Gloss Overprint, and six lighter shades of Piezography ink. If you want to see that laid out, it would look something like this:

MK, PK, shade 2, shade 3, shade 4, shade 5, shade 6, shade 7, GO

The R3000, 3800/3880, 7890/9890, 7900/9900 have 9 or more ink slots making this easy. The R2880, R1800, R1900 have only one black ink slot but changing from MK to the PK is extremely easy.

What we have begun rolling out recently is the new Piezography 2 system. This downgrades a K7 printer to K6 so that both matte and photo blacks can be installed along with the GO.  If you want to see that laid out, it would look something like this:

MK, PK, shade 2, shade 3, shade 4, shade 5, shade 6, GO

The R2000, R2400, Pro 4800, Pro 4880, 7800/9800, and Pro 7880/9880 will all be adapted to Piezography 2 if you wish to. And a version for the Epson 1400 will even be available.

The Piezography formulation is compatible with the Epson inks and does not require flushing, though flushing remains a popular option for professional users of the system who appreciate having an extra set of flush cartridges with which to put their printer in “storage conditions” when not in use for long periods of time.

The procedure for making perfect Piezography Glossy prints is a two-part process. The inks are printed in anticipation of a second printing of Piezography Gloss Overprint. An uncoated print has a very strange appearance that in no way indicates the perfectly linearized grayscale and ultra-deep dMax (up to 2.8). The overcoat process reveals the shadow detail and smooth tone hidden within the print, reminiscent of the magic of observing a print “come up” in the development tray.

The process is controlled from the QuadTone RIP using media profiles (called “curves” in QTR) produced by InkjetMall using its proprietary Piezography Profiler application. There is both an inks curve, and a Gloss Overprint curve associated with a glossy paper. A full tone image is printed using the first curve with QuadTone RIP. The print is allowed to dry briefly and then is overprinted with the second curve that controls the Gloss Overprint. Matte profiles are included in the download of QuadTone RIP. Customs are available as a service from InkjetMall. One glossy curve for Type5 is included with your purchase. Other glossy profiles are available as a custom profiling process from InkjetMall. You can extend Piezography Glossy to include your choice of paper provided you have a custom profile created ny InkjetMall. The charge for custom profiles is $99 each.

The most superlative results (as envisioned by its inventor Jon Cone) are obtained with the new JonCone Studio Type5 paper. Type5 was created to perfectly replicate the color and surface of Crane’s popular Museo Silver Rag paper. Where Museo Silver Rag does not produce the best results with Piezography inks, Type5 was designed specifically for it. The color of the ink and paper is an absolute perfect combination. The baryta surface is closest to a silver print in texture, and the smoothness and detail is superior to Silver Rag.

The systems we sell for MPS

Note: The R2880, R3000, Pro 3800/3880, Pro 7890/9890, Pro 7900/9900 are the only printers for which we provide simultaneously both a matte and glossy system using seven shades.

Epson 2880
When you purchase the MPS 2880 system, it ships to you with 9 inks in total. The 2880 CIS is capable of loading all nine inks – even though the 2880 printer has only 8 ink slots. The “photo black” rides piggy back on the print head and can be instantly swapped with the “matte black” ink. The other six shades of Selenium K7 inks are both matte and glossy compatible. The Gloss Overprint is the “eighth” position. The refillable cartridge system includes both a matte black and a photo black cartridge.

Epson R3000, 3800/3880, 7890/9890, 7900/9900
When you purchase the MPS system, it ships with Refillable ink carts and can load both the matte and photo blacks, six lighter shades of ink and the Gloss Overprint. The Pro 3800 / 3880 printer has nine individual slots in which nine Refillable Carts are inserted and does not require any manual intervention by the user when they wish to print on matte or photo papers. The changes are made within the QTR driver.

Epson R800/1800, R1900, 4000, 4800, 4880, 7800, 7880, 9800, 9880
On these we can configure a K7 Gloss only solution for you in which case the printer contains the “photo black”, the six additional shades, and the Gloss Overprint. Piezography 2 will reduce these to a K6 system so that you can simultaneously have installed the matte and photo black along with the Gloss Overprint.

Epson 2200, 2400, 7600, 9600
If you have a legacy printer with only seven ink positions, its less convenient, but we can design a GLOSS ONLY solution for you. You would either have to provide a second printer with which to overcoat the print with Gloss Overprint. Without the overprint, you would be required to spray the finished print with Lumijet spray. Without the overcoat or spray, the print will not be acceptable. These systems you will need to make contact with us – as we can not release an incomplete product.

If you’re on the fence over Glossy Piezography, we can tell you with confidence that once you’ve seen the dynamic range, the absence of bronzing, and the perfect gloss differential – you will not want to return to matte only printing. We encourage you to try before you buy, or try before you upgrade by printing one or more of your images with our online printing services. You can access these services by clicking here.

Upgrading an existing Selenium K7 printer
If you’re currently on the matte version of a K7 ink system on any of the above supported printers- you need only the MPS photo black and the Gloss Overprint to upgrade your current system. Custom profiling for glossy media is available. These profiles however will be available to you with Piezography 2.

What about K6 and Glossy?
Only in the Epson R1400 will be support a system. The printer will use a K5 system and an installed GO. You will change out the K cart for matte or photo depending upon whether you are printing matte or glossy.

What about if I want to customize my own solution that does not account for what InkjetMall is supporting?
There is a possibility by example, for customers to use an eight ink printer to hold both the matte black and photo blacks and use a second older printer to overcoat. There is probably a myriad of examples that our customers can come up with. In these situations, we need to produce custom profiles for the photo black position and produce a curve for gloss on the second printer. Please contact us.

Updated June 22nd, 2016