General Piezography & K7,K6,P2 Ink Questions
I want to learn all I can about Piezography. Where do I start?
The best way to start is by going downloading the Piezography Community Edition. This has The Piezography Manual in it which gives you a comprehensive overview of the whole system and how it works. Also check out our over-view of Piezography K7 and Piezography Pro while you're at it!
Do I have to flush my printer before installing Piezography inks?
On desktop printers, you do not need to flush because when you remove the color carts less than 1ml of ink remains in the print heads. That ink will ejected into the capping station when the printer goes through an auto clean cycle when you install a new or different set of cartridges.
On large format printers in each of the ink channels there can be as much as 15ml of color ink inside the ink line and damper. You can decide whether to flush this ink out with Piezography ink or invest in a second set of cartridges which are filled with PiezoFlush. In the end, the results will be the same. If you perform enough POWER CLEANS with Piezography ink it will eventually flush out the color ink. There may be just a little residual stain in the shade 7 that is installed in the yellow channel. Most people flush with Piezography ink. Some people like to have a set of flushing carts available to them for when they may not be printing for more than 3 weeks. They opt to flush with PiezoFlush. It does allow for a much quicker start up.
What is Piezography Opaque Photo Black formerly known as Warm Neutral Shade 1 photo black?
Piezography Opaque Photo Black is a new ink developed to be opaque on film. Jon Cone developed this ink for Piezography Backlit. Piezography Opaque Photo Black (PZK7-WN-110-1) must be used for all gloss K7 and digital negative (PiezoDN) printing. Piezography Pro ink uses a brand new black ink called Piezography HD-PK.
Is it possible to print on Baryta paper with matte K7 inks?
No it is not. Baryta is considered a non-matte media. You will need to use Piezography Glossy K7 options which include a photo black shade 1 (Warm Neutral Shade 1) and a second printing of Piezography Gloss Overprint. If you are primarily interested in printing on baryta-silica papers, we really suggest using our new Pro ink. This is actualy built for baryta surface printing and does not require a second pass of GO.
What happens if I do not use the Piezography Gloss Overprint with K7 ink?
A few things will happen. Initially, the print will look like it is not quite "developed". The GO produces the final tonal separation in the shadows. But, it also eliminates the bronzing and gets rid of the gloss differential so that you will not be able to tell the difference in reflection between the paper and any tone range of ink.
Why does Piezography always Gloss-Overprint the entire paper - and how can I only overprint the image?
We designed the K7 Gloss system to eliminate gloss differential which is the difference in reflection between ink and paper. We believe that a believable glossy or barya black & white print should not look like an inkjet print. If you do not want to overprint the paper you will need to duplicate the GO curve and devise an edit to it. The standard GO curve has an exponent value in what is the 255 location of the LLK channel of 30000. When this curve is used to print anything that is 255 (paper white) prints with GO. So this value would need to be changed to 0. The last exponent in the column of 256 exponents bellow the LLK channel is 0. At this point in your edit all of the 256 exponents are 0. The last exponent represents the dMax value of 0. If you change this to the value that was located in the 255 location (30000) and you create a pure black canvas and try and align the paper again carefully for the overprint - this will work to the degree that your Epson print has good overprint registration reliability. Before you edit the GO curve. Duplicate it and give it a name that will be recognizable. Open it to edit in an application like Text Edit (Mac OS) or Word Pad (Windows). Make the edit but do not Save and do not Save As. Both of these operations can introduce formatting and make the GO Curve unreadable to QTR. Instead Quit the editing application and agree to save the document upon quitting. You will then need to re-run the installation command in Mac OS where this new file is located. Windows should automatically recognize it.
Are all Piezography K7 inks matte and glossy compatible?
They are since about 2010. The only ink shade that is not glossy compatible is Matte Black Shade 1 (previously known as Neutral Shade 1). That is our Matte black. Glossy K7 printing requires the Warm Neutral Shade 1 followed by a second printing of Piezography Gloss Overprint. Read the manual on how to do that!
I accidentally refilled my shade 3 cart with some shade 2. Only a little went in before I noticed. Did I ruin the ink inside the shade 2 cart?
Yes you did. The inks will no longer react correctly to the K7 curve and we can not produce a custom for you when something like that happens. You will need to empty the cartridge and refill it with fresh ink.
What is the difference between K7 and K6 ink sets?
The only difference is that K7 has an additional lighter shade than K6. Shade 7 is unique to K7. Shades 1 - 6 are the same in each kit.
How long will my Piezography inks last in the bottle?
We give them a two year shelf life. But, if tightly sealed it is not unheard of for our customers to be using five year old ink. We do not recommend that of course! It is important that you tightly seal an opened bottle so no evaporation occurs. If your bottle is well sealed, you can keep it horizontal (like a wine bottle) and turn it 90 degrees every month. This will maintain the carbon particles in solution and your ink will last much longer.
After three months of not using my printer I made a print and it looks posterized. All the nozzles are printing. So what happened?
All pigment ink falls out of suspension. Epson advises that their ink carts should be discarded within six months of first use. You may not notice slight color changes using stale inks. But, with Piezography you will notice a slight drop in density of one or more inks. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Remove the ink cartridges and gently shake them. To remove the ink that is currently in your printer perform one head clean on a desktop printer. On a large format printer you must perform three POWER CLEANS to remove the stale ink from the ink lines and dampers. If you leave your printer for more than 3 weeks you really should consider installing flush carts and flushing out the pigment ink. Restarting with pigment ink will be quick!
Can I make my own Special Edition ink by following your recipe?
Of course! Shake gently and store the new mixture in an air tight PP bottle. Never use PET. But, you can also make your own special edition inks by mixing any ratio of similar shades numbers together. Simply search for "special edition" above and you will see the recipe.
Are the K7 curves interchangeable with other printer models?
Technically, the X800 and X880 and X890 printers can use the same curves. So for example, curves for an Epson 2880 printer will work for an Epson 7880 printer as well as an Epson 3800.
How can I safely store my printer if I am not going to be using it for two months?
If you go several weeks or months without using the printer, I recommend removing the ink (which is much easier when using cartridges than a CIS), install a set of refill cartridges that are filled with PiezoFlush solution, do 2-3 cleaning cycles to flush ink out of the print head on a desktop, or 2-3 PowerCleans on a large format. Print a nozzle check to make sure the ink is flushed and all nozzles print light pink (there is some dye in the PiezoFlush solution so you can see the nozzles printing) then you can turn the printer off an let it sit unused for a long time without any problems. Store the set of ink cartridges upright in a sealed plastic bag so they don't dry out over time. When you are ready to print again, simply turn the printer on, do a cleaning cycle and print a nozzle check to make sure all nozzles are printing, then remove the set of flush cartridges, gently shake the ink cartridges to get the pigment in suspension as pigment will settle over time when left sitting still, install the set of ink cartridges (refill them with ink first if any are low) into you printer, wait about 10-15 minutes to let the ink settle and air rise, do 1-2 cleaning cycles or Power Cleans and print a nozzle check to make sure all positions are fully printing before printing images. If you are using an R3000, Epson did not include a Power Clean function and it would take nearly 70 head cleans in order to bring PiezoFlush or fresh ink to the print head. Instead we recommend that you download the Epson Service Utility software from 2manuals.com and run an INIT. You will need to be on PC or run Windows on a Mac.
How do you print the GO layer when using glossy media and K7 ink?
This is covered in the new Piezography manual!
But, I followed the manual and the GO does not appear to be printing evenly over the image. What am I doing wrong?
The only way that the GO can print is when it encounters a L value of 255. 255 is dMin or paper white. With regular Piezography and all other inkjet printing no ink ever prints in the dMin. Otherwise, the margins of the paper and specular highlights would be filled with ink. If you are using the GO curve correctly - GO will print on the image margins. But for the GO to print on the image you must make a small image (does not have to be same size as the image you printed with ink) that is an RGB image of pure white (RGB255,255,255). This white canvas is what you print the GO with. If the GO did not print evenly on the image then you either attempted to print the image file with GO rather than a small white cavas - or your white canvas is not RGB255,255,255.