alan little’s weblog

r800 black & white notes ii

28th April 2005 permanent link

In the first episode, Alan set out to get better black & white prints from his Epson R800, but got sidetracked into the surprisingly intricate intricacies of producing greyscale test charts in Photoshop.

Now, he googles “Epson R800 black & white” (always do this first folks) and quickly finds the black & white printing discussion, where it becomes apparent that lots of people have this problem and some of them have suggestions about ways to improve it. Others say the improved results, whilst not perfect, are about as good as you can realistically expect from a printer that uses coloured inks. I shall try out some of the suggestions.

(Some of the people on think the 2100 was better for black & white because it had a grey ink cartridge. I did get very neutral black & whites from my 2100, but only with expensive third party RIP software, never with Epson’s own drivers)

Imaging Resource, on the other hand, thinks the R800 is better than the HP7960 for black & white. Oh well. If the various fixes suggested by the folks on don’t do it for me, the HPs are cheap enough to buy one, try it, and unload it on ebay if it isn’t an improvement.

UPDATE: there is also a yahoo discussion group rejoicing in the wonderful name of “DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint”. In it a guy called Daniel Ridings recommends a method, but when I try it I find I don't like it – too blue.

In the yahoo group I also find a link to’s review of the R1800 (bigger version of the R800) where they say:

Inkset neutrality for black and white printing: We interviewed several Epson employees about this issue, and they indicated that because the R1800 inkset does not have the light black ink (like the 2200, 4000, 7600 and 9600), it will not produce as neutral black and white prints as does the 2200, especially with matte and fine art papers.

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