08-09-2013 10:16 AM - edited 08-09-2013 10:18 AM
ebiggs, tinman, and grapegeek,
For $89 (with rebates), the Canon PRO-100 is an excellent printer. The dye inks perform on par with the Pigment inks used on the PRO-1 in terms of longevity, if you belief the different reviews, and I love the color prints, simply amazing.
I love color images, and the prints from the PRO-100 are amazing, color images really pop. But I have always loved the timeless look and feel of black and white images. They are unique to everyone and make ones own mind see color in their own way. Within the images, the tonal changes bring out new meaning and depth to an image.
Many times, when out on a shoot, I am trying to visualize the final "B&W" image. I do not envision a color cast, so when it shows up on the final print, I am a little disappointed and try to make it a bit better. As I will with the PRO-100, I will try to improve with the tools that I have at my disposal. However, I do wish that Canon would allow us to completely "turn off" the color and utilize the monochrome exclusively.
There is definitely more to making true Black and White prints from images, as well as color.
All play an important role in the final outcome.
I have been busy reading reviews of other printers and capabilities and see that it is not just the PRO-100, but many of the Canon printers, right up there with the iPF8300 and some Epsons. QuadToneRIP will not work with Canon printers as it is based towards Epson printer, mostly running on Mac's. Another software is "True Black and White" by BowHaus, which is a proprietary software for large format Canon Printers.
In the end I will have to continue to test of papers, I am going to try Canson Infinity Platine Fibre and Baryta Photographique as both have had great reviews in regards to black and white print abilities.
In the future, when I have the funds to purchase a higher end large format printer, I may choose a Canon but I may choose an HP. According to the data at Wilhelm Imaging Research, the longevity of the Epson and Canon inks don't come close to matching the HP Vivera inks, well for color that is, some of the HP prints last over 450 years under UV glass, let alone in dark storage.
08-09-2013 12:33 PM
OK, one of the first prints I made was just a quick and dirty print but it remains my truest B&W print of them all. I did it about a week ago. Then this morning I ran a series of test with a different image. First I printed letting Photoshop control everything with a grayscale image of a scanned BW negative. The best and most neutral image is the one where I unchecked the BW option in the printer driver. It had the most neutral colors of all the ones. Deeper blacks in the shadows and it popped more of the paper. BUT, it's hard to tell in the lighting but it might still be a tiny bit green. I had my wife look at he prints and should could tell the worst offender (The image I converted to RGB and set the BW option in the printer driver) was greenish.
Then we looked at the print I did a week ago of a scanned color negative converted in Silver Efex to black and white and I'm not sure what Silver Efex did to the image, but it came out very neutral.
The most neutral prints I ever got were from my Epson printer using carbon black pigment inks. These Canon prints might be good enough to 99% of the people out there. I'll get some framed and behind glass and see what they look like. I think this is a never ending battle in my opinion...
08-09-2013 01:14 PM - edited 08-09-2013 01:15 PM
That is about the same as I found a slight green tint, it is very slight but I can see it. This happens when I check the "Black and White Photo Print" box.
I did a quick and dirty test myself. The images I printed the other day on the Galerie Smooth Pearl were scanned as tiff's on my companies Konica copier/scanner. I know it is not a high resolution scanner but I wanted to try a quick experiment.
I imported both 600 dpi scans of the "B&W" prints into Photoshop.
I increased the saturation of the scanned images to see if the cast stood out. Sure enough, the print with the checked box shows a lot more green. They both have green tint but the "checked box" print is more pronounced. They also have a bluish (cool) cast as well, most likely due to the OBA's in the Galerie Smooth Pearl.
But it sounds the same, if you want to convert a color photo to black and white quickly you can "check the box"
If you want to print a grayscale image from PS or LR, let the applications manage the color and leave the B&W print box UNCHECkED.
I'll do the same with framing but I'll wait for some worthy paper to print on first. :-)
09-20-2013 03:23 PM
Thank you so much blumb. Very helpful. Unchecking that box solved my color cast problem. Canon should have been clearer on the usage of the check box. BTW, I tried printing a color print as a B&W, with the box checked, and the driver did a decent job. You just do not have tonal control in the conversion.
09-20-2013 09:31 PM
09-23-2013 09:43 AM
You are welcome. I'm glad it worked for you as well.
I still wish and hope that Canon is paying attention to the board and will fix, what I see as a software error.
A neutral B&W print should remain that way, is color was wanted then I would apply some color to the image during processing. I would a nice RIP software would work with the Pixma Line and if it gave control of the available inks.
09-23-2013 09:56 AM
I have noticed the same issue with NIK Silver FX. There are a few supplied actions within Silver FX that have a small amount of toning color added. I found out in a similar way, I processed an image on my laptop (display not color corrected) and didn't "see" the toning until printed. Then when I connected my regular monitor I found the toning. I reprocessed the image by manually adjusting each step within SilverFX and then printed the image with the result I was looking for.
I have saved several of the processing steps as favorites within SilverFX and now use them as starting points with other images.
12-07-2013 04:52 PM
"I sent the same image to Canon to have it tested on the PRO-1 and the PRO-100 and it was printed on Ilford Galleria Gold silk Paper, using their "Try my print" service.
The print from the PRO-1 is nothing short of amazing; beautiful tonality, crisp detail, and a true monochrome print.
The print from the PRO-100 is good but not as crisp, and with a slight color cast, towards green I would say."
I sent photos in as well to try the Pro-10 and Pro-1 printers by Canon (try my print). I was tempted to do B+W ones, as I knew the top two had a reputation as being somewhat better at B+W, but I did a color portrait instead. What I noticed, apart from them all looking roughly similar, was that there was a warmish, greenish color cast to the prints. It became very noticeable when I held the print up to my calibrated screen. So I printed the same print on my Pro-100. Mine looked substatially better, as it was a dead on match to my monitor. The same Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl was used for all three (mine included). I used the printer profile provided by Ilford. Trying to figure this out, I reread the letter that accompanied the photos, and on one, the settings said color management was set to "auto" (the other didn't mention either way). So they color managed my already perfect print/file, and in doing so, threw off the color balance. I'm amazed they send them out this way since they are trying to demo the printers and the level of expertise for those sending in photos is probably pretty high, meaning they have already color balanced the photo before sending it in and need no further help from some automated process.
Anyhow, despite not being as expert as most there, my opinion is that the problems experienced here are related to letting the printer in some small way manage the color, and that would include checking that box for B+W. Why check that box if the monitor is calibrated and the correct printer/paper profile is used? If calibrations are all correct, then the print should look like the screen, so why mess with what should already be correct?
I generally use Lightroom as I find their color management most intuitive and simplified.
I've read either on DPR or FM that some of the Canon profiles may not be dead on accurate as some other paper manufacturers, but that was anecdotes online, not verified by me. If the profiles are off, particularly if they are known to be off in the community, then use a device like the Color Munki Photo to make custom profiles that do work.
04-28-2014 12:12 PM
04-28-2014 01:05 PM
Maybe worth repeating, maybe everybody knows, but the Pro-100 uses all the cartridges, color and b&w, to print monochrome (b&w) prints. One may think that since it has the dedicated b&w cartridges, it would not need help from the color inks.
But it does.