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06-30-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
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printing black and white photos

so it's been way too long that I have actually printed my photos....last time that I actually printed a negative was in a darkroom with an enlarger...

I do black and white pretty much exclusively and I'm not interested in printing color.
For those that print themselves.....what type of printer and paper do you use / recommend?
Would a laser printer be a good choice for B&W printing? Frankly I had too many bad experiences with ink-jet printers in the past just printing out simple documents...

06-30-2016, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
Frankly I had too many bad experiences with ink-jet printers in the past just printing out simple documents...
Big difference between an ink-jet document printer and a printer designed for photo printing. Others may disagree but I've never seen any laser output I thought was good enough to hang.

I suggest you look at fine art inkjet printers, either Cannon or Epson. Look for ones that have multiple black/grey inks. I currently use a Cannon Pro-1 which has 5 different 'black' inks.

I use Red River paper, mostly Aurora art white or Arctic Polar Luster. They also have a rather nice metallic if you like that. But paper is going to be very subjective and there are lots of good companies providing it. Most important is find a few types you like and then learn how to print on it. This takes some time and getting all your settings right.
06-30-2016, 12:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
Would a laser printer be a good choice for B&W printing?
Laser printers aren't made for photo printing. They're made for B&W printing, or if color, for pie charts or bar charts. But they will not produce a good B&W photograph. I use laser printers for everyday email, document, etc, printing only. They use Toners not ink.

Epson IMO make the best printers for printing photographs. And if you buy any printer, make sure they have at least 6 inks. Print your photos in Grayscale, not black and white.

Last edited by photolady95; 06-30-2016 at 04:01 PM. Reason: correct oops!
06-30-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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Agree with all the advice above. I've had success using Epson inkjet printers that have not only black ink, but also light black and light light black. The Epson P800 also has a matte black ink in addition to the usual luster/glossy that is easily switched if you're using matte paper vs. luster or glossy. Another huge help is using a free software program like Google's Nik Collection Software and Silver Effects Pro 2 to work the black and white image.

06-30-2016, 01:29 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Laser printers are made for photo printing.
Did you mean "aren't"? Based on what you said shortly there-after, I think that's what you meant!

The Canon Pro-100 has 3 different "colors" of black ink... Every once in a while Canon has a rebate where you can get it for steep discounts. (Anywhere from $100 to free!) I own one, and would definitely recommend it for printing. I haven't printed in B&W, but the color prints are lovely!
06-30-2016, 01:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 12345 Quote
Did you mean "aren't"? Based on what you said shortly there-after, I think that's what you meant!

The Canon Pro-100 has 3 different "colors" of black ink... Every once in a while Canon has a rebate where you can get it for steep discounts. (Anywhere from $100 to free!) I own one, and would definitely recommend it for printing. I haven't printed in B&W, but the color prints are lovely!
Agreed with 12345 on the Canon Pro-100.

I have one also and it does a fabulous job printing in B&W!

And with the right rebates, the price can't be beat .
06-30-2016, 02:14 PM   #7
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I print mostly black and white and use an Epson p600 (smaller version of 800 I think) and use Nik software. Right now, I am still using Epson papers, some are like darkroom paper and some are like watercolor paper and been happy with both types. You can buy sample packs to try, same with Red River, I have the pack, I just haven't tested them yet. I like Epson Fine Art Velvet the best. There is also Exhibition Fiber, which is supposed to be like darkroom paper, but I find it kind of thick.
06-30-2016, 04:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 12345 Quote
Did you mean "aren't"?
Yes, I did and corrected for clarity. Thanks. Sometimes my brain works better than my fingers do.

06-30-2016, 04:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Yes, I did and corrected for clarity. Thanks. Sometimes my brain works better than my fingers do.
You're welcome! I know the feeling...
06-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I currently use a Cannon Pro-1 which has 5 different 'black' inks.
Thanks for the recommendation. I currently use a canon MX726 which at just over $100 here, is just ok for 6x4 family snaps. On black and white, the blacks are not really black but have some horrible blue tone about them. Next time I will save a bit longer.
06-30-2016, 05:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
the blacks are not really black but have some horrible blue tone about them.
I only saw that once on one of my Epson printers and it was because I used an off brand ink cartridge.
06-30-2016, 05:49 PM   #12
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Ilford mate pearl paper
Canon 8750
Almost do old town image white and black
Gradation
With Topaz program excellent
06-30-2016, 07:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
Thanks for the recommendation. I currently use a canon MX726 which at just over $100 here, is just ok for 6x4 family snaps.
I think when buying a printer research should start with the ink set. Pigment or dye? How long before fading? Is it archival? How much is the cost per page or square inch? Red River has published some tests that are helpful in determining the operating cost: Cost of Inkjet Printing Reports by Red River Paper

Then consider the paper and paper types you want to print. Note cards or greeting cards will not go through all printers. Thick fine art paper causes problems with some printers. What is the paper path like? If too curvy thick paper will jam. Are there printer profiles available for the paper you want to use for the printer you are interested in.

Then consider features: wireless? SD card slot? Paper tray and capacity? Largest print size? ???

I'm somewhat brand agnostic and have an Epson multi function machine that produces quite nice color prints as well as the Canon Pro-1. I got the Canon because there was a really, really good deal on them. I am very happy with the printed result. However, were I to buy a new printer I would do my research as described above rather than buying any one brand.

I used to have a Canon i9900 but replaced it when I found prints hanging in a shop that had faded in less than 6 months. A nice printer, but the ink set is not archival.

Having the Pro-1 is really nice and it makes short work of the prints and cards I need each month. But a full set of ink carts is $335. Which always makes me pay attention to what and why I'm printing something.
07-03-2016, 10:26 AM   #14
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Epson R3000 user here. I mostly print on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. Switched to Cone Color 3rd party inks due to cost.

It's been a journey and a learning experience, but I'm happy with the prints I'm getting and I think I get more printing done when compared to sending pictures out for printing. Also I like the fact that I'm in control of the whole process from start to finish.
07-03-2016, 03:13 PM   #15
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You can get really great black and white photos printed on an inkjet printer. I have an Epson Stylus Pro 3880. I tell Lightroom that the printer will manage the colors, then in the Epson set up menu, I select the Advance B&W option. I print on inexpensive photo paper I get at either Costco or Sam's until the photo is exactly what I want, then I print the final version on Ilford Gold Mono Silk, which was designed for black and white printing.
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