ULTRA TONE FS (“UT-FS”) INKSETS FOR THE 2000P

INFORMATION AND SETTINGS

By

Paul Roark

(11-20-04)

           

 

(Note, the formatting of this document works better when at full screen display.)

 

The Ultra Tone FS inksets are pure pigment (predominantly carbon), black and white inksets for Epson printers.   They can be purchased from MIS Associates.  See the MIS website at: http://new.inksupply.com/utfs2000p.cfm

 

The Ultra Tone “FS” inksets are monotone and come in two hues or tones – medium warm (UT-FS) and neutral (UT-FSN).  

 

These inksets were originally designed for 4-ink printers and have one of the original “quadtone” B&W density characteristics.  For 6-ink (“hextone”) printers, the ink arrangement I support I call “CMCMY.”  This puts the dark gray FS-C ink in both the cyan and magenta positions.  The medium gray FS-M ink goes in both the light cyan and light magenta positions, and the light gray FS-Y goes in the yellow position.  Be aware that some hextone ink arrangements use different ink positions and more light ink.  For modern printers, however, the use of more light ink is not only unnecessary and more expensive, but it can reduce the quality of the prints.

 

The UT-FS inksets can print on matte or glossy papers with several alternative procedures or workflows.  In general, if one likes to print on matte paper, which most fine art photographers like, then MIS Eboni matte black should be used.   If one likes primarily glossy papers, MIS Photo black should be used.   If both types of paper are desired, then the black cartridges can be changed when necessary, or there is a procedure to print on glossy paper with the Eboni ink still installed.

 

The 2000P driver version used for the curves and settings discussed below is 5.21, which is the later one designed to limit metamerism with the original color inks.

 

Settings

 

Color Settings (Edit, Color Settings in Photoshop; leave at defaults in Picture Window) – I first set the top space to Photoshop 5 Default spaces.  Then I set the RGB working space to Adobe RGB (1998).  Be sure no other profiles are embedded in the file.

 

Epson driver

 

Space – Gray Gamma 2.2 or Adobe RGB (1998) 

 

Print Space -- Same as Source

 

Print Quality – Photo; High Speed can be checked for matte papers, but not checked for glossy papers.  Many find that “Fine” quality is OK also, and it’s faster.  There is also a “Super X” MicroWeave setting for the Photo quality that often increases dmax, but it is considerably slower.

 

Color Management – No Color Adjustment.

 

Media Type – Will vary with the paper being printed.  See below.

 

 

 

Printing on Matte Papers

 

Matte papers tend to print with low mid-tone contrast or other less than perfect grayscale ramps if no curves or other adjustments are used.  So, I recommend and have made some simple Photoshop curves that adjust the file to print better.  Unless the name of the curve includes ‘RGB,” these are designed to be applied to grayscale files.  The curves can be loaded in the usual manner in Photoshop (Image, Adjust, Curves) or Picture Window (Transform, Gray or Color depending on file, curves), or the grayscale curves can be loaded as a Transfer Function in the Epson driver Setup box when printing from Photoshop.  When they are loaded as Transfer Functions, the shadow tones from 75% to 95% may print slightly darker.  (Beware that after a Transfer Function has been loaded, it may still be there the next time you print.  So, check the Transfer Function to be sure you know what is there.)

 

Curves have been made for the following papers.  The curves can be downloaded from my “Download” web page as well as from MIS.  My download page is at http://home1.gte.net/res09aij/2000P-FS-curves.htm 

(This page may be discontinued by Verizon.  If so, the curves are also at http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/2000P-UT-FS.zip )

 

Other papers will probably be able to use these curves or slight modifications of them.  See below for how to modify curves.

 

Epson Enhanced Matte (“EEM”) – Media Type is “Archival Matte.”  This paper is excellent for non-archival uses.

 

PremierArt Fine Art Hot Press – Media Type is “Watercolor.”   The convex side of the 205 weight version prints smoother than the concave side.  An RGB version of the curve prints slightly smoother than the grayscale version, but the difference might not be visible in most pictures.  The heavier PremierArt Fine Art papers and Epson UltraSmooth typically use the same curve.  These papers have no optical brighteners and exhibit little of no flaking.

 

PermaJet Alpha – Media Type is “Watercolor.”  This paper contains no optical brighteners and has a very good dmax.  Related papers Omega and Delta can use the same curves and have some brighteners, with Delta being the brightest, but still neutral.  These papers exhibit little if any flaking.

 

Moab Entrada – Media Type is ‘Watercolor.”  The smoother, convex side was used to make this curve.  This paper exhibits some flaking.

 

Hahnemuhle PhotoRag – Media Type is “Watercolor.”  Other Hahnemuhle fine art papers typically use the same curve.  This paper has the best dmax, but tends to have some flaking.

 

 

Printing on Gloss Papers with MIS Photo Black Installed

 

If one is only printing glossy paper, the best image with the 2000P is usually achieved using Photo Black ink.  While the UT-FS inkset can also print on glossy papers when the Eboni matte black ink is installed (with special RGB curves – see below), many papers will print smoother with Photo black.

 

The curves have been written for the “Photo” Quality level with Super x not checked.  When that is checked, the prints may be slightly smoother, the dmax may be slightly better, and the print time will be considerably longer.

 

I recommend spraying most glossy papers with PremierArt Print Shield after they are dry.  This largely eliminates the “bronzing” (differential color reflections) that afflicts most glossy papers.   It also increases the dmax and makes the surface of the print waterproof.  It can actually be cleaned with a damp paper towel. 

 

For glossy paper, the Epson printer "pizza wheels" (or rollers) may leave marks on the finished print.  I recommend the wheels be removed.  See the instructions at

http://www.inkjetart.com/pizza/

 

Curves have been made for the following papers:

 

Epson Glossy Photo Paper – Media Type is “Glossy Paper Photo Weight.”  This reasonably-priced paper has the fewest digital artifacts like bronzing, although its thinner weight causes some waviness in areas with lots of dark tones.  The print may be slightly smoother when the grayscale file is 16 bit at the time the curve is applied (even if the file was 8 bit previously).

 

Kirkland Glossy Photo Paper – Media Type is “Glossy Paper Photo Weight.”  This is a Costco private label version of Epson Glossy Photo Paper.  It has a slightly better dmax and just a hint of bronzing.  The print may be slightly smoother when the grayscale file is 16 bit at the time the curve is applied (even if the file was 8 bit previously).  This paper produces an excellent image for a very modest price.

 

Epson Premium Semigloss – Media Type is “Premium Semigloss.”  The Epson Premium Glossy, Semigloss, Luster and Semimatte papers are rated by Wilhelm at “>200” years in terms of storage life.  They may be the most (or only) archival glossy papers.  Usually the Semigloss, Gloss and Luster papers use the same curves. The print may` be smoother (1) if the file is in 16 bit mode before the printing adjustment curve is applied or (2) the image is converted to RGB and printed with the RGB version of the control curve.  Spraying the finished print with PremierArt Print Shield increases the dmax, nearly eliminates the “bronzing,” and makes the paper water proof so that it can be cleaned with a damp paper towel.

 

Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl – Media Type is “Premium Semigloss.”  This paper is more economical than the Epson Premium Semigloss, but is not as archival.  The dmax is slightly more, but the very high dmax just after printing will decrease over the first day or more.   As with the above paper, the print may be slightly smoother with a 16 bit grayscale file or when the alternative RGB curve is used.  As with the above paper, I recommend spraying with PremierArt Print Shield.

 

 

Printing on Gloss Papers with Eboni Matte Black Installed

 

 

Glossy papers can be printed with Eboni matte black installed if special RGB curves are used.   With this procedure, the dmax (deepest black) is usually only slightly less than with Photo Black ink installed (about 10% maximum to almost no difference).

 

Using this method of printing is the most convenient if you also use matte papers because the black ink does not have to be changed.  The curves simply print the black values with the 2 dark gray inks, not using the Eboni at all.  (Eboni matte black is not compatible with glossy papers.)

 

Note on “Print Quality” setting – These curves are made for “Photo” quality.  “Fine” quality prints with a lower dmax, slightly darker midtones, and less smoothness, but it is faster.  With “Super X” checked the dmax is increased a few percent, the print is slightly smoother, but it is much slower (about 25 minutes for an 8x10). 

 

Curves have been made for the following papers:

 

Epson Glossy Photo Paper – Media Type is “Glossy Paper Photo Weight.”  This reasonably-priced paper has the fewest digital artifacts like bronzing and is the smoothest glossy paper I’ve printed with Eboni installed in the 2000P.  Its dmax is slightly less than the others. 

 

Kirkland Glossy Photo Paper – There are at least 2 batches of this paper on the market.

 

Swiss-made paper:  Media Type is “Glossy Paper Photo Weight.”  This is a Costco private label version of Epson Glossy Photo Paper.  It has a good dmax and just a hint of bronzing.  It is almost as smooth at the above paper, and may produce the best overall image among the glossy papers I’ve tried with Eboni installed in the 2000P.   This and the above paper show a bit of waviness where there is a heavy ink load.  At 15 cents per letter-size sheet, this is a great value.

 

Japanese-made paper:  Use Epson Premium Semigloss settings, below.  This paper appears to be Epson Premium Glossy paper, but without the logo on the back.

 

Epson Premium Semigloss – Media Type is “Premium Semigloss.”  See above for a paper description. 

 

Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl – This paper prints with the Premium Semigloss curve.  While it has a good dmax, it is slightly rougher than the Premium Semigloss.  As such I don’t recommend it when Eboni is installed unless there are no smooth areas where grain would show.

 

 

 

Paul

www.PaulRoark.com 

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PS: For an open forum where I hang out, join the B&W Digital Print forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/