S3P profile with Extended Grays vs. Epson Adv B&W mode in great detail
Posted by Larisa Bolli on 27 July 2009 02:51 PM
I think you need a little more explanation and understanding for how Advanced B&W mode works in the Epson driver.

This is a special printing mode of the Epson driver; it uses primarily the black, light black, and light light black inks for printing, and throws in just a small amount of color ink for tinting when appropriate.

This is also a -separate- non-ICC printing mode that does not typically use color profiles

After you've built a profile with Spyder3Print, you will NOT normally print through Advanced B&W mode in the Epson driver.

So if what you're doing is: building a S3P profile; applying it in the Photoshop Print dialog; and THEN selecting Advanced B&W mode in the 2400 driver: this is wrong. Yes, your print will be too light, because the S3P profile that you built will lighten and adjust the color image data before it ever gets to the 2400 driver; and then it will be converted to B&W in the driver and printed through the black inks, so you'll get a print that will be too light.

Don't use Advanced B&W mode in the 2400 driver when you apply an RGB printer profile in Photoshop's Print dialog.

Our method of making B&W prints, through our profiles, is this: you will always print through the 2400 driver the "normal" way (not using Advanced B&W mode).

To make higher quality B&W prints, you'll use our "extended grays" supplement when you build a profile. In the 3.5b9 software, there are a few variations of doing this:

1. The simplest is to print the new 2 page target (225 colors on the first page, 238 extended grays on the 2nd page); measure it; and build a profile.

2. Alternatively, you can print the 225 colors and 238 extended grays as separate 1 page targets; measure them separately, so that each set of measurements goes into a different file; then combine them on the "Read Patches" screen (use the Advanced/Full workflow to get there) by selecting the "colors" measurement file in the upper/larger popup; checking the "Use Extended Grays" box; and then selecting the "grays" measurement file in the smaller popup below.

3. For even more color accuracy, you can use the same procedure described in (2) above, but substitute the 729 patch color target for the 225. (Either the 3 page variety or the single page variety, if you want to print the 729 patches on a single sheet of 13x19).

Once you've built a profile from measurements any of these 3 ways, it's still an RGB printer profile, but it's now a "super" profile. The extended gray measurements greatly enhance the accuracy around and near the neutral axis, and you'll get significantly improved B&W prints, going through a COLOR printing workflow. You'll select the S3P profile in Photoshop's Print dialog and you will print using the full color inkset in the 2400 driver the normal way; you will NOT use Advanced B&W mode.

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