So what happens when you mix Piezography and Epson color inks together in the same printer?

Piezography Color!

According to Walker Blackwell, a color management expert and Piezographer extraordinaire, Piezography Selenium inks can be substituted into the EPSON color ink set in place of the EPSON blacks in order to improve the printing of neutrals in color images:

I would also note that for anyone using a RIP (say Colorburst) and not using Epson’s default screening (Epson’s default screening will add color ink overlay into the neutral to compensate for the brown/green K ink that Epson sells) you can buy 4 selenium inks from Jon Cone to replace your PK MK LK LLK. Then, when you build your custom CMYK profile, the setup will use more pure K ink when printing neutrals in color images. This cuts metamerism way down and generally gives you a superior profile for printing neutral images with small areas of full color (one of the hardest printing procedures, and something today’s profilers still can’t handle very well with mixed Ks like Epson). The 3800 (with it’s 6 droplet sizes) are uniquely up to this task. Also, this method will give you a more stable (neutral) starting point for building QuadtoneRIP profiles for your color inks. This really only works best with the newest head tech starting on the 3800/4880/7880/9880

For users wishing to improve their EPSON color ink set with these four Piezography Selenium inks they are as follows:

  • Epson PK – Selenium MPS Black
  • Epson MK – Piezography K7 shade 1 black
  • Epson LK – Selenium shade 4
  • Epson LLK – Selenium shade 5

For the 4880, 7880 and 9800 printers you can find these 4 positions by clicking here.

For the 3800, we can only sell systems in which all of the carts must be replaced at one time with our refillable cart system – or the Epson driver will not permit the system to print. This is the first Epson printer that has been designed to try and eliminate the use of third party inks by using a much more sophisticated intellichip system. Our refillable carts are excellent and reliable but must be used as an entire set, rather than as individual replacements in the way that our large format carts can for the 4880/7880/9880. So, we put together a complete ConeColor/Piezography system with our Epson color replacement inks in all the other positions right here: 3800 system.

Naturally, we would prefer that you use all of our ConeColor inks in place of the Epson primaries in your 4880, 7880 and 9880. If you would like us to put together a custom system for you – let us know. The cost will be the same as a complete ConeColor replacement inks system.

And for those wondering, why not just replace the blacks with Piezography Neutral inks? Most of our dedicated black & white photographers prefer our Selenium tone because it is more representative of fine black and white darkroom printing when fiber based silver prints are selenium toned for appearance. But technically, although the entire Neutral K7 ink set is not glossy compatible as is the Selenium K7 ink set – Neutral shades 4, 5, 6 & 7 are encapsulated enough to be glossy compatible. The Selenium K7 inks have a triple encapsulation of polyester around each pigment particle which allows them to be glossy compatible all the way through the more heavier pigmented shades 2 and 3. MPS is our glossy compatible black (which does not use dye as does Epson PK). It is possible therefore, to customize an ink set with Neutrals instead of Seleniums. Contact me and I will put that set together for you.

Just a couple more answers to questions you might ask about these custom color solutions that utilize Piezography inks.

They are not designed to be used with our K7 curves for QuadTone RIP. QuadTone RIP comes with support for making black & white prints with the black inks only of the Epson ink sets. Those would be your starting points for this system. Also, our ConeColor ICC profiles are not designed around these custom ink solutions. You will need to make your own, or have customs produced if you use the Epson printer driver, or if you utilize your own RIP software. Custom solutions like this are not plug and play as is our straight ConeColor ink or our Piezography K7 ink systems. You will not need flush your printer in order to change inks. And no matter what you might be wondering, the 3800 system can only be utilized with an entire cart swap at one time. You will have to discard the ink remaining in that system or give your partially used Epson 3800 carts to a friend.