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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have read about the chromablast/Sublijet 4880 Hybrids.

My question is would I be able to create a hybrid using the original four CMYK channels for general paper/poster printing and the other four channels for an all black system for printing my film positives.

I have no interest in sublimation/transfer printing I need the printer mainly for film positives but would be nice to keep colour printing an option instead of converting all 8 channels to black.

Would this be possible through Accurip by simply changing the four channels in use for colour/black?

Another way to possibly tackle this could be by using a single refillable cartridge filled with a black dye ink instead of the original black. Then use Accurip to select that single channel for my positives and print colour as normal?

Or would the use of four all black cartridges greatly improve density over the one?

Any thoughts and feedback greatly appreciated.

Billy
 

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Billy,

There are two ways to handle this and they all have to do with the ink setup / printing software combination. One is to use the original 8-colors of Epson ink. This method will have you print on your paper and poster material using the Epson print driver (because it pulls from all 8 channels). Then you can use a RIP software (like MultiRIP Film or AccuRIP) to print your film positives. The RIP software will need to pull ink from the Photo Black channel. The challenge with this setup is the cost of Epson inks are much higher and the Photo Black ink does not have the UV inhibitors in it that most inks designed for printing films do have. So depending on how particular you are regarding the quality of the films, this may very well work for you. By just using the black film positive ink with the rest of the Epson inks, you will not get the same colors (depending on how specific you are) because the black inks used different pigments. Thus require different ICC color profiles.

The other option is to use a Hybrid RIP like MultiRIP Hybrid. Hybrid RIPs allow for two completely different types of inks to be loaded into the printer at the same time. Since you have no desire to do dye sub printing, I would just recommend putting cleaning fluid in the first four channels. (Note - you have to have some type of fluid in all the ink channels or the print head will overheat. Cleaning fluid is the best / cheapest choice for doing this.) A hybrid RIP has specific ICC profiles to use the black film positive ink along with CMY inks that are typically used for printing transfers to print on other things (photo paper, paper,...). Thus, the hybrid RIP will allow you to use the film positive black ink to get the best possible film output and have built-in specific ICC profiles to allow you to do your other printing.

Of course all of this information is based on the dye inks you are planning on using. We have several companies in the USA that sell the same film positive / transfer inks under different names that were used to create the ICC profiles in MultiRIP Hybrid. I have also spoken to other people that use a completely different type of ink they got from overseas and have no issues. Different inks can require the need for different ICC profiles. Just not sure what inks are available in the UK or if you plan on ordering them online.

Hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to ask additional ones.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info

Would the type of black ink you use in the photo black channel give wildy different results on normal paper if using the original epson driver? I would have thought black would be fairly safe in terms of colour variation, is that not the case?

Epson inks are really expensive, whichever way I go it would probably start with one of these refillable cartridge kits then just depends on how I fill each channel and with what ink.

I was leaning more towards filling four channels with a non brand but compatible epson C M Y K inks then the other four with a dye based black positive ink such as this one.

Would this not work using accurip to change the four channels in use as I suggested?

Billy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've heard that the 4880's dont do too great for film positives using only the epson photo black ink channel.

Ive upgraded to the 4880 from a Canon pixma pro A3 printer which gave poor positives which I had to double up. This time im really after nice dense dark positives and also on the larger A2 size.

Would just be s shame to loose all colour printing possibilities from this expensive printer and I could do with the option to print A2 colour posters in the future.

If you had a new 4880 and wanted to achieve this how would you go about setting up your ink system?

Billy
 

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Would this not work using accurip to change the four channels in use as I suggested?
AccuRIP is a film positive RIP that is designed to be used for printing black ink only. Much like MultiRIP Film and several other film RIPs, it does not have the ICC profiles to print on to colors. So it will not work to print full color on to paper. And once you change the ink setup from the original Epson setup, you will not be able to use the Epson driver.

Thus the reason why there are Hybrid RIPs like MultiRIP Hybrid out there.

Mark
 

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Would the type of black ink you use in the photo black channel give wildy different results on normal paper if using the original epson driver? I would have thought black would be fairly safe in terms of colour variation, is that not the case?
In some cases, they might be close. However, inks can made with different formulas that can change the density curve (for film positives), linearization and grayscale - all which can affect the color output. Since black is used to help create a lot of other colors in a CMYK process (which is why it is replaced the most often), slight changes in the black formula can throw off the majority of colors being printed.

The other important thing to understand is what is good color to one person... might be poor color to another. Color is very subjective.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Mark.

I know I won't be able to afford to keep the printer running with a full set of 8 genuine Epson ink cartridges.

Also the $650 price of the MultiRIP software is a bit much for me as im only very small scale at the moment. Plus I already have Accurip.

Would this then only leave me with the options of using refillable cartidges with non brand inks and the black dye ink in the photo black channel. Suffering the poor colour calibration using the epson driver and Accurip to use only the black channel for my films.

Or converting all 8 cartridges to black and loosing the colour option all together.

Its tricky as there is not a lot of inks and kits available for this sort of stuff in the UK.

Billy
 

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Billy,

Do you have a source for the other colors of ink? The website you posted a link to above states there are only 2 liters of black ink stock. Did not see the other colors? If you plan on using Epson inks, you could try and replace the Epson Photo Black ink with this dye black ink and see what the colors look like. They might look fine or the might not. If not, then you will either need to look for all the colors (CMYKLcLmLkLlk) and see what the colors look like using the Epson driver. Again, it might look okay or it might not. But without using a color RIP to tell the printer to pull ink from only specific channels to reproduce a full color print (which is not what AccuRIP does), you are going to need to use all 8 channels of ink and the Epson driver.

Of course your other option is to just run black ink in the printer. Personally, I think 8 channels of black ink is a waste. The most cost effective way is to use 4-channels of black ink and the other 4-channels with cleaning fluid. You don't gain any more print speed from 4-channels of black to 8-channels. As with any piezo-based printer, the built-in firmware is designed to spit fluid out of all ink channels periodically. So you are wasting more ink with 8 channels then 4 channels. Since cleaning fluid is cheaper than ink, you will be saving money.

Best wishes,

Mark
 

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Is there any reason you couldn't just use distilled water instead of cleaning fluid?
Distilled water has a slightly different viscosity as the ink and cleaning fluid. Some people have no issue using distilled water and others have stated that it can drip out of the bottom of the print head. I have used a mixed of 50/50 solution of distilled water and cleaning fluid without issue. In either case, the cost of doing this is much less than the cost of putting ink in all 8 channels.

Mark
 
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