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Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w - Adobe Photoshop Mac CS, CS2 & CS3

I've had a request for some of my color photos in b&w. I'll play with the excellent tips here on the actual conversion process, but also need help with printing and thought maybe some folks here could point me in the right direction. Links to a tutorial or whatever? I'll be printing on my Epson 1270 using Epson inks. Any particular papers better than others for b&w? I've been using just the Epson papers to date with color and am very happy with them. Any settings that seem to work well? Will the photos print better if they're actually RGB ...

  1. #1

    Default Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    I've had a request for some of my color photos in b&w. I'll play with the excellent tips here on the actual conversion process, but also need help with printing and thought maybe some folks here could point me in the right direction. Links to a tutorial or whatever?

    I'll be printing on my Epson 1270 using Epson inks. Any particular papers better than others for b&w? I've been using just the Epson papers to date with color and am very happy with them. Any settings that seem to work well? Will the photos print better if they're actually RGB files not grayscale?

    I haven't gotten too deep yet into converting the RGB files. Just put together the portfolio in a hurry yesterday using the mode-switch method because it was fast and fairly accurate. But how do you get the blacks and whites (and shades in between) to "punch"?

    Thanks for any help/tips/links...
    Tina_Garfield@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    You may want to look at This thread <http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?14.2cd0388b/0>.

    Someone in the thread asks the same exact question, using the same exact printer.

    As far as converting to greyscale - I prefer the following method:

    Create a channel mixer adjustment layer. Hit 'Monochrome'. Now mix the individual channels until the right contrast/density is achieved.

    Then convert to greyscale/flatten.
    JasonSmith@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    Many of the Epson gurus recommend that you stay in RGB mode rather than convert to grayscale for printing to an Epson printer.

    Some amazing b&w prints were shown at the Epson Print Academy and photographer Vincent Versace was adamant that one should always work and print b&w in RGB mode. Some of those huge, astonishing b&w prints were his.

    The 'Channel Mixer / Monochrome' is definitely the way to go, at least from my experience with the Epson 2200 and prints up to 11x17. I did experiment with grayscale to compare, but the b&w prints made from RGB images were clearly superior.
    Ramón_G_Castañeda@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    Thanks for the help (and sorry I missed that thread about the 1270). Am wondering if the 6-shades-of-black ink cartridges offered by Cone are as good as they're hyped up to be on that website. Downside would be having to dedicate the printer for b&w.
    Tina_Garfield@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    Tina,

    I've heard some good things about the Cone system. It should solve most of the problems that CMY printers have producing consistant neutrals in grayscale printing. But, as you said, it helps to have a dedicated printer *and* the ink system ain't cheap.

    I've had the best luck sticking with Epson ink on Epson-made media. The only troubles I had a few years ago was some consistancy problems with the Epson 1270 ink since they farmed production to China. I don't use that printer much anymore, so can't really comment on the ink today.
    Paul_Hokanson@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    Tina,

    If you are interested in a dedicated "quad" printer Cone's system works well...but the ink is very pricey and only one tone per printer.

    You might consider MIS's UltraTone 2 inks for the 1270...ink tones can vary from cool to sepia from one inkset:

    <http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?source=html/ultratone.html>

    Here's a paragraph from the MIS site - the 1270 (1280) is supported:

    UT2 UltraTone for 890, 1280 & 1290
    UT2 is a second generation Ultatone inkset developed by Paul Roark specifically for the Epson 1280 printer. Like the UT inks, it also is a variable tone inkset. It can produce tones from full sepia to full cool. There are 30 workflow curves provided for a number of papers to produce prints with sepia, warm, selenium, neutral and cool tones using the Photoshop curves provided. The unique feature of UT2, is that it can be used without applying Photoshop adjustment curves. By manipulating the color control sliders in the Epson print driver, warm and neutral prints can be made with any software that will print images. It does not require Photoshop. UT2 inks will print on matte papers or glossy papers provided the correct black ink is selected. Use Eboni black for matte papers and Photo black for glossy or semi gloss papers. The Eboni and Photo black inks are the same inks used in the UT inkset.

    Also join the list below to learn all about B+W printing:

    <http://groups./group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/messages/>
    John_Vitollo@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    Thanks for the info and links. I dove in, converted photos to b&w using the channels/monochrome method, keeping file in RGB mode, printed, even to 12x18, (from a scan of the negative at resolution of 4000 on Canoscan FS4000) and to my somewhat unschooled b&w eye, they look very good. Quite surprised, because I'd read that there tends to be some color casts when printing this way. If there is a color cast, seems to possibly be on the blue side. Since I'm enlarging to 12x18, am avoiding converting to grayscale because of the grain issues I've read about.

    One question -- about sharpening. I'm assuming I should wait, as always, to do any sharpening at the very end, AFTER the conversion to b&w. Just thought I'd ask in case there is something unique about the conversion process where I should sharpen before converting?

    Thanks, as always!
    Tina_Garfield@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help converting/printing color-to-b&w

    From my understanding grain is only achieved if you select black ink only in your printer driver. I get this on my Epson 1270 no matter what file mode I send it when set to black ink only.

    If you get a blue cast at least it's better than green. There's nothing more crappier looking than a greenish B/W print, IMHO.
    Tim_Lookingbill@adobeforums.com Guest

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