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tashirosgt
2010-Aug-18, 12:27 AM
I notice that printing color pictures with dark backgrounds really uses a lot of ink when you use an typical inkjet printer. I assume the printer creates the dark color by printing complementary colors. I don't see any pure black in the background.

I there a standard trick or technology to lessen the amount of ink used in such situations? I suppose a sophisticated way would be to use a dark paper and modify the image so it looked correct on the paper without using so much dark printing. Do fancy printers that have more than 3 ink colors have these extra colors so that they can print dark areas efficiently?

kleindoofy
2010-Aug-18, 12:51 AM
... Do fancy printers that have more than 3 ink colors have these extra colors so that they can print dark areas efficiently?
Yes, really fancy ink jets have eight.

You should normally have four (cymk), where c=cyan, m=magenta, y=yellow and k=black. If you have four, you can push up the UCR in your images, which will let more black be printed.

UCR (under color removal) means that as the percentages of the cmy increase, they are turned down by a certain degree and replaced with black. If you use photoshop, check your color preferences and push up the UCR values. Then always be sure to convert your images to cymk before printing. rgb images will rely on the printer driver for cmyk separation and that's usually pretty bad.

edit: I have to admit that I have had UCR turned off on my system for a few years now because of advanced color management profiles. UCR is slightly old-fashioned, but it should still work.

peteshimmon
2010-Aug-18, 12:57 AM
I made that suggestion some time ago in
the equipment forum that no one responded
to (sniff). Black paper, a white cartridge
and special software I think. There are all
those Gendler images to be reproduced for
dining rooms everywhere. But ours is such
a small group, not a mass market.

cjameshuff
2010-Aug-18, 12:58 AM
Printers that use CMYK aren't really that fancy. In fact, though ones using plain CMY have existed, I've yet to come across one...attempting to produce black by mixing C, M, and Y typically gives muddy brown or gray results. Some printers do have additional colors, but usually light versions of cyan and magenta, to allow light colors to be printed without a visible dot pattern. Even in grayscale, dark backgrounds are going to use a lot of ink.

Have you looked at other technologies? Dye sublimation, for example?

kleindoofy
2010-Aug-18, 01:11 AM
... Some printers do have additional colors, but usually light versions of cyan and magenta, to allow light colors to be printed without a visible dot pattern. ...
Yup, my Epson stylus pro 4880 uses eight colors, with the lighter versions you mentioned.

For best results, I use a RIP (EFI) with special drivers for the epson.

TrAI
2010-Aug-19, 10:27 PM
I notice that printing color pictures with dark backgrounds really uses a lot of ink when you use an typical inkjet printer. I assume the printer creates the dark color by printing complementary colors. I don't see any pure black in the background.

I there a standard trick or technology to lessen the amount of ink used in such situations? I suppose a sophisticated way would be to use a dark paper and modify the image so it looked correct on the paper without using so much dark printing. Do fancy printers that have more than 3 ink colors have these extra colors so that they can print dark areas efficiently?

There are several color systems in use with printers, the most common is CMYK, but there is also CMY, CcMmYC, CMYCOG and so on.

Generaly printing on dark paper does not work very well, printers are inherantly subtractive color mixing devices, so the printing process always creates darker colors than the substrate.

There are special application devices that have white, thermal transfer label cartridges with white on dark text, or sublimation prints for dark objects. However any aditional color will still be subtractive, only using the white as a substrate.

I suppose it may be possible to device some additive color process, but that would mean luminecent colors and the special conditions that make them luminecent or too dim, and so not very ideal for your purpouse.

So really, there isn't much to do, if you do print a lot of dark images, it may be useful to look into what printing alternative would give you the most efficient print to price ratio, printer supplies are very expensive, since the manufacurers earn most of the money on it, while they will almost give away the printers themselves, but some combinations may be more economical in the long range. Print drivers sometimes offer settings that allow you to lower use of inks, this will probably reduce the quality of the prints(the black would be less black and so on), too, but if that is acceptable, you may look into that.

William
2010-Aug-20, 04:32 PM
I notice that printing color pictures with dark backgrounds really uses a lot of ink when you use an typical inkjet printer. I assume the printer creates the dark color by printing complementary colors. I don't see any pure black in the background.

I there a standard trick or technology to lessen the amount of ink used in such situations? I suppose a sophisticated way would be to use a dark paper and modify the image so it looked correct on the paper without using so much dark printing. Do fancy printers that have more than 3 ink colors have these extra colors so that they can print dark areas efficiently?

I would suggest a laserjet printer for most applications as the main printer.

Our family prints roughly 1500 page per year. Even for low volume printing the laserjet is advantageous as the ink jet cartridges dry out. I see color laserjet is dropping in price.

http://www.ehow.com/about_6368272_cost-per-inkjet-vs_-laserjet.html


Inkjet printers use one black and one color cartridge, but other configurations are also common. In most cases, an inkjet cartridge costs $15 to $25, and produces 150 to 200 pages. For example, Canon inkjet cartridges average about $19 each, and yield 170 pages, which costs about 11 cents per page.


For example, an HP toner cartridge costs about $115, and yields 8,000 pages, so printing costs 1 to 2 cents per page. Laserjet printers also require replacement of a drum about every 20,000 pages; this ultimately brings the cost to about two cents per page.

kleindoofy
2010-Aug-20, 07:40 PM
I would suggest a laserjet printer for most applications as the main printer. ...
I agree totally. The initial cost is steep, but if you need to print a lot, it's much better. Some print with a kind of wax instead of toner (and are not strictly laser printers) and produce great results.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-20, 10:24 PM
And, depending on which one you decide on and what need you have, you can get a laser (not laserjet :)) printer for about the cost of 4 ink cartridges.
Mine (Brother HL-2030) cost about 100$ 1-2 years ago and I'm still on the half capacity starter toner it came with.
With the amount of printing I do I would likely have gone through 3 ink cartridges due to drying in the same period.

tashirosgt
2010-Aug-23, 08:00 AM
I agree with the remarks about Laser printers. I have two of the HP Laserjet 4000 series. However, my current interest is to print rather large color photos of art works, so I use an HP Officjet 7000 to get moderately large ( 13" x 19") images. How do color laser printers do compared to inkjets?

Trebuchet
2010-Aug-25, 01:48 AM
In response to the OP, I don't think dark paper would work for inkjet printing since it depends on the ink being absorbed into the white paper and dying it. You'd have to have opaque surface-sitting ink for dark paper. The wax-type printers might do it.

Our HP printer has five colors in addition to black, but I notice that while the cartridges for three of the colors are rated for the approximate number of pages printed, the other two list the approximate number of photos, leading me to believe they get used only for that purpose.

Two other things:
1. Why does the spellchecker in FireFox flag "inkjet" as a misspelling. Ooh, it just flagged "FireFox" as well!
2. Why does the yellow cartridge in my printer run out sooner than any of the others? That seems odd to me.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-25, 11:15 PM
"FireFox" was tagged as a misspell because it's name is "Firefox", the second F should be lowercase. Why it tagged inkjet I don't know unless the writers of the dictionary though it was only used in brand names.

TrAI
2010-Aug-26, 01:07 AM
In response to the OP, I don't think dark paper would work for inkjet printing since it depends on the ink being absorbed into the white paper and dying it. You'd have to have opaque surface-sitting ink for dark paper. The wax-type printers might do it.

Our HP printer has five colors in addition to black, but I notice that while the cartridges for three of the colors are rated for the approximate number of pages printed, the other two list the approximate number of photos, leading me to believe they get used only for that purpose.

I suppose it uses CcMmYK for photo printing, the lowercase colors are lighter versions of the uppercase so that the printer can make lighter color with less obvious dithering patterns. The dark colors magenta and cyan has good contrast to the white, so especially on less dense clusters of dots tend to be very obvious. By using a combination of the light and dark versions of the color, you can make the diffusion patterns much less obvious, so the resultant picture has better quality. Yellow does not contrast much to white. The black may not be used for photo printing but it depends, some printers have a special photo black for this purpose.

Printers made for high quality prints may have even more cartridges, several blacks of different lightness, for example, and can create very good prints, but generally these are a bit on the expensive side for home users, and mostly used in professional settings, for example, for canvas, poster or wall paper printing(Not to mention that they are huge, since they often have to accommodate wide media).


Two other things:
1. Why does the spellchecker in FireFox flag "inkjet" as a misspelling. Ooh, it just flagged "FireFox" as well!

Well, inkjet may be a generalized trademark, there are some compound words in English, but these are handled as single words, not as compounds by spell checkers. Most of the browsers use spell checkers based on the Hunspell/Myspell system.


2. Why does the yellow cartridge in my printer run out sooner than any of the others? That seems odd to me.

Perhaps being a very light color, it has to be used in denser patterns to be seen. It may also be that the printer uses yellow for slightly changing the tones of the colors. And, of course, yellow is used for the steganography watermarks, I haven't heard that inkjets make those, but then, the printer manufacturers are hardly very open about this.

Trebuchet
2010-Aug-26, 01:45 AM
Thanks TrAI. You nailed it as to what the colors are, I appreciate knowing a little more about why. Sounds like a reasonable explanation about the yellow, too, although to my surprise the box actually lists it as printing more pages than C or M. I did notice the new cartridge I put in the other day was larger than the one that came out.

I actually figured out the problem with capitalizing the second "F" after posting.