Custom Profiles witn Phatte BlackWith ImagePrint Phatte Black

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

If you own anEpson 4800,7800or9800, printing usingUltrachrome K3inks, and may have already heard aboutImageprint’s Phatte Blackink system, reviewed here first in November, 2005. In combination with theImageprint RIP 6.1and a specially rechippedEpson Matte Blackcartridge it allows these printers to print to both matte and glossy papers without the need to swap cartridges, and without suffering the hassle and the cost of wasted ink and time involved each time paper types are changed.

When the Phatte Black system was first introduced in November ’05, it did not support the use of custom profiles; onlyColorBytes’ own supplied DK profiles. But, given that this is one of the largest profile libraries in existence, and that all of these profiles are free for the downloading for anyone that usesImagePrint, some might wonder at the need for custom profiles.

Small Iceberg at Sunset. Antarctica – December, 2005

Cano 5D with 24-105mm f/4L IS lens @ ISO 400


Making Phatte Black Profiles

As good as they are (and they’re very good), and as many as there are (nearly every major paper on the market is covered), it still is a necessity or simply a desire for some print makers to create their own printer profiles. New papers are always coming to market,Hahnemuhle’s Museum Etchingis one recent example, and though ColorByte is very good at responding to requests for new profiles, sometimes it takes a while, and sometimes the papers are obscure and so aren’t covered.

Also, there is a pleasure in creating ones own profiles, and knowing that the prints made are as good if not better than those from second parties. Of course a high-end spectrophotometer and profiling software, such asGretag Macbeth’s Eye Onesystem is also a requirement.

If you have such an outfit, haveImageprint 6.1, and are using thePhatte Blackink system, you’ll be pleased to know that in late December, ’05, ColorByte upgraded Imageprint so that it now allows the use of one’s own custom profiles.

Creating these is straightforward. You’ll need to obtain two special "profiles" from the Imageprint web site. These areX800_DK_matte_No_RecipeandX800_DK_photo_No_Recipe. Or, simply use "Select correct printer profile". This points to a file calleddefault.icmin yourImageprint / Colordirectory. The only difference between using this and the specialNo_Recipeprofiles is that the latter cause the right inkset and quality to be selected, saving some steps.

Load your profiling software’s test image, and then select one of these so-called profiles (depending on the paper used) using theColor Management / Output tab. Also go into theBitmaptab and change theUntagged Image/Missing Profilesection to NONE in the RGB field.

Then, inFile / Print / Setupchoose theQualityyou wish. Finally, make sure underInksetthat you chooseKMCMYcm 7 pigmentfor matte papers andKCMYcm 7 pigmentfor glossy papers.

When the print is finished, let it dry an appropriate amount of time (not less than 30 minutes in my experience) and then make your profile. Place this profile in theColorsubdirectory of theImagePrintfolder, and re-start Imageprint. If you want to softproof, put a copy of the new profile in your operating system’s appropriate directory.

Just one final note – unlike profiles created byColorByte, profiles generated yourself will not cause ImagePrint to automatically choose the correctQualityandInk Set, so these must always be set manually.

January, 2006

Michael Reichmann

Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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