Printing B&W to Epson P800 and bronze cast

Ever since upgrading to NLP v3, processed B&W photos (positive copies) are printing to my Epson P800 with a bronze color cast. The cast appears to be a toning job, and it doesn’t look that bad, but I would really rather have choice. Anyone reading have similar issues?

Not sure if this might help B&W Batch Conversion Issue - #9 by nate

Many thanks for your response, JS. That thread is interesting and I will explore my affected images for the conditions described. My images are appearing perfectly black and white on my Spyder-profiled monitor, and my prints have perfectly matching tonality, contrast, blacks, whites, etc., which impressed me. More work planned for today, and I will write here any interesting findings.

So, if the positive monochrome photo on the format you will print it is neutral, which you can detect using the eyedropper tool in the Color Balance section of Lightroom, then your problem is in the print pipeline, and most likely a profiling or print settings issue in either the application or the driver.

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Thanks, Mark. I have just discovered this. My issue seems unrelated to Negative Lab Pro. I tried a conventional B&W digital image (created with a Leica Monochrom), and the bronzing issue is the same. So I performed a print head nozzle cleaning on the printer and that didn’t help. Weird, as the printer has always performed wonderfully, especially with black and white.

For further diagnostics I recommend that you try making the print using the Epson driver’s ABW mode. If you get neutrality from that route, then you know you most likely have a profiling or application/driver settings problem. Also please be aware that printers do drift over time and nozzle checks are not always sufficient to understand whether the inking is behaving as it should.

I reinstalled the printer driver and tried a monochrome image, same bronze effect. Then, I went to the printer settings and found “Print in Color” was turned on. A long time ago I learned that all black and white images are actually printed in various combinations of color inks, including the black ones. My printer uses the Epson Ultrachrome set. Anyway, I turned that slider off and my resulting print is more black and white. I’m still not sure if this actually solved my issue. But I have an acceptable product now.

On the left is a bronzed, problematic print. On the right is my recent progress.

Mark, I will look into ABW mode. I didn’t know about it. Thanks for that suggestion.

If your printer has it then ABW is very good. It needs at least 2 greys I think, ‘Light’ and 'Light Light". Mind you that post from Nate seemed to address a similar problem, at least within NLP.

I’ve been using ABW and I’m very impressed with the control available. I recall many years ago using an Epson Stylus model (pigment ink) with similar software. To this day many of the B&W prints I made with that thing look great. Anyway, thanks for your responses.

Did you use the B&W conversion setting? White balance the film base? If you desaturate images before you print them, does that help?

We need to know whether you converted a tint into the image, or whether you have a typical Epson ink bronzing issue. Some of the older Epson Ultrachrome ink sets would create a “bronzing” metamerism effect when you looked at the print from an angle. That issue has nothing to do with NLP or post-processing.

I never white balance with black and white negatives because NLP knows how to manage that when you select the B&W conversion mode. My issues seem to have begun when I upgraded NLP to version 3, but who knows what actually changed, really. Correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation! :sunglasses: Prior to the upgrade my printed results were gorgeous. And now, since a few respondents suggested that I switch to ABW (Advanced B&W) mode in the Epson driver/software, my results are even better. At least potentially, anyway. (Ultimately contingent on my skills.) Many thanks for your suggestions.

Double check the icc profile for your paper/printer combo under Color Management in the Lightroom Print module. I sometimes get a color cast on my prints if I forget to change the icc profile to the current paper or if I forget to tell the printer driver to allow Lightroom to manage color rather than using the printer’s built-in color management. I use a Canon printer so I’m not sure what the exact terminology is for the Epson print driver.

I have had more consistent results lately by printing to a JPG file from Lightroom (as you would when using a commercial print service) and then printing to paper with the Preview app on the Mac. Preview seems to handle and retain the print driver settings better than Lightroom for my old Canon Pro9500 Mk II.

I will look into the icc profile. It’s an interesting idea to print to a jpg and print that using Mac’s preview app. Thanks for these tips.