The New Epson 1400 Printer, QTR & A RIP Workaround

Now that I have been coerced into upgrading my printer to a wide format Epson 1400 inkjet by work demands, I have discovered that Quad Tone Rip or QTR is not well suited for film making. QTR is RIP software designed for printing color or black and white photographs. It will do nothing more than control color and resolution. But it does clean the black up to a nice rich black and improves the image quality quite a bit.

So the new Epson 1400 was a great buy at $195 and I am glad I was able to get that price from PC Connection. I have been doing some research on workarounds for RIP software and I have become aware it may be possible to make decent film without it. This is what I have heard can be done but I have yet to actually try it:

I can purchase all black ink cartridges that will replace the color ones so all print heads will print black. This would be the same black ink conversion kit for the Epson 1400 that works with AccuRIP. Once that is complete and the heads have been purged of all color ink, we would set the printer to open up all the heads and print black. This is done in the application you create the art in by tweaking all of the C, M, Y, K color controls to 100% for each. So you have to create the art as a CMYK rather than a spot color. This supposedly will trick the printer or more specifically force it to print with all heads using all black ink.

In theory this sounds very good. It would seem making all six heads print 100% of their respective colors must produce a more opaque film than what I can achieve now with only one head printing black the best it can. With all six heads printing black, it has to be an improvement. But I do not know for sure and I am not positive I want to convert the printer to all black right now.

The black ink conversion kit costs about $155. Basically I would have to commit to moving to AccuRIP in the future if this didn’t work out because all the heads would have the black ink conversion in them made for AccuRIP. And I would think there is no going back once you flood the color heads with black ink.

For now I think I will continue to outsource the film I need to and keep making what film I can with my system as it is. But I have not given up on this; I just want to wait until I am ready to buy AccuRIP before I start moving in that direction with the black ink conversion kit. That way if the above mentioned technique does not work, I would just move right to AccuRIP and avoid wasting a lot of time and money.

Don’t forget Catspit Productions will be at Arizona Joe’s in Apache Junction tonight from 6pm to about 9:30. Check out yesterday’s blog entry for more information. 

Thanks for reading!

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