9880 dMax with installed curves



So I’ve been using the original 1430 released curves with excellent results was quite easy. My 1st observation was outstanding K dMax, over 3.0 with the PD and master curves. I assumed this attribute helped contribute with how well the PDN negatives worked. However was looking forward to the very recent release of 9880 support with IJM curves so I could transition to the wider format. Testing the silver and PD curves with the install package I’m finding , right of the bat, K dMax much weaker compared to the 1430 set. Can’t achieve over 1.98 after hair dryer dry down with either the silver or PD curves. Both printers have the same Shade 1 ink. Is this normal?



Mark, it is not normal. I don’t know if this will help, but I recently switched from a 1430 to a 3880 with the K7 Carbon inkset (which has even higher Dmax), and early last week after starting out fine going thru the limiting procedure, when I switched to printing the 129-step linearization target I had an initial result similar to what you are describing. Nozzle checks showed nothing amiss, so I printed a purge page which looked normal too. So I printed another 129-step, same thing - no black. More nozzle checks etc all normal. Another 129-step - again no black. Shut down the computer, restarted, printed again, back to normal. I have no idea what was wrong, but if you haven’t done so already, try rebooting.

On second thought, I may have just closed and reopened PrintTool. Maybe try that first.


Mark - In reference to your last message, we are talking about digital negatives, right? You refer to density on Type 5 paper, but a print and a negative are very different animals. On a negative, step 1 on a 129-step target should appear solid black and be extremely high in transmission density, approaching 3.0 optical or 4.0 UV, then stepping down to a normal density at step 2. The PiezoDN curve structure is very different than a K7/K6 print curve in that respect.


It shouldn’t be that way. Something is definitely wrong. It sounds like Shade 1 is not being printed at all, which is what I think was happening when my glitch occurred. Next thing I would do is print the Limiter target with the Master curve. Try to narrow down where the problem is.


Hi Mark,

Are you by chance using Methodology 3 curves on the 9880? (Methodology 3 curves only use shades 2, 2.5, 3, 4.5 & 5) No black ink is used in Methodology 3 curves.

The new PiezoDN curves use shade 1 black.

Could that be it? Or did you get some advance on the PiezoDN curves for the 9880?


Jon, no I never used the legacy meth 3 or anything else. Just the full K6 selenium introduced with PDN. The printer has always been loaded with the full K7 inset for regular QTR piezography curves. Just installed the newly released 9880 package Walker released 8/16. Was previously using the 1430 package curves on original PDN release awhile back. The 1430 was loaded with a K6 set from the same bottles that filled the 9880. The 1430 worked perfect right off the bat. Very confusing.



Dear Mark. I’m running a second validation of the density on the 9880 we have here. Will report back pronto.



On our selenium I’m measuring 2.67 to 2.75 depending upon the exact spot. (Also this denso needs to warm up for 40 minutes so it’s not accurate).

This may warrant a phone call. I’m teaching all day but you can skype me later. ID: walkerblackwell


I’m very interesting in making sure the x800 curves are perfect!



Dear Mark. printing on a different 9880 printer I do see a drastic reduction of density (down to 2.5 from 2.79). This printer was sitting for a few months. I will do a maintenance cleaning to see if it brings back the density. I’m also going to rebuild a pro x880 and x800 curves with much higher ink limits in the darkest tones. I do see a small amount of white dots on these large formats vs the 3880 printer (where the original curve was made). A combination of factors may account for this wild swing.

One question here, you are using an optical transparency densitometer correct? A normal i1 or other spectrophotometer won’t work.


Walker, update. After letting the carbon output dry down more fully I do get a 2.20 reading from the 255 step in the limiter image compared to that same step from the selenium set reading 2.0. So I guess the is a bit of a difference. But keep in mind I did get the the 3.0 selenium output when I just printed a black patch without any curves.


Interesting. I tested all of our printers and the carbon pulled the least (2.45).


I’m going to rebuild these for the 9800 and 9880 to work at higher densities.


stay tuned,



Ok. I’m going to re-do a master for you and upload here along with a target to print (on both your selenium and spec-edition printers). You can then send me the film from that target, and I can calibrate the densities directly from the film and send you the master curves. If I see issues like this on other 988s this will end up as new masters.

My hunch is that I need to bump the black amount a lot on this if some people see a lack of density on some x880 printers and some don’t. Bumping the black up should cover everyone.

I’m teaching all day. Will try to get to it tonight.





Here is an updated beta master curve for the x8xx printers (everything but the 38xx printers and smaller). I measure a dMax of 3.41 optical on this but could go higher if needed on your end.

Let me know how it goes Mark. If good, I will get it into the regular distro.




I get a bullet proof 4.14. Wow that should be more than enough dMax. I think you mentioned that the original curve did seem to work on one of you other 9880’s just not some others. What could that be attributed to?


quick update, now, after some further dry down , the reading is now 3.87. Still pretty beefy. This is for the carbon printer. The selenium is less. An average of 3.20. Still pretty decent. Could the difference be because carbon shade 2 has a stronger effect on dMax than does selenium shade 2?




yeah, the different hues (shades 2-6) have different optical densities. This is why we only support Selenium ink officially.




Ok, I’ll move forward with the selenium inkset for PD and Silver.


If you have the time, please print the file found in >Piezography>Services titled “PiezoDN-PrintDensity-Target.tif” with this new beta master with both printers and mail the film to me if you would. I’m seeing some variations between printers in lab and want to make sure everything is hunky-dory before getting this into the distro. Anyone else who wants to do this procedure and mail me the film is welcome to as well.

This way I can ensure you are calibrated properly!!

mail to: Walker Blackwell, InkjetMall, 17 Powder Spring Rd, Topsham VT 05076




Yes I see the file. Will output and post later today.