First negative and print


Hi all,

I printed my first PiezoDN target with my 1500 (=1430) printer, using the 1430-PiezoDN-Master curve, then printed it on a brown carbon tissue.
I use this tissue for the image I’m working on currently, and consider it having a medium contrast. It is dedicated to make second layers, a third one being dedicated to print the blacks.
The print is developed on polyester and hasn’t been transferred to paper. It is quite sharp at this point.
I scanned it like an opaque document with a white background, no sharpening or anti-dust settings, only levels adjustments in PS to get close to what I see.
The original file has been reduced to 75% size in Print Tool, and is about 6" wide.
No pizza wheels surgery yet, obviously…

I’m rather pleased by the tonal progression, and could probably use a longer exposure to get the highlights at 255, but wonder if I want that or limit the DR of the negative.

My question is about graininess. I didn’t expect to see that much.
Does this seem normal to you?

Thanks for your help.



Do you see the “grain” in the negative? I’ve been working with both a 1430 and a 3880. The 3880 does show some dots particularly in denser areas of the negative, though it is better than I ever got with OEM inks and QTR, but the 1430 is nearly grainless to my eyes. At this point, my best guess is that the difference is due to the printhead dot size - 1.5 vs 3.5 picoliters.

So for the 1430 that does not seem normal to me if it is in the negative.


This is not normal at all. The 1430 produces the least grain of all piezodn negs due to the 1.5pL printhead, and way way less than OEM inks.

This seems like a tissue issue?




This is not a tissue issue. I mean my tissues aren’t grainy, if that 's what you wonder about.

Here is a scan (same method as the previous print) of a Kodak Projection Print Scale printed with the very same tissue (cut in the same sheet). Silver-smooth…

I’ll post a scan of the negative.




Yes I can see the grain in the negative, but it is less visible than in the final positive print.

Some precision: head alignment processed on Pictorico Ultra, perfect nozzle check before and after printing the neg.

I cut it to fit the 4x5" film holder and scanned it as a transparency.

If you invert and apply a steep curve in PS - “0;0 25;0 70;100 100;100” - you’ll get about what the carbon print reveals. It’s in the negative.

So my guess so far is that my tissues are grain free but have a strong contrast enhancing the negative’s graininess.

I’m looking for negatives that meet my tissues requirements (like the Kodak scale), and can’t see how I could adapt my tissues to erase inkjet “grain”. My prints have pronounced relief and not the greatest Dmax, it would be hard to lower my tissues inner contrast without loosing Dmax or getting “crazy” relief. Well any advice would be welcome!

What plays in my favor is my taste for duo/tri-tone prints and the multi layer process that “dilutes” what is not smooth enough in the negatives, exactly like Piezography using different shades and smooth transitions to hide dots. But I hoped to do some recreational monochrome work that doesn’t take a week to make a print…








The negative jpeg (slightly over 0.98 MB) is really lousy; another try…

It doesn’t look much different from Keith’s 129stepTarget posted in the “3880 Master Curve Neg” topic.

Thanks for your inputs.





This is certainly strange. Are you using Selenium ink?



Yes, I bought the Piezography K6 Selenium kit (PiezoDN only).

Could the 75% re-scaling in Print Tool be involved?

I’m getting Dropbox to make a link to a proper file of the scan.




If you want to have a closer look at the neg:


There has been discussions about the inability of carbon printing to print highlights, that are supposed to be washed away if continuous tone negatives are used. It’s not my experience, but I agree highlights are tricky. I start to believe things happen at a very small scale, where little density differences caracterizing the grain of inkjet negs will print or not, emphasizing that aspect.

Also, degrading the precision of the tissues could be a way to make things smoother. Kind of depressing though…

If carbon printers here have an opinion about it, I would appreciate.







I have recently started reading a lot about this. You may want to reach out to Sandy King on the alt process list serve.





Also, I may be able to make a new type of PiezoDN master curve that does not use the PK ink at all and uses only minimal Shade2. This would decrease any grain in the HLs.