K7 proof prints before printing negative

Hi all, I’m just getting back into printing digital negs

I intsalled the GO, matte black and shade 7 with the intention of making hard proofs of my images before printing my negs. How many of you out there are doing this?

I found a blog entry that says it involves a lot of switching between the PK and MK and this can be quite wasteful.

I can see the benefit of making hard proofs but don’t want it to add difficulty and wastage to the process.

Thanks for your thoughts on it!

Welcome back Gareth,

If your main concern is being able to hard-proof on matte paper before making a digital negative, and you want to do this without having to switch between MK for the proof and PK for the negative, you have a couple of options:

  1. Keep your current ink setup and make your proofs with PK. Dmax will be lower than with MK, but actually that will be closer to your Pt/Pd Dmax, so that’s not really a bad thing.

  2. Use a P2/K6 ink setup. MK stays in MK slot; PK is replaced by PiezoFlush; and PK goes in the Y slot instead of Shade 7. This makes both blacks available without ever having to switch. The black ink selector stays permanently on Matte, and in QTR you choose installed and save it as part of your presets to avoid accidentally invoking a switch. You lose absolutely nothing since PiezoDN doesn’t use Shade 7. If you choose this option be sure to install the correct P2 printer(s) and delete the K7 printers. For PiezoDN:Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 9.09.12 PM
    For Piezo on paper it will depend on whether you are using standard black inks or HD blacks. If the former, use Curves > 3800-3880-P2; if the latter, use Curves HD > 3800-3880-P2.

I could be wrong (as I frequently am), but I think a lot of folks try to get by with soft-proofing only. As an old-school darkroom guy, I still need to proof on paper.


Hi Keith,

Thanks for this! Glad there are some options open. Wouldn’t shade 7 usually be used in making a proof print or no? So just make K6 proofs instead of K7 is what you’re saying?


That’s exactly right. K6 all the way. You won’t see a difference.

Great. Would I have to recalibrate in any way or no?

Also, are there cheaper paper options for making proofs than the one you mentioned before?


In theory, since K7 PiezoDN curves don’t use shade 7 even though it is installed, there should be no difference between a K7 and a K6 PiezoDN curve, BUT the quads are not the same since P2 has the PK ink in the Y position rather than the K position.

You could remap your existing linearized K7 quad to a K6-P2 configuration. If you have the PPEv2 toolset this is fairly easy. Or you could just start over with a quad from the folder in my earlier post. Since you have been away from this for a while it might be better to recalibrate from scratch, but the choice is yours. You should at least verify (and relinearize if necessary) if you choose the remapping option.

About paper for proofing, I don’t remember what I said in the past, but I use a double-sided paper like Moab Entrada, Canson Rag Photo Duo, or similar, since I can use both sides and they are a decent approximation of the surface texture and base-color of the standard alt-process papers like HPR, Platine, etc.


How difficult is it to remap the curve I’m currently using? I’d rather do this. Does the PPEv2 toolset come with the piezodn download? Can instructions for this be found somewhere?


You’ve been absent from here for a while. You may not be aware that there are now 2 versions of the PiezoDN software available: the original PiezoDN software with separate tools – Smoother, Curve Adjustment, etc.; and Piezography Professional Edition version 2 (PPEv2) which has those functions and much more in a single spreadsheet tool. The download for PPEv2 includes the older tools as well. It also costs more, but is well worth it if you are serious about this stuff and especially if you need the advanced functions such as curve remapping. And it is not only for making negatives.

Hi Keith, thanks for the heads up on the new version. Is it correct it cost’s $150?
It’s a fair outlay, but guess I should probably get it in the long run. Have just spent a lot on gear so maybe in a few months time.

Is Windows fully supported with the new version or is it best to still use Mac and print tool? Finding it a bit annoying switching between two machines to use ICCs. The ICC is still too strong so that’s something I need to look at again too.


Also, were the bugs worked out with the new driver in development?

new driver has been frozen in dev for over a year . . .


Mac has always been the best option for Piezography (even before QuadtoneRIP). I recommend a cheap used Mac ($200 iMac) for your printing platform.


The cost is correct, and worth every quid. Everything from the original is there, and more, much more, and easier too.

The obstacle to using ICCs is Windows is QTR, not Piezography or PiezoDN. But on either platform you are not forced to print linear if you don’t want to. You can still shape your quads to your personal taste using the Curve Adjustment tool (original PiezoDN) or New Curve Output Contrast Tweaking (PPEv2). Or you can use those tools to create custom shaped ICCs. It’s like a Photoshop curve but baked in to either a quad or an ICC.


Are there all new instructions included that will guide me through curve remapping? I’m guessing so.

It’s very tempting to get it right away but should probably wait for a sale. Have to tighten by belt a little after buying a greflex and and a dallmeyer lens.

Will look at the original curve adjustment tool in the meantime.

Thankyou for the help

Click the link I gave you above for the PPEv2 page. Then under Key Features click on Channel Remapping. That shows you the basics. Let us know if/when you are ready to proceed.

You can do this manually by opening the quad in a text editor or spreadsheet as well, and moving the channel values from one place to another, but it is really easy to mess it up.


Ok cool, saw the video. Will re-watch it when it comes to remapping. Would be really grateful for some assistance with it.

I’m happier with my linear pt/pd curve than using the ICC

Will have a go at curve adjustment tomorrow to pull down the shadows a bit. I just looked at page 94 of the manual.
Just want to check, this is a feature of the Windows beta version right?


Let me know when you have the PPEv2 and are ready to go.

There is one thing about that video that is unclear: At the end when the tool with a new name, that only for performing the same remapping to other not-yet-remapped curves. It is not for making further modifications to already remapped curves. For that you would use the PPEv2 with the Remapping section set to default, otherwise you would be moving the data from those channels again. Someone made that mistake recently in one of these threads and got some pretty weird results.

As for the Curve Adjustment tool, it is platform agnostic. The only part of PiezoDN that Windows can’t work with is ICCs, and that is because QTRgui has no way to apply them. I think you have an older version of the manual because I found what I think you are referring to on p.100 (on the page, 107 of the pdf) of the 2018 version which was the last pdf version. The manual is now online. Click here to go directly to the section I think you are referring to.


Yep, that’s the section I mean. Was looking at a 2016 version of the manual.

Will try this and just adjust the shadows and leave the mids and highlights as is.


I’ve followed all the intructions in that section correctly AFAIK. It’s giving me this error when I try to drag and drop the txt file and the quad over the linearize quad tool for some reason though.