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Grayscale on Latex 360??

#1 Graphikal 7 years ago

We have the need to print grayscale canvas wraps on our 360, using Flexi. There are no settings we see for true grayscale. Called Flexi and they say the 360 can't print grayscale. Can that be right??? Our grayscale images are printing heavily magenta. If not directly, does anybody know workaround (manipulating curves, etc.)?? Frustrating. Whodathunk in 2016 I'd have to ask if a printer can handle grayscale.

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#2 StephenOrange 7 years ago

Hi Graphikal,

While I don't have a 360 (we run 280's still), I can tell you, and gaurentee you, that your machine is capabale of beautiful neutral grayscale prints. I've printed tonnes of our overflow work on our equipment partner's demo 360 and have never had a problem hitting good grayscale prints, or any process capable colour.

The reason for your problem can stem from many points, so just get your supplier in and systematically work through the issues. Head qaulity, linearisation, profiling, media usage, etc etc. You have a problem somewhere, but you WILL be able to print what you're expecting once sorted out.

Good luck.

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#3 Graphikal 7 years ago

Thanks Stephen - that's a relief to hear. Next call is to HP directly.

Appreciate you taking the time to respond.


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#4 dypinc 7 years ago

Can't believe Flexi would give you an answer like that. Some RIPs call it "Black as Inkjet Black", some call it "Pure Primaries". Maybe Flexi doesn't support it but the L360 can be made to print using black ink only if that is what you mean by grayscale. How does Flex expect you to get a good rich latex black if they don't allow you to print a pure 100% black just like the black of the diagnostic and calibration prints.

Of course if you want a less peppery look then maybe you want to use the lc/lm inks, with a good calibration and profile neutral grays are achievable. But with canvas using lc/lm inks is probably not necessary.

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#5 HP-MarcM 7 years ago

Hello Graphikal,

Gray scales colors are controlled at the ICC color profile. To adjust this, you need to create a good ICC for gray controls, and this is not an available option at the profiling settings at the printer front panel.

My recommendation would be to control this from the RIP and enable the checkbox of gray balance and follow recommended steps to get a good gray balance. Please see the screenshots below:

However, if you are experiencing further inconsistencies in your printings I will ask for support to SAi or to your reseller, as in no case the printer can deliver a magenta - gray.

I hope this answer helps.

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#6 TG-Frank 7 years ago

Have you ever tried to recalibrate the profile you use with the internal profiler? Some of the default profiles have a tendency to print reddish, and need to be recalibrated. We have nice greys with calibrated media.

Check the age of your heads too. I have seen reddish prints too with very old heads.

And: in flexi, in the colour management-settings, you could set "pure hue" to black and grayscale, so black and gray will be printed with black ink only. But you will have less vivid black and rough dithering.

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#7 Graphikal 7 years ago

Thank you for the response. These are new heads, we've recalibrated, created a new profile with the built-in profiler, and we've tried the 'pure hue' trick at the recommendation of SAi.

The magenta really appears in the mid and transitional tones. It's getting frustrating. Even after creating the custom profile, we then printed the 'test image' built into the HP, and the grayscale gradient still prints with magenta.

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#8 Graphikal 7 years ago

Marc - I can't clearly make out these images. On Pinterest, I'm unable to enlarge (unless I'm doing something wrong - not a Pinterest guy). Where are these screenshots taken from? Is that from Flexi, or some other software?

And if I understand you correctly, are you saying don't use the built-in profiler on the HP, but instead use an external software tool to make the profile?


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#9 twmiller24 7 years ago

This sounds like what we went through for months until HP came in and changed the firmware. My guess is your light magenta head is shot - update your firmware, change the LM head, and recalibrate. Then see how it does.

You should get an excellent neutral gray.

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#10 Graphikal 7 years ago

Problem solved. Thank you EVERYONE for your responses. And everyone was correct - each of these could have been the fail point. For us, it was simply the profile.

We are printing on Sunset by Fredrix Satin Canvas, from Lexjet. The thing we were most excited about with the 360 was the ability to create our own profiles. Well, it seems they aren't the best, which is disappointing. After a lengthy talk with HP tech support, checking heads, doing ink drop tests, etc. (very patient and knowledgable rep) we called Lexjet. They informed us there was a canned profile, which was not available previously. Downloaded that, and much better grayscales. I think we'll stick to medias that have profiles already available from now on. (here's a quick mobile snap of the difference):

This was weighing on us and we were frustrated and disappointed thinking we wouldn't get good grays with this machine. I'm glad folks posted saying we absolutely should as it kept us digging for an answer and we learned a lot in the process. Thanks again!

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#11 infoMD 3 years ago

Also have the same problem as Grapgikal with grayscale and the magenta is "involving" in every profiles and every media. I changed all the heads and nothing better. I am desperate. Can you, please, advise what to do or better what have you done? I am using Caldera.

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#12 HP-Sonia 3 years ago

Hello @infoMD

For grayscale, the recommendations were already explained, but the magenta found in gray is not expected, so I would suggest you keep the printer in the best conditions (New PrintHeads or in good condition, PrintHeads alignment, media advance calibration) and then set a new Color Calibration. This reddish color seems to be a wrong color reference set in the printer.

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#13 bigprintpros7045 3 years ago

#12 HP-Sonia,

I faced the same and it ran me crazy too. The solution was very simple. Stick to the generic profiles which came with the machine. I use the Generic Self-Adhesive Vinyl profile for all my vinyl prints (even for those which have their own profiles such as 3M and Orafol) and use the Generic PVC Banner profile for my banners. Never clone a machine profile to create your own; it works as a magenta magnet!

My grays now look, well, like a gloomy clouded winter sky! LOL

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#14 HP-Sonia 3 years ago

It is recommended to put the printer in good conditions to calibrate the color

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#15 infoMD 3 years ago

I will put my HP 360 for spare parts and never buy any Hp product again, because anything I try to do, I get more troubles. And the service support is as bad as it can be - there is no support at all. They just say I should replace print heads. I did that, but nothing changed. Even here in knowledge center you are so mysterious. Why you can not tell just what to do in simple steps. We are not all the computer specialists. For example how can I put the printer in good conditions with caibrate the color? When I tried to do that, it says, the option is not available now.... I needed to search all the web to find the solution...

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#16 ivoslbg5445 3 years ago

#15 Hi infoMD don't be mad printer operator must be Hi-Tech minion with super powers and know everything about the sun and relativity theory when replacing printhead, load glossy or matt self adhesive, tap printhead replacement and follow steps on screen, when carriage is open, clean gold contacts with ethyl alcohol carefully, insert PH's, follow steps to end process, after auto aligning go to setup menu, image quality and go through the menu to improve printing quality. Follow this link: to improve profile and color quality...and this is applicable to all profiles and substrates. Top printer condition means:

  • best printhead condition - all nozzles are printing straight, not spaying or clogged (clean them);
  • printer must be at warm dry room and the current must be electric shocks;
  • substrates must be same as printer - dry and with room temperature;
  • shake ink if printer isn't used for some time;
  • make color calibrations once in a week or two;
    • replace maintenance cartridge when needed... Follow steps in the profile calibrations and setting ink and temperature and vacuum etc.., don't skip steps, after creating or modifying profile - synchronize rip program with printer...If you can't modify current profile, make another one with desired values...

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#17 infoMD 3 years ago

#16 I think my educatoon is to low ... Thank you very much ivoslbg5445 for the simple and clear explanation. I did that, but I still have a problem like Graphikal in post #10. Can you help me with that too, please!?

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#18 ivoslbg5445 3 years ago

Hi infoMD let's give it a try if I can help, but you have to include all previous posts and to combine some other things if possible use profiles made by substrate producer (as said in post #10) but you must use rip program to convert, increase or decrease color values that image contains. Profiling is the main rod in the wheel - using some profile like Fogra39 than Fogra27 makes reddish image sometimes; using in color conversion options Perceptual than Relative or Absolute - makes color deviation in high tones or replaces reddish color in image; using sometimes just Grayscale image is doing the trick but sometimes RGB image with AdobeRGB or sRGB profile saves the troubles. Sometimes in rip program you must take some of the magenta color curve in high tones to see real grey, but mixing all experiments together may give unexpected result (and you may combine several options after exploring this and that in colors ), just changing the profile makes huge difference... Best of luck and cheers

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#19 infoMD 3 years ago

#18 Thank you again! I will try to do it as you advise. But it's really weird, because 4 years was everything ok, and now this. I am using Caldera RIP 9 all the time and didn't changed anything during this time. I am using just original heads and inks. I also changed all the printheads, situation is the same. Is it possible, that I should replace cartridges, because the two of them are over warranty?

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#20 ivoslbg5445 3 years ago

Definitely you should replace these cartridges, but result of new inks will be visible after some time and tell me these inks are lm or magenta like I wrote before - shake cartridges often not leaving ink to stay on bottom and I assume after every color or profile calibration you've synchronized caldera with the printer not only modified profiles but full reset...

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