ok, here's one other question i've not seen truly answered-- if you go and do a custom profile for your printer, inks, paper, print driver settings, etc, either by yourself or from drycreek, is that better or worse than getting a RIP? I get that a RIP is more profiles for less money with less headache... I think I just answered my own question. That and you can set the various ink curves, GCR/UCR, etc, as if you were a prepress operator, which you can't do with a conventional print driver. - jw
I think that is a good question and one that I'm not totally sure of the answer to. But it went like this:
1) Let me try the freeware RIP first. I could download it and see what results were. Turned out I had a lot of trouble with it. Others have used it and reported good results although as I remember it the interface was primitive on a PC. Whatever. Next.
2) Download the IMAGEPrint Demo. Wow, they have a lot of profiles. That was easy to setup. Hey, guess what, these black and white prints look the way they should. Let's try some other profiles. Lets try the gray profiles. Man, not bad at all. I hate the idea of the dongle, but on the other hand, I like the business idea of the dongle, i.e. if you want the product, pay for it and allow them to do more research or even, God forbid, make money with a great product.
3) I could get hardware / software for making profiles but I can't really test it before hand, and does it mean I would need to make new profiles for each paper I use. And what if I switch printers later... Plus, does it really work? Dunno. OK, plunk the money down for IMAGEPrint...
In other words - I don't think I had much understanding of HOW the RIP did what it did, other than that it mixed the inks differently and maybe it put them on the paper with a different dithering. Also, you remember - this is after many years of experiments: first the Luminos Inks with the 1160. Then Luminos Inks with 1280. Then all sorts of quadtone photoshop curves of my own invention. MIS Inks. And I've probably forgotten something. But they all had various problems, ranging from clogging my poor printer to banding. So one thing that was a given was that I wanted to use the Epson Inks. The other thing that was a given was that I wanted to be able to print both color and b&w from the same printer. And that's how the RIP came into the picture.