Lyson Black & White Imaging System

Lyson, Inc. has launched its Daylight Darkroom digital black & white printing system. This new imaging system is said to provide photographers the ability to accurately mirror traditional darkroom techniques, including silver halide printing, with digital images and an inkjet printer. The complete Lyson Daylight Darkroom System consists of a Daylight Darkroom Quad Black inks in cartridges or a bulk feed system, Daylight Darkroom print driver software, the Lyson Darkroom range of inkjet media, a set of Lyson cleaning cartridges for removal of standard color inks from the printer and Lyson PrintGuard™ protection spray (optional).

The Daylight Darkroom system is being introduced for use with the Epson Stylus Pro 2200 and Stylus Pro 7600/9600 printers. Plans are to extend the system for use with the new Epson Stylus Pro 4000 and the most recent Canon printers over the next two quarters.

While the introduction of seven and eight channel inkjet printers has expanded the possibilities for digital black and white printing, the limiting factor to leveraging this technology has been that OEM supplied printer driver software have been designed for color imaging, not black and white. While good results were achievable with superior ink sets (e.g., Lyson's Quad Black and Small Gamut), truly exceptional output required the development of a print driver specifically for black and white output.

The Lyson Daylight Darkroom driver provides complete control over every ink channel on the printer to provide absolute continuous tone printing. The way that the driver and ink system work in conjunction with each other means that the printer is using a minimum of four shades of black and a maximum of seven shades of black at any moment during the printing process.

The driver has two distinct but linked modules-- Print Pro and Profile Creator. Print Pro provides all the features of a standard print driver, as well as extras like image sizing and rotation, along with a print preview screen. It accepts two separate profiles that can be blended together in infinite combinations, a useful feature for fine tuning the final look of the image. Profile Creator enables users to quickly make or edit their own profiles for Print Pro using simple test target prints. Linearization of profiles can also be achieved by using a standard flat bed scanner.

The Lyson Daylight Darkroom Driver is currently Mac OSX-based and comes with warm, neutral, and cool profiles for all Lyson media. A Windows XP version of the driver will be available soon.