Michael Warshall, managing director of Melbourne-based pro lab Nulab, claims a new ‘light light black’ ink (LLK) developed by HP Indigo scientists in Israel with his input, has ‘helped to change the way high end digital printing will be done from now on.’
He told ProCounter prints produced from Nulab’s Indigo’s 7800 ‘digital offset’ printers with LLK as a seventh colour ‘are in fact possibly better than traditional silver halide, as there is better detail in dark areas.’
‘This is an additional ink allowing prints to be made that have a very even tones, and no transitions or artefacts especially in neutral areas. It allows true neutral black and white prints to be also made.
‘We print with 7 colours including this new ink. This results in exceptional images which are seen to be nearly continuous tone, like was possible with silver halide. Of course, this is a more sustainable process as there are no chemicals to dispose of like we did with silver halide.
‘The response has been very positive. Our challenge of course is to get photographers to print. Many just provide digital files to their clients.’
He said the newly-developed ink will be available to Indigo users worldwide. ProCounter wrote about Nulab’s customised 7-ink printing system with a ‘special light black’ in February 2016 – it appears this latest announcement is a further refinement of that technology.
The other critical factor in Nulab’s transition to Indigo-based photo printing has been sourcing a quality paper stock and here Michael opted for a new standard substrate, a 260gsm Felix Schoeller lustre photo paper, which Michael said back in 2016 ‘definitely has a more luxurious feel to traditional silver halide paper.’ Nulab offers a range of paper stocks for photo printing, including metallic and pearlescent.
Nulab currently prints in the sRGB colour space: ‘Most work in our world arrives as jpegs, which we then convert to pdf. Traditional photo papers were also printed using sRGB.’
Nulab switched from silver halide printing to HP Indigos in 2014, and Michael has been candid in conceding that the development path has been a long and challenging, with Nulab losing customers along the way.
‘It can truly be said that perseverance is the key to success, especially when everyone said it could not be done,’ he wrote to his marketing database in announcing the new development.
Nulab has been prominent in various printing industry awards over the past few years, and this year excelled itself. Using the new LLK ink, Nulab took out 8 awards at the Printing Industries of America print awards and 5 awards at the National Print Awards in Australia.