Black and white test image for use with i1iSis
Black and white printer test image
Includes step wedge for use with X-Rite i1iSis
An additional version of Keith’s black and white printing test image.
This version includes a 51 step greyscale target formatted for reading with the X-Rite i1iSis scanning spectrophotometer.
The image is available in several different formats. For details and links to a free download see
Using the iSis for linearity checking
To create a step wedge target for use with the i1iSis scanning spectrophotometer would seem to be just a matter of swapping out the step target from the standard test image and dropping in one formatted for the i1iSis.
Unfortunately, there is precious little documentation available over what constitutes a target, and the associated reference files if you want to measure the print using i1Profiler.
This article assumes some knowledge of using i1Profiler ad ColorPort – see some of the other versions of the test image and associated articles for more info. Email me if you’ve got any info/suggestions/observations?
The range of target versions here shows that it took a while longer than I’d thought it might…
The one at the left is the standard one for use with the i1iO (or even a simple flatbed scanner)
After a few attempts to create an appropriate step wedge in i1Profiler, I fired up X-Rite’s old ColorPort software, which happily creates targets for many different devices. It also lets you measure them. Unfortunately development of ColorPort was abandoned several years ago [download via X-Rite] so I had to run it on an old Mac (via an emulator).
It does however work really well and allowed me to create a basic 51 step target.
The basic target and all necessary files to create your own targets are in the download zip file for this test image.
You print it just as you would your normal B&W prints. In this case, via Photoshop, using the Epson ABW B&W print mode.
An early version didn’t read reliably – I’m not sure why, but a bit of re-jigging of the parts and layout of the image helped.
Reading the target
I’m using an iSis XL here, but the narrower iSis would work fine.
The working version needed some empty space below the start – the target is a slightly wider (ColorPort) version.
The chart can be read (in the free demo mode) with i1Profiler. Just make sure to load the xml chart definition included in the download (a ColorPort file). [51 step A4 iSis 10mm.xml]
Don’t forget to be in i1Profiler’s CMYK mode for this – not because I work in CMYK, just that the target is a single channel ‘K’ file with patches from 0% (white) to 100% (black) in 2% steps. The test image itself is in Grey Gamma 2.2, since that’s what I work in when editing most of my B&W work. If working in a colour space (some PS plugins won’t work in greyscale) I’ll use Adobe98, since it’s a Gamma 2.2 space.
This is in the ‘Measure Reference Chart’ workflow.
The iSis allows both M0 and M2 measurement modes (UV and UV-cut)
You can check individual patch values after measurement.
These are values read from a glossy photo paper (from an old HP sample pack).
If you want to make a curve plot with QTR, you’ll need to save the data in a custom format.
The data file just contains Lab values for the 51 patches.
Using the data
I use QTR to create a quick text chart showing linearity for the paper/print-mode. There is more about this in the original article using a similar target and ColorPort to make the measurements with an i1Pro
Here’s the chart for the glossy HP paper. It was printed on a P5000 using Epson’s ABW mode and PGPP250 media setting.
Apart from that interesting dip from 98% to 100%, the overall linearity is pretty good.
How you choose to use this linearity data is up to you. I use it to give a quick check as to whether the B&W print mode I’ve chosen is going to be usable.
I’m always on the lookout for strongly crunched or ‘blocked up’ shadows – not an issue here, but that little glitch at 100% black might suggest that the media setting I’m using is not optimal.
See more about using the data in the version of the test image for use with SpyderPrint
Why the iSis?
I normally use my i1iO/i1Pro2 for this, but if I’m testing a paper, I’ll have already used the i1iSis for my colour profiling. It just seemed a good idea to use the iSis for the B&W as well.
If I’m investigating media settings then printing just the target bit of the image is a good way of saving paper.
Oh, and it seemed a pity to have the iSis here and not use it. If anyone has experience making/using custom charts on an iSis or can point to any information resources, please let me know?
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