Carbon Pigment Prints: Depth, Beauty, Longevity

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Carbon pigment prints do not fade appreciably. Like prints made with Platinum and Palladium, their longevity is limited by the paper on which they are printed.

The MIS Eboni 6 inkset consists of six different dilutions of a single dark brown carbon pigment. Developed by Paul Roark, it is available from Another name for this process is Hextone printing: the high-quality printer combines six grades of Carbon pigment to render the tonal scale with exquisite smoothness. Real-World Fade Test

In the photo below you can see a test performed on a carbon pigment print. A pure black image was placed on the sill of a south-facing window for 2 months. A thick book covered one corner and a note was written in ball-point ink to family members: “Do not move: experiment in progress”. The handwritten message faded in the bright sunshine but there is no evidence of fading in the carbon print. You can’t tell where the book covered the print at all. Two months in a south-facing window According to Experts

Paul Roark writes the following on his superb web site: “MIS “Eboni” matte-paper-only carbon has now been used for a number of years and continues to be the most neutral carbon pigment as well as producing the most lightfast prints tested so far. In the most detailed and sophisticated fade testing, by Aardenburg Imaging & Archives, the best performance yet was by an Eboni print on PremierArt Fine Art Smooth paper, also sold as Epson Scrapbook paper. After 100 mega-lux hours of exposure (equivalent to 51 years of display as used by Wilhelm Research), the average delta-e (a measure of total fade and color change – lower is better) for all test patches was 0.2. The paper base delta-e was 0.5. The 50{d4e6fabf8da02c89293759be6c8202c78433121553e67b711ceafa582bd64e7a} test patch delta-e was 0.1. See ID#144 at Aardenburg-Imaging, where fade test data for many papers and inks is available from free (but I urge you to make a contribution to this tremendous photographic resource).”

In case you missed it, the test results showed that after 51 years of (simulated) display, the paper actually faded more than the carbon image. If you’d like to find out how long your inkjet prints will last, have a look at Aardenburg Imaging. Mark McCormick-Goodhart is the genuine article. Sample Images
A full and continuous palette of tones is an important criteria for any printing method. Using 6 different shades of ink makes that possible. I admire the color of this carbon ink set: it’s a deep brown. Hence the name: Eboni.

Using the Quadtone RIP we print at a higher resolution than the standard Epson drivers will allow. This gives us prints with greater detail, sometimes requiring a magnifying glass to see it all. More importantly, the Quadtone RIP drives the printer in full 16-bit mode, resulting in finer shading and tonality than is possible with the standard 8-bit Epson drivers used by Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture etc. Oversize Refillable Printer Cartridges

Printer ModelCartridge Size
Epson 143011 ml
Epson 240011 ml
Epson 388080 ml
Inkjetcarts 3880120 ml

Above is an Epson 3880 printer with refillable cartridges from

Note that the cartridges stick out the door because they hold 50{d4e6fabf8da02c89293759be6c8202c78433121553e67b711ceafa582bd64e7a} more ink than the Epson cartridges. They are translucent: we can look at them and see how much ink is remaining without having to rely on the printer software. They also have easily accessible plugs, so we can refill them without having to remove them from the printer.

Although the Epson 3880 printer supports 8 inks and the Quadtone RIP allows you to configure them all, I find that 6 inks is enough.

I enthusiastically recommend Their cartridges are very well-made and their documentation and customer support are truly exceptional !Ink by the Cartridge Bottle

Printer manufacturers like Epson charge a substantial fee for their inks. Single-use throwaway cartridges create environmental waste. Refillable cartridges resolve those issues. Purchasing our ink in bulk leads to considerable savings and is much more friendly to the planet.

Purchasing ink by the milliliter – in expensive little cartridges – makes us nervous. Once we start buying ink in big bottles, those worries tend to disappear. Learn More

For information about Carbon inkjet printing methods, color and longevity see the web site of Paul Roark.

To purchase Eboni 6 Carbon inks, see

For information about the Quadtone RIP, see Roy Harrington’s QTR web site and the Quadtone RIP User Group on Yahoo.

For information about refillable cartridges, see the Inkjet Carts web site.



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