When dMax is measured, it is generally communicated in terms of “Density”. When measuring matte blacks this is fairly straightforward. On Hahnemule Photo Rag paper, the new Piezography Pro Ultra HD matte black ink produces a density of 1.84 which is significantly darker than the Epson 9900 matte black (1.65) or the latest Epson P-800 matte black (1.75). Ultra HD is the darkest matte black ink on Earth!
When measuring photo blacks, density values are (often) arbitrarily calculated from the more scientifically standard “Luminance” values given by all of the various machines that measure reflected light. Luminance is the percentage of light reflected from a print. The conversion from Luminance to Density when it nears 3.0 is not exactly standard from one company to another, so each time a printer/ink company claims a certain density milestone (say Epson’s claim of 2.84 on Ultra Premium Glossy paper), it’s important to do the actual testing based on the more truthful Luminance standard. This way apples are not compared to oranges. We happen to have a brand-new Epson SureColor P800 in our R&D lab and we decided to test our new Piezography Pro ink against Epson inks using an older 3880 printer filled with Piezography Pro inks. (credit piezography.com)