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Printer Black and White Point Test

Self administered test on printer black and white points


Printing Environment Black Point Value White Point Value
A 5 243
B 10 250
C 30 255
D 0 240
E 2 245

Table 1.


Answer questions 1 through 5 using Table 1 above.

Question 1.  Given a digital tonal range of 0 to 255, which environment can reproduce the broadest tonal range?

  1. Answer
    1. E is the correct answer.  Out of 256 distinct tones (0 - 255), E can distinguish 244.  A can distinguish 239.  B and D can distinguish 241.  C can distinguish 226.


Question 2.  Which environment has the smallest tonal range?

  1. Answer
    1. C is the correct answer.


Question 3.  Which environment would be best to print a relatively dark image that has lots of detail?

  1. Answer
    1. D is the correct answer.  With a black point of 0, environment D can distinguish all dark tones.


Question 4.  Which environment would be best to print a relatively light image that has lots of detail?

  1. Answer
    1. C is the correct answer.  With a white point of 255, environment C can distinguish all highlight tones.


Question 5.  Which environment is more appropriate for a black and white image versus a color image?

  1. Answer
    1. Question is irrelevant.  Printer black and white points are about a printing environment's ability to reproduce tone.  Not the ability to create a black and white print.  Even though not all images have color, they all have tone.


 

Printing Environment Black Point Value White Point Value
Aa 0 225
Bb 30 255

Table 2.

 

Answer the following question using Table 2 above.

Question 6.  While at work on a Monday, your friend said over the weekend she tried to determine her inkjet printer's black and white points.  She could not remember what her values were.  But she could remember that one of the points was the maximum of the digital tonal range and the other point was off by 30 from its maximum.  This means her printing environment's tonal range was either 0 - 225 or 30 - 255.  Which one done do you think it most likely is?

  1. Answer
    1. Bb is the correct answer.  Most quality inkjet printers do a decent job of distinguishing light tones.  It is much harder for them to distinguish the darker tones.