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Thread: Printers

  1. #11

    Printers

    Graeme - I have the R200 too.
    I read some time ago that Epson design into the firmware a print/usage counter & at a specific point, where Epson deem it necessary that the printer should be serviced - it simply stops working. Even if the printer is printing perfectly it will do this. Obviously Epson will demand money for parts & labour to get the machine working again. Is this what has happened to you?

    This approach by Epson infuriated me. I searched the web & found a service utility (software) that should allow me to reset the firmware on the printer.
    I have not had to do this yet as I am a low volume printer but hopefully I am prepared. Why should I stop using my printer if the results coming out of it are still good?

    PM me if you need help with this.

    Personally I would seriously consider the wisdom of home printing again. Over the years it has been a complete pain in the backside, the amount of ink & paper wasted has been shocking.
    If you can, don't do all your printing in one go. Hold them back & do a couple each week. That should prevent the heads drying up (and hence more wasted ink clearing them).

    Since getting my new computer (and LCD monitor) I have been battling bronzing on my prints.

    I even tried making my printer a dedicated black & white printer with a set of 6 black inks from somewhere in the USA (can't remember from whom now) but they proclaimed exhibition quality from even a humble inkjet printer.
    The prints never looked satisfactory to me on Ilford paper with an 'orange-peel' texture to them where the ink seemed to pool. I should have experimented with different paper but the cost would have been horrendous.

    Best of luck to you - you need it!!

  2. #12

    Printers

    Tony,
    Bronzing has nothing to do with your computer or screen. It's just the inks/pigments on the paper.
    This seems to affect different papers to a variable degree. I think RC digital papers are the most prone to this. I haven't tried FB glossy paper yet. In general mat paper is unaffected.

    A coat of lacquer or varnish might help. I'm not convinced yet by the varnish I've tried which is for oil and acrylic paint. I've just bought some from Hahnemühle. I'll tell you the results once I've tried it out...

    Some makes have cheap user-replaceable heads... Not Epson though...

    Since moving to a professional printer, I think I have had rather little hassle than with my old Epson stylus photo 1200, one of the first A3 consumer printers out ten years ago. Whatever this comparison is worth.

  3. #13

    Printers

    Bronzing only happens when using the black ink for glossy papers (Photo Black, PK) inks, it is an issue with older ink sets only, any professional pigment ink set released in the last two years won't have it (although cheaper consumer dye sublimation inks still do). Also cheaper papers with less tooth tend to show it more easily than higher quality papers with a better tooth. If bronzing bothers you stick to papers using matte black inks (MK).

    Bob,
    Have you tried controlling the "color density" in the "paper configuration" menu? Or is that not an option on the pro-sumer printers? If you are getting pooling it is because too much ink is being put down, you can use that setting to reduce the amount of ink being used by +/- 50% It should solve the pooling issue you are having. Remember the ink set you bought is trying to work with the drivers Epson gave you, so there will have to be some user tweaks to get everything to work in harmony (and Epson not only won't help you, they will probably yell at you for using a non-Epson approved product in their printer!). I'm also curious if you have an evaluation print file to do your testing from, it makes life a lot easier when troubleshooting what media type and print settings to use. If not PM me and I will send you the one I use.

    I can relate to how frustrating home-printing can be with inkjet, but I compare it to using alternative processes. When everything is working the joy of pulling a great print is unmeasurable, but when the "photo gremlins" conspire against you it makes you want to give up and let someone else do it for you. When my inkjet printer works it is an amazing feat of technology that makes gorgeous prints right in my living room, when it doesn't it is a gigantic (and very heavy) paperweight that stares accusingly at me whenever I'm in the room. Don't take for granted that technology has a personality, talk sweet to it, caress it now and again, and never yell at it (in earshot)!

  4. #14

    Printers

    I do agree with ilford_king, when a print comes out that is spot on - that is very rewarding.

    But I do question your comments Pierre (with respect - as you no doubt know more than me).
    I get a picture that looks good on screen, print it off & the shadows are so dense that it looks like the image on the left. I print from Photoshop & set it to 'Photoshop manages colors'.

    I have to make it look quite bad on screen, cranking the contrast off & shifting the shadow slider in levels so the density of the shadows is vastly reduced. I then get something acceptable like the right hand image. It is far from an exact science which I don't like.

    At this point you will be having 'some words' with me as I admit I haven't calibrated my monitor....... I think I have struggled with it all so much I have just about given up!
    I have made a setting in my monitor driver that allows me to turn the brightness & contrast right down to give an indication of the final print. Is this akin to calibrating?
    Attached files

  5. #15

    Printers

    Quote Originally Posted by 1563
    At this point you will be having 'some words' with me as I admit I haven't calibrated my monitor....... I think I have struggled with it all so much I have just about given up!
    I have made a setting in my monitor driver that allows me to turn the brightness & contrast right down to give an indication of the final print. Is this akin to calibrating?
    Well this is very important as you point out. You have to calibrate your screen and leave it like that.
    It seems the gamma of your screen is set too high. This is why you have such dense dark areas.

    You can try and rent or get a lend of an i1, Colourmunki or Spyder spectrometer. It's really worth it. The calibration process will ask you to set the contrast and luminosity and colour balance on the monitor. Then it will display colours in sequence, like a colour chart, and calculate a profile. Then you don't want to change the brightness or contrast or whatever. This is a reference.
    Then load the ICM profiles for the paper and printer combination.

    You can have trouble with the colour space inside Photoshop if you use something too restrictive. In grayscale a large dot size, or in colour sRGB. Switch to no colour management for grey scale until you are ready to print and then use the colour profile or the paper and printer combination for proofing. For colour switch to Adobe RGB (1998 ).

    In my case it's the printer/driver that handles the colour mapping. Not Photoshop, but this is a special case. I suppose you have tried the different rendering modes.

  6. #16

    Printers

    Quote Originally Posted by 1115
    Bob,
    Have you tried controlling the "color density" in the "paper configuration" menu? Or is that not an option on the pro-sumer printers? If you are getting pooling it is because too much ink is being put down, you can use that setting to reduce the amount of ink being used by +/- 50% It should solve the pooling issue you are having. Remember the ink set you bought is trying to work with the drivers Epson gave you, so there will have to be some user tweaks to get everything to work in harmony (and Epson not only won't help you, they will probably yell at you for using a non-Epson approved product in their printer!). I'm also curious if you have an evaluation print file to do your testing from, it makes life a lot easier when troubleshooting what media type and print settings to use. If not PM me and I will send you the one I use.
    Not sure this is for me... The P is for Pierre not Robert.

    I have an HP Designjet z2100 24", it's automated for calibration, it prints it's own charts and has a built-in spectrometer. The little bronzing I have is rather marginal. You have to look from the side and it only affects the parts where I have steep gradients from pure white to pure black.
    I've had some trouble with some paper types, Fuji Satin set to the wrong paper type and it was the opposite, not enough ink. I have severe banding. Plus a very fragile paper structure that got crushed whenever the printer would stop because the computer was busy with something else. I've finished that roll and I don't think I'll buy anymore of that sort.
    I'm more concerned by the difference between the printed and still white areas. The bigger HP z3100 or z3200 have a clear ink with no pigment but which gives a more uniform finish in these parts. But I couldn't afford it. Next time if I start to sell some prints!

  7. #17

    Printers

    About bronzing and varnish...

    Just sold a picture today, the occasion to try the Hahnemühle varnish I bought last week.
    It's very very light, it says three coats are necessary, that's good cause you don't have to worry too much about pools of varnish. It dries super fast, like really really fast, almost instantly. It doesn't stink of organic chemicals like other varnishes do. And best of all it looks like the slight bronzing or metamerism I had on pearl RC digital paper is gone!

  8. #18

    Printers

    I've tried varnishing too Pierre but less than happy with it when viewed with the light coming in at an angle as you could see all the dust stuck to it!!

    I have calibrated my monitor now - I still have to nurse the shadows using a 'live' histogram when twiddling. I now also get a slight green cast

  9. #19

    Printers

    Tony, in past I used an Epson 1290 printer and had similar problems as you, green or other color casts and wrong tonality compared to the picture on the screen (my screen was already calibrated). Last year I replaced the Epson 1290 by a Espon R2880. No longer problems, no color casts, very good tonality both ways, using the printer internal settings or using the photoshop color management and the right icm-profiles. But you must take in account that the picture on the screen looks more brilliant. For me it's something like comparing a slide and a print. My wife has an Epson RX585, an all-in-one printer-scanner-copier . The bw and color prints using the printer internal color management look great, too, no color casts in the bw prints. I made not so good experiences with online-printing services.

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