What, no Black??? Epson Stylus Pro 3880

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What, no Black??? Epson Stylus Pro 3880

Postby Thomas » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:23 pm

Recovering slowly from a "heart attack" I had from the first test-prints of my new Epson 3880 I need to vent my neg surprise which has held me in its grip the whole afternoon long.
Now what happened? I unpacked the printer, tried not to overlook the last adhesive tape that was plastered all over the place, shook the cartridges as per getting started, installed the software, drives, network-access, ICM profiles and what have you. After 20% of the ink was sucked up in the initialization process and the first internal test-page was produced I and the printer were good to go.
... I thought!
I won't tell you how much paper and ink and time I wasted trying to get the perfect black from this image.
Image
Eisstock-Schiessen 28311 by Thomas, on Flickr
As you can see the sky is a totally black with no structure at all. But all I got was a blotched black on my glossy photo paper. Tried a lot of driver- and profile-tweaking but to no avail.
Finally ...
I switched from Canon to Epson paper.
... and then it worked ::)

I'll try to get a good macro shot at how big the difference is between the two papers.

B.t.w.: The maintenance cartridge of the 3880 is easily user replaceable but was also wasted 44% during the priming stage. Each cartridge has 80ml and there are nine of them. So total ink intake during initialization was around 140ml.
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Postby Thomas » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:52 pm

Now here's the proof (crop from the left hip, no photo-montage, both prints were shot side-by-side):
Image
Photo Paper Canon vs Epson 28456 by Thomas, on Flickr
The Epson 3880 was putting the absolute same ink on both papers: Left the photo glossy paper from Canon right from Epson.
On a Canon pro9000 the Canon paper produces the same homogeneous black as the Epson on the Epson paper.
Now I've learned something , again :roll:
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Postby keystrokesuk » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:07 am

Different manufacturers use different methods of getting the ink to dry on the paper.

If you read the small print on HP photo paper some of it states it cannot be used with certain HP inks (pigment type).

Kodak actually put 5 colours in their colour ink cartridge, one of the colours being white, which is actually a coating for the paper to help the ink dry.

Lexmark will not honour their 3 or 5 year warranty unless you only use Lexmark consumables (ink and paper) in the printer.

Epson use a voltage to control the ink jets in their printers (piezo electric) whilst other manufacturers use heaters (thermal inkjet) and this determines the chemical make up of the ink. One has to be more heat conductive whilst the other more electrically conductive and this effects how they dry on different surfaces.

And those are just a few reasons why you can't just use any paper or any ink with any printer.

Have a look at the Ilford website www.ilford.com they have a range of different paper for different applications. Here is just one of their paper compatibility charts http://www.ilford.com/en/pdf/prods/gale ... art_A4.pdf
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Postby Thomas » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:36 pm

Obviously there is a big difference between dye-based and pigment-based inks: The dye-based inks (e.g. those Canon Chroma Life) seem to be less critical with the paper, while the pigment-based inks like the Epson Ultrachrome seem to have problems with one type of paper.
Seems like the Canon paper I used falls into the category that is not recommended for pigment-based inks.
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