View Full Version : Bringing an Epson 3800 and a V700 out of retirement

1-Feb-2016, 23:42
Hello folks,

last week I was fortunate enough to be given an Epson 3800 printer and a V700 scanner, both in excellent condition - at least cosmetically - and have a few questions if you don't mind.

The 3800 hasn't been used for approx 2 years but the nozzle check appears OK, though inks are very low and obviously out of date. Will it be enough to replace the maintenance tank and inks on the 3800 or is there something else I should do considering the likely timeframe it has sat idle? Put another way - is a positive nozzle check a clean bill of health?

The V700 comes sans film holders and will really only be used for 4x5 as I have an excellent MF scanner (Microtek 120tf still going strong!). I will look into the adjustable LF wet/dry mount and hope for the best (this topic has already been discussed ad nauseam I've discovered!). No more paying to hire an Imacon for me!! ...fingers crossed! :-)

As for the scanner - is there anything I should consider given its age that may require addressing before I crank it up? I'm almost certain this is a no but thought I'd ask anyway.

Finally - these items belonged to a good friend's father who was a prolific and excellent photographer here in Sydney until he passed away, sadly and very prematurely taken by the big C 2 years ago. I'm very privileged to have acquired this gear and hope to do justice to them after climbing some new (and welcome) learning curves!

Many thanks and cheers from Sydney, Australia,

Jon Shiu
2-Feb-2016, 09:20
The printer is probably okay as it is. Some people take the ink out and gently shake side to side a few times to mix up the ink.


Light on Glass
2-Feb-2016, 12:43
I use a V700 often. The 4x5 film holders are ok, though the plastic feels a bit flimsy they work. I have Vuescan, but it also works well enough to just use the small Epson program and tweak values in PS after. If you want to do 6x12 though, I don't think the Epson program will do MF wider than 6x9, where Vuescan will. I got the "Better Scanning" film holder and glass for MF strips and I think it was worth it. It's probably the best option for the price range. They have a V850 now, but I doubt it's really much different.

Andrew O'Neill
3-Feb-2016, 12:52
I have the 3800 and found that the magenta nozzles clog a lot. But I've worked around that. I use an all black inset for digital negs, and write profile to print with 7 inks, excluding the "magenta"... The other thing I don't like is the maintenance tank only wanting a new maintence tank, if you let if fill up. There is a way around it....

I own and use the V750. Love it. I would fire your V700 up and give it a whirl.

Will Frostmill
3-Feb-2016, 13:10
My two cents: if you shake the ink carts too much, the air bubbles will clog and burn out the print head.

3-Feb-2016, 19:35
Hello again and a big thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your thoughts and insights.

As for the 3800, I've replaced the 5 inks that were low, gently shaking the old ones and have now printed about a half dozen A4 (close to letter size for our friends in the US) images in both colour and B&W and am extremely pleased with the results! Can't wait to print A3+ and A2!

So far I've tried 2 papers - both Canson: PhotoLustre Premium RC 310 g/mē and the gorgeous Velin Museum Rag 315 g/mē (which will quickly send me broke). Setting up was great with the Canson ICC profiles and in my semi-colour managed environment, fingers crossed will get some great results.

It turns out that this printer had previously only printed 480 sheets, mostly A4 and is in almost mint condition. I showed my prints to a well known printing "guru" earlier today and he gave them the thumbs up. For someone who has never owned a printer of this caliber it's really given me a big shock at what can be produced at home.

So now I will enjoy revisiting my 100,000+ images with new eyes and spend many long nights becoming artistically richer and financially destitute. What a way to go!!

Many thanks again and once the film holders arrive for the V700, I'll report any findings that may be of interest.

Cheers from Sydney, Aust!


neil poulsen
3-Feb-2016, 23:35
My two cents: if you shake the ink carts too much, the air bubbles will clog and burn out the print head.

Wo! That's good to know; I didn't realize this. :eek:

On the flip side, I learned from experience about the problems of being an intermittent user and NOT gently rocking the ink cartridges.

This is theory on my part, but I conjecture that the pigment sinks to the bottom, and one begins using a higher percentage of solvent. That is, until one approaches the end of life of the cartridge, at which point I suspect that the percent of pigment begins to rise and reaches higher than normal concentrations.

The result to which I can attest is that, towards EOL, the prints become darker and more saturated. Of course, the paper profile goes out the window and no longer works, and I would wonder whether the printer is at greater risk of clogging. (Etc.) If this increase of saturation and darkness occurs, I think the best course of action is to toss the cartridges and the remaining ink that they contain.

As for the scanner, make sure that it hasn't been prepared for travel or storage. My older Epson scanner has a locking mechanism that can be engaged to protect the scanning head if it gets bumped or jostled.