Hello all, wanted to check in with a report on my newly-received Epson 9800. Initial test results are really exciting. The new blacks are amazingly rich, which extends the whole tonal scale in that direction, making for richer-looking prints overall. (I've heard that on glossy paper the K3 blacks are the darkest ever produced in any photographic printing process, but don't know if this is actually true). The dot pattern seems to be slightly finer than previously, especially in light areas such as skies, and because of the new grey ink and the reconfigured drivers, metamerism is totally gone, and there is no more bronzing. I've made a couple of B&W prints that just knock my socks off, and I'm already up and printing my big color images with great results. The profiles that come with the printer are excellent, though Bill Atkinson tells me he is making better profiles for several papers and will be releasing those on his website soon. The 9800 is also faster than the 9600 by quite a bit. Pretty cool stuff so far!!!
I did a side-by-side test of some targets with very fine details at several different resolutions and found absolutely no difference between any of the following settings: 1440 (high speed); 1440 (one-pass); 1440 (fine detail checked); 2880 (high speed); 2880 (one pass); 2880 (fine detail checked). I don't know what is going on with that, but it is consistent with the 9600-- there was no difference between 1440 and 2880, even viewed with a loupe. The 9800 print driver has this new "finest detail" setting that supposedly prints at 5760 dpi or something, but there is NO visible difference between it and regular old 1440, do don't bother with it because the prints take way longer at the supposedly higher resolutions. If anyone has different results with that stuff I'd be interested to hear.
Cheers and have a great day,