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Thread: Got my Epson 9800!!!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    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,

    ~cj

    www.chrisjordan.com

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Ah, the joys of a new toy. Good on ya Chris. I'm jealous.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Orange, CA
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Chris,

    A couple questions, if you don't mind:

    1) I assume you are currently using Photo Black and not Matte Black, correct? If so, do you plan on trying Matte Black in the near future?

    2) How would you compare the color output you are getting versus a Lightjet or Chromira using Fuji Crystal Archive Supergloss?

    Thanks!

  4. #4

    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Better yet,
    So can I ask what percentage (%) of prints that you exhibit or sell are larger than 24" to justify the added expense?
    Was BIG print size the primary justification for than 44" beast?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Seattle
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Hi guys. I don't use any matte black (I print exclusively on the Epson RC papers); I think Epson 9600 prints are superior to Lightjet/Chromira prints: they are noticably sharper, and the 9800 prints are better still-- now with deeper blacks and longer archival life. So I only use Lightjet when I'm making prints larger than my Epson can make (one of my images is 5x10 feet, for example, which can only be printed on the Lightjet at Laumont). And to answer Bob's question, all of my prints are larger than 24"; they are all 44" tall and they average about 72" wide, so the big printer is a necessity.

    ~cj

  6. #6
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Bob, the added expense is only $2000. Not much if you are able to sell any print larger than 24". The price of paper for the 9600 is lower than for the 7600 too, and I assume this would be the same for the K3 printers. By a curious coincidence, I stopped at Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto to place an order for the 9800 this afternoon, and they said that they were not taking orders, since prices and delivery dates were still unknown, so I am curious how Chris, you were able to get one.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    I've been on the waiting list for the 9800 ever since the 9600 came out! Far as I know, I got the first production model that came into the US. I got mine through JVH Technical here in Seattle I don't have any kind of freebie relationship with Epson-- paid full price, just got on the list early.

    ~cj

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    I can't speak as to the 9800, but I've done a lot of testing on the 9600, lightjet and chromira printers. For matte prints, I like the 960o, especially with the premium lustre paper. It does a beautiful job. When it comes to glossy prints, however, I respectfully have to disagree with Chris . The chromira and lightjet are in a virtual dead heat, with the 9600 lagging far behind. Real far. The problem isn't resolution - all 3 printers deliver outstanding resolution (glossy or matte). Unfortunately, the 9600 glossies don't come anywhere near the lightjet or chromira in terms of luminescence. The glossy prints on the chromira and lightjet have a "glow" to them, almost as though you are viewing a transparency on a light table. The 9600 just doesn't have it. I don't know how else to describe it. Tried countless papers, using Atkinson's profiles. Just don't like the glossies on the 9600. Perhaps the 9800 will be better. I also hate the speed of the 9600 - it is slow! I'm glad to hear that Chris has found the 9800 to be faster. When I want a matte print done, I use the 9600. For glossies, the lightjet or chromira get the nod.

  9. #9
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Doug, I think many would agree with you that the glossy prints on the 9600 are less than satisfying, and I certainly share your assesment, but I don't think Chris has said otherwise, did he ? By the way, did you try the superglossy Fuji material for really impressive "glow" ?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Got my Epson 9800!!!

    Q.T.L., Chris wrote:

    "I think Epson 9600 prints are superior to Lightjet/Chromira prints: they are noticably sharper, and the 9800 prints are better still-- now with deeper blacks and longer archival life. So I only use Lightjet when I'm making prints larger than my Epson can make."

    This is all very interesting to me even though I don't make prints this big!

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