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Thread: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

  1. #1

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    2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    Hello folks. I have a frustrating issue with two current gen. Epson printers. At home I have a 2880, and at work, a 4880. From Lightroom, I'm printing B&W on the 2880, using Moab CFG, ICC profile, colour settings, I get perfect and predictable neutral results. Very slight tweaking involved due to high brightness of (calibrated) LCD screen.

    The problem comes with trying to get the same results from the 4880. Using all the same settings, gives me a slightly purplish/magenta print. To get even close to the 2880's results, I've had to resort to using Adv. b&w settings (warm/darker), and then fiddling even more with the exposure; the tonal relationships/ exposure are all different though.

    Does anyone have clue what's going on here?

  2. #2

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    Talking Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    That's always the problem wnen one has two wives. Making comparisons is a sickness of the mind's eye.

  3. #3

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    It's a classic.

    For consistent results, you need a separate profile for every printer/paper/ink. I use CHROMIX.

  4. #4

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    The Moab (now Legion) web site has profiles for every photo paper they make. I don't know what "CFG" is but I've used Moab/Legion Fine Art Natural and Fine Art Bright White for years with the profiles I downloaded for my Epson printers (first a 2200, now a 3800) from the Moab/Legion site. If you use those profiles for each of your printers and do everything else right you should get good, consistent results from both printers.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    Logic suggests that either you did something wrong - or the profiles are inconsistent - or your printer/paper/ink isn't exactly the same as the printer/paper/ink that they profiled.

    My guess is that your printer/paper/ink is slightly different - enough for you to see the difference. That's why you may want to get your own profiles made, for your own equipment.

    I'm no expert, but if digital computer monitors vary and drift over time, why wouldn't printers ? Being mechanical rather than electronic, wouldn't we consider printers even more prone to variation and drift, than monitors.

    I have not worked in the press side of the printing industry, but I have seen enough to know that every time they do a run, they make sure that everything is just right. Compared to the cost of ink and paper, the price of a custom profile is reasonable.

  6. #6

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy McKay View Post
    Hello folks. I have a frustrating issue with two current gen. Epson printers. At home I have a 2880, and at work, a 4880. From Lightroom, I'm printing B&W on the 2880, using Moab CFG, ICC profile, colour settings, I get perfect and predictable neutral results. Very slight tweaking involved due to high brightness of (calibrated) LCD screen.

    The problem comes with trying to get the same results from the 4880. Using all the same settings, gives me a slightly purplish/magenta print. To get even close to the 2880's results, I've had to resort to using Adv. b&w settings (warm/darker), and then fiddling even more with the exposure; the tonal relationships/ exposure are all different though.

    Does anyone have clue what's going on here?
    Paddy,

    It is my understanding that the 2XXX and the 4xxx lines are not made to the same tolerances. I had a 2200 and a 9600. They both used the same Ultrachrome inks, and I printed the same image using both of them from the same computer, same settings, etc. While the results were close, they were never exact. I just think it's a matter of the 2880 printer not being made to the same tolerances. Jim

  7. #7

    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    hitting exact neutrals with the RGB driver is very difficult for profiling software, some even have extend gray patches just for that very purpose, since it's an unusual need for most color printers. Even if they do look pretty good, consistency from one printer to the other, even with the same profiling software, may be less than exact. Additionally, the slightest hue deviation in neutrals is very obvious to the eye which excaserbates the problem. It's a tough one for that particular workflow, there may be no really great solution. Learning an ABW workflow may be your next best step.
    Tyler

  8. #8

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    Just to clarify, the 2880 is producing extremely consistent results, with appropriate ICC profiles. Brian, CFG = Colarado Fiber Gloss. I've been using the unique (for each printer) profiles for each printer, provided by Legion/Moab. I'm going to check with the Tech guy at the college where the 4880 is, since it's not providing the expected results. I suspect that I'm going to have to get a custom profile(s) created for the 4880. I've never used their services, but I 've read about Cathy's profiles http://www.cathysprofiles.com/, and MadManChan's http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan.../profiles.html

    If anyone has info for other highly recommended profiling services, I'd be happy to know.

    Thanks again, Paddy

  9. #9

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    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Boley View Post
    hitting exact neutrals with the RGB driver is very difficult for profiling software,... there may be no really great solution.
    Tyler, it wasn't a problem for the 2880 to hit the (profiled) mark, spot on. The issue with the 4880 is more than just a colour shift; the prints come out with a very different curve/exposure. It's at least 1 1/2 - 2 stops brighter.

    I guess I'm not sure if a custom profile will address the exposure difference. If anyone knows, I'd appreciate hearing back from you. I'd rather not waste the money on a custom profile, unless it corrects this problem too.

  10. #10

    Re: 2 Epson Printers, inconsistent B&W output question

    recent changes in Adobe, MacOS, and printer drivers has made the current state of profiling less than confident. After recent Photoshop and OSX updates I had to go back to the very original driver for my little old Canon desktop to get it to keep the color managed data path the same as before and prints to look anything like the color before the changes even with the exact same profiles and driver settings. So it could be any number of things, driver versions of the 2 models, how each profile was made, etc etc.
    You can avoid blowing your money by finding a custom profiler that gives a money back garauntee, some do.
    I occasionally profile for others, and am less than confident in the outcome these days. Way back in OS9, and no color management in the drivers, things were more secure...
    Wish I could be more help, it's not a good situation. Hopefully there's something simple in the workflow, a gotcha somewhere to solve. Happen to all of us.
    Tyler

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