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Thread: Epson P700 printer, impressed

  1. #1

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    Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Wow, so I buy this printer on May 31, with Epson $200 off (just mailed that off yesterday). I haven't printed in darkroom in ages and I was missing my super duper expensive linen shirts smelling like fixer. I mean, who doesn't wear their best in the dark right?

    Went to my hometown, NY,NY, so nice they named it twice, went to a bunch of museums, galleries and I got the itch to man handle a print. I lifted the sofa cushions and found $2.00 so $698.00 later after selling a kidney, I manage to purchase one.

    I am sooooo impressed by the quality of these inkjet printers. I have much to learn about printing. and PS, and Lightroom. I was okay in Lightroom for a while and casually scanning and posting digital images but man, I really miss holding a print, and being obnoxious and signing the bottom of them as if I snorted d76, dektol and pmk all at once.

    Now I wish I bought the P900 so I could have printed 16x20's!!!! Guess I can sell my other kidney. I mean, who needs them anyway?
    --

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Congrats on the new printer! My 2 cents of advice from having used various Epsons is that if it's going to sit idle for a week or more, you should print out one of the nozzle check test pages once a week. This keeps the ink flowing in it. Epsons have a reputation for clogging up easily if they sit awhile unused, and I experienced it several times. Weekly printing of the nozzle check page should be enough to keep it from clogging and doesn't waste alot of ink.

    If you do alot of color printing, I recommend getting some color calibration tools to try and get the monitor and printer output looking as close to the same as possible. The paraphernalia for making paper profiles can be a bit pricey, but the ones for calibrating the screen are more affordable, and if you wanted to fall down the calibration rabbit hole without a big investment, you could just calibrate the screen, and then stick with papers that the manufacturer already provides ICC profiles for. I don't think the manufacturer's profiles will necessarily be more accurate than if you made them yourself (because every little variable in your personal printer+inks could affect it), but they can save alot of trouble for you. An advantage of getting a nicer Epson printer is that you'll often be able to find ready-made profiles for more papers than you would with less popular printers.

    I also recommend you search out and try different RIP (Raster Image Processor) apps for doing the printing, so that you aren't printing directly from Photoshop. Printing from Photoshop isn't ideal; seems to always mess something up. Unfortunately, I can't recommend a specific RIP app, maybe someone else here can recommend one. Maybe Epson provides a decent one with the printer? The manufacturers usually have some basic one bundled with the new printer.

    If you're printing black & white images, I recommend using the Epson Advanced B&W (do they still include this in the driver?) to give it a slight bit of color toning. I usually do a tiny bit of yellow-ish/sepia to warm it up, but you could also go the other way and do a little bit blue if you want some cool toning. I think this almost always looks more natural than just using the straight black/gray inks.

  3. #3

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    If you're printing black & white images, I recommend using the Epson Advanced B&W (do they still include this in the driver?) to give it a slight bit of color toning. I usually do a tiny bit of yellow-ish/sepia to warm it up, but you could also go the other way and do a little bit blue if you want some cool toning. I think this almost always looks more natural than just using the straight black/gray inks.
    Indeed, use the Epson advance printer driver. One thing I have noticed on my Mac Mini, with every system update this driver is gone ! so you need to install it every time. Quite annoying

  4. #4

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    Congrats on the new printer! My 2 cents of advice from having used various Epsons is that if it's going to sit idle for a week or more, you should print out one of the nozzle check test pages once a week. This keeps the ink flowing in it. Epsons have a reputation for clogging up easily if they sit awhile unused, and I experienced it several times. Weekly printing of the nozzle check page should be enough to keep it from clogging and doesn't waste alot of ink.

    If you do alot of color printing, I recommend getting some color calibration tools to try and get the monitor and printer output looking as close to the same as possible. The paraphernalia for making paper profiles can be a bit pricey, but the ones for calibrating the screen are more affordable, and if you wanted to fall down the calibration rabbit hole without a big investment, you could just calibrate the screen, and then stick with papers that the manufacturer already provides ICC profiles for. I don't think the manufacturer's profiles will necessarily be more accurate than if you made them yourself (because every little variable in your personal printer+inks could affect it), but they can save alot of trouble for you. An advantage of getting a nicer Epson printer is that you'll often be able to find ready-made profiles for more papers than you would with less popular printers.

    I also recommend you search out and try different RIP (Raster Image Processor) apps for doing the printing, so that you aren't printing directly from Photoshop. Printing from Photoshop isn't ideal; seems to always mess something up. Unfortunately, I can't recommend a specific RIP app, maybe someone else here can recommend one. Maybe Epson provides a decent one with the printer? The manufacturers usually have some basic one bundled with the new printer.

    If you're printing black & white images, I recommend using the Epson Advanced B&W (do they still include this in the driver?) to give it a slight bit of color toning. I usually do a tiny bit of yellow-ish/sepia to warm it up, but you could also go the other way and do a little bit blue if you want some cool toning. I think this almost always looks more natural than just using the straight black/gray inks.
    Fantastic tips thank you so much! Lots to go over this one reply. I'll make sure I do a nozzle test once a while. Of course, I already went through LightGrey ink that came with it. I was on fence between the P900 which was about $500 more but it did have a much bigger ink cartrdige. Also, I got a $200 rebate for the P700. I don't think I'm going to go to massive amounts of prints so the smaller ink cartridges over the course of the year will be okay for me.

    With scans and upload, I don't care much but with the cost of printing, I really look at what I need to edit on a roll or be more meticulous with each shot/scan/print
    --

  5. #5

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    ...If you're printing black & white images, I recommend using the Epson Advanced B&W (do they still include this in the driver?) to give it a slight bit of color toning. I usually do a tiny bit of yellow-ish/sepia to warm it up, but you could also go the other way and do a little bit blue if you want some cool toning. I think this almost always looks more natural than just using the straight black/gray inks.
    With both my Epson P600 and Canon PRO-100, using their ABW modes, I find the specific paper one prints on drives whether toning is necessary. The whiter the paper, the less (if any) deviation from neutral ink I use. Image color needs to be chromatically compatible with paper tone.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Most of the new work for the fine art market is produced on these Epson machines (and Canon, to a lesser extent), so it is no wonder you like them. I work as an exhibition printer and have run the 9900, P9000 and now the P9500, which is the 44" version of the technology in your printer. I am also an analog printer. If you were in the museums and galleries in New York, chances are high that much of what you were looking at was produced with similar machines, unless of course it was vintage work. There are of course still a lot of c prints and darkroom prints, but the archival life and color gamut is now better in the inkjets than it is in the RA4 papers, and the choice of papers is so much broader. I still prefer a good black and white darkroom print in the best case, but the flexibility and editing ability of digital have overall given an advantage to these printers in most cases, especially in the case of large prints.

    Btw, I agree with Sal about ABW mode. I use it and do adjust the black and white tone to match the paper more closely. It tends to look awful with a warmtone B&W on a crisp white paper, or a cold tone on a warmer paper. I differ though, in that I avoid the bright white papers like the plague. I think the optical brightening agents that push those papers beyond 100% brightness give a cold, harsh tone to the images. I try to stick with OBA free papers.

    I also do not bother with RIPs. I print from Lightroom 98% of the time. I also think that if you are not a professional, paper profiles from the major makers like Hahnemuhle and Epson etc are good enough that it is not necessary to do custom profiling. Another option, though slightly off of the accurate colors, is to covert your file to Adobe RGB in Photoshop, turn off color management in photoshop and set the print driver to "epson color" and choose Adobe RGB as the gamut (it defaults to Epson sRGB). If you do this correctly, the printer will know that you are sending an Adobe RGB file. In my experience (and that of Ctein, who first wrote about this), you get a better dMax printing this way, particularly with matte papers. You give up the last bit of color accuracy in some cases (I notice it most with blues), but you gain a lot of contrast in matte prints. It can also solve certain tricky errors like color profile induced banding in shadow gradations...rare things you will likely not experience. That said, having that trick in the toolbox is very useful, especially for matte paper printers. It is also good if you just can't be bothered to mess with profiles.

  7. #7
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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    Another option, though slightly off of the accurate colors, is to covert your file to Adobe RGB in Photoshop, turn off color management in photoshop and set the print driver to "epson color" and choose Adobe RGB as the gamut (it defaults to Epson sRGB). If you do this correctly, the printer will know that you are sending an Adobe RGB file. In my experience (and that of Ctein, who first wrote about this), you get a better dMax printing this way, particularly with matte papers.
    Note that Ctein's advice was Mac-specific. Windows users would need to run tests to see how printer-controlled color management behaves compared to editor-controlled color management under whatever editor and OS versions they are using.

  8. #8

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    ...I agree with Sal about ABW mode. I use it and do adjust the black and white tone to match the paper more closely. It tends to look awful with a warmtone B&W on a crisp white paper, or a cold tone on a warmer paper. I differ though, in that I avoid the bright white papers like the plague. I think the optical brightening agents that push those papers beyond 100% brightness give a cold, harsh tone to the images. I try to stick with OBA free papers...
    On the latter point, you don't differ with me. The observation about sticking with OBA-free papers is not incompatible with the need for matching image tone to paper whiteness. Even among the OBA-free papers I use (that's the only kind I use), there's a range of whiteness that needs to be matched.

  9. #9

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    I believe (as an owner of many Epsons over the years and a P700 now) that they have resolved the ink clogging issue. I've had mine for a year and haven't had any problems even if it remains idle for a month or more. I do wish I had purchased the P900. I'll be selling the P700 and getting that shortly.

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson P700 printer, impressed

    [QUOTE=StuartR;1648735]Most of the new work for the fine art market is produced on these Epson machines (and Canon, to a lesser extent), so it is no wonder you like them.]

    Is that true or speculation? I was just in NYC and looked at several galleries and wondered that as well. I thought it was odd that I had to ask and that while most were described as "silver gelatin prints" there were a few with alternate naming (Giclee, digital art print, etc). As a long time collector (Weston, Adams, Sexton, Strand, Tice, etc) I'm used to buying only what we'd now refer to as "vintage" prints (with the exception of Sexton). There, of course, is another entire discussion regarding pricing of what, even in a production print environment, is a "one-off" versus the digital print that drives price, availability, etc. that can take days to beat around.

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