May 11, 2005

Joseph Holmes writes about the new Epson Printers

Source: Joseph Holmes

I have just made, for an exhibit to open Thursday, May 19th at the Ordover Gallery in Solana Beach, California, the most beautiful set of color prints that I’ve ever made, using a new EPSON 44″ printer and the new inkset announced today (May 10th). When considering all aspects of the resulting prints, I have no doubt that this is the best system ever for making color prints.

For some thirty years, I have done everything I could to make the finest color prints possible, so it is of no minor consequence to me that the technologies behind the best digital printing systems keeps improving. As of today, the public can begin to learn about the wonderful new pro printers and eight-color inkset that EPSON will soon begin shipping to eager photographers and others.

The last new series of printers, the Stylus Color Pro 9600, 7600 and 4000, all used a seven-color inkset called UltraChrome. The new printers, the 9800, 7800 and 4800 (maintaining the same form factor as the previous three printers) use the new and greatly improved eight color UltraChrome K3 inkset. This new inkset adds a third neutral ink, called Light Light Black, and uses nearly all-new pigments to totally revamp and in many ways improve upon the original UltraChrome inkset, which itself was a major quality advance in several respects.

At the same time, the driver tables, which the user accesses by picking No Color Adjustment and a particular paper choice in the EPSON driver, are hugely improved from those in the older driver. The gray neutrality is more than ten times better, and the tonal linearity is significantly improved, so that traditional ICC profile making processes work much better than they did with the previous systems.

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