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  #11  
Old 08-19-2002, 10:19 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Epson printers and ink

I am on my second Epson photo printer, and once, just once, I made the mistake of trying bargain ink cartridges to make a batch of cards for a regular customer (no reason other than I was feeling cheap...LOL!) These were cards I printed every few months, so I knew how they "should" look.

Well, the black ink had a brownish cast instead of the bluish cast that Epson black has. So, after printing a few cards and trying to adjust the colors in the original to match the ink, and wasting lots of time for nothing, I replaced both cartridges (yes, the colors turned out to be slightly off too) and finished the job right. In the attempt to save a few bucks I ended up wasting about $40 and a few hours of time. That cured me of trying to be thrifty with my printing!

Phyllis
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2002, 05:11 PM
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Trimoon Trimoon is offline
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I made the mistake of trying bargain ink, cost me $3,423.16USD (Epson 9600)
New heads.. Genuine Epson for me
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2002, 10:08 PM
Peter Booth Peter Booth is offline
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Hi Folk, regarding the refilling of cartridges . Here in New Zealand the new cartridges are very expensive so I am easily tempted and pursueded to try alternatives. I have found that I have no major problems but must remember to turn off my Epson Photo Stylus 810 or the nozzles do dry up and then I need to go through the laborious proceedure of the cleaning cycles. I read on a previous posted thread here that you can use Windex to clean clogged nozzles. I have been using refills on my Lexmark 3200 for a couple of years now with no problems.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2002, 05:16 PM
charles charles is offline
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Hi Folks
I have noticed that if I use anything other than Epson paper with my Epson inks, the ink just sits on top of the papers surface and never really dries. I believe there is a chemical bond or reaction between the Epson inks and papers. If you look at the end print closely you can see that the Epson ink does indeed soak straight into the paper, even on the blackest parts of the print.
My only problem is that the Epson 890 + Epson inks + Epson Photo paper tends to lose detail in the shadows, too dark. Any ideas?
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2002, 12:34 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Charles,

First, a belated welcome to RetouchPRO!

As far as how to get shadow details in your prints, I would try this:

1. Create a grayscale step wedge from 0-10% brightness using step increments of 1%. Then add a thick pure black (0%) line down the middle. (I've attached an example of what I'm talking about.)
2. Print the step wedge on your printer (print one on each type of ink/paper combination you use) and wait for the ink to dry.
3. Look at the printed image and determine the darkest shade of gray that you can differentiate from pure black (the thick line doen the middle). This is the darkest shade of gray that your printer can print before losing detail.
4. Now, back in Photoshop (or whatever image editor you use), when you use the black dropper to set the black point in levels or curves, be sure the color of that dropper is set to whatever brightness level you determined from the printed step wedge. (In PS7 and I think PS6, you can double click on the dropper and it will bring up the color picker to allow you to set the color.)

This will ensure that you don't have any tones in your image which are darker than your printer can differentiate between.

Please let me know if this doesn't make any sense and I'll try to explain again.

Jeanie
Attached Images
File Type: gif shadow stepwedge 0-9.gif (7.1 KB, 22 views)
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:29 PM
charles charles is offline
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Q for Jeaniesa

Jeaniesa
I used your shadow stepwedge and the whole thing printed out absolute black but it looks OK on screen. Please explain how I should correct this.
I use an Epson 890.
Many thanks
charles
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2002, 12:27 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Charles,
Please accept my sincere apology for taking so long to reply. I've been swamped lately and seemingly unable to keep up with everything on my plate.

To answer your question (if it's not too late at this point)...

Since your monitor appears to display the file I provided correctly and the printer prints it all as pure black, that seems to indicate that your monitor is calibrated OK, but you need to adjust what you see on your screen to have it print correctly.

First, we need to determine at what point your printer differentiates shadow. I've attached another file which shows shadows from 0-19% gray. (I created this file because I had the opposite problem that you do - my monitor was not differentiating between any shadows darker than about 12%, but my printer showed everything in the shadows (including all of the defects) that I couldn't see on my monitor.) Print this file and hopefully you'll notice a differentiation between pure black and one of the bars in the 10-19% range.

Once you determine which bar that is, here's what I would do if I were in your shoes (which may or may not be the "right" way to do this, but it should work. I should preface everything I say by stating that I am not an expert in color management, but I've read enough to get my own system working to my satisfaction - and it was very far off to begin with!)

I would edit my image to the point where I was happy with it and ready to print (and save it to the hard disk!) Then, I would run Edit-Adjust-Threshold and set a color sampler point on the darkest part of the image. (If you're not familiar with this, simply slide the slider in the Threshold dialog box to the left until you can see just a little black in the image. This will be the darkest part of the image. Move the cursor over to that area and hold down the shift key while you click on the black spot. This will place a color sample point. Then, cancel out of the Threshold dialog box. The point should remain. If it doesn't, click on the eyedropper tool and it should appear.) If you already use this technique and set your shadow/highlight points earlier in your editing process, you don't need to set another point.

Now, add a Levels adjustment layer. Double click on the black eyedropper in the Levels dialog box and set the brightness (which is most likely set to 0%) to one less than the percentage you found a differentiation in the printed bar sample. (I.e., if you found that you could see a difference between pure black and 12% gray, then set the eyedropper color to 11%.) Be sure that each of the RGB values is equal, i.e. you are working on a grayscale and not introducing any color into the shadow. Click OK to set the color.

Now, with the black eyedropper selected, click on the color sample point that you set for the darkest part of the image. If that point was pure black (or anything darker than the 11% we used in the example above), you should see the image become lighter and less contrasty. It may even looked washed out. Don't worry. If you've used an adjustment layer, you won't be changing your underlying image - just adjusting it so that the printer can display all of the shadow detail. If you had a color cast in the shadows in the photo, you may notice a slight color shift as well. If you don't like this, then go back and edit the black eyedropper color and adjust the RGB values to add back in a bit of the color you want.

Once you're happy with the color, click OK to commit the adjustment layer. THen try printing your image the way you normally do and hopefully you'll be able to see the detail in your shadows.

There may be a way to make this adjustment in your printer setup, but I'm not familiar with your printer, so I can't advise you on that.

Please let me know if this makes sense and what you discover after trying it. I'll try to be a little more responsive this time!

Jeanie
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