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Printer question

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2001, 02:46 PM
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Printer question

I have been printing my retouched photos on an Epson Stylus Photo 870 and have been very happy with the results. In fact people find it hard to believe that the prints are from an ink jet printer.

Then I began reading about the Epson Stylus Photo 2000P - its archival printing ability and the finer grain. So I purchased one to see if its was really "all that and more". I don't seem to notice that much of a difference, although a graphic artist friend of mine says the 2000P does print a slightly clearer print. What I am finding is that although the print is alittle clearer, if you hold the print on an angle in the light, I notice a sort of ghost image over parts of the print. I'm not sure how to better explain. Its doesn't happen on all prints, but it has me more than alittle worried. Does anyone have any input on this or has anyone experienced the same thing?
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Old 12-09-2001, 04:08 PM
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Well, to understand this we must get into a little bit of ink theory. For years all inkjet inks were pigment-based. This was championed by Hewlett-Packard, but it was really the only game in town, so if you were an inkjet manufacturer, you used pigment inks.

Then dye-based inks came along, most prevalently in Epson printers. Pigment inks are very permanent, but sit on top of the paper making the spaces between the dots rather noticable and the actual ink visible as a texture. Dye inks sink into the paper allowing two things: the dots could "bleed" together, minimizing the visible dot effect, and inkjet prints could now look very photographic, even be printed on glossy paper with no visible texture.

But dye inks have more permanence problems than pigment inks. So Epson introduced their 2000p printer, which uses an ink that is half dye and half pigment. This solves a lot of the permanence problems, but you still have the lack of absorption, and now things are complicated by a kind of semi-absorbed state where the dye is absorbed and the pigment is not, causing the ghosting effect you mention when lit obliquely.

The 2000p is really kind of a transition model, since dye technology is progressing very rapidly. Of course, so is pigment technology (they now have pigment inks that can print permanently on vinyl and other substrates with zero absorption characteristics).

I'm grossly oversimplifying, so apologies to those more knowledgeable souls who are wincing at my description.

Personally, I'm backing the dye model, since they still look more "photographic" and the permanence issue is close to solved.
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Old 12-09-2001, 05:24 PM
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Printer question

Thanks Doug. Now I just have to decide on whether I should return the 2000p and wait for something better to come along or continue using it.
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Old 12-09-2001, 05:41 PM
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Besides the "ghosting" effect you have noticed prints from the 2000 also exibit the phenomen of metamerism which shows up as a greenish cast when the print is viewed under certain lighting conditions. There is a thread on the site with a link to another site which explains this more fully as well as some suggested "fixes". I also am sticking with the dye printers, for now at least, as the longevity of the prints is pretty good as long as the right paper is used and they are displayed properly-there is another thread under ,I believe preservation, which goes into proper display more fully. I am not bashing the 2000..it is a good printer but it seems more targeted for the art type print than restore type, although it does a good job once you learn all its quirks. Tom
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Old 12-10-2001, 10:03 AM
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The following web site has some good information about the Epson 2000p. After reading this I decided to keep my Epson 1270, especially in reference to printing black and white prints.

To view go to : http://www.luminous-landscape.com/2000p.htm

George
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Old 12-11-2001, 08:01 AM
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Thanks Tom and George. Tom, I agree with you. After reading the article that George recommended, it does seem that the 2000P is more of an art printer although the blacks do seem more like greys on glossy paper. I have not tried the matte paper supplied with the printer yet. I do have a considerable amount of b&w art prints and with the retouching I have been doing lately, I don't know whether or not I will get around to it.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be article comparing the 870 to the 2000P. I was and still am very happy with the prints from the 870, although it does have its problems - occasionally there are verticle lines in color prints that match the roller spacing and I consider this a serious problem that Epson is aware of. I wonder if the 1270 has this problem. Another plus, with the 2000p is the ability to print up to 13x19 and the fact that they last longer. But, with the 870 I can see my print in less than half the time. How does the 870 compare to the 1270 I wonder.

After all this, I am still not sure what to do. What would you do? Maybe I should abandon the 2000P for a few days and go back to the 870 to see of there any problems I run into and that will make the decision for me.
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Old 12-11-2001, 09:21 AM
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I can only speak from my experiences, but I am very pleased with my 1270. Like the 2000 it will handle the 13x19 sheets and does a good job. I have on occasion noticed the lines you mentioned although this has occured very infrequently and only on 5x7 prints..why I have no idea. Print quality is excellent and it has proven very reliable. I have done an estimated 3000 or so prints on it not counting the 13x19 format or "just playing around" stuff, and it just keeps chugging along. When replacement time comes unless I see a compelling reason not to, I will replace it with a 1280 or what ever is comparable. Hope this helps, but remember, this is just my "take" on things. Tom
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Old 12-11-2001, 05:24 PM
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Anthony,
The Stock Solution website mentions that the 870 and 1270 have the same printer quality technology. I think the main difference is the max print size of the printers. That website also has printer comparisons (actual magnified snapshots of output) for most of the Epson printers. They do a specific comparison between the 2000 and 1270/1280, including output comparisons. There's a ton of info on that site (if you haven't already found it.)
Jeanie
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Old 12-11-2001, 09:32 PM
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Jeanie,
Thanks. Its packed with information and has many links. I'm still reading through it. So far it sounds like "quality vs. longevity." The 1270 actually seems like a larger 870.
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Old 12-11-2001, 10:05 PM
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The 1270/1280 really IS just a larger 870/880, with one exception: the 870/880 has a roll-paper adapter that isn't available on the larger model.
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