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Greetings-- I had a chance to do some photograph test prints today with my new 1200 and thought I'd share some random notes that relate to questions I've read on this list. --Bill GENERAL NOTES () The "low ink" light for the color cartridge started blinking after I'd printed a total of about 30 8-1/2 by 11 inch photographs, mostly on clay-coated inkjet paper (not the higher grade "photo" paper). () With the printer came a single sample sheet of "Epson Photo Quality Glossy Film" (S041072). This is a thick plastic (?) sheet with one corner slightly cut off at a diagonal. I accidentally printed on the BACK of the sheet, and got a page covered with ink splotches; sort of like a '60s rock concert light show seen through a stained glass window. It took several sheets of tissue to wipe the mess off the sheet. The manual says insert the sheet with the cut corner on the top right; I should have read this first! I used a couple of paper towels to wipe it all off, then flipped it over and tried again (see below). () When printing business letters and mailing labels, even with some graphics, I've never had back ink stains on the edges of the paper. However at least half of the photographs I've printed have some kind of black ink stain on or near the top edge of the sheet (the edge that feeds in first). [this was true even before the glossy film mistake described above.] () I made a print on a sample sheet of "Epson Photo Paper" (S041134). This is a thick, stiff paper-based stock with a glossy, ("orange peel") textured front surface. The first time through I put a single sheet into the paper tray on top of about 20 sheets of plain bond paper. The printer fed the photo paper and a sheet of bond paper through the printer, before finally printing on the third sheet in the stack (a piece of bond paper). On my second try, I put the photo paper in the tray alone and it fed through fine. () Regarding longevity, the "Printer Basics" booklet that comes with the 1200 says on page 26: "EPSON Photo Paper has been specially formulated to work with EPSON's ink to create prints that last as long as traditional photographs when protected from light in photo albums or similar archival conditions." "When you display your EPSON Photo Paper prints in picture frames or mounted on the wall, the paper provides extra UV (ultraviolet) light protection so your prints will last longer than prints on other ink jet photo papers. Depending on the type and intensity of the light your print is exposed to, a print on EPSON Photo Paper may last two or more years before noticeable fading occurs. Fade resistance could decrease in intense light conditions or increase if your print is protected by glass or special laminates." "For optimum results and longer print life, print your digital photos on EPSON Photo Paper..." COMMENT: Epson seems to have three categories of paper: "Photo Quality Ink Jet Paper", "Photo Paper", and "Photo Quality Glossy Film". The above longevity notes only seem to apply to the "Photo Paper" category. This is a thick, paper-based stock with a glossy, ("orange peel") textured front surface. The part number for 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheets is S041141. IMAGE QUALITY NOTES () I used the Photodisk test image: "ftp://ftp.photodisc.com/pub/test_targets/PhotoDisc Target TIFF.sit" I downloaded this 46MB TIFF file (3225 x 5055 pixels x 300 dpi), cropped it to 3200 x 5000 pixels, scaled it to 50% (1600 x 2500 pixels) with Photoshop 5.0.2 on the Macintosh and set the dpi to 240 dpi. () All prints were made: o with Photoshop 5.0.2 o on a Macintosh o running Mac OS 8.5.1 o with ColorSync 2.5.1 o at 45% relative humidity o at a temperature of 84 degrees F. o from a working space of "Adobe RGB (1998)" o with the print driver set to Space = RGB Space o the "Printer Color Management" ON o With the driver color matching set to... ...use ColorSync ...the "Epson Standard" profile ...and a perceptual rendering intent. o Using the Epson OEM inks. () For viewing, the prints were placed on a desk in front of a window looking out on an overcast mid-afternoon day in New Mexico. There were no other light sources. (This should be roughly equivalent to 6500 deg. K). The prints where placed next to a Macbeth Color Checker, a Kodak IT8 target, and a Kodak printing greyscale (these targets are all in the test image). () On the "EPSON Photo Paper" (using the "Photo Paper" setting in the print driver), and printed at 1440 dpi: The print was rich, slighly over-saturated, slightly dark. The Macbeth colors were in the ballpark, with minor variations that I'd want to correct for precise color matching. The greyscale showed a soft gradation at the light end, more aggresive gradation in the midtones, and everything going to black in the darkest third of the greyscale. There is a very slight color cast in the middle of the greyscale. Overall the image looks sharp and crisp until you get within a few inches, where you can see a slight raster pattern. The IT8 target shows an anomaly in the red density scale, where it starts dark for a few steps, goes to fully saturated red for a few steps, then continues to fade towards white in the remaining steps. The yellow scale also seems somewhat flat in color for a few steps near the dark end. The shadows on the right sides of the faces of the two fair-skinned babies seem a bit flat and greyish-green. Similarly, the hand reaching in from the left to hold a liquor jigger has a greenish cast where the veins show through the skin. The resolution target near the upper left (strips of increasingly closer-spaced horizontal lines) is even in all resolution strips (no moire patterns, etc.) even where the lines ar so close they start blurring together. There were six black ink dots along the top edge of the sheet, corresponding to the position of six of the star wheels ("pizza" wheels), and along the path of these wheels there were occasional black dots across the print. [the black is probably from the glossy film mistake described above.] This is the first time I've used this paper and is the only time I've noticed pizza tracks on a printout (I've used four or five different Epson models over the past five years). There were at least 20 pizza tracks along the length of the page. The depth of the indentations left by the star wheels has descreased markedly over the past seven hours, but a few tracks are still quite visible when the light hits the print at the right angle. () On the "EPSON Photo Quality Glossy Film" (using the "Photo Quality Glossy Film" setting in the print driver), and printed at 720 dpi (I had intended to use 1440, but made a mistake and had only one sample sheet): A little too light and definitely too desaturated. The face of the olive-skinned girl is grey-white, the fair-skinned boy to her right is pale and whitish. The Macbeth chart's colors are generally too desaturated. The light half of the Kodak printing greyscale is nicely gradated, but it still goes black for the darkest third of the scale. The resolution scale shows anomalies where the lines get too close together: one strip is printed with the lines unevenly spaced, the next-tighter strip has a moire pattern, the next two are evenly blurry (which is good). The shadows on the right sides of the fair-skinned babies' faces aren't greenish, but still are flat grey rather than gradated flesh-colored. () On a 4-year old sheet of "Epson 720 dpi Ink Jet Paper" (using the "Photo Quality Ink Jet Paper" setting in the print driver), and printed at 720 dpi: Remarkably like the "EPSON Photo Paper", except of course not as crisp, and not as finely detailed. Rich color but not as oversaturated as the "EPSON Photo Paper". Otherwise the same general comments apply. Same anomalies in the finer-grained end of the resolution test target as mentioned for the "EPSON Photo Quality Glossy Film" at 720 dpi. Also there are some magenta and green color casts in a few of the midtones in the Kodak printing greyscale which are not apparent in the other two prints. () All three prints show closer matches to my Macbeth Color Checker and Kodak IT8 targets than my monitor does (which was calibrated with Photoshop 5.0.2's Adobe Gamma). COMMENTS () The prints on "EPSON Photo Paper" and "Epson 720 dpi Ink Jet Paper" are, on the surface beautiful. I would think that most consumers would be tickled pink to be able to make such good-looking photographic prints themselves. () It's amazing that I can get color matches this good "out of the box" using standard settings. () However, with some of my own images, that were not created with the care and precision of the Photodisk test image, I have not yet gotten results this good. Clearly the quality of the source image, and how well it matches the color space profile embedded in it (in this case Adobe RGB 1998) makes a significant difference. () Also, as I get further into making "serious" prints, I can forsee spending a lot of time working on the tonal response not only of the greyscale (primarily to get more gradation in the shadows) but also to get the tonal responses of each color channel to track properly (I can see from the Macbeth and IT8 targets that the color corrections won't be simple). === END OF TEXT == ============================================================ Bill Fernandez User Interface Architect Bill Fernandez Design PHONE (505) 346-3080 FAX (505) 346-3090 EMAIL email@example.com WEB http://www.billfernandez.com ============================================================ - Please: Stay on topic. Trim quoted messages. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.
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