Epson ET8550 - A little pricey but it can go further than you might think.

mikling

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On May 30, I demonstrated an ET8550 on a carefully prepared Pigment Ink set for archival photos on Jose Rodriguez's youtube podcast.
B&W printing using the standard ABW driver with Velvet Fine Art settings gives a slightly warm B&W output. This can be toned out using the provided tools. Keep in mind that the Matte Black, PhotoBlack and Gray ink is carbon based.
Using color mode it is slightly cooler reflecting Epson's choice of tonal choices on different modes.
The inkset was configued to allow the ET8550 to be still used decently with normal printing paper which is what it's raison d'etre is. A daya to day printer with escapes into the world of printing.
Color printing is fantastic given its prices and features. Howver a custom profile needs to be used and I think that is obvious.

Does it nip at the heels of the true Epson photoprinters? It depends on the individual's needs. In REAL WORLD printing of normal images, I doubt most people on most photo forums will see the difference this and the K3 printers and possibly beyond. For some who push images into the seriously dark tonal ranges and with lots of careful gradations it will show its weakness. However I stress there is only a minute percentage of printer users who do this and they should continue to purchase their K3 or TRUE photoprinters.

I also showed that it is pointless to compare the or argue the differences between say the Canon pigment photo printers and the Epson ones. Flat out, if you want minimal gloss differential then Canon is easily superior. To the majority of users, if the machines are properly profiled, there is no real visual difference between the 3880-P800-P600- and the ET8550 and the Canon machines. Except gloss differential due to the ink choices in individual machines. The Older 3880 is superior to the generation that replaced it, since the newer generation chose to balance ink use rather than bias to the photo/light colors. The price paid is gloss differential. The other price paid is that the 3880 is superior to the P800 is a FADE TO WHITE test. Just barely. Again ONLY on a direct test for that will you barely notice the difference,...in images......highly doubt ANYBODY can see it. The newer models also tended to trade off one aspect for another. Kind of a zero sum game in the end. The Canon Pro-1000 does an excellent fade to white.

The ET8550 is an easily refillable machine more capable than you might think and it allows Pigment ARCHIVAL prints protecting against OZONE which even the newest OEM dyes while stronger than aftermarket still remain relatively weak at....OZONE compared to pigment. Those living with lots of diesel exhaust should take note of this aspect. I highly doubt Epson will want you to know of how the 8550 can be exploited.

One thing is that the ET8550 can post some great performance stats in the A-B B-A tables but to the trained eye besting the K3 machines but where it falls short the numbers don't tell you. So do you trust your eyes or cling to the numbers. Hmmm......

Ohn why the ET8550 - It has Matte Black and PhotoBlack AND it has a GRAY channel. Gray is vitally important in photo pigment ink printing. All the other CMYK I never bothered with as through the years (15 or so) 6 color and 4 color conversions to pigment left a lot to be desired ( suck) and left a lot to be desired. I think Epson brought this machine out hoping people like me did not catch on to the potential. Well it closes 15 year the quest to turn an inexpensive dye ink printer to a pigment printer. Well, that chapter is now closed but it is no longer inexpensive but it is done.

And finally, you have a photoprinter now and looking for an upgrade. Learn color management or get a print calibration system, Done that? Learn to edit photos better. Printers for a long time were much more capable than than the people using them. Want fantastic B&W, you need to use learn to edit or use specialized B&W edit software. The standard drivers do not do justice to this art.

Bye.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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an ET8550 on a carefully prepared Pigment Ink set for archival photos on Jose Rodriguez's youtube podcast.
Are you planning to offer this pigment inkset in your internet shop ?
 

mikling

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Not sure, the exercise was an expensive curiosity when I tried to do the same with the Epson R260 - 15 years ago. Like I said in the podcast. 3-4 years ago I succeeded with the Claria equivalent but the lack of a grey channel and the DX head of the 1400/1430 did not provide enough nozzle control and the heavy deposition of pigment was concerning as those printers tended to use a lot of the light colors.

Not sure how many people are realistic about printing needs versus wants. I spent some time tuning the pigments the best I could. It's the mostest and bestest and greatest world today. If you are a paint by numbers person.. it is best to stick with a true photoprinter they objectively offer better performance. In order to maintain the machine as a day to day practical machine choices were made to pull back on the pigment density. As a result of the lower gamut, the dark shades would suffer even when profiling. This is a practical choice. So any measurements will show this aspect but subjectively the subtracted gamut does not affect even test images that most people would notice. The number person wants gamut gamut gamut.
It's like in audio, everybody talks power output. Nobody talks about inter modulation distortion and dynamic stability.
So the critics using their measurements will come out of the woodwork and send criticisms about inadequacy about gamut. etc.
 

palombian

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What made you fill it with 3th party pigment ink, the original Epson Claria dye ink probably should give good gamut, gloss and longevity at a reasonable price ?
IMO the major reason to refill with pigment ink is fade resistance, not gamut and gloss.
 

mikling

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3rd and then4th etc.
Claria ET and Claria HD is is really the same. Is Chromalife 100 and Chromalife 100+ the same.

Please reread. It was done to complete an exercise in what is finally possible.

Did you read this?
"The ET8550 is an easily refillable machine more capable than you might think and it allows Pigment ARCHIVAL prints protecting against OZONE which even the newest OEM dyes while stronger than aftermarket still remain relatively weak at....OZONE compared to pigment"

Using dye in that is a GIVEN. Story ends there. Bam. Getting it to print decently with pigment is another matter....thus the exercise. READ please.
 

maximilian59

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still remain relatively weak at....OZONE compared to pigment
What is relatively in figures or what do I have to expect? Which OZONE concentration is dangerous and is it still the same problem framed behind glass or stored in an album or box.
Otherwise fire is a problem to all,)
 

stratman

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You've returned.

Have you been doing SERE training? (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape)

Still waiting on you to answer my previous questions about your methodology from 1 month ago.

This is about the comparison of your custom ICC profile vs a mismatched ICC profile and passing this off as not only of value but also as relative to OEM Canon quality - "Closer" and "Catching Up".

[...]

Please explain clearly to the members your reason for selecting these variables, why you did not identify all your variables, and why you believe your results are useful despite the use of an unmatched ICC profile and unknown ink for the reference print.

https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/refilling-pro-200-with-inks-for-pro-100-a-good-idea.14629/

READ please.

Yes. You do that, too.


tenor.gif
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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I tried to do the same with the Epson R260 - 15 years ago.
Yes, there were quite some discussions at that time how to run printers like the R265 or the A3 1400 with pigment inks instead of the Claria dye inks; and I did the same with an R265 and a CISS with success over years with a significant print volume . The gloss issues were the main problem - pigment ink gamuts were rather close to the dye ink gamuts. I used an R800 for a separate gloss opt. overprint with satisfying results ( and as well the black channel of another R265 for that) . But finding a good combination of inks and papers was not easy - there are only a few which come close to OEM inks and papers.
I have not seen much of a problem running pigment inks instead of dye inks in Epson printers - the printhead can handle that, but there might be some side effects e.g. pigment build up at the cleaning unit and similar. And I'm running today one WF2010W with dye inks and another with pigment inks, but mainly for testing.
 
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