SC-P600 suddenly a blue color cast

Lesslemming

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Hello dear forum,

I have been printing quite successfully with my Epson SC-P600 for the last 2-3 years. I almost exclusively print in advanced B&W mode. I use OEM cartridges.
There was an issue with a clogged PK nozzle a few weeks back, which was fixed with repeated nozzle cleaning cycles over a period of a few days.

The process used up quite a bit of ink which has caused me to replace Cyan and Yellow cartridges. All OEM and bought from reputable sources.
After several cleaning cycles the nozzle checks returned to true and I was able to print a few A3 images without issue.

Now, suddenly, I get BW images with a distinct blue tint. Repeated nozzle checks came out pristine!
The problem persists for 2 weeks or about 5 A3 prints now.

Here is an image I had printed a few weeks back. Almost exactly the same file (slight shadow increase, all else equal except dimensions). Same paper. Same settings. Top old, bottom today.

IMG_4649.JPG




Here is what I attempted so far (chronological order)
  • printed about 5 A3 + 5 A4 images without success (was suspecting paper issues)
  • printed a standardised reference BW image from the web - blue color cast
  • printed a standardised reference color image from web with printer manages color - blue color cast
  • printed using ICC profile - even stronger blue color cast
  • printed from different machine with windows as opposed to Mac - blue color cast
  • de-installed and re-installed Printer driver
  • replaced VM cartridge just to be safe
  • shaken all cartridges lightly
  • performed cleaning cycle
  • repeated nozzle test - all pristine

I used an office grade scanner, loaded the scan to affinity and used color picker as an indication for the extend of the color shift.
It seems I am off by 8M and 12C to get decently neutral results. If I punch that into the ABW driver color adjustment, results become acceptable.

I am concerned though: This shouldn't be necessary, right? Even if I were to compensate for that in the driver, this would essentially make it impossible to use ICC Profiles for papers if I ever wanted to. I am also stumped by the repeated nozzle checks which come out as pristine. It seems like a color mixing problem.

Is it normal for a printer to shift in color this much?

Thank you very much for any assistance.

Attached the scans. Not ideal setup, but comes close enough to what I see with my eyes.

IMG_4650.JPG
IMG_4651.JPG
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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Is it normal for a printer to shift in color this much?
It may not be 'normal' but possible that you get such colors shifts between different types of papers - OEM vs. 3rd party - RC papers vs. cc cast coated papers or other specialty/FineArt/Baryta types, and as long as all inks are printing you could compensate all that with a custom profile. But it is not normal that you get such change suddenly - from one day to another - in otherwise the same environment - same driver settings - same paper etc. So the question remains what has changed at the time you observed this color shift the first time - e.g. using a different program to print - hardware changes like a different monitor on which you do color adjustments etc.
Let's start with the nozzle check, please post a detailed crop of the last nozzle check.
You are using genuine Epson cartridges as I read it above - - ?
 

Lesslemming

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It may not be 'normal' but possible that you get such colors shifts between different types of papers - OEM vs. 3rd party - RC papers vs. cc cast coated papers or other specialty/FineArt/Baryta types, and as long as all inks are printing you could compensate all that with a custom profile. But it is not normal that you get such change suddenly - from one day to another - in otherwise the same environment - same driver settings - same paper etc. So the question remains what has changed at the time you observed this color shift the first time - e.g. using a different program to print - hardware changes like a different monitor on which you do color adjustments etc.
Let's start with the nozzle check, please post a detailed crop of the last nozzle check.
You are using genuine Epson cartridges as I read it above - - ?

Thanks for the suggestions. I enclosed one of the latest nozzle checks. Don't be confused, I printed another nozzle check on the opposite side of the paper which may show through as a shadow underneath.
Let me know if a higher quality scan is required

To answer the questions:
  • I have not changed/updated my programs, paper settings or paper. I get the same results on different machines, with different papers and with different printing programs. Always too much blue (or too little M/Y)
  • Yes, I print genuine OEM Epson cartridges.
The only change I can possibly relate to the problem is a new C and Y cartridge
 

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    IMG_4652.JPG
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Lesslemming

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As the SC-P600 uses pigment inks, did you remember to shake the carts before installing..
Indeed I did. I shook them gently but sufficiently, I would say.
I also took them out yesterday and shook them one more time for good measure (all of them) before doing the cleaning cycle
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The nozzle check is very clear, I'm wondering that the color difference - the color saturation between the cyan and light cyan is barely visible , much less than the differences between vivid magenta and light magenta. Do you still have a nozzle check from the time before you changed the cartridges ? Do you have another set - C and LC - available for a swap ?

Is there another P600 user who could post his nozzle check to compare to ?
 

Lesslemming

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The nozzle check is very clear, I'm wondering that the color difference - the color saturation between the cyan and light cyan is barely visible , much less than the differences between vivid magenta and light magenta. Do you still have a nozzle check from the time before you changed the cartridges ? Do you have another set - C and LC - available for a swap ?

Is there another P600 user who could post his nozzle check to compare to ?
Again, good thinking! I do not have a nozzle check pre-problem.
However, I printed dozens of them over the last months and they look very familiar and unchanged, judging from my memory.

I can also assure you that the difference between C and LC is similar to the difference between VM and VLM in person, if that helps.
Of course another users' nozzle check is very welcome for comparisons sake
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The lightness of the paper with your nozzle check is not uniform - darker on the left side than on the right side, this makes judging the differences between C and LC difficult.

Do you have another cartridge set - using at least a different C and LC would show if it's really a printer/driver/ whatever or an ink problem.
 

stratman

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I get the same results on different machines, with different papers and with different printing programs. Always too much blue (or too little M/Y)
This points to the printer as most likely the source of the problem. The cartridges (settling pigment particles) or printer driver settings. Setting the printer driver back to default settings and beginning from factory fresh might be best IF the driver settings are not currently at default. Same reset to default with your App settings as well. More about cartridges and settling ink below.

I enclosed one of the latest nozzle checks.
Two things stand out: Try not to post a nozzle check that has printing on the opposite side unless it was your last piece of paper, and, is this nozzle check "normal". Why is the image dark and unevenly contrasty (is that even a word?)? Did you use a scanner?

Print a proper nozzle check, crop and post. There should not be contrast differences across the image and there should be nothing printed on the backside to potentially confuse the optics.

I shook them gently but sufficiently, I would say.
What does this mean?

Reading a DPReview thread on a similar situation, the OP shook the cartridge for 1-2 minutes and resulted in return to expected colors.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4454811?page=2
 

stratman

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Nozzle check from the P600 manual. The image was tiny and the Firefox "Take Screenshot" magnified it.

Your nozzle check does not appear to match the colors but are close. Need new clean non-contrasty nozzle check from you.

1634566483797.png


Page 139

https://files.support.epson.com/docid/cpd4/cpd41370.pdf
 
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