Getting Fingers Dirty
- Dec 28, 2020
- Reaction score
- Canberra, Australia
- Printer Model
- Epson 7880
This has been a very interesting, and fast developing, discussion. I am amazed at the gamut volume figures - all above 1.2 million units. I use an old X-Rite DTP70 with ArgyllCMS to generate icc printer profiles for an Epson 7880 and an Epson 3880. I have OEM ink in the 3880 and get gamut volumes around 700K units. I have been experimenting with different inks in the 7880 including Marrutt, InkTec and ConeColor. For consistency in testing I use Kodak ULTRA Premium Photo Paper. It is high gloss and has relatively low OBA's. I have developed a patch set of just under 1000 9mm x 9mm patches. Typical results have less than ten patches with a DE > 1 and average DE <0.4. I would be interested to hear about the equipment and process that gets these significant gamut volume figures.
I ran some profiles on the ET-8550 and the L1800 to compare them , I'm using a 190gr PE/RC paper - no brand - and I'm using the paper selection 'Ultra Glossy' and the quality settings normal/standard and high/stark, the ET-8550 offers another quality level 'best', and there is one profile with the matte paper selection. The ET-8550 offers an additional option to modify the ink density from +20% to -50%, - somewhere hidden in the extended settings. The graphs below are an overlay of seven of these profiles showing the gamut volumes, they are almost identical and the actual profiles as well at different lightness levels. They vary by not much more than reading variations by the spectro.
View attachment 12858
The right plot shows the cross-section at the mid-luminance of L*=50, this following graph shows the cross-section at a lower luminance of L*=25, they are still pretty much similar
View attachment 12859
And this plot shows the profiles at a lighter luminance of L*=80, still pretty much similar.
View attachment 12860
The L1800 runs with light inks - LM and LC - the ET-8550 does not, but the above profile displays show that this does not make a difference at all - there is no gain at all in the lower quadrants - in direction of magenta or cyan. The ET-8550 and L1800 very much deliver the same color output - gamuts as shown here.
The ET-8550 runs with the Epson 114 inks as they came with the printer, I'm running the L1800 with the Epson 106 inks of the ET-7750, the fading tests earlier this year show that these inksets are not identical - the are slight variations on different papers but both inks overall perform very well in both aspects - fading and gamut.
There is a 114 PB photo black dye ink and a 106 PB photo black dye ink used in these tests, both inks deliver
a black level luminance of L*= 3.7 - 4.2 varying with the driver settings, these black inks are as well identical.
I'm not complaining but this shows that there is basically no improvement over the last 15 years in respect to the overall color output/gamut and fading performance. Printers got some other features like a duplexer and wireless connectivity options and a display at the printer but that's about it. Stay tuned - I'll play some more with the printers.