Some tests with the ET-8550

robwignell

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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.
 

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I am amazed at the gamut volume figures
I'm using an age-old program Monaco Gamutworks to display V.2 icc-gamut files, other programs like Gamutvision or ICCview or Chromix Colorthink etc may give you very different numbers which you cannot compare, you only can compare gamut volumes as long as you use the same program to display/calculate the actual volumes, and yes - Monaco Gamutworks calculates higher numbers than e.g. Gamutvision. The ET-8550 runs on dye inks, your 7880 with pigment inks. I'm using the i1Profiler software with a i1Pro2 and a i1Io scanning table, results are pretty much in line with profiles from other sources e.g. paper suppliers.
 
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robwignell

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Thanks for details. I have an i1Pro2 which gives me access to i1Profiler but I only use it for screen profiling because it is much easier to use the much older DTP70 that scans a whole page at a time like the i1iSys. Apparently I can use the output from these scans in i1Profiler but I have been pleased with the results from using ArgyllCMS and haven't persued this option. I have been attracted to the ET-8550 since seeing a review of it in Luminous Landscape. Your review has strengthened my interest. Sorry if my comments are a bit off topic. It has been a great thread but I don't often see detail published on gamut volumes.
 

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Keith Cooper has published various videos and a review for the ET-8550

https://www.northlight-images.co.uk/epson-et-8550-printer-review/
He did various gamuts as shown in the video and review, you may contact him for those as long as you use them privately only.

Feel free to raise some more questions, I may be able to answer them - or not - e.g. I'm not using this/that option or feature like WLAN or..........I don't do B/W prints to any sophistication.

I just measured the profiles with 96 or 283 patches to catch the corners of the gamut which is enough for a first run to see the total volume, you would need a few more patches for more accuracy inside the gamut space. I'll do those as needed in the next time.
 

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I ordered inks for the ET-8550 - check the pricing in your country - the Epson 106 inks for the ET-7750 are signifiacntly cheaper in Germany than those 114 inks for the ET-8550 - 8,65€ vs. 12,65€ - which makes quite a difference. You easily can exchange the coded tops on the bottles. Both inks - 114 and 106 - are pretty much identical in terms of gamut and longevity/fading performance. You only need to buy the 114 gray, or dilute the photo black dye but I didn't test yet for the correct dilution ratio.
 

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I'm running the ET-8550 now for about 5 weeks, I printed about 800 pages - mainly internet stuff - profile patch sheets and some test prints with various papers. I'm feeding most of the papers via the rear paper bin, I don't use any thick paper which would need to pass via the single sheet rear entry.
The printer runs without any malfunctions at this time, but particular nuisance areas remain - the rear bin capacity is pretty low and the output bin does not retract motor driven which makes the access to the bottom bin a little bit more complicated.
Prints are as good as they can be, there is no difference overall in print quality to a L1800 running with light inks.
I'm not specifically printing B/W prints, the ET-8550 comes with a gray ink and supports B/W photo printing via the driver for most papers.
The installation CD installs the driver and some additional software to print CD's and a Epson Photo+ print software which is very basic, it comes from CD but is not even listed as complementary software on the Epson support pages.

But although not listed for the ET-8550 the Epson Print Layout - EPL - software listed with the SC-P600 under other software

https://www.epson.co.uk/support?productID=13682#product_search

finds the ET-8550 on my computer.

This software supports the ET-8550 with the B/W Photo printing mode but does not recognize any other Epson printer on my computer like the L1800 probably because the L1800 does not support this B/W Photo printing mode.

I'm not using it, I get my print jobs done with Qimage, this EPL software calls up all driver settings , there is no need to go into the driver directly.
 
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maximilian59

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I also would expect near to no difference to XP-7100 or similar Expression Premium from Epson. Got one a few years ago for 50 Euro and using 105/106 inks with two sets of refill cartridges makes it to the my best A4 printer for photos to the lowest price. The only caveat is the bypass only for single sheets. But with luster papers it works fine from the cassettes without visible pizza wheels. I would by a ET-8850 if I had no Pro-100 because I can get it new for about 550 Euros.
Cheers,
Maximilian
 

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I also would expect near to no difference to XP-7100 or similar Expression Premium from Epson.
I don't see a benefit of Epson printers with light inks and 1.5pl droplets, that's so fine that light inks are not necessary, there is no change in visible graininess when I compare ET-8550 and L1800 prints, and no relevant difference between gamuts either; they are not always as identical as shown at the beginning of this thread but always pretty close - it's as always - it depends .... on the paper type in this case

I can get it new for about 550 Euros.
There are most likely special deals and lower priced opportunities coming up around Halloween, Black Friday etc if needed.
 

stratman

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I'm running the ET-8550 now for about 5 weeks, I printed about 800 pages - mainly internet stuff
I didn't think there was that much on the internet interesting enough to print. ;)

What ink is used the most and what do you calculate the amount used so far?
 

maximilian59

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I don't see a benefit of Epson printers with light inks and 1.5pl droplets,
That’s why I use this printer with the four dye inks. It’s good enough for the job. On formats like A3+ or larger there may be differences with certain prints like portraits with a lot of subtle skin tones or with a lot of greens. If the paper has already a tone I think it’s better to have ink on it than to leave it to get very light colors. On big prints like A2 and larger nothing compares to pigment inks whether it’s Epson or Canon.
 
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