Some tests with the ET-8550

Ink stained Fingers

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I did a few more profiles on the ET-8550 - with the 106 inks of the ET-7750 - for the Canon PT101 - HP Premium Plus Photo Paper - Aldi Netbit - Aldi Sihl/0769 - and a Glossy 240 RC/PE paper via Ebay, the gamuts of all profiles are very similar at mid luminance of L=50, they pretty much overlap with small variations.

ET-8550 Profiles.JPG


This congruence remains pretty much across the complete luminance range from black to white, there are some differences with the white points since the amount of OBA's in these papers varies pretty much - the PT-101 has the most and the HP Premium Plus paper barely any , the OBA content of the other papers is somewhere in between.
This is an interesting effect that such different papers come out with very much the same gamut on the ET-8550, I can see somewhat wider differences on the L1800 for some reason.



I typically print the patch sheets with the driver option setting - 'Color management off' which delivers the most ink to the paper, but this is too much for the Sihl/0769 paper, wet spots remain after print in the darker areas with mixed colors. And this happens for all glossy type papers which can be selected in the driver. I'll try to find another driver setting when I'm going to print with this paper on the ET-8550, I don't have this effect on the L1800 with the same 106 inks.
 

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I mentioned above that the Sihl/Aldi/0769 glossy paper does not perform very well on the ET-8550 , the ink limit of the paper is too low for the regular paper selections in the driver, not other of the above listed papers show similar effects. The L1800 driver with the standard quality setting works o.k. with the Sihl paper, but the high quality setting shows the same problems of too much ink on the paper directly after print, so the effect is printer/driver dependent, it may not become visible at all on other printers.

And there is another problem I observe - bronzing with the Epson 106 ink on this Sihl paper - bronzing with dye inks is a rather rare effect and is specific with this Sihl paper, the other papers don't show any similar, even more marginal effects like this one

Sihl bronzing.jpg


Several blue patches turn magenta/violett under specific light conditions - the angular relations between the light source - the paper and the camera. This effect is pretty well visible under sun light or bulb light as well. This indicates to me the relevant role of the paper - the coating on the paper is causing this effect.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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I did some time ago a profile for a 'Ultrawhite 250gr' paper which is a kind of glossy/lustre with a pretty strong gloss.
This profile looks o.k., there are no kinks or local problems when I profiled this paper on a L1800

Profile 01.jpg

I just did a profile again on the ET-8550, there is nothing looking unusual with the patch sheet, and the coating seems to take the higher ink load vs. the L1800 w/o problem.

But the profile is completely out of order - it looks like an abstract 3D manifold but not like a usable profile

Profile 02.jpgProfile 03.jpg

This is the first profile I created in 2022 - I hope the next ones will be more normal than this one
 

marco565

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(which software are you using to see those profiles?)
 

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(which software are you using to see those profiles?)
That's Monaco Profiler Gamutworks - part of an old profiling package - the pre - predecessor to the i1Profiler package today.
 

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I was using longer time ago inks for the Fujifilm Drylab DX100 or Epson D700 Surelab printers which come in larger cartridges with 200 - 300 ml, and expired cartridges were available at reduced prices.
These dye inks as OEM inks are giving you a similar fading performance as the Epson Claria inks for consumer printers. This was before the release of the ET-7750 with the 106 inks - the ink with Claria like longevity. The successor - the ET-8550 - now comes with Epson 114 dye inks labelled as Claria inks.
As mentioned before the 106 inks run at a lower price in Germany than the 114 inks, both are bottled with 70ml, so pricing is just a marketing issue. Current pricing for the 106 inks is about 9.50€ per bottle - or 135€ per litre, the 114 with about 12€/bottle run at 170€/litre.
There are various 3rd party non-OEM inks offered by several companies - via their online shops or Amazon or Ebay etc. All these inks come with a pretty low longevity as tests by me and @maximilian59 about a year ago have shown.
You may pay half the price of the OEM inks but only get 10% or 20% longevity at the end.

I looked up some dye inks via Aliexpress specified for the above D100 or DX700 Surelab/Drylab commercial photostation printers

https://de.aliexpress.com/item/1005003189393685.html?spm=a2g0o.9042311.0.0.61034c4dF12V5i

OCBESTJET offers a wide range of refill inks, this offer is for 6 inks - 6 x 250ml = 1.5 litre for 61€ incl. shipping, but expl. customs/duty/local handling whatever. This offer for 61€ per 1.5litre or 40€/litre is signicantly lower than the OEM inks.

I ordered these inks - they arrived pretty quick, and I didn't need to go to the local customs office, it got delivered to my doorsteps w/o addtional charges or fees - this time.

I'm just paying 30% of the OEM prices, but some initial tests show already that the longevity is in a similar range - probably 30% of the performance of the Claria inks .

This can be o.k. for prints for short term use but are def. not usable at all for serious photo/image prints you want to keep and enjoy for a longer time, and these inks are scrap for any business use - with the ET-8550 or the DX100 or the D700/800 etc.

So this is an ink I cannot recommend at all , you may use it being aware of the very limited performance but these inks cannot compete with the genuine Epson inks 106 or 114. I have so far not seen any 3rd party dye ink with a longevity which comes close to the performance of OEM inks - Epson 106/114 or as well Canon Chromalife 100 (+).
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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The ET-8550 runs with two black inks - pigment and dye. @Keith Cooper 's test indicates that the driver may use one or the other black ink or a combination of both depending on the paper selection in the driver. I had another look to this 'feature' using a coated matte paper (100gr) and printed a small profile patch sheet on this paper with different paper selections in the driver, I can select these paper types - plain paper - Matte Paper - Photo Quality Inkjet Paper - Velvet Fine art, I printed with the quality setting 'standard' except with the Velvet Fine Art selection which just prints prints with the highest quality setting and no other choice.
This is a table showing the Lab values of the black levels - on the same paper type , and I have added info which type of driver support is available for B/W printing

ET-8550.jpg


I have added another line with a test of the driver setting 'Ultra Glossy' to compare the influence of a dye black ink not mixed with a pigment ink, matte inks on glossy coatings don't work.

The plain paper black is pretty neutral, but the black with L~21 is rather weak, a high vs. standard print quality makes it slightly worse.

The matte paper and inkjet paper settings show a b value of - 4.x which creates a cooler look of the black which is an indication that some dye ink used for printing, and probably more for the matte paper than for the inkjet paper - it shows a lower L value of 17.14 vs. 19.88, similar to the print with the Ultra Glossy setting.

The Velvet Fine Art setting appears to make no use at all of the dye ink with a b-value of +1.75 which I see as well with other matte inks, they rather tend to a brownish look.

There are 2 different B/W modes depending on the paper selection - a grayscale mode and a 'Black and White Photo' mode.

The B/W mode renders all gray tones just with the black and the light black inks - there is no color ink used for any gray level

Grayscale.jpg


There are no adjustments possible beyond brightness - contrast and gamma.

The Black and White Photo mode shows more adjustment options

ABW.jpg


There are toning options - cool - warm - sepia presets and adjustments possible with other hues and intensity , and the tonality can be adjusted separately for highlight and shadow regions. Adding some hue of a monochrome print requires the use of colored inks - not just black and gray.
I'm not a specialist for B/W or monochrome prints, but the combination of these options and settings give room for testing to get the best possible printout.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Let me hve a look to the gamuts you can acheive with a matte paper with the above driver settings

ET-8550 Gamut.JPG


The outer red line belongs to the Velvet paper setting, this at a luminance of L=50, the lightblue/cyan line belongs to the Ultra Glossy setting on the matte paper, and the inner lines overlap - Photo Inkjet , matte Paper and plain paper deliver the same gamut.
 

The Hat

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The ET-8550 runs with two black inks - pigment and dye. @Keith Cooper 's test indicates that the driver may use one or the other black ink or a combination of both depending on the paper selection in the driver.
The Pro 1 also would use both blacks on certain occasions printing colour photos with glossy paper, the Pro 9500 did too but I could never be sure of that..
 

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From what I have tested on the Epson Archival Mate paper if you print with the Epson Matte driver setting, the images are awful, very washed out. With the VFA setting is much better since it uses pigment ink. however, I do this it is quite bad.

I did another test today with my pro 10, MK ink is far better than the PK ink for this paper.


However that's not true for all the papers, for instance, the Canon Premium Mate (PM101) looks very good with VFA and Matte settings.

When printing charts for profiling, I visually saw that the ink PK ink of the ET8550 is as dark as the MK ink of the canon pro 10 (Bear in mind that this is a visual check).
 
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