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Author Topic: 4800 upgrade imminenet?  (Read 7899 times)
gryffyn
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« on: February 18, 2006, 06:41:52 AM »
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I was just curious, since the PMA is around the corner. If Epson is planning a model upgrade for the 4800, this would be the logical time for them to announce it.

Lots of folks have complained loud and long about the ink cost of switching between matte and glossy inks....so I wonder if Epson is planning to recitify what I consider the only negative "feature" of the 4800.

Why do I speculate on a new model?  Vistek (in Toronto) has a special on 4800's right now....$200 off list PLUS $400 instant Epson manufacturer's rebate, which brings the price of the 4800 a shade under two grand Canadian.  The $400 rebate might presage an updated model and be an attempt to clear the decks of older inventory prior to the PMA announcements.  

I'm tempted, but not if Epson is going to release a revised version with the ink-switch issue fixed.

Oh....discount only available till March 1st....another "suspicious" tidbit, non?

Or maybe Mark S has bribed Epson to release a new model, so he can twiddle his economic analysis spreadsheets some more, rather than go out and take photos?  

Inquiring minds want to know....
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 06:43:46 AM by gryffyn » Logged

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michael
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2006, 07:54:06 AM »
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Of course anyhting is possible, but since the entire X8 line of printers is less than a year old the likelyhood of them being replaced any time soon is very small.

If Epson sticks to their schedule it'll be at least 18 months to 2 years till we see a replacement for the 4800.

Michael
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2006, 08:47:11 AM »
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Michael, when you consider that the interval between the 4000 and the 4800 was about a year, it does raise a question about whether there is any such thing any longer as a "normal interval" for anything in the imaging industry.

Perhaps you are right however - having done it once and given the flack it generated, as well as the fact that the market is still digesting K3, maybe the pace of model introduction will slow a bit relative to this most recent experience.

I suspect that the price discount may be more related to the competition Epson is starting to face in this market niche, and who knows, but perhaps inventories of these machines are somewhat higher than they were anticipating.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2006, 03:25:06 PM »
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I think Michaels projections are more likely to be right. The 4000 was an aberration. It filled a gap in the range that was long overdue and paved the way for the 800 series. Epson is still selling the latest printers briskly and a change now makes little sense. Users have quietened down on the PK/MK problem . The printers are relatively cheap and if you are printing on a lot of photo and matte art  papers it is best to bite bullet and buy that second printer. For most photographers Photo Black has significant advantages over Matte Black especially with Crane Silver Rag about to be released, and at least two rivals probably at about the same time. Keep watching BreathingColor and Hahnemuhle sites. Epson's next wide format move? Who knows. I'll put 2c on the table for a 60" 800 printer to take on the next section of the market dominated by Roland, Mutoh and others.
For what it's worth
Brian
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2006, 03:41:32 PM »
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Brian, when you say PK has significant advantages over MK, are you thinking only in the context of RC media, or for Enhanced Matte as well. I was given to understand that PK is not meant for matte and won't be too satisfying in that territory. I haven't tested it because the tank change cost is pretty steep. have you had or do you know of any good experience using PK on matte?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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gryffyn
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2006, 03:42:48 PM »
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Of course anyhting is possible, but since the entire X8 line of printers is less than a year old the likelyhood of them being replaced any time soon is very small.

I agree....but they might come out with a slightly improved "4800b" and not call it a new model but a minor mid-lifespan improvement.

I'ld be willing to pay a bit more to have the matte/glossy switchover cost issue resolved before I spring for a 4800.  And if not, the 4800 at under $2K is sounding very attractive nonetheless.

We'll know in a week or two, I suppose!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2006, 03:55:04 PM »
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Based on a report about the Epson Print Academy Dallas that a subscriber attended (see Rob Galbraith website) this issue was discussed and it appears that Epson has no inexpensive way of reconfiguring the 4800 to resolve the ink-switching matter. That info suggests that hardware solutions involve expensive re-design and a considerably costlier printer. This means that if they are going to address ink-switching all within a 4800 context, it would be through a change of ink chemistry and/or software or firmware - i.e. going the route that ImagePrint did. If they did that it could be good news for 4800 owners who could then do an up-grade without a hardware change. But again, let us see................
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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gryffyn
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2006, 04:32:43 PM »
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This means that if they are going to address ink-switching all within a 4800 context, it would be through a change of ink chemistry and/or software or firmware - i.e. going the route that ImagePrint did. If they did that it could be good news for 4800 owners who could then do an up-grade without a hardware change. But again, let us see................

Or they could drop the price by 50%, and then I can buy two...one for matte and one for glossy!  But I'ld have to reinforce the floor to carry that much weight! ;-)
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2006, 05:26:51 PM »
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Mark, I was thinking mainly re photo type paper and in particular for B&W where the entire K3 inkset excells. This includes the LLK. which is why I would not use the Phatte system. I have not used Enhanced Matte .I should give it a go. I mentioned in an earlier thread that I was testing a number of different papers. I have been doing this with a special chart devised by Les Walkling and analysed by him. So far I have printed on a number of fine art matte type papers including BreathingColor Stirling , Crane Museo and a number of papers from Cartiere Magnani, Hahnemuhle, Arches, Canson, Lana , St Cuthberts Mill and Awagami. So far none of these produce an acceptable black or low zone separation using the Photo Black. For mid key colour images  many of these papers produce very acceptable results with PK. FWIW most landscape photographers I print with seem to prefer the photo type papers like Epson Premium Lustre or Semigloss. At the moment I see 2 printers as the only solution for a number of reasons.
Since Epson was able to solve the PK/MK problem with the 4000, I am not entirely convinced a similar solution using  9 inks would excessively elevate the cost of a modified machine. I wouldn't care if I had to attach the ninth ink container with a tap screwed on cradle on the side of my 9800.
When the inevitable replacements to the 800 series do come out the new sales talk will be very interesting.
All this aside the new printers , with the new inks and software are amazing. We would be churlish indeed not to acknowledge probably the best fine print technology ever. Bar none.
Cheers Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
PS Yes I have printed Platinum, Calotype ,Ciba,  Dye transfer, Tri colour carbon and most of the others.
I'd still like a bash at Collotype though
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2006, 07:14:34 PM »
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Thanks Brian, that is very helpful information.

By the way, Epson did not truly solve the problem with the 4000. People printing with RC media were complaining bitterly about gloss differential and bronzing, and I believe that is why with the 4800 they developed both the third black (also to kill the last vestiges of metarism) and the switchable ink for the matte versus non-matte papers, fully knowing it is not an ideal solution.

I can't help thinking that one of these days in the not too distant future we'll have a generation of printers that will handle this without the ink waste, but they probably just haven't hatched the solution yet at an acceptable price point for the market.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2006, 01:52:09 PM »
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Agreed Mark,
The metamerism on the Ultrachrome (K2) inks was appalling in my view,  made even worse by the long curing time. On critical work I had to wait overnight before I could make corrections. Not only did colourchange, but the amount of metamerism changed as the cyan reacted differently to the near infrared. With K3, metamerism is negligible and curing is only about 30 minutes , depending on temperature and humidity.
The third black (LLK) assists greatly in highlght smoothness, especially in greyscale renderings.
Gloss differential has not disappeared though. It is still obvious on very high gloss substrates such as Pictorico high gloss film. A surface coating such as the glop solution could be the answer to this. The present glop used by Epson has been reported as the normal ink carrier without the ink. An improvement would be the adding of some sort of flexible hardener to protect at least gloss surfaces from abrasion .
In this scenario there would be 10 tanks, 9 colours including PK and MK, and a clear glossy suface coating. I would presume 5 on each side to keep things pretty.
The other big improvement, which would be much more difficult, would be a new yellow with greater fade resistance. Currently the yellow has the weakest archival properties by far.
Prophesy though, is a precarious profession, only made possible by the fallibility of human memory.
Cheers
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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tjanik
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2006, 02:27:30 PM »
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Brian:

Could you please expand or explain the following in your post:

"but the amount of metamerism changed as the cyan reacted differently to the near infrared. "

I don't understand how IR is affecting color.  Thanks,

Tom
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2006, 03:33:57 PM »
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Tom,
Manufacturers of dyes and pigments try to produce products that emit much the same bunch of wavelengths independant of the spectral distribution  incident on them. Normally this is analagous to a filter. A cyan filter does not let red light through and with incident white light  what we see is what is left ie blue and green =cyan. Sometimes one incident wavelength  causes vibrations within the dye molecule that results in a colour different to the incident colour to be emitted. This often occurs with ultraviolet causing fluorescence. In the case of the Ultrachrome K2 cyan, it seems that invisible infrared is changed to visible red. Depending on the amount of infrared present  magenta/green metamerism results. The lower the colour temperature  eg if prints are observed under tungsten light rather than daylight, the greater the relative proportion of infrared. I'm sure someone from the secret Epson ink factory knows a lot more about it, but they are probably sworn to silence.
All I really know is that the green magenta shift drove me crazy when printing late at night and then checking the prints in the morning and that the new inks (K3) do not have the problem .
HTH
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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tsjanik
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2006, 12:52:44 PM »
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Brian:

Thanks you for your response.  Can you direct me to a reference or source for this information?  I have an interest in this outside of photography and don't wish to hijack the forum

Thanks,

 Tom
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Schewe
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2006, 12:43:15 AM »
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I'm sure someone from the secret Epson ink factory knows a lot more about it, but they are probably sworn to silence.

In point of fact, the metameric failures with the original UltraChrome as with the previous archival inks that came before was due to the yellow ink...not cyan. The yellow, under tungsten went warm and under daylight went cool. If you look at where yellow ink is in the spectrum you'll see that yellow can go in either direction, towards red or towards green and that's what happened to yellow under different spectral stimulus.

That's why ColorByte's Image Print used no yellow ink in their B&W rip solution...and why that helped reduce or eliminate metameric failure.

The yellow ink (in fact all the inks except Matte K) where changed with K3 and yellow, in particular was substantially improved.

And yes, the 4000 printer was released LATE in the product cycle of the original UltraChrome ink cycles and the 4800 was early in the K3 release cycle. The 78/9800 printers only started shipping in numbers in Oct of 05.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2006, 08:25:11 AM »
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Jeff, what you are saying about the role of yellow ink corroborates exactly what we learned here in Toronto at a ColorByte seminar presentation. And I well remember the fuss a number of people made about the 4000>4800 product cycle, not stopping to calculate that the economic difference between releasing a product six months sooner or later is really no big deal, and in fact can be advantageous on several fronts. One can speculate about why ColorByte hit on the yellow ink issue and Phatte Black but Epson did not (cudos for Colorbyte, but had Epson done it without a RIP the solution would have been most likely cheaper). Now that Canon is supposed to be releasing a printer with pigmented inks in 10 and 12 colour configuration, it will be most interesting to see whether some real competition to the Epson lead in the X800 range is starting to happen.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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gryffyn
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2006, 09:13:55 AM »
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Now that Canon is supposed to be releasing a printer with pigmented inks in 10 and 12 colour configuration, it will be most interesting to see whether some real competition to the Epson lead in the X800 range is starting to happen.

Very interesting, Mark.  I'ld love to see a 4800b with 10 ink slots.  Simultaneous matte/glossy inks plus a gloss varnish cartridge.  Youza!  That would be one heck of a printer.

We'll find out in a few days if Epson grants my wishes at PMA!  Fingers crossed...
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2006, 03:56:42 PM »
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Thanks Jeff. I will check with the source of the cyan info. It was given to me with some authority.
The other problem with yellow is (if my information is correct!),that it fades the fastest and that goes for the current yellow too
.
 I really don't understand how the ColorByte B&W solution works. If adding  Y neutralises a presumed bluish caste then how can adding M & C? Obviously there is something I am not getting.

Epson did have a Phatte solution for the 4000, but must have considered it better to have a LLK ink in the 800 series. I do not think the removal of this ink is a good idea at all.

I'm waiting for Epson to look at a 12 ink printer like the Roland D'Vinci. I think they will, but not at PMA '06.

Cheers
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2006, 04:15:21 PM »
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Brian, what I recall hearing ColorByte tell us is that they DELETED Yellow for the B&W, not added it.

The 4000 was not a Phatte solution - people complained like h**l about gloss differential and bronzing with 4000 prints done on non-matte media; from what I understand, this is why they decided to go for the MK or PK approach on the 4800, once they decided to produce the up-grade at about the same price point as the 4000.

Now, if Canon has resolved this issue with more inks at the same price point, either there is something else their machines don't do, or they have one-up on Epson. Will be interesting to see once we know more.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2006, 07:22:17 PM »
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I really don't understand how the ColorByte B&W solution works. If adding  Y neutralises a presumed bluish caste then how can adding M & C? Obviously there is something I am not getting.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58940\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yellow can either go warm or cool depending on the spctral output of the light. If tungsten, it goes warm (red) under daylight it goes green-so you can neutralize for only one light source-hense the metameric failure.

ImagePrint used NO yesllow ink in their B&W rip so the metameric failure due to yellow was eliminated. UltraChrome Magenta and Cyan (and the light versions) had only a tiny bit of metamerica failure-which has been further reduced in K3. Warm tint took advantage of the fact that Epson's blacks are already real warm...

The Advanced B&W mode of the 4/7/9800 series also uses almost no yellow ink-only a tiny amount of cyan amd magenta to do tinting. The upside is that print longevity for Advanced B&W mode goes WAY up. Up to 300 years with certain papers-as good of not better than silver.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2006, 07:23:44 PM by Schewe » Logged
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