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Author Topic: Fuzzy Evergreens  (Read 4719 times)
PMLePoer
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« on: February 27, 2006, 07:49:43 AM »
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Hi -

I'm having an issue with my Epson 2200 printing images with evergreen trees.  I have a number of landscapes with large groves of evergreens, and it seems that no matter what I do, on images printed with the 2200 the trees are blurry, even though they appear sharp on the screen.  Even foreground trees get blurred.  The rest of the scenes - water, rocks, etc. print beautifully, only the trees have the problem.

Anyone have a clue?  The printer is now 4-5 years old.  Could it be just in need of replacement?

Thanks in advance.

-Peter
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2006, 08:20:37 AM »
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Hi Peter,

Mine did the same with cats. After a few meetings with a shrink we managed to solve the problem...

Cheers,
Bernard

p.s.: maybe a head problem?
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A few images online here!
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2006, 09:35:18 AM »
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Three things come to mind.

Profiles are off.
Head problem.
Gamut issues.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2006, 10:16:01 AM »
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It's a gamut issue.  I've used a 2200 for the past several years, and have fussed extensively with this same problem.  Evergreen trees, especially pine trees, get their detail fuzzed out.   A new 2200 won't fix it; mine has always been this way. What's going on is that the Epson printer profiles for this ink set aren't optimized to reproduce this color well, and what look like different greens on the monitor get converted to nearly the same green by the printer profile.  If you're using the Epson profiles that came with the printer, you'll probably see a slight improvement by buying a custom profile for your paper type (at least that was my experience), but it's only a slight improvement.  What I ended up doing (though for other reasons also) was to try several non-Epson papers, and finally found one that didn't do it nearly as badly (though still to some extent).  The 2200's inks just don't seem very good at rendering that shade of green.  Perhaps one of Epson's newer printer inksets would be better, but I haven't done the upgrade yet myself so I don't know; can anyone else here comment on that?

Lisa
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2006, 12:26:59 PM »
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The 2200's inks just don't seem very good at rendering that shade of green. Perhaps one of Epson's newer printer inksets would be better...
Lisa: You make the same points that occurred to me and I'd add another:

I switched from the 2200 to the 4000; both use the same UltraChrome ink, but the 4000 definitely does a better job on the dark side of the gamut, at least on matte paper. The real issue seems to be the Epson driver's handling of the ink rather than the ink itself. The driver is the software that stands between the image file and the printer. Apparently, if you replace the 2200's driver with ImagePrint, that also improves dark gamut handling.

My guess, looking at prints done on both the 2200 and the 4000 of the same image files, is that the Epson 2200 driver adds an extra dollop of matte black to dark colours in order to compensate for the limited Dmax of pigment matte black ink.
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PMLePoer
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 04:05:12 PM »
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It's a gamut issue.  I've used a 2200 for the past several years, and have fussed extensively with this same problem. ... The 2200's inks just don't seem very good at rendering that shade of green.  Perhaps one of Epson's newer printer inksets would be better, but I haven't done the upgrade yet myself so I don't know; can anyone else here comment on that?

Lisa
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59141\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thanks Lisa, that is very helpful information.  I would also be interested if the situation had improved with the 2400.

-Peter
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 05:27:19 PM »
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I forgot to mention earlier that the problem appears MUCH worse on matte paper (at least the one I used, Epson's Enhanced Matte) than on the glossy papers I've tried.  Are you using matte paper?  If so, then glossy (or maybe semigloss) papers will probably do a much better job of the greens.

Lisa
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jdemott
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2006, 07:29:26 PM »
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I second what Lisa says.  (I think she responded when I posed a similar question some time ago.)  I found the situation was worst with matte papers.  I've had better luck with the Epson Premium Luster paper and the Epson profile for that paper.
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John DeMott
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 09:47:14 AM »
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I second what Lisa says.  (I think she responded when I posed a similar question some time ago.)  I found the situation was worst with matte papers.  I've had better luck with the Epson Premium Luster paper and the Epson profile for that paper.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59170\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Lisa said it right, and I've seen exactly this issue before, specifically with dark green foliage -- exactly the situation you mention.  In fact, I've seen this smearing and smudging of color detail occur with other papers and their own, non-Epson profiles.  A good example is Ilford Smooth Pearl (a cousin of Epson Premium Luster) and the Ilford-supplied profiles.

You can actually see the smudging occur on the screen, too, if you turn on the soft proof in Photoshop and choose the appropriate profile.

The only real solution to this, as far as I know, is a better profile.  This means either getting a custom profile made or using better canned profiles.  I've been using ImagePrint and find their profiles a dramatic improvement, esp. with regards to this dark-green-foliage-smudging issue ... finally I can see the detail!

Eric
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PMLePoer
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2006, 04:57:13 PM »
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I forgot to mention earlier that the problem appears MUCH worse on matte paper (at least the one I used, Epson's Enhanced Matte) than on the glossy papers I've tried.  Are you using matte paper?  If so, then glossy (or maybe semigloss) papers will probably do a much better job of the greens.

Lisa
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Lisa - yes this was with a matte paper - Moab Entrada Fina Art, with their epson 2200 profile for that paper.  I'll see if I have better results with luster, or maybe even try Imageprint, as Eric suggested.  Thanks again.
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PMLePoer
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 04:50:08 PM »
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You can actually see the smudging occur on the screen, too, if you turn on the soft proof in Photoshop and choose the appropriate profile.

Eric
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59204\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Hey wow, I had never used that proofing feature before.  I turned it on & selected the moab entrada 2200 profile, and there it was, the same blurring, right on the screen!  I tried some others, and it looks like I should definitely get better results with Epson luster or the Moab satin papers.

Thanks - I've learned a lot on this board already.

-Peter
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 04:51:19 PM by PMLePoer » Logged
mposter
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2006, 12:22:46 PM »
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You've gotten good advice and I'll add mine. I experienced the same problems with my 2200 and my current 4000 on the matte papers I use. Worse with Epson profiles, just a little better with custom profiles.

I decided that I'd try ImagePrint *or* purchase a spectro and software to create my own profiles. I decided on the latter and had friends who own Gretag Eye1 and Monaco Pulse each make me profiles for testing. The Gretag produced a profile that did not improve the situation. But the Pulse made a substantially improved profile that virtually eliminated what I'll call "lack of separation" issues. This lack of separation can occur in various colors and in the dark tones as well.

I purchased a Pulse system and have made quite a few profiles for various matte papers since with excellent results, good enough that I've eliminated the prospect of buying the RIP.

And, FWIW, paper choice and media setting make a difference as well. Ultimately I settled on Premier Hot Press paper using Smooth Fine Art media setting (may or may not be available on your printer), but Watercolor Radiant White is nearly as good) after testing Hahnemuhle Rag, Moab Entrada and Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art. The PHP paper using SFA media setting profiled with the Pulse makes the best prints I've been able to produce yet with the 4000.

Michael
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