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Author Topic: Epson 4000 Banding Problem  (Read 4145 times)
mikeseb
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« on: April 11, 2006, 11:43:09 AM »
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This may be old news to everyone here, but my forum search did not reveal a direct treatment of this problem.

I print mostly B&W on matte fine art papers (entrada, arches infinity) using ImagePrint and my Epson 4000 with updated firmware. No problems, fabulous prints. I print little color, and little glossy paper.

Recently, printing color on Red River Ultra Pro Satin, using RR's recommendations for driver settings (Premium Luster, etc), I have noticed horizontal banding in dark toned areas such as a night sky (dark purplish blue in the image) and a dark reddish brown dress. Head cleaning and alignment have perhaps improved, but failed to abolish, the problem. I have not noticed this printing color on matte papers.

Any further ideas? I apologize if this is well-plowed ground.

Thanks in advance,

Mike Sebastian
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michael sebastian
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 12:45:53 PM »
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No answer but lots of questions:

"Horizontal banding" - meaning in the direction of the print head travel? How wide are the bands and what characterizes them? When you do an auto clean, which produces largish rectangles of pure colour, there are no gaps - correct? And the problem only exists with that particular paper?

What happens when you print exactly the same image on any other paper? What happens when you try permutations on dpi, ink density, and other driver settings? (I suggest working with a half-letter or smaller crop from the problem area during testing, to save on ink and paper.)
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paulbk
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 03:54:35 PM »
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re: EPSON 4000, Paper Feed Adjust Utiity

Mike,
Take a look at this. I tried it, it's easy to use. My printer needs no adjustment.
Download it here: Paper Feed Adjust Utiity
 
This self-extracting file contains the Epson Stylus Pro 4000 Paper Feed Adjuster Utility for Windows 98, Me, XP and 2000. This utility allows you to perform paper feed adjustments to remove dark or white horizontal micro banding and MicroWeave adjustments to select the best pattern of ink dots produced by the printhead. Please view the included "Utility Manual for EPSON Paper Feed Adjuster" for additional information.

Note: Before installing this utility, please remove prior versions of the Paper Feed Adjuster Utility. Your printer driver and firmware for the Stylus Pro 4000 must be the latest version for this utility to perform properly.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2006, 03:56:53 PM by paulbk » Logged

paul b. kramarchyk
Barkhamsted, Connecticut, USA
mikeseb
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 05:26:57 PM »
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Dale and Paul, thanks for your replies. The problem is white horizontal "microbanding" (I think this is the term) parallel to printhead direction. The bands are only a few pixels wide, less than a mm for sure. The auto-clean leaves no gaps (did it twice) and the problem has occurred only with this particular paper.

I am homing in on the solution with the Print Feed Adjuster Utility; it seems that a setting somewhere between -6 and -13 is going to dramatically reduce the problem. I'm going to fiddle with it some more.

The micro-weave adjustment modality doesn't seem to make much difference; the default 00 setting seems to be best.

I'll tweak this some more and report back.

Thanks again for the help, and for any further thoughts you may have.

ADDENDUM: just for grins I went back thru my weighty stack of past work prints. It drove home to me just how few non-matte prints I've made! But on just about every Ultra Pro Satin print whether color or B&W, the banding is there, present only in darker areas--but not in very dark or black areas. I'd say zone III/IV type areas.

Banding was NOT present on some other satin or glossy prints I made back when I had just bought the printer and was trying out various papers. The banding was not present at all on hi-gloss papers.

I've still not been able to eliminate the problem entirely with the PFA Utility, so I guess the answer is to switch papers. I already had some Innova FibaPrint F Glossy en route to try out. We'll see how it goes.

Guess this is pretty clear evidence that it's a paper problem.

Thanks again fellas.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2006, 07:11:44 PM by mikeseb » Logged

michael sebastian
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 10:52:13 AM »
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Mike,

I had the same problem on my 2200 using Imageprint when I went from Matte to Semi-Gloss

On the Semi-Gloss I was using 1440 when I switched to 2880 the banding went away.

John
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 10:57:59 AM »
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I have a 2200 I got shortly after it came out, so it's pretty long in the tooth by now.  I never had banding problems until just the last couple of months, when it will occasionally start banding like you describe (even though I'm not changing paper types or anything else).  After I do several cleaning cycles and head realignment cycles, it eventually gets better, but I don't know which of them, if either, actually fixes it.  It comes back after a few weeks, and I go through it all again.  Maybe it's getting almost time for a new printer...

Lisa
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