Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Epson 4800 - blacks not black enough  (Read 10238 times)
epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« on: August 31, 2006, 12:15:38 PM »
ReplyReply

This doesn't really apply to photo-printing, so I apologize, since I print mostly design patterns, such as this one:

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/1743/p8310001sgm4.jpg

As you see in the picture, the blacks shown on the copy (printed with Epson 4800), which is supposed to be pure black (rgb =0/0/0), is clearly a few shades lighter than the black color on the fabric next to it.  This is my problem.  The blacks never look dark enough on paper.  I wouldn't say they look grey, but they just aren't black enough.  

I'm using the ink cartridges (including the photo black ink cartridge) that came with the printer; is that the problem?  And I'm using Epson photo quality paper for ink jet ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004TS2L ).  All the other colors look fine.  

I've tried printing from Photoshop CS2 and Paint Shop Pro 7 with different settings, and the pure black color never looks black enough on paper.


I also have another problem.  When I use plain paper for printing, the result looks terrible -- worse than any cheap ink jet printer.  Colors look so faded that it seems the ink was barely used on the paper.  In the printer settings, whether I choose plain paper or any paper media, the result looks the same.  Does this print work with plain paper at all?

I updated the firmware and did the head alignment test when I was setting up the printer, just as described in the manual.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Logged
Dale_Cotton
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 580


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2006, 01:02:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I'm using the ink cartridges (including the photo black ink cartridge) that came with the printer; is that the problem?
Yes and no. The 4800 is a very expensive, professional-grade photo printer. It uses pigment, instead of dye, inks for dramatically greater print longevity. If longevity is not one of your overriding concerns, you have the wrong printer. Dye ink printers sacrifice longevity for blacker blacks and colours with more pop.

Quote
I'm using Epson photo quality paper for ink jet
This paper, from the quaint beginnings of inkjet development, is totally mis-named and has very poor black handling (esp. with pigment inks). Try Epson Premium Luster.

Quote
I also have another problem. When I use plain paper for printing, the result looks terrible -- worse than any cheap ink jet printer.
Plain paper is for printing text, not images. Pigment inks, even more than dye inks, require a special coating on the surface of the paper to keep the paper from mopping the ink up like a paper towel mops up spills when your party guests have had a few too many. The coating of an inkjet-specific paper keeps the ink on the surface, such that as much as possible of the colour intensity is retained.
Logged
epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2006, 01:23:24 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Dale, the premium luster paper is just too expensive for our purpose.  We design textile patterns, and need to give printouts of our designs in *accurate* colors to our fabric manufacturers.  The paper quality is no concern to us; we just need accurate colors.  And we needed a wide-format printer, and found only 3 models from Epson with wide-format support: 4800, 7800, 9800.  (Are these all photo printers?)  The person who recommended the 4800 to us had used the Epson 4000 before in the textile business, so we thought the 4800 would fit our needs.  I've spoken to a few people in the garment design business and they all use Epson printers.

So am I just not using the printer right, or am I screwed?
Logged
dlashier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 518



WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2006, 03:02:09 PM »
ReplyReply

If you're using "black point compensation" it might help to uncheck it for images that don't require "shades" of black.

- DL
Logged

epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2006, 03:28:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
If you're using "black point compensation" it might help to uncheck it for images that don't require "shades" of black.

- DL
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75099\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
If you mean BPC in Photoshop, Edit, color settings, etc., I just tried your suggestion and it made no difference to the output.  I also tried printing from another program like Paint Shop Pro and the blacks looked the same.
Logged
Dale_Cotton
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 580


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2006, 03:48:47 PM »
ReplyReply

If DL's interesting tip doesn't get you all the way there and Premium Luster is too expensive, you're going to have to find an alternate paper that works for you. Epson's Photo Quality Inkjet paper is one of several they produce for use with their (budget) dye ink printers that just won't meet your needs. For my daily photo printing I happen to use Premier Art Premium Photo, which is a Premium Luster work-alike available locally for a fraction of the price.

Quote
need to give printouts of our designs in *accurate* colors to our fabric manufacturers
If you have a fully colour-managed and profiled workflow you can achieve accuracy with your 4800 ... within the limits of the paper+ink combination you've selected. Photo Quality Inkjet paper together with pigment ink has gamut limitations that esp. include not being able to reach true black. All papers have inherent gamut limitations; but I would imagine that mostly the gamut of the better papers will include the complete gamut of textiles. Pigment black happens to be the most serious issue.

Quote
So am I just not using the printer right, or am I screwed?
The 4800 includes cutting-edge technology to ensure that the supplied profiles for Epson branded papers are highly accurate (within their inherent gamut limitations). This is a very mature design compared to competition like HP and Compaq. So I doubt there is another wide format printer you could have bought that would have been a better bet.

If you decide to opt for a third party paper, such as Premier Art Premium Photo, try using the supplied Epson profile for whatever Epson-branded paper is most similar. In this case that would be Premium Luster. If colours are not sufficiently accurate, you will need to have a custom profile made for that paper+ink combination. Once you have that done, thanks to the accuracy of the 4800, you should be set for years to come so long as you stick to the same paper.

If the above doesn't help ... well, you can muck around with hit or miss solutions for months or years and sink a big pile of moola in the process. You've been through printer choice and now paper choice - how many other gotchas are waiting ahead? What you really need is to bite the bullet and hire a professional colour consultant as a one-time expense to get you up and running. Andrew Rodney (digitaldog.net) is one I happen to be aware of that you can contact via the internet. I'm sure he (or someone like him) can recommend the most appropriate paper, profile it, profile your monitor, work you through the intricate maze of Photoshop settings, etc., etc. An up-front expense, but one that would almost certainly save you considerable money in the long term.
Logged
jule
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 738


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 03:50:58 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Hi Dale, the premium luster paper is just too expensive for our purpose.  We design textile patterns, and need to give printouts of our designs in *accurate* colors to our fabric manufacturers.  The paper quality is no concern to us; we just need accurate colors. 

So am I just not using the printer right, or am I screwed?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75081\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Your printer is working just fine - I think a readjustment to your thinking and budgeting may be what is required.

The paper quality "which is of no concern to us", should actually be a concern to you. It is what carries the colour of the ink and displays what you want to show. You need a good quality photographic paper (even if you are not displaying photographs)  - if you want to show accurate colours.

Premium Lustre is a good paper and would suit your purpose - and solve a lot of headaches for yourself.

Julie
Logged

epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2006, 04:33:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for all the posts, but can someone answer just this one question first: has anyone here been able to get true black outputs from the 4800, and what paper did you use?  I need to know if this is even possible before looking ahead.

Some of you suggested premium luster paper.  But have you guys actually printed true blacks on it?  Could someone do a test for me (sorry I know the paper is expensive)?
Logged
Dale_Cotton
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 580


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2006, 06:00:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Blackness is such an import issue in photo printing that there is a specific measurement for it called Dmax. Rest assured that Premium Luster like most true photo papers have excellent, true blacks with the Photo Black ink in the UltraChrome inkset. True black is more an issue with matte papers.
Logged
sgwrx
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158


« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2006, 06:24:02 PM »
ReplyReply

inkjetart.com sells a luster paper for quite a bit less than epson premium luster.  http://www.inkjetart.com/photo_papers/ceramic_luster.html

Quote
Blackness is such an import issue in photo printing that there is a specific measurement for it called Dmax. Rest assured that Premium Luster like most true photo papers have excellent, true blacks with the Photo Black ink in the UltraChrome inkset. True black is more an issue with matte papers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75137\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
sgwrx
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158


« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2006, 06:44:46 PM »
ReplyReply

i have a photo black cart just about to run out and i was curious to see the dmax of the R2400 which also uses the epson pigment inks.  this is epson premium luster paper, i have a bunch of 8.5x11 that i'm not too worried about wasting 1 print.

here are three shots, jpg, no editing whatsoever, sRGG color space, printed with blackpoint compression off.  

a red cordory polo button down shirt, a black satin pillow case and a old pair of nautica black gym-type shorts (that kind of fuzzy sweatshrit material, it pills easily). tan apartment carpet is also visible. i shot with a 10D built in flash just dim light coming in from two windows that are in the shadow side.  these are within 2 or 3 minutes of coming out of the printer, so no real dry time.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 11:42:19 PM by sgwrx » Logged
sgwrx
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158


« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 06:59:01 PM »
ReplyReply

here's two more shots, resized down. this time, over head lights and flourecent lights on, taken with the flash again.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 11:42:30 PM by sgwrx » Logged
epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2006, 10:03:38 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for doing the test.  That gives me hope...
Logged
epson4800user
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2006, 02:30:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi sgwrx, got your PM.  Yes, I finally got true black printed on Epson Premium Luster paper and also the ones bought from inkjetart.com.  Thanks!

Is there a paper with less thickness than the luster paper that will let me print true black, do you know?
Logged
sgwrx
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158


« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2006, 04:07:41 PM »
ReplyReply

unfortunately i don't have any other type of photo black papers laying around from my test samples. as far as i can remember premium glossy was thinner, but i don't recall by how much.  i think a lot of "glossy" papers would be thinner than something with texture - but it's probably not true in all cases.  

others may have more current experience?
Logged
marcus_s
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2006, 01:19:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
which is supposed to be pure black (rgb =0/0/0), is clearly a few shades lighter than the black color on the fabric next to it.

I think this is partly your problem...RGB 0/0/0 is FAR FROM pure black. That is only meant to show you black via web pages etc...For a true pure black, switch to  CMYK color at 50/50/50/100. RGB 0/0/0 is noticibally grey when printed...

You may also want to look through your graphic program settings and look for "Display Black as accurately as possible", or something very close to that setting. You are viewing your blacks for web publishing purposes...not print.

Everyone is also right regarding paper...although you dont consider it a big deal...it is a VERY big deal when color accuracy is of concern.
Logged
JeffKohn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1671



WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2006, 11:34:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I think this is partly your problem...RGB 0/0/0 is FAR FROM pure black. That is only meant to show you black via web pages etc...For a true pure black, switch to  CMYK color at 50/50/50/100. RGB 0/0/0 is noticibally grey when printed...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77033\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Surely you're not suggesting that pure black can't be represented in RGB?
Logged

saxonphoto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2007, 09:38:18 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi-  I saw your post on this forum and joined the forum so that I could answer you.  Last year I bought a new Epson 4800 and was extremely disappointed when the first print came out of the printer.  I never changed my opinion. My old Epson 1280 made greatly superior prints with much darker blacks.

This pigment ink thing is the biggest case of the emperors new clothes in this century. Someone at Epson decided to sacrifice the blacks for print longevity, which, in my professional opinion, is completely ridiculous. Good lord, by the time the 100 years runs out on these prints do you really think we will be using paper for anything? Once I realized what Epson had done, I immediately sold my new 4800 on eBay and lost a large sum of money in the process.

I am a 54-year-old pro photographer in Dallas and have been printing since I was a young boy.  There is absolutely no way that I will accept a print that does not have black blacks. I cannot ever use an Epson printer again since they have gone so wholeheartedly into pigment ink which is incapable of producing a black on paper.

If there is anyone out there who doubts this, please print a pure black on a dye printer, like the Epson 1280 and place it directly next to the black from a pigment "Ultrachrome, etc." printer. Then you tell me how wonderful the new fabulous "wide gamut" Ultrachrome ink is.

The fact that you have to waste $100 worth of ink practically every time you turn on the 4800 just shows how completely out of touch with reality the people at Epson are.  The amount of ink wasted in making prints on the 4800 would keep me going for months on a 1280.

And aren't you glad that Epson took a poll from all of us professionals and found out that we were all willing to sacrifice the darkness of our blacks, so that our prints wouldn't fade between the years 2082 and 2112? Oh, that's right, they didn't take a poll.  They just made the decision themselves, based, presumably, on their great intimate knowledge of fine photography and printing.

If you are serious about photography, I suggest that you try to find one of the vanishing breed of dye ink printers such as the excellent Canon Pro5000.  I'm not sure what printer to suggest for formats larger than 13".  I am now having all of mine done on an Iris printer. Their blacks are not quite as nice as those from the good-old Epson dye printers, but they are a damn sight better than Ultrachrome.

Sincerely,  John Saxon

Quote
This doesn't really apply to photo-printing, so I apologize, since I print mostly design patterns, such as this one:

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/1743/p8310001sgm4.jpg

As you see in the picture, the blacks shown on the copy (printed with Epson 4800), which is supposed to be pure black (rgb =0/0/0), is clearly a few shades lighter than the black color on the fabric next to it.  This is my problem.  The blacks never look dark enough on paper.  I wouldn't say they look grey, but they just aren't black enough. 

I'm using the ink cartridges (including the photo black ink cartridge) that came with the printer; is that the problem?  And I'm using Epson photo quality paper for ink jet ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004TS2L ).  All the other colors look fine

I've tried printing from Photoshop CS2 and Paint Shop Pro 7 with different settings, and the pure black color never looks black enough on paper.
I also have another problem.  When I use plain paper for printing, the result looks terrible -- worse than any cheap ink jet printer.  Colors look so faded that it seems the ink was barely used on the paper.  In the printer settings, whether I choose plain paper or any paper media, the result looks the same.  Does this print work with plain paper at all?

I updated the firmware and did the head alignment test when I was setting up the printer, just as described in the manual.

Thanks in advance for any help.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75068\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
madmanchan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2110


« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2007, 08:13:31 AM »
ReplyReply

Not sure what paper you're printing on, which profiles you're using, etc. but on a 3800 with UC K3 inks I measure a quite impressive d-max of 2.6 when printing on certain papers. Perhaps a dye-based system can improve on this somewhat, but beyond a d-max of 2.5 I imagine that one is getting to the point of diminishing returns ...
Logged

Nill Toulme
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 741



WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2007, 08:42:44 AM »
ReplyReply

Diminishing returns indeed if you care at all about the longevity of your prints.  It's not a matter of a hundred years I've had dye-based prints fade noticeably after no more than a year, and some that are almost unrecognizable after five.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad