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Author Topic: Scratches/Pizza Wheel? New 3800  (Read 5642 times)
channel_mixer
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« on: March 24, 2008, 01:31:06 PM »
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I received a new 3800 last week and have been putting it through its paces and reading the 3800 faq and posts on this forum to get up to speed. Until last night, things have been going smoothly. Then I ran into a problem running 17x22 Galerie Gold Fibre Silk.

The prints have what look like light scratches going in the direction that the paper travels though the printer. Researching this problem, I'm not sure if these are the so-called "pizza wheel" marks or not since I do not see dimpled marks--perhaps a result of the paper?

In any event, I tried printing at wider and ply setting of 5 and the problem persisted.

So now I'm not sure exactly what to do. The dilemma is:


the scratches are not visible looking straight at the print but must reflect light at an angle to be noticed. They will probably not been seen behind glass but I'd hate to have to settle for less, or charge someone for a less than perfect print.

Is the problem with my particular copy of machine, or is it endemic with the 3800?

Or is the problem a result of the paper type and its very sensitive surface?

Is the Epson Exhibition Fiber better in this regard? I don't want to spend 180 to find out that it's not.

I've read the 3800 faq and apparently a workaround exists. You can use the front loader with a 2-ply backing board--but it seems this slot only excepts 16 1/2 paper and so I imagine you'd have to cut the sheets first before inserting them through the machine. The faq mentions 11x17 but not  17x22 specifically. If this is feasible, I don't mind the workaround much because otherwise the prints look spectacular.

I plan on running another test tonite with the pause between passes option and see if this helps. Then I plan on calling Epson, but I wanted to get feedback first to consider my options before I made the call.

Thanks for any and all responses!

David
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 03:00:06 PM by channel_mixer » Logged
channel_mixer
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 09:59:17 PM »
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This evening I tested letter sized prints of Ilford Galerie Gold Silk and Harmon Gloss FB. Both prints looked perfect but after inspecting the Ilford very very closely it looked like there was one or two small streaks in the dark areas. I had to look very closely to see it and I can't be sure that it came from the printer. In any event, the Harman looked great and, in fact, I preferred it to the Ilford. The Ilford is much cheaper, however, and given its cost/quality ratio I'd like to print with it if I could.

Next I tried printing another image on the 17x22 Galerie Gold Fibre Silk. I double checked my settings with the Ilford recommendations: semi-glossy, 1440, high speed unchecked, platen width 4, wider setting, and I bumped up the pause between passes to the max of 5 sec.

Still after all this there are still streaks (pizza wheels) but they are not as bad as the previous print I made--they seem slightly fainter. In fact, you really can't see them looking straight at the print.

For personal use I wouldn't mind this at all, but it's just short of perfection and I'm still worried that something may be amiss with the printer since I have read reports on this forum of people printing on the Galerie Gold Silk sans pizza wheels. If I had a sheet of the Harman at 17x25 then I could lay the matter somewhat to rest, but the smallest batch is 25 at $160 or so. Yikes.

I'll be calling Epson tomorrow to see what they have to say.
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Wolfman
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 10:09:25 PM »
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I have had the exact same thing happen to me on the Epson R2400 using a sample pack of the Ilford paper in letter size and comparing it to the Epson Exhibition at the same size. The Epson paper is fine and the Ilford has the same marks. Frustrating !!!
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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 11:44:02 PM »
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I had a similar problem with the Harman 17"x25" FB Glossy Al paper as you are having with the Ilford paper until I figured out a method to load the paper that fixed the problem:

First, contrary to what you may have been told, use the sheet feeder, not the rear or front feeder.  After the paper is in the sheet feeder, nice and square to the edge, push the advance button (the bottom one on the printer manual control).  That will suck the paper into the machine to the starting point.  At this point, the sheet is now bent a little from the leading edge.  Just let it conform to that curve for a minute or so.  It'll take that long to get your print all set most likely anyway.  It's now conforming to a gently curved path that won't rub against anything on the way into or through the machine.

Finally, set the thickness at 5 and gap at "wide."  Print.  You won't have to trim paper to a narrower width either.

Because your machine is new, it may take a few of the large sheets to smooth out what will first appear as little, obscure pizza wheel tracks, so I'd try this first on a few sheets of cheaper paper if you can.  For me, it only took about 3 sheets, and from then on it was fine.  Now, there are no marks at all, even on large solid black areas on the supposedly fragile Harman Glossy paper.

Let us know if that works for you.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 11:16:20 AM »
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Thanks for the tip!

Just  to clarify: after feeding the paper, I don't have to do anything else or remove the paper and start over, I can just hit print?

I'll try this out and see how it goes. The Ilford is the cheapest pack I could find at 17x22. I was going to pick up a pack of 13x19 Harman this afternoon to test, but I'm wondering if there are cheaper alternatives to test on....

Thanks again.


Quote
First, contrary to what you may have been told, use the sheet feeder, not the rear or front feeder.  After the paper is in the sheet feeder, nice and square to the edge, push the advance button (the bottom one on the printer manual control).  That will suck the paper into the machine to the starting point.  At this point, the sheet is now bent a little from the leading edge.  Just let it conform to that curve for a minute or so.  It'll take that long to get your print all set most likely anyway.  It's now conforming to a gently curved path that won't rub against anything on the way into or through the machine.
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duraace
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 03:32:43 PM »
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I have a 3800 and what you're describing is called "head strikes".  I got a lot of those too with thicker non-Epson papers.  The key is making sure the paper is perfectly flat, before putting it in the printer.  Also, the platen gap has to be set appropriately for the paper being used.  Try "Wide" and set the thickness one or two steps higher.  Flat is the most important.
I use Epson Exhibition Fiber mainly, and it's great.  I mainly use the manual rear feed. Avoid using the manual front feed, unless using extremely think paper (something I'll never have to do).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 03:35:52 PM by duraace » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 04:58:48 PM »
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In my 3800 I'm using the default paper handling settings for Epson Premium Luster, feeding 13*19 sheets of Ilford Gold Fibre Silk through the top sheet feeder one at a time, click "Print" and so far I have not experienced any head strikes, pizza wheel marks or streaks no matter from what angle the paper is viewed. Therefore if it doesn't work this way on your printer for the same paper, I would suggest the printer needs to be fixed.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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madmanchan
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 06:44:56 PM »
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channel mixer, it sounds like pizza wheel marks to me.  The only thing I can suggest is talking to Epson about it.  I hope you have better luck than I did!
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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2008, 11:39:17 PM »
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Sorry about the delayed reply - Time zones.  

"Just to clarify: after feeding the paper, I don't have to do anything else or remove the paper and start over, I can just hit print?"

Yes.  Once the paper is in there as a result of hitting the paper feed button, it's all set, ready to print.  If, on the other hand, you try printing from the sheet feeder without advancing it first, the paper won't be as likely to conform to the gentle curve it needs to have in order to feed through nice and smooooooth.

At least that has been my experience.  The scratches and pizza tracks stopped happening.  I would have expected better results from the rear feed, but no.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 10:45:42 AM »
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Thanks Aaron! I'm going to try this tonite (was out til late last night on a shoot).

MarkDS: By "top sheet feeder" do you also mean the auto sheet feeder and not the top rear feeder?  I'm still a little unsure of the terminology. I'm going to stop by calumet (the only place I know of near Philly that supplies good inkjet paper) and pick up the 13x19 Illford Gallerie Gold Silk--if they have it in stock. I may substitute it with the Harman if not.

Thanks again for the feedback. (I'll post back to the conclusion for posterity, in the hope this may help someone else).
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 10:46:25 AM by channel_mixer » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 10:49:37 AM »
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Thanks Aaron! I'm going to try this tonite (was out til late last night on a shoot).

MarkDS: By "top sheet feeder" do you also mean the auto sheet feeder and not the top rear feeder?  I'm still a little unsure of the terminology. I'm going to stop by calumet (the only place I know of near Philly that supplies good inkjet paper) and pick up the 13x19 Illford Gallerie Gold Silk--if they have it in stock. I may substitute it with the Harman if not.

Thanks again for the feedback. (I'll post back to the conclusion for posterity, in the hope this may help someone else).
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Yes, I mean the auto sheet feeder, not the one behind it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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channel_mixer
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2008, 08:02:34 AM »
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I printed a 13x19 sheet of Galerie Gold Silk with no scratches, marks, pizza wheels of any kind. I used the top auto feeder and fed the paper in the manner Aaron described.

This leaves four variables in play:

1. The paper size -- maybe the larger 17x22 paper has more "sag" and exerts more pressure on the feeder wheels.

2. The paper stock -- maybe the particular batch of 17x22 paper I have is defective.

3. The auto feeder -- maybe the position of the auto feeder somehow helps guide the paper through the feeder system.

4. My printer is defective, but only with certain paper/sizes.

I can test #3 but I'm sort of running out of images  that I want to print at that size.. :-)

Someone else may or may not be able to test #2/#4 if they have 13x19 working successfully and then test the 17x22 paper.

If any one has tested both sizes (13x19 and 17x22) of Galerie Gold Silk through their 3800, could you relate your experience?



I'll report again for those interested re: #3.....

PS: I should mention that the 13x19 print looked great and that, in general I've been very pleased with the 3800 and the Galerie Gold Silk -- but obviously the pizza wheel marks are of concern so I'm focusing on that in this thread. The 3800 has been a revelation and the Galerie Gold Silk very pleasing considering it is the least expensive of the baryta papers currently on the market.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 08:13:09 AM by channel_mixer » Logged
duraace
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2008, 11:11:50 AM »
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I printed a 13x19 sheet of Galerie Gold Silk with no scratches, marks, pizza wheels of any kind. I used the top auto feeder and fed the paper in the manner Aaron described.

This leaves four variables in play:

1. The paper size -- maybe the larger 17x22 paper has more "sag" and exerts more pressure on the feeder wheels.

2. The paper stock -- maybe the particular batch of 17x22 paper I have is defective.

3. The auto feeder -- maybe the position of the auto feeder somehow helps guide the paper through the feeder system.

4. My printer is defective, but only with certain paper/sizes.

I can test #3 but I'm sort of running out of images  that I want to print at that size.. :-)

Someone else may or may not be able to test #2/#4 if they have 13x19 working successfully and then test the 17x22 paper.

If any one has tested both sizes (13x19 and 17x22) of Galerie Gold Silk through their 3800, could you relate your experience?
I'll report again for those interested re: #3.....

PS: I should mention that the 13x19 print looked great and that, in general I've been very pleased with the 3800 and the Galerie Gold Silk -- but obviously the pizza wheel marks are of concern so I'm focusing on that in this thread. The 3800 has been a revelation and the Galerie Gold Silk very pleasing considering it is the least expensive of the baryta papers currently on the market.
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I recently printed lots of 17x22 Galerie paper (not Gold Silk) using the manual rear feed.  One thing you never mention for some reason is your choice of paper thickness and platen gap in the driver.  That has to be set correctly too.  Prints fine for me on the 3800,
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channel_mixer
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2008, 02:56:17 PM »
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I recently printed lots of 17x22 Galerie paper (not Gold Silk) using the manual rear feed.  One thing you never mention for some reason is your choice of paper thickness and platen gap in the driver.  That has to be set correctly too.  Prints fine for me on the 3800,
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I did mention this in my initial post:
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I tried printing at wider and ply setting of 5 and the problem persisted.

And I also mentioned using Aarons' suggested settings, which I should have stated explicitly in my last post:
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...set the thickness at 5 and gap at "wide."
which is what I did in my last attempt, which was successful.

Just because you are using Galerie paper without problems doesn't mean that you won't have a problem with the Gold Silk. If you do try some, please post your results.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 02:59:00 PM by channel_mixer » Logged
AaronPhotog
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 12:45:56 AM »
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If it worked for the Ilford Gold Silk 13x19, the 17x22 should also work just fine.  Yes, it's good paper.  It has a very high dMax of around 2.54 (black ink only, and possibly even better with black built up with color inks), very smooth tonal response with no reversal and no surprises, and a very good slightly warm but bright white without excessive use of brighteners.  I found that the best dMax is gotten by printing at 2880 instead of 1440 hi-res.

Glad it's working for you.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2008, 06:52:48 AM »
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If it worked for the Ilford Gold Silk 13x19, the 17x22 should also work just fine.  Yes, it's good paper.  It has a very high dMax of around 2.54 (black ink only, and possibly even better with black built up with color inks), very smooth tonal response with no reversal and no surprises, and a very good slightly warm but bright white without excessive use of brighteners.  I found that the best dMax is gotten by printing at 2880 instead of 1440 hi-res.

Glad it's working for you.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron, according to information received from Ilford there are NO optical brighteners in this paper. The baryta is giving us the white quality.

I'm curious about your comment re printing at 2880 - have you actually measured the difference of black between 1440 and 2880? I wouldn't have thought this should make a difference, but one lives and learns.

And I agree - it renders gorgeously rich prints. The only minor complaint I have about it is the unusually high sensitivity of the surface to scratches and fingerprints. It really needs to be handled very carefully.
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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2008, 11:28:07 AM »
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You're right.  There may not be brighteners.  Hard to tell for sure.  The color is very close to neutral (very slightly magenta).

Using the QTR calibration print, which pushes each ink from minimum to maximum, with this paper I get a dMax of 2.56 at the very end of the curve (though it may not be obtained in an actual image) at 2880 and 2.44 at 1440 hi-res.

Yes, I've tested all the major "fiber-based" papers in the same way.  This is the only one of them that I've tested so far that does not have a paper color that indicates the likely use of brighteners.  Again, I'm only going by paper color.  If it's negative in the b channel, I'm assuming it got that way with brighteners, as that is the usual way to get that.  It's not a definitive test.

Aloha,
Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2008, 11:37:31 AM »
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The  test running the 17x22 was successful--no pizza wheels. Thanks guys!
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