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Author Topic: Epson 7900: "Brilliant Red" is not all that brilliant  (Read 2369 times)
AnastasiaMak
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« on: May 26, 2010, 11:25:50 PM »
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Hi, I am a brand new Epson 7900 user, and still getting familiar with the giant beast.

My previous printer is a 7 yr old HP DesignJet 130, which uses dye inks.
What I print is reproductions of my paintings, and in my art I use a lot of bright red. My HP printed the red perfectly - deep, bright, blood red, just gorgeous color.

My Epson refuses to. No matter how I tweak the Photoshop image, even if the red areas look perfect on my screen, on paper they look  like toxic bright pink at best. Not at all what I'm used to.

Is this the sad reality of using pigment inks instead of dye inks - the reds are just not the same? Or is there something I can do?

I'm not sure if installing color profiles would make a difference, because red is the only color I am having trouble with - the rest of the colors are coming out printed just fine. (Or should I try the color profiles route?)

Currently I am using Epson Luster photo paper, have also tried Matte, and canvas. I am printing off my MacBook pro (OS-X 10.5.Cool.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 02:44:52 AM »
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Quote from: AnastasiaMak
Hi, I am a brand new Epson 7900 user, and still getting familiar with the giant beast.

My previous printer is a 7 yr old HP DesignJet 130, which uses dye inks.
What I print is reproductions of my paintings, and in my art I use a lot of bright red. My HP printed the red perfectly - deep, bright, blood red, just gorgeous color.

My Epson refuses to. No matter how I tweak the Photoshop image, even if the red areas look perfect on my screen, on paper they look  like toxic bright pink at best. Not at all what I'm used to.

Is this the sad reality of using pigment inks instead of dye inks - the reds are just not the same? Or is there something I can do?

I'm not sure if installing color profiles would make a difference, because red is the only color I am having trouble with - the rest of the colors are coming out printed just fine. (Or should I try the color profiles route?)

Currently I am using Epson Luster photo paper, have also tried Matte, and canvas. I am printing off my MacBook pro (OS-X 10.5.Cool.

Any suggestions? Thanks.


It is hard to say what could be the problem, something in your workflow or basic differences between the ink types.

What you could do first  to settle the question about the basics: take the profile of the D130 for the paper that you used then and put it in an 3D profile gamut viewer together with the 7900 profile for Epson Luster Photo paper. Check whether the red gamut is worse in one of them. If the 7900 exceeds or is equal in the reds then you should change your workflow.

Switch the color management of the printer off. Select the right media preset (Epson Luster) for the paper in the driver. Use the color management of the application you print from, use the Epson Luster profile, make sure you have images with assigned profiles, preferably color spaces with a wide gamut, ProPhoto, AdoberRGB. Try out some different rendering types, perceptual, relative color metric, etc.

If this route does not bring an improvement then check your images on a calibrated, profiled (preferably wide gamut) monitor, plain and in softproof with said profiles with both the original and the prints under the 5000K viewing light next to the monitor.  Somewhere the chain is broken between the painting and the print.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Dinkla Gallery Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop
http://www.pigment-print.com/dinklacanvaswraps/index.html





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Gemmtech
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 08:41:11 AM »
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I haven't studied the reds Dye vs. Pigment, but I can tell you the blacks are much nicer with dye inks, you can't achieve a Black Black with pigment ink.  There's no doubt it takes more work to get a "perfect" print with pigment inks because you have to worry about the highlights, the blacks, the GD and the Bronzing etc.  I'm sure the gamut of the pigments now exceeds the old dye printers, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were very close and in certain situations they each have a benefit.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 09:10:45 AM »
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Achieving these "edge gamut" colors is one of the most challenging things for a profile to do. Achieving edge gamut colors without sacrificing image detail is even harder. IMO, Xrite's, Monaco Profiler and their upcoming i1Profiler do this better than any other products on the market, and they only do so when the Perceptual intent is used when the profiles are built with the perceptual saturation cranked up to 45. Their perceptual rendering is a crown jewel that many fine art printmakers appreciate for this very reason. If you haven't already, have some custom profiles made in this way and make some new prints using Perceptual. The results will represent the best you'll be able to get our of your printer.
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mikev1
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 10:12:14 AM »
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I don't have my reference prints on hand but I recall that the reds printed on Epson Luster (using stock profile) were a bit off compared to other papers I use.  The difference was probably not as great as you are describing but you may want to try something like the Exhibition Fibre or Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta and see if that makes a difference.
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mmurph
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 04:29:18 PM »
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Quote from: AnastasiaMak
I'm not sure if installing color profiles would make a difference, because red is the only color I am having trouble with - the rest of the colors are coming out printed just fine. (Or should I try the color profiles route?)

You absolutely need to use the profiles before making any judgements!

Your whole setup should be color calibrated to make sure you are getting what is on screen, and to be able to "soft proof" on the screen with teh profiles. But at a minimum you should be using the Epson profiles and color management through Photoshop (or whatever program) to get correct output!  

I wouldn't try to make any judgements on gamut, comparing dyes to pigments, etc. until you try this.

Best,
Michael
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AnastasiaMak
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 12:00:09 AM »
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Thank you, everybody, for your suggestions. Looks like I have some work and some testing cut out for me.
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