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Author Topic: Epson 3880 Enhanced Matte saturation problem  (Read 4433 times)
stevegoldenberg
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« on: September 03, 2010, 06:01:29 AM »
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Hello Everyone,

I have had an Epson 3880 for about a year.  I typically print with Photo Black ink but began experimenting with Matte Black and I'm really stuck:  Most Matte Black prints lose a tremendous amount of saturation when I print them.  It looks kind of like what happens when you lose the black ink channel to a clog.  Though a snapshot is always a little hard to interpret for a print, I attached an image to show the difference.  It's especially noticeable in the blue of the sky and the brown skin of the model.  There is less saturation as well as much less warmth (it's a very warm image). 

What's weird is that if I print on plain paper with Matte Black ink, this problem doesn't happen.  You can see in the image that the plain paper version is very similar to the Photo Black version with the expected differences between gloss and matte paper.  If I could get the Enhanced Matte looking the same way as the Plain paper it would be fine.

I've tried a ton of tests changing profiles, printer output resolution, etc. but nothing seems to work.   I'm using the standard Enhanced Matte and Velvet fine art profiles that came from Epson.  Please help!  It's driving me crazy...

-Steve
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Steve Goldenberg
Street & Documentary Photography
Washington, DC
http://www.stevegoldenberg.com/
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 07:34:19 AM »
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I think what you are seeing is normal for matte papers.  It's not a result of the profiles as the Epson profiles are generally excellent for this printer.  The color gamut is not as broad as the glossy papers.  The black point density is much greater for the gloss paper and using my testing (converting a ColorMunki value which is not quite as accurate as a pure spectro reading, I routinely get 2.2 for glossy paper versus about 1.6 for matte).  If you do a comparison of soft proofs in PS between the Epson Enhanced Matte and the glossy paper you will see the striking difference.  Toggle between the two and check for out of gamut warnings and you will be further surprised.  One of the reasons that a lot of us have moved away from matte papers is just this, we can print much a much greater color range on the glossy papers.  I still print on matte papers, both smooth and textured watercolor for some images that take well to them.  However, if you are looking for a solid color palette, stick with the glossy papers.

Alan
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stevegoldenberg
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 01:46:48 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback Alan.  I just checked and do see that there are gamut warning issues on this image.  But I'm confused by the plain paper situation - why would plain copier paper at 360 dpi look so much more right?  I used the same ICC profile for it. 

-Steve
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Steve Goldenberg
Street & Documentary Photography
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http://www.stevegoldenberg.com/
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 04:04:00 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback Alan.  I just checked and do see that there are gamut warning issues on this image.  But I'm confused by the plain paper situation - why would plain copier paper at 360 dpi look so much more right?  I used the same ICC profile for it. 

-Steve
I don't think you can apply an ICC profile to a paper that it has not been created for as the results will be unpredictable.   Plain paper is also not coated in the same way photo inkjet paper is and the dot pattern is likely to be quite diffuse as the absorbency is different (you can check this by looking with a magnifying glass).
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stevegoldenberg
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 02:15:10 PM »
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Thanks for all of the advice everyone.  I did a number of new tests and found that this looks like it's a problem with the way Apple Aperture 3.03 prints.  I exported a PSD to Photoshop CS3 and printed it using the same profile, the same paper and the same printer.  I did this back-to-back with a print from Aperture - the CS3 print is correct, Aperture is not.  It only seems to happen with the Matte papers, printing on glossy Baryta papers I use works just fine. 

Anyone seen this problem with Aperture?  I was wondering if it's a problem with the ICC profile version but I tested printing with the Epson 3880 Lustre profile which is the same version, so that's not it.  Maybe there's a bug printing Matte with Aperture?

-Steve
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Steve Goldenberg
Street & Documentary Photography
Washington, DC
http://www.stevegoldenberg.com/
solosolo
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 11:12:22 PM »
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Hi there,

I am having exactly the same problem... Did you find a solution that allowed you to print to enhanced matte papers in aperture. I would prefer not to print using PS (which did resolve the issue)

Cheers

Dan
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stevegoldenberg
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 09:21:21 AM »
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Dan,

No, sadly, I have not found a solution.  Anyone else here get Aperture to print on Matte successfully?
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Steve Goldenberg
Street & Documentary Photography
Washington, DC
http://www.stevegoldenberg.com/
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