Epson 3800 Observed difference - high/low speed printing

Started Feb 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Frank Magalhaes
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Epson 3800 Observed difference - high/low speed printing
Feb 24, 2007

I finally took the trouble to examine the difference on my 3800 between printing at high speed and not. I have traditionally useed only low speed, but I have seen many posts saying that for the 3800 it makes no difference. What I saw surprised me:

For the test I used an image with many large areas of smooth, medium to light gray areas where dot patterns are easy to see with a jeweler's loupe. I don't usually do this sort of pixel peeping, but no other method would do for this test.

I made the test prints on Epson Enhance Matte paper. The image was bronze tone monochrome printed using the regular rgb method, not the special black & white method.

Viewed from a usual distance for the size print (15 x 20 on 17 x 22 paper) the two prints appeared to be virtually identical. However, looking with the loupe I found the results to be interesting. The sharpness of the image seemed again to be about the same in both prints, but peculiarly (to me anyway) the high speed (bi-directional) print had a coarser dot pattern than the uni-directional print. I guess I was expecating that the bi-directional example might show something like a little misalignment of one pass with the other, but certainly not more clearly defined dots of ink. The test was made at 1440 resolution as recommended for matte paper and I have not tried one at high resolution (I can't right now because my computer is down — using my partner's laptop for communication).

Once I had seen the well defined dots of the high-speed print, I looked again with my naked eye and the smooth areas did seem coarser, but that may just be suggestability on my part. What I would like is for someone else to repeat my test to see if it is a typical result.

— Frank

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