New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
Carolyn S
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New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
Feb 2, 2013

I am quite upset by this and really don't know what to do (except send the 3000 back).  I made prints with it and compared them to the same prints done by the 4000 and they are discernibly darker.  They are also not even close to my monitor.  The 4000 did produce images close to the monitor.  I have not calibrated my monitor, but never did so when using my 4000.  It has gotten old and does not print (without black marks) so needed replaced.  My question is why can't this newer (and I presume better) model print as well as the older.  IS it something I am doing?

I have a PC using Window's 7.  I have Photoshop managing colors and the paper settings are right.  I am using Epson premium Luster paper.  The inks are all what came with the printer (and I have only had it a day)  Right now if this is the best it can do I can't seem me bothering to keep it....the prints are junk compared to my 4000 and my monitor.

I hope someone can help because I am really upset by this and haven't a clue how to fix it.

Carolyn

jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 2, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

I am quite upset by this and really don't know what to do (except send the 3000 back). I made prints with it and compared them to the same prints done by the 4000 and they are discernibly darker. They are also not even close to my monitor. The 4000 did produce images close to the monitor. I have not calibrated my monitor, but never did so when using my 4000. It has gotten old and does not print (without black marks) so needed replaced. My question is why can't this newer (and I presume better) model print as well as the older. IS it something I am doing?

I have a PC using Window's 7. I have Photoshop managing colors and the paper settings are right. I am using Epson premium Luster paper. The inks are all what came with the printer (and I have only had it a day) Right now if this is the best it can do I can't seem me bothering to keep it....the prints are junk compared to my 4000 and my monitor.

I hope someone can help because I am really upset by this and haven't a clue how to fix it.

Carolyn

Carolyn,

The answer to why prints are darker than the monitor practically 100% of the time is due to the monitor being too bright to begin with. I know you are saying that you were getting prints that were closer to the monitor than you are getting now.  When the monitor is too bright you tend to darken your images so they look normal on your too bright monitor, thus they print dark.

I will venture to say that it was by chance that you were getting a better monitor to print match.

When you say you are letting photoshop manage colors, are you also tuning OFF color management in the R3000 driver?

You cannot have both ON. It's one or the other.

So in photoshop you are choosing the correct ICC profile for the paper you are printing on and choosing either Perceptiual or Relative Colorimetric as the rendering intent, then on the printer driver you choose the matching paper type, size and printing quality and then turn off color management to OFF.

To test your printer irregarless of your monitor's calibration, print one of these, without any adjustments in PS. Just open and print, using the ICC profile and no color management in the driver as indicated above. You should get a great looking print. if the print looks bright in you monitor and normal in the print then you will know.

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/downloadable_1/DL_page.html

Joe

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Phil Hill
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 2, 2013

It’s possible that the R3000 is faulty, but it’s probably more likely that your 4000 was printing too light.  Or perhaps the profiles were deliberately crafted to make lighter prints.  Regardless, making a test print from Joe’s link (I recommend the first printer test image, but any of them will do) should tell you more than comparing prints to a display that’s never been calibrated and is at default brightness.

Judge the print on its own merits, without regard to the way it looks on your display.

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Philnw2
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 2, 2013

I have a R3000 and an older Toshiba laptop.

Have been having problems with darker prints from a local Costco store, even before i got the R3000.

Bought a Colormunki Photo, and am now getting close agreement between my laptop and the R3000. The color munki's are pricy but so is wasting paper, ink and time.  Recommend you consider renting one to calibrate your printer and monitor together.

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Philnw2, Feb 2, 2013

Philnw2 wrote:

I have a R3000 and an older Toshiba laptop.

Have been having problems with darker prints from a local Costco store, even before i got the R3000.

Bought a Colormunki Photo, and am now getting close agreement between my laptop and the R3000. The color munki's are pricy but so is wasting paper, ink and time. Recommend you consider renting one to calibrate your printer and monitor together.

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Phil B
Nex 5n, Pentax K5D

Agreed and that is the unit I use. However allow me to make one small correction.

Yes the Colormunki photo will calibrate the monitor. However you DO NOT calibrate a printer. You use this piece of hardware to creat Profiles for the papers you use and these profiles are used from your Photo Editor to tell the printer how to translate or map the colors vaues that the Editing Software sends to the printer driver.

In order to not have both the Editing Software, as well as the Printer driver control color which would result in totally incorrect colors and density, you instead turn OFF color management at the driver and permit you S.W. such as Photoshop to control color through that very profile you create with the Colormunki.

Joe

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Thank you all for your responses.  I do have the color turned off in the printer.  Only Photoshop is managing the colors.  I tried printing one of your prints, jtoolman and I got a nice but dark image.  Looking at it on its own without looking at the monitor it looks like a dark day at the beach.  Since I only have my monitor to go by, I don't know what the normal for this image is.  So I feel like I am no better off.  Or am I totally misunderstanding.

Phil Hall, Maybe the 4000 was printing light, but what do I do about it...I tried the test print from JOe's link and got a dark image.  Ignoring the monitor it is dark, but a nice print.  It seems a dark day.  is that what it is supposed to look like?

Philnw2....I am thinking I will need to calibrate my monitor, but does that really change the printer, aren't I going to continue to get dark images that match a calibrated monitor?

One other thing that is off are the blues.  When it prints blues, they (compared to the blues in the 4000 prints) lean toward purple and not blue at all.  Is that calibration.  I am not comparing them to the monitor, I am comparing to the 4000 print.

Looks like I need to look into spending the money for calibration equipment.  There goes another expense.'

Thank you for the help!

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Thank you all for your responses. I do have the color turned off in the printer. Only Photoshop is managing the colors. I tried printing one of your prints, jtoolman and I got a nice but dark image. Looking at it on its own without looking at the monitor it looks like a dark day at the beach. Since I only have my monitor to go by, I don't know what the normal for this image is. So I feel like I am no better off. Or am I totally misunderstanding.

Phil Hall, Maybe the 4000 was printing light, but what do I do about it...I tried the test print from JOe's link and got a dark image. Ignoring the monitor it is dark, but a nice print. It seems a dark day. is that what it is supposed to look like?

Philnw2....I am thinking I will need to calibrate my monitor, but does that really change the printer, aren't I going to continue to get dark images that match a calibrated monitor?

One other thing that is off are the blues. When it prints blues, they (compared to the blues in the 4000 prints) lean toward purple and not blue at all. Is that calibration. I am not comparing them to the monitor, I am comparing to the 4000 print.

Looks like I need to look into spending the money for calibration equipment. There goes another expense.'

Thank you for the help!

Yes it is a dark gloomy image of the beach.

You should have printed the second one with the many images and the color checker image.

On the right edge there is B&W ramp/ step wedge that should print all the tones from black to white.

Plese print that one and come back. Make sure you have chosen the correct profile for the paper you are using in the photoshop print module.

Unless there is something actually wrong with your R3000 which I seriously doubt, you should ge a good print.

Please come back after you print the second image and let us know.

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Phil Hill
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

As Joe said, the printer test images begin after the beach shot.  I like the first one because of the variety of skin tones, but any of them should do.

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Ok....It is a beautiful image.  But the one on my monitor is better with brighter color.  So does that mean if I calibrate my monitor I will see darker images?  I guess that means that is what the image really looks like and my 4000 was printing wrong and I didn't know that.  This is most upseting because my images that are printed are all lighter and with prettier blues than the ones done on the 3000.  I feel like I have to start all over again creating my images...and I need to spend more money on a calibrator for my monitor so I can see dark images.  I am not a happy camper.

Thanks again for your help.

Carolyn

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Phil Hill
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Even after calibration, the display will never look precisely like a print because light is shining through the LCD image.  However, you can get very close and then learn to mentally take into account the slight differences.

The R3000 is about as good as it gets in a printer, by the way, when considering the quality of prints on a wide variety of media.

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Ok....It is a beautiful image. But the one on my monitor is better with brighter color. So does that mean if I calibrate my monitor I will see darker images? I guess that means that is what the image really looks like and my 4000 was printing wrong and I didn't know that. This is most upseting because my images that are printed are all lighter and with prettier blues than the ones done on the 3000. I feel like I have to start all over again creating my images...and I need to spend more money on a calibrator for my monitor so I can see dark images. I am not a happy camper.

Thanks again for your help.

Carolyn

A monitor is backlit so everything will look beautifully bright, colorfull and contrasty. The truth is that look is not Natural.

A print is only viewed by reflected light and will be relatively duller by comparison and sometime a shocking letdown.

Another problem is, if you have been editing all this time likely saving back to the same file after all the edits ( which I do hope you did not do ) then all your previous files will now have been edited taking into account your bright wrongly set monitor.

You would be shocked as to how much darker than the factory standard, the correct luminance setting for you monitor will be.

Take that second print you printed and since you do not have a hardware calibrator, manually turn down the brightness on your monitor while holding the print next to it and try to find a point where the density matches your print the best. You might also have to adjust the contrast. This of course will not be 100% correct but it will get you down to the proper level you should be editing in from now on.

Your 4000 was also printing too light!

When you printed that second print letting PS manage color through the correct ICC profile, and turning off color managment in the printer, you should have endded up with a correct print.

How does your black to white ramp look? Can you detect the steps from the black point as it becomes lighter and lighter?

It that is the case then your R3000 is printing correctly. ALl you need to do now is get your monitor to look more like the print.

This is not the accepted method, but it will work for you until, and if you ever obtain a colorimeter to finally do the calibration the correct way.

Don't feel bad! We ALL have traveled down the same road. Many have accepted the situation and many go into denial.

I own a X-Rite Colormunki Photo and run over 15 printers 13" to 17" and that gadget is the best investment I've ever made. If you are serious about your photography and your prints, you should seriously consider getting one.

The CM Display will only calibrate the monitor which is fine is you will always use OEM inks, OEM papers or 3rd party papers whose providers also can provide you ICC profiles for your printer.

The CM Photo is more expensive of the two will do it all for you. Calibrate and produce Paper Profiles.

I'll leave with this last point. Printing high quality images at home is not a cheap hobby! Not if you aproach it the correct way.

Joe

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Thank you for your time and patience, Joe.  I am having to come to terms that maybe all this time my 4000 hasn't been printing right and now I am faced with having to make major adjustments.  I have already started looking at Monitor calibration equipment and I see that is probably my next expense.  At least I think I need to do that before I totally give up on this printer.

I know the monitor is backlit and that isn't natural....but when my 4000 printed ok with it I felt all was right with the world.  Now I am shocked a bit back to reality I guess.  I have had the 4000 for 8 years, so I have a lot of changing to do !

The black and white ramp looks lovely, though I do not detect steps....I just see a very smooth and gradual flow from complete black to clear white.

So now I am off to price monitor calibrating equipment.  I do want my images to look right.  I just have to emotionally accept the fact that what I had before was probably not right.

Thank you again for your patience!

Carolyn

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Thank you for your time and patience, Joe. I am having to come to terms that maybe all this time my 4000 hasn't been printing right and now I am faced with having to make major adjustments. I have already started looking at Monitor calibration equipment and I see that is probably my next expense. At least I think I need to do that before I totally give up on this printer.

Do not give up on the printer! It is one of the best 13" printer available! You problem ia nothing new. Practically everyone has expereinced them. If you just google, or search here "My prints as too dark" you will realize that you are not alone. An in fact, you are not alone, we or least I will help you as much as I can to get you there!

I know the monitor is backlit and that isn't natural....but when my 4000 printed ok with it I felt all was right with the world. Now I am shocked a bit back to reality I guess. I have had the 4000 for 8 years, so I have a lot of changing to do !

It's hard pill to swallow! One you get your monitor properly calibrated the rest will fall perfectly in place. I strugled for over ayear before I finally began to understand what it took to produce a correct print. I had no idea that a source as this forum even existed so it was more like the school of hard knocks.

The black and white ramp looks lovely, though I do not detect steps....I just see a very smooth and gradual flow from complete black to clear white.

This B&W rand is a gradual one. Often they contain distinct steps. Ideally you will have a pure black and a pure paper white, with discernibvle steps inbetween. Check for color neutrality throught the complete ramp.

So now I am off to price monitor calibrating equipment. I do want my images to look right. I just have to emotionally accept the fact that what I had before was probably not right.

The average is a bit costly at about $450 but do look around on ebay and on Amazon. Back whn I got mine I was able to snag a new one for $350. But I have not seen them at that price lately.

Thank you again for your patience!

No problem

Joe

Carolyn

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Thank you for hanging in with me.  It is nice to know that I am not alone out here in printer land!  I am encouraged that you say this is a very good printer for a 13in.  So, if I send it back, what would I even replace it with would be a question I would have to face.  I could go with a 17 in, but do not have the space in my house for larger and I would probably have the same problems!  I think I am going to have to learn this little printer and it's quircks.

I have looked at colormunki and Spyder 4 and am thinking about one or the other.  They have versions for about $170.  I think I am comfortable with that....I have to admit that $450 scares me a lot.  I am still not sold that that will fix my problem.  I hear you, though and will do something here to calibrate my system and then print and see what i get.

Thank you, again

Carolyn

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Thank you for hanging in with me. It is nice to know that I am not alone out here in printer land! I am encouraged that you say this is a very good printer for a 13in. So, if I send it back, what would I even replace it with would be a question I would have to face. I could go with a 17 in, but do not have the space in my house for larger and I would probably have the same problems! I think I am going to have to learn this little printer and it's quircks.

I have looked at colormunki and Spyder 4 and am thinking about one or the other. They have versions for about $170. I think I am comfortable with that....I have to admit that $450 scares me a lot. I am still not sold that that will fix my problem. I hear you, though and will do something here to calibrate my system and then print and see what i get.

Thank you, again

Carolyn

Carolyn,

If you will never use any other inks but OEM you really would not need the PHOTO version ( $450 )

Here is an offer for you.

Among my army of printers, I have a R2880 which uses the same identical ink set as your R3000

We can do one or two things. You can email me a file you have already printed but turned out too dark but looks good on your computer, I will then print it on either Epson Premium Glossy or Presentation matte using color management and ICC profile. I will then mail you the print. I will also print the same test image you already printed if that will help for you to compare with yours.

If your printer is working OK my print from your image should pretty much match your dark print.

I will check it on my calibrated monitor as well as it's histogram. If it looks dark on my calibrated monitor, then your monitor is indeed too bright.

Email me your image and an address and I can do this test for you.

Joe

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Yes, I always use OEM inks.  I am afraid to try any other inks because my luck they would render the printer useless!

I hate to put you out doing that.  It would be an interesting venture, though, but I am thinking I really need to calibrate the monitor and that is what my problem is.  But, it would be an interesting thing to see what you come up with.  I will go ahead and get the calibration hardware, though.  I think after all this it is something I need to do.

Ok.  I will send you the image I have been printing and getting a dark image from, but where do I send it?  Is it safe to exchange email here? or is it posted somewhere I don't know.  I am totally new here!

Carolyn

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Wait a minute, I just had an idea.  IF you would not mind printing that color profile image.  The one with the black scale in it and all those boxes and all the skin tones along the bottom.  I can compare yours to mine here that I just printed.  Wouldn't that let me know that my printer is ok...or wonky?  That way it saves a step since we both have that image??

Thank you,

Carolyn

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Yes, I always use OEM inks. I am afraid to try any other inks because my luck they would render the printer useless!

I hate to put you out doing that. It would be an interesting venture, though, but I am thinking I really need to calibrate the monitor and that is what my problem is. But, it would be an interesting thing to see what you come up with. I will go ahead and get the calibration hardware, though. I think after all this it is something I need to do.

Ok. I will send you the image I have been printing and getting a dark image from, but where do I send it? Is it safe to exchange email here? or is it posted somewhere I don't know. I am totally new here!

Carolyn

Click on my name. If not send me a PM.

Don't worry, I do this stuff for a lot of people.

Joe

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 3, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

Wait a minute, I just had an idea. IF you would not mind printing that color profile image. The one with the black scale in it and all those boxes and all the skin tones along the bottom. I can compare yours to mine here that I just printed. Wouldn't that let me know that my printer is ok...or wonky? That way it saves a step since we both have that image??

Thank you,

Carolyn

Sure that would work too but what I am really interested in is to see if your image which you edited on your monitor has been altered.

You now have a dark image that looks correct on your too bright monitor but print prints as it really is, dark!

I can send you the actual test print you did along with your image's print.

I will also do a print from one of my files and send you both print and file so you can then print it as a double check.

Joe

tooljoe2003@yahoo.com

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Carolyn S
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 3, 2013

Wait Joe....I had something totally unexpected happen.  Epson called me (I had sent an email with my frustrations to them) and he wanted to look at my settings and see if there was anything he could do to help.  He took over the computer and walked me though setting up to print.  It seems that I have been using the wrong color profile....should have been using AdobeRGB instead of the other (can't think what it is called).  He also put the printer in charge of color and then set the gamma up a bit.  And lo and behold!  It printed out what I was looking for in an image!!!  I was floored.  It is (as close as it can be) close to the monitor and the image from Epson 4000...enough so I am very happy!!!  In fact, I like the 3000 image a bit better than the 4000!!

So I think my problem is solved, for now.  Thank you for your willingness to print an image for me.  That was extremely thoughtful.  Thank you, again for your patience!...and all the time you spent with me.

Carolyn...once again a happy camper!

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