Fine Art Media Printing
If you want a printer as a general jobbing workhorse then this printer is not for you. However, if you want a printer that delivers high-quality Fine Art prints then read on.
The R3000 caters for the photographer - artist who demands the highest quality fine art printing. The printer can handle thick card as well as a variety of media types. I tried Epson's Traditional Photo Paper, a 330g/m weight, fibber base, Acid and lignin free, smooth glossy surface. This media uses the same profile as Premium Glossy Photo.
Loading Fine art media is not that intuitive, I try to accomplish tasks without having to refer to the manual and see where it takes me. I loaded the media into the rear media holder and received an error message saying my roll media was not correctly loaded. OK, if in doubt, read the instructions. The front LCD panel gives fully illustrated instructions on how to load straight paper path media.
|Although the paper emerges from the rear of the printer during straight-path printing, the printer will only accept roll media from this direction - thick sheet media and card are loaded using the front straight paper path.|
First depress the front straight paper tray to open it, now load the media, printing surface upwards, align the media with the guide line mark on the tray and then press the OK button. The media is drawn into the printer and makes a partial exit at the rear media holder. Now close the front straight paper tray and pull out the bottom media catcher tray. You are now ready to start printing. From the printer driver you must ensure that you select the correct media tray, i.e. Front - Fine Art. I am sure that some clever person at Epson will one day come up with a solution that would automatically select this option in the driver once the media is loaded. Although Epson refers to this as a straight paper path, in reality it isn't, the paper does go through a 45 degree angle when making an exit at the rear. For thick card there is a genuinely straight paper path, but this requires sufficient clearance at the rear of the printer.
For the Traditional Photo Paper you have to select Epson Premium Glossy media and set the highest quality setting. This media produces stunning quality prints, it is also nice to see a surface that resembles traditional photo paper rather than a glossy glass like surface that we are becoming accustomed to. Just to add an extra touch, the media is packaged in a black lightproof envelope - just like the packaging for bromide papers.
The R3000 doesn't have a gloss optimizer ink so there can be a gloss differential when using glossy media, you can get around this by selecting a High Point Shift in the Advanced B/W Photo setting. This applies a very light grey to the white (paper base) areas. For color printing you will have to apply a Levels in Photoshop and set the White Output Level to 248 (approx) this then also applies a light coating to the white areas thereby eliminating any gloss differential.