Epson SureColor prints dark (no problem with my monitor calibration & viewing light)

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Tom-Thomas Junior Member • Posts: 25
Epson SureColor prints dark (no problem with my monitor calibration & viewing light)

We are a small photo imaging and print shop. We have been using an Epson Stylus 9800 with Epson inks. The 9800 died and we just bought a P8000. Right the way, I notice that the prints are at least 10% (estimating) darker than before. Searching the internet shows that a lot of people are having the same problem with the P series of printers. The Epson dealer who sold us the printer confirmed that their P series printers buyers complaint about it too.

My monitor is calibrated and profiled. When using Epson papers (PGPP 250, PLPP 260), we use the Epson profiles. Print from driver (no RIP). We print in Relative Colorimetric without Black Point Compensation most of the times.

I know that many people have the problem with prints darker than the image displayed on monitor because (A) their monitor isn't calibrated, or (B) ambient light for the monitor is too bright, or (C) the viewing light for prints isn't bright enough, or (D) not using printer-paper profile, or (E) all of the above.

But none of these factors is the problem here. I say this because our prints from the 9800 have always matched the monitor. (I understand that it wouldn't be a 100% match because the monitor and the prints are different media — monitor displays transmittance images and prints reflectance image, different color gamut, etc. When I say "match", I mean the print matches at least 98%, 99% with the image displayed on monitor.)

So, if the problem is with any of the factors, (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), we should have had problems before. But we haven't had any problem until the new printer. More importantly, comparing the prints from the P8000 with prints of the same images from the 9800 (without even looking at the monitor image), the P8000 prints are definitely and obviously darker.

I understand that the new Epson HD inks used for the P series are supposed to give a wider color gamut. That certainly would affect the prints if the image printed is out of gamut for the 9800 but within the wider gamut of the P8000. But that’s not the case with our images. The images we print are all within the 9800’s color gamut. Thus, the same image file using the appropriate printer-paper profile, printed on the same paper should print almost identically. That's the whole point of printing with printer-paper profile!

So I experimented with different Rendering Intent with or without BPC. But the prints are still darker than before. Next, I made a custom printer-paper profile with my spectrophotometer. Same dark prints. At the end, the only way to get my prints right, I have to lighten the image to be printed a bit after I have edited it the way I want.

Your thought?

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