Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
sam_siciliano Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

I don't think Epson has been particularly helpful in clarifying the 'black' situation with their new printers! There do seem to be 2 different settings which effect how blacks look in a print. There is the 'black enhance overcoat' which you can turn on by checking the box with quality settings numbers 2,3 and 4 (quality, high quality and max quality). I found an Epson explanation of this:

Black Enhanced Overcoat is a new print mode that can reduce metamerism on photo media. When Black Enhanced Overcoat is enabled, the product prints with darker tones of black by overcoating the black with gray.

And finally, there is the highest quality setting, number 5, 'max quality (carbon black)', and if you select this, the check box for 'black enhanced overcoat' is grayed out and cannot be selected. Thus, carbon black seems to be a different animal. The Epson publicity blurbs have this rather unhelpful marketing explanation:

New Carbon Black Driver Technology — all-new Carbon Black Driver mode dramatically increases Dmax for best-in-class black density on glossy papers

I couldn't find any explanation about how 'carbon black' works, how you get darker blacks.  I wish there was some comparative information about the two, their strengths and weaknesses, why you might choose one over the other, etc.  As is, we are left mostly with empirical experimentation, and these are rather subtle differences--which, it's worth stressing, only affect gloss and luster prints.  If you only print on matte paper you don't have to worry about trying to figure any of this out!  Again, I wish Epson had provided some kind of extended explanation of these two new features with the P700 and P900.  I found their electronic user-guide documentation pretty feeble and inadequate.

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