Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Epson P900/P700 profiles

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

I made some custom profiles for Epson Ultra Premium Luster and and Archival / Enhanced Matte with my ColorMunki device. The prints look better and are more saturated overall especially in the blues and pinks. This better matches the profiled screen when soft proofing in Lightroom.

Is anyone else finding that the stock Epson profiles are a bit lacking in the saturation of colors?

In general I found the ones I tried quite good - but didn't try those two papers with Epson profiles

These are the profiles I created (~3k patches i1Profiler) for my P700/900 testing

Epson papers

  • PGPP
  • Premium Luster
  • TPP
  • Hot Press Bright
  • Cold Press Natural

Along with

  • Canson Rag Photographique
  • Olmec Photo matte archival 230  (very EAM like)
  • Hahnemuhle Smooth Fine Art 265
  • Pinnacle Lustre 300
  • Pinnacle Baryta 310

They are available on request- free for non commercial use. The last two are papers from my local supplier here in Leicester (Paper Spectrum). The Pinnacle Baryta 310 is, shall we say ... very close to the old Ilford Gold Silk paper. It's been my choice for years for B&W prints. I have a 17" roll of it at the moment on the P5000

The Hahnemuhle 265 is actually a discontinued HP branded paper which I came by many A3+ boxes* of years ago. It's a little light for my general use, but I use it as a 'custom paper' when testing printer custom set-ups - Of less use have been the A3+ 210 Watercolour, 240 Aquarella Art, and 380 Artist Matte Canvas

*Several large boxes of A3+ sample packs to be precise

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Keith Cooper

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Jamil Abbasy Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Mr Owl wrote:

Yes I agree. They are a little thin for me, lacking in colour depth & colour definition. Especially when using an established print reference image. So I'm glad you brought it up - I have the same model - & you were able to make a difference. I will try that too as I have a colormunki but haven't had a chance to do this yet. Worth going for to achieve better results. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your reply. Glad to know it's not something wrong with the printer. For testing, I am using the horizontal Outback print image you can find here:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/printer-test-images/

My go-to papers, Canson Baryta Photographique and Harman by Hahnehmule Gloss Baryta, don't exist anymore (only giant sheets left) but I still plan to cut down some larger sheets to profile them.

I ordered a bunch of Epson Exhibition Fiber paper and plan to test and profile it this week.  Based on all the positive reviews, I'm hoping that will become my new standard.   I just wish they made it in 17x25 like the Harman paper.  But now with the P900 I have the roll option.

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Richard Frederick
Richard Frederick Senior Member • Posts: 1,041
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Back in the day, I printed color and B&W in a wet darkroom.  For color work, the digital/inkjet system is so much better in accuracy, repeatability, longevity, etc., perhaps I am not as critical in evaluating color profiles as others in this digital age.

Having said that, I have found the manufacturer's profiles (Epson 4880 and P5000) to be satisfactory.  The main benefit of my i1 pro is being able to profile low volume material such as Mitsubishi's white and transparent film stock.  Those color profiles were spot on.

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Mr Owl
Mr Owl Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

Mr Owl wrote:

Yes I agree. They are a little thin for me, lacking in colour depth & colour definition. Especially when using an established print reference image. So I'm glad you brought it up - I have the same model - & you were able to make a difference. I will try that too as I have a colormunki but haven't had a chance to do this yet. Worth going for to achieve better results. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your reply. Glad to know it's not something wrong with the printer. For testing, I am using the horizontal Outback print image you can find here:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/printer-test-images/

My go-to papers, Canson Baryta Photographique and Harman by Hahnehmule Gloss Baryta, don't exist anymore (only giant sheets left) but I still plan to cut down some larger sheets to profile them.

I ordered a bunch of Epson Exhibition Fiber paper and plan to test and profile it this week. Based on all the positive reviews, I'm hoping that will become my new standard. I just wish they made it in 17x25 like the Harman paper. But now with the P900 I have the roll option.

For B/W test I use Keith Cooper's black & white test print, the 51 step one, it's a good one & my P906 performed very well with it.

And I like this reference image as well: http://www.jirvana.com/printer_tests/PrinterEvaluationImage_V002.zip

Like you I use Canson Baryta Photographique as well as Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss. I bought a pack of Epson Traditional Photo paper (aka Exhibition Fibre) recently which I'm looking forward to using for the first time. One paper that I really like for the right subject matter is Centurion Metallic Pearl. Great for reddish brown rocks & landscapes, it can really bring out certain colour hues that on normal paper can remain quite dull.

I'm also looking forward to using the roll option.

Enjoy your printing!

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Mr Owl

sam_siciliano Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

I have done some further printing with my new p900, and I do think that 'black enhance overcoat' is something that you should NOT always use with the 'high quality' setting.  In Windows, this option is checked by default when you select 'high quality' but it definitely does darken things.  I had a scan of a colorful slide which was originally rather contrasty.  I had fixed the contrast in Photoshop so I got a decent print, but with 'black enhance overcoat' the contrast and the blacks tended to be too much.  I think this feature makes a noticeable difference, and there are certainly cases where you may want to emphasize blacks and shadows, but there are others where you will not want to.  Hence, use it selectively, I think.

Mr Owl
Mr Owl Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Thanks, that's interesting. I wish there was a way in software to see a preview of black enhance overcoat beforehand. It's guesswork as it is due to SOME images that are shadow-heavy working well with that feature & others you'd think would be OK are not at all. So yes one needs to be case-by-case on this.

So I'm wondering what scenarios would best benefit from the use of that feature. For example, if there are various areas of dark or black in a scene but they are contained & not overwhelming the image, that is, they are not the bulk of the image, then perhaps that would be a good candidate for black enhance. That way the whole image won't get dark as you rightly point out.

However, in a b/w image that has dark silhouette forms in it, that may indeed form much of the image, perhaps it would benefit from a richer black. But this is just me thinking aloud & my P906 is so new I still haven't had a chance to try these possibilities yet. I'll be interested to read of actual experiments people I'm sure will write about here.

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Mr Owl

Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Mr Owl wrote:

Thanks, that's interesting. I wish there was a way in software to see a preview of black enhance overcoat beforehand.

There is - make a paper profile using it

It's guesswork as it is due to SOME images that are shadow-heavy working well with that feature & others you'd think would be OK are not at all. So yes one needs to be case-by-case on this.

Having gone to some lengths to make a good icc profile, the last thing I want is a 'darken this print a bit if you feel like it'button  This flies against many of the reasons I got into colour management in the first place.

What I note is that there is only one Epson ICC profile per paper - these seem based on the mid settings. If you want the darkening, make a profile for it, but be prepared for it to make much less a difference than the 'random blacken' checkbox  (the profiling evens it out )

For Epson TPP on the P700/900 I made a set of profiles at different settings (some 17k patches in all) and the differences whilst noticeable from the profiles, are much less so with real images.

This led partly to my preference for the mid quality setting for photo papers and a strong belief that the high end (5760) settings are for marketing purposes and tinkerers

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Keith Cooper

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Mr Owl
Mr Owl Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Thanks for the heads up Keith!

Good to know about the lesser effect of the overcoat when profiled. It would be a better option than a dramatic shift, when needed. Apart from profiling, it might be good to have a graded overcoat setting like low, medium, high or similar in % sliding scale, rather than a one size fits all. Reminiscent of a test strip in the old darkroom days. Then one could pick out which 6x4 test print would suit the image better. Maybe Epson could incorporate that in the driver software for those who don't do their own profiles?

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Mr Owl

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.

sam_siciliano Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Actually, vis-a-vis my last post, I should probably clarify that if you choose print quality 2, 3 or 4 (quality, high quality, or max quality), the box for 'black enhance overcoat' is automatically checked.  You will get it by default unless you deliberately uncheck the box.  This is in Windows.  Keith's earlier note seem to suggest Macs work differently.

Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Epson P900 - correction

sam_siciliano wrote:

Actually, vis-a-vis my last post, I should probably clarify that if you choose print quality 2, 3 or 4 (quality, high quality, or max quality), the box for 'black enhance overcoat' is automatically checked. You will get it by default unless you deliberately uncheck the box. This is in Windows. Keith's earlier note seem to suggest Macs work differently.

My bad - I'd mixed it up. Too many printers in the house (7 at the moment)

You are entirely correct - you can't uncheck it without going to the 'quality options'

It's the max quality(carbon black) setting which I noted as too dark - it's also a 5760 one, which is the real thing I avoid.

The setting are indeed confusing

Sorry for the error!

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Keith Cooper

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Mr Owl
Mr Owl Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)
1

Thought I'd put together a list of the quality settings available on my P906. I'm assuming this covers the P700 & P900 as well. If not, please let me know. Click to see enlarged.

Epson SC-P900/700 quality settings

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Mr Owl

Jamil Abbasy Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

I believe my printer is already broken and I'm still on the starter cartridges.

I tried loading some Exhibition Fiber paper 8.5x11 and it would not pick it up from the front feeder and made horrible cracking / creaking sounds and it only pulls in the paper at an angle, crinkles and destroys the sheet. It seems to be pulling from only one side. When I load the paper in the front slot you can feel that there is no stop / roller on the right side.

Any thoughts on this? I am debating on whether to contact Epson or return the printer for a replacement.

Thanks

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Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
A broken P900

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

I believe my printer is already broken and I'm still on the starter cartridges.

I tried loading some Exhibition Fiber paper 8.5x11 and it would not pick it up from the front feeder and made horrible cracking / creaking sounds and it only pulls in the paper at an angle, crinkles and destroys the sheet. It seems to be pulling from only one side. When I load the paper in the front slot you can feel that there is no stop / roller on the right side.

Any thoughts on this? I am debating on whether to contact Epson or return the printer for a replacement.

Thanks

Call Epson or get a replacement - depends on which is easiest for you.

This should not happen - I've seen it on a broken P900 (it was damaged in shipping)

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Keith Cooper

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Jamil Abbasy Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

I believe my printer is already broken and I'm still on the starter cartridges.

I tried loading some Exhibition Fiber paper 8.5x11 and it would not pick it up from the front feeder and made horrible cracking / creaking sounds and it only pulls in the paper at an angle, crinkles and destroys the sheet. It seems to be pulling from only one side. When I load the paper in the front slot you can feel that there is no stop / roller on the right side.

Any thoughts on this? I am debating on whether to contact Epson or return the printer for a replacement.

Thanks

Update:  I can see the problem.  When I load the sheet in the front feeder the silver colored metal that touches to top of the paper only touches it on the left side.  The right side there is a visible gap.  The feeder must be broken / bent / or not reset.

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Jamil Abbasy Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: A broken P900

Keith Cooper wrote:

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

I believe my printer is already broken and I'm still on the starter cartridges.

I tried loading some Exhibition Fiber paper 8.5x11 and it would not pick it up from the front feeder and made horrible cracking / creaking sounds and it only pulls in the paper at an angle, crinkles and destroys the sheet. It seems to be pulling from only one side. When I load the paper in the front slot you can feel that there is no stop / roller on the right side.

Any thoughts on this? I am debating on whether to contact Epson or return the printer for a replacement.

Thanks

Call Epson or get a replacement - depends on which is easiest for you.

This should not happen - I've seen it on a broken P900 (it was damaged in shipping)

Thanks Keith.  It's a bummer as I was really excited about the results from this printer.  I'll call Epson first and see what the availability is.

Another related question:  Does this printer make regular loud creaking / cracking sounds in general even when using thinner Epson luster on the rear feeder?   The sounds this printer made from day one are cringeworthy.

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Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: A broken P900

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

Keith Cooper wrote:

Jamil Abbasy wrote:

I believe my printer is already broken and I'm still on the starter cartridges.

I tried loading some Exhibition Fiber paper 8.5x11 and it would not pick it up from the front feeder and made horrible cracking / creaking sounds and it only pulls in the paper at an angle, crinkles and destroys the sheet. It seems to be pulling from only one side. When I load the paper in the front slot you can feel that there is no stop / roller on the right side.

Any thoughts on this? I am debating on whether to contact Epson or return the printer for a replacement.

Thanks

Call Epson or get a replacement - depends on which is easiest for you.

This should not happen - I've seen it on a broken P900 (it was damaged in shipping)

Thanks Keith. It's a bummer as I was really excited about the results from this printer. I'll call Epson first and see what the availability is.

Another related question: Does this printer make regular loud creaking / cracking sounds in general even when using thinner Epson luster on the rear feeder? The sounds this printer made from day one are cringeworthy.

So did the one I had that turned out to be broken. It worked  for a while though.

Unfortunately my P700/900 testing has come to an end, due to Christmas and not living in a large enough house They are packed up to head back to Epson tomorrow.

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Keith Cooper

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steverap
OP steverap Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

I agree that Epson ought to be a lot clearer about differences between Black Enhance Overcoat and Carbon Black. You said, however, that "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," but that is not true. If you select the 5th Print Quality setting, Max Quality (Carbon Black), Black Enhance Overcoat is grayed out but selected, that is, you cannot deselect it, which is fine because the 4th setting, Max Quality, employs Black Enhance Overcoat but not Carbon Black.

So settings 4 and 5 are both Max Quality (5760 dpi) and both employ Black Enhance Overcoat, but setting 5 adds Carbon Black, whatever that is!

Mr Owl
Mr Owl Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Yes I think you should get it replaced. I'm waiting to get mine replaced any day now. I had the same loud clicking/ratchet type sound from day 1. I had a third party inspect the machine sent from Epson & they thought it was broken. My choice was to have it replaced & Epson has come to the party. Good luck with the replacement. But do it soon if you want it by Xmas!

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Mr Owl

Jamil Abbasy Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Epson P900 - New Print Quality Settings (P700 too)

Mr Owl wrote:

Yes I think you should get it replaced. I'm waiting to get mine replaced any day now. I had the same loud clicking/ratchet type sound from day 1. I had a third party inspect the machine sent from Epson & they thought it was broken. My choice was to have it replaced & Epson has come to the party. Good luck with the replacement. But do it soon if you want it by Xmas!

Thanks for your message.  It is concerning that the few people who are on this thread have had problems with the feed mechanism requiring replacement.  The merchant where I purchased it seems to have stock...I've sent a message inquiring about the problem and replacement.

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