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Thread: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

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    Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Hi all,

    Today an extremely generous person gifted me a lovely Epson 7600 printer. I've set it up, run the nosel checks and head alignment, and all is working perfectly despite it sitting unused for quite some time. It's atribute to technology, really, as I had a smaller 1410 Epson sitting idle for over four years that fired right up and didn't even need a head clean.

    Anyway, I'm just interested to find out any information, tips and tricks, or pitfalls of this printer before I invest in a new set of inks. It's currently set up with Photo Black, but I'll change it to Matte Black. I have the conversion kit on hand and I've done the procedure on a 7800 before so should be straight forward. I usually print on Hahnumuhle Photorag 308gsm. Does anyone have experience with this combination?

    In addition to the above, I will use my Colormunki to profile the paper and ink just in case there are any anomalies in the heads, etc.

    Hopefully someone out there can share some basic info to save me some blood, sweat and tears troubleshooting!

    Thanks all,

    TJV

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    If the nozzle check and alignments are good, then you probably won't have any problems or difficulties---just print away! Using custom profiles will allow you to print with higher quality, and though the ColorMunki has a limited number of patches, it still generates a surprisingly good profile.

    I've heard that the 7600 is a robust machine....and a good candidate for B&W piezography....

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks for the reply,

    One thing I've been trying to research is the archival life of the Ultrachrome inks VS the K3 Ultrachrome. From what I understand reading the WIR site, it seems they are pretty much on par in this respect? Is this correct?

    As far as color gamut and d-max goes, I've understand the K3 inks are marginally better, too, owing much to the LLB ink. After profiling the 7600, I'm getting great results, certainly rivaling the 7800 I use at work (unless you look at the print with a loupe.

    Is there any reason I should be hesitant about using this printer to make fine exhibition prints for sale? I.e. are there any long life issues I'm yet to read about with the inks that might turn collectors and museums off?

    Thanks,

    TJV

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    I would make sure to spray something like Premier Art shield on photographic and fine art prints and definitely coat canvas with something like Glamour II. When an artist/client and I compared prints off a 9600 against my then 9800 printer, the 9800 canvas prints were much more resilient to rubbing/scuffing---and that was on the same Breathing Color Chromata White Canvas. I took a moist thumb to rub (yeah, a bit more than any print would endure) and the 9600 didn't fare too well. The only real difference we could find pointed to the different inksets. Coating well with Glamour II (should be done regardless of printer) for canvas should protect the canvas fine.

    Not sure of archival concerns, but you might want to refer to Wilhem research and the Aardenburgh website and match up media with your printer. And then if you're not happy, buy that 9900 you always wanted and convert the 7600 to piezography; the carbon inksets are about as archival as it gets!



    ken

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    I would make sure to spray something like Premier Art shield on photographic and fine art prints and definitely coat canvas with something like Glamour II. When an artist/client and I compared prints off a 9600 against my then 9800 printer, the 9800 canvas prints were much more resilient to rubbing/scuffing---and that was on the same Breathing Color Chromata White Canvas. I took a moist thumb to rub (yeah, a bit more than any print would endure) and the 9600 didn't fare too well. No problem with the 9800 prints and thumb rub. The only real difference we could find pointed to the different inksets. Coating well with Glamour II (should be done regardless of printer) for canvas should protect the canvas fine.

    Not sure of archival concerns, but you might want to refer to Wilhem research and the Aardenburgh website and match up media with your printer. And then if you're not happy, buy that 9900 you always wanted and convert the 7600 to piezography; the carbon inksets are about as archival as it gets!



    ken

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks again!

    I did a large test print today of a problematic image – one with vast, deep blue skies – scanned from a 4x5" negative. There were quite noticeable vertical bands in the blues / cyans. I did a head alignment, on all three uni / bi directional procedures, and it didn't fix the problem. I then switched from 2880dpi to 1440dpi and the bands disappeared. I was using bog standard Epson Photo Semigloss paper, which I've never used before, and a custom profile made with my Colormunki, so I'm not sure if this is an issue with overloading the paper or a persistant head misalignment.

    With regard to the head alignment procedure, how critical is it? I know it's important to be accurate for obvious reasons, but even with an 8x loupe it's often hard to see a difference between two patches, say 5 and 6. And on some patches during the all inks bi-directional procedure, some ink patches all have visible lines, with one or two just being less pronounced. Does this suggest something is amis beyond what a simple head alignment can fix? I'm used to the 7800 which does this all automatically so any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    TJV

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Hi TJV,

    Congradulations on obtaining a very fine and capable printer! I used the 7600 for years prior to upgrading. Have time here at the moment for a few suggestions. To switch from Photo black to Matt black ink and/or back again, instead of using the expensive method Epson suggests with the 7600 and 7800...with the 7600, someone devised a simple method called "the South African method" of switching black inks. Do a web seach for this and you'll be instructed how to swicth the black inks in a 7600 and 9600 and only using a fraction of inks accomplishing this as opposed to close to $100.00 worth with Epson's method. When Epson got word of this, they made sure to put a stop to it in their 7800 series of printers by changing the firmware as so to not recognize some of the needed steps.

    As far as banding goes, it might or might not be head alignment. Sometimes for no apparent reason one or more of the 7600 nozzles clog while printing and cause the banding....even if you just got finished printing a few perfect prints. Sometimes doing a nozzle check will show which nozzels may be clogged. Have fun!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks Dave.

    I've read of this method so will try it when I can afford to switch the inks over.

    Today I also rang the local service people to see if it is necessary to change the long expired inks that came installed in the printer. They all expired in 2007 but seem to print okay. The only thing that has been worrying me is that after I run a head clean, all the nozzles fire properly (sometimes it takes two or three cleaning cycles to clear them, but they do all clear,) but if I leave the printer idle overnight the next day some nozzles are clogged again – not always the same ones. I thought it might have something to do with the old inks, which is why I called the service people. The service people said that should be the problem but that I should replace the capping station and the wipers, which on further reading sounds plausible. Do you guys think this is a wise investment? It doesn't sound cheap and the guy said the medium term parts availability may not be so good for such an old printer - since when is 10 years old, anyway?

    Thanks again
    TJV

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Pigments settle in the cartridge after a period of time, so that *may* be an issue here with your old cartridges and clogging overnight. It's recommended to gently agitate ink cartridges every few weeks, especially if not printing regularly. I'd start with with new ink cartridges. Welcome to tastarsupply - for Apple, ColorBurst, EFI, Epson, HP, Wasatch and more! is the only place I know that has a good recycling program for your old cartridges and gives you credit towards new purchases.

    Cleaning the wiper and capping station (gently) may also help especially if there is gunk on the wiper or around the capping station---you might not need to replace it. If looking at doing your own maintenance/repair, you might find this helpful: How to repair the 7600 and 9600

    ken

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks Ken! As I thought. Will keep you posted.

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    I've just ordered a replacent capping station, wiper, set of dampers and some cleaning fluid (to apply to capping station) from American Inkjet Systems. I must say that Linda, the person I communicated with, was extremely helpful and a pleasure to deal with. I haven't received the products yet but so far I'd rate them very highly for anyone needing information and parts for Epson printers – especially for people who live in places like I do where Epson charge like a wounded bull and the service agents don't get out of bed for less that what seems like a trillion dollars an hour.

    As an aside, apart from graded black ink sets, has anyone out there dabbled in aftermarket pigment inks as advertised by American Inkjet Systems? Some places place high claims on their products producing better gamut and archival properties than OEM inks.

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    TJV

    I know this is not a new threadm but I use one 7600 for quite a while. I did permanently switch itall to matte K7 printing. It is still a great printer, being the last Epson made all in Jappan and now totally discontinued. Parts where still available at the Inkjet Mall.

    There are inherent problems in bertical microbanding, impossible to get rid off. I just make sure I don't have big expanses on some continuous zones as backgrounds where its likely going ro band. Still in K7 a bit problematic, but very soon get used to the images you want to use it for.

    As of having only 2 blacks, I used it with QTR more than the driver and got better results, after lineralizing and setting ink limits. As a dedicated K7, it is brilliant. Not as many nozzles as new models, but after getting ready a file set to its maximun capabilities, I don't see much difference than with my 9800, this is strictly in matte.

    Only had a problem with dampers, easily changed, Flushed the head manually once, because I had not used it for a while,

    I have used American Inkjet Systems but on a 12 channel Roland printer. Very different from the OEM color space people are used to as off out of the box solutions with Ultrachrome. The printer I used, with their Symphony RIP and Max inkset is awesome. Send then a file and have then make a print for you. Also very useful if printing in canvas and textiles with textile pigment inks, use only solid colors and then set them in heat at 102 degrees so they bind permanently with the material, not like glued on canvas, which is a very common expression used by textile printers in comparison to regular Epson printing. A whole range of materials, awesome Belgian Linens, Crepe de Chine to wrap around a canvas and produce some outstanding prints. Materuals and inks available from Jacquard, all coated for inkjet and with a paper backing so no warps occur in printing.

    Congratulations, that is one good printer, adaptable to very good uses.

    Takomaru

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks Takomaru!
    Very good information. When you talk about there being inherent problems with vertical microbanding, would you be so kind as to elaborate a little bit? I'd never seen vertical banding before now and it seems to only be visible on an image I've printed with a large expanse of deep blue sky. The problem disappeared when I switched down to 1440dpi from 2880dpi, which made me think it was a media rather than printing issue – it was after all just standard Epson Semigloss paper, which isn't great to begin with. What do you think?
    I haven't gotten around to replacing my dampers and capping station yet as the cleaning fluid I bought from American Inkjet Systems cured any head clogging issues I was having. I left the printer off for a week and all the nossels came out clean and clear right on first start up without the need for a clean.
    Thanks again for your help,
    TJV

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    TJV:

    Everything from them seems to work very well, so do their inksets and their color space with the Symphony RIP, it also handles B&W pretty well.

    The vertical microbanding is not a constant issue, but closely inspect any expanse backgrounds on an even zones, like the sky you mentioned. I use it for matte, so it is stronger. Solid backgrounds in middle greys, have heavy banding, and always print with the micro weave on and unidirectional. I did not have these problems while working with the OEM, but mostly everybody gets them from time to time. They seem to be inherent to the printer. When printing digital negatives, some could not print at all.

    I think you should just use it and get used to it. It is a workhorse. Have you any ideas on using the American Inkjet Systems inksets, instead of the OEM? They have some nice color choices.

    Best luck. I'll check on this thread if you have any problems will try to help.

    Takomaru

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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    As an aside, apart from graded black ink sets, has anyone out there dabbled in aftermarket pigment inks as advertised by American Inkjet Systems? Some places place high claims on their products producing better gamut and archival properties than OEM inks.
    please do yourself a favor and don't use second-party inks; while I don't have hard evidence from doing so myself I have hear horror stories. I've always been of the opinion that while the Epson ink isn't inexpensive it beats the alternative of having to completely flush the printer and wind up printing all over again.

    Just my 2 worth.

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Been gifted an Epson 7600! Advise please!

    Thanks again, all.
    I will stick to Epson inks for this setup as it's easier to source them locally and I don't want to introduce too many variables into the maintenance routine, etc.
    I'm really happy with the output of the unit so far. I haven't done direct comparisons but it seems just about neck and neck colour wise (I don't print greyscale) to the 7800 I use at work. A big thumbs up!

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