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Thread: Epson 7900 experience

  1. #1
    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Epson 7900 experience

    After years of being a photo (read dye-sub) bigot, I was impressed by MR's review of this printer.
    and I have not been disappointed.
    The printer is BIG and I had to take advantage of B&H 'white glove' delivery. This was offset by an additional $300 discount and of course the $500 rebate (which came thru fine, in spite of the fact that they 'required' the barcode from the external box; with 'white glove' they take that away! So I copied every barcode in sight-I guess they were convinced since the ck came thru fine

    Now, with 5 min to set up the stand, and with 3 flights to go up, the printer was in place, withyout and damage to my spine, in 15 minutes.
    It took another hour to assemble the print catcher (is there a word for it?) and yet another 1/2 hour to shake and injstall the inks...
    ...then you wait.
    I first tried the free matte they sent (double weight) and it took a few readings to understand; however, the system is really simple and each part, from the roller caps to the indexing worked fine-a really professional design and seems robust.
    The paper load is automatic and with a bit of wait (5 min?) it just gets everything register correctly.
    SO, the one major past complaint, inks and paper load, is simple and automatic.

    The software also takes a bit of reading; epson recommends usung USB to forstall issues with firmware (if network hiccups) I loaded on a local machine and it just did all again automatically, including updating firmware and drivers.

    I made the first print matte, from PS. This was a mistake. Setting the paper size was the first problem; I just couldnt get it to give up the 8.5x11 for the 24" roll. Also the length you must specify (at least from PS-see below)
    So, finally I made a print.
    It did work, but was a bit bland as I used a mountain and forest scene, but the tonal balance was quite impressive, even here-and detail seemed fine.

    But it was not what I would have written home about

    I next took on network printing. After a few false starts, it is necessary to set up the printer port (as this was NOT on a print server, MS demands one use the "attached to local computer" button, even for network. I am sure you all here know that but my prior experience with network printers was that the setup is automated (e.g. Ricoh laser and my older Kodak 8660)

    However, once you have your printer port as the TCP/IP it should be, the CD just found it and installed the Epson drivers on a further two computers.

    Then I loaded Qimage. It found the printer, and I set up to do some printing with a middle line (but I understand from some pros) is a fine Glossy the Epson Luster 260.

    Loading the paper, and setting up the length warning was again exactly as advertised. The paper load went smoothly (no pun intended) and I was ready for my first "test of inkjet as possible photo printer"

    I took a rather large panorama from the latest Mont Blanc trek. It was large and wound up 24"x53"

    I selected it, with 'fit image' in Qimage, hit the print button and crossed my fingers. The Qimage processed, and lo, the Epson screen came up to show me the inks and paper staus, while assuring me that , yes, it was going to print my image. I did of course set the highest qua.lity, and there was no difficulty in setting the paper component. I just stuck with sRGB and told the 7900 "use the ICC embedded"

    It took a few minuites-paper adjusting, heads alighning, then....
    whish, whish...back and forth
    and very believable image started to emerge

    about 8-9 minutes later, there was the 'swish' of the paper cut, and I was faced with handling a 24x53 glossy print.. bright, quite photo like and for a fussy 66 YO, more than acceptable.

    Learings:

    Inkjets ARE more work than 8x12 dyesub Kodak, but not at all like the painful setup and frustrations of the Canon, epson and HP I have read here for years

    You are better off printing from Qimage than from PS (but you knew that !

    Image quality is really impressive; the ability to fill 10 sq feet of paper with near chemical quality (and more detail, much more detial).

    There may be tweeking for skin tone and such but 'out of the box' I just don't see the need for RIPs and spectrophotometers (you can home in with a few test images.

    The attached image is the result. (Taken with my wifes old Leica Digi, panasonic ripoff )
    Yes I know this is no way to test, but with all the chances to mess up, I have give a close up that shows some of thye detail, contrast and color that can be produced. trust me; the clothes colors are spot on!

    So, expensive? yes at 3100, but with thye size and quality of images, I hope to get years from this device. And for a pano fan the roll potential is impportant.

    I hope this is not read as a plug for eposn; it is just what I bought. ythere are HP 3200 fans and the new Canon I am sure is similar. But as MR of LL says, this is an excellent (if not best) printer at this time. If it can satisfy an old lab bigot, it must be a new plateau, and a good one.

    I also hope this helps those looking at upping to a larger printer (24 or 44)

    I am happy to share my experiences as time goes by, but so far, so good.

    regards
    Victor

    PS The glare is just ambient room lights. The image is very professional looking (quality of print, not the photograher LOL)
    Last edited by gogopix; 25th January 2015 at 17:23.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    Victor, by and large I concur with this. However I don't agree AFA the need for the spectrophotometer is concerned. At least if you don't print exclusively on Epson paper. The profile I downloaded from Harman for their Glossy FB AI paper for example (my preferred for the time beeing) is utterly useless. I've hardly ever seen such desaturated colours (particulaly reds) from any printer. The canned Epson profiles seem excellent though, and the output on Epson papers in terms of precise colours, sharpness and sheer "naturalness" is beyond anything I've seen so far from any ink jet printer.
    The biggest surprise however came when I printed B&W. The tonality, richness of the midrange, and above all the differentiation of tones in the highlights can only be compared to traditional wet-chemistry darkroom prints. This is high praise indeed from someone who has spent some 15 years printing 4x5 to 8x10 negatives in the darkroom. I thought my Epson 4800 was pretty good for B&W, but this printer is on a different level.
    I should perhaps add that the B&W prints I've made so far have mainly been taken with the 5D2 whose rather steep midrange curve lends itself unusually well to B&W conversion.
    To be continued...

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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    Guys let us know if you have the ink draining problems. We have heard about the best image quality is of coarse of intrest to all of us, not being sarcastic I have a ton of respect for MR. David

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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    Yes, I agree. Please let us know how you are doing with it. I just ordered a 9900 for a printing service I am starting up here. I am curious to hear all the experiences. Arne -- I am especially curious about your experience with the Harman paper. That is my favorite paper, so I am a bit saddened to hear that the stock profiles are poor. Do you think you will get custom profiles made?

    Also, for black and white have you been using ICC profiles, or the Advanced B&W mode?
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    Stuart, I've only installed the SpectroProofer today, so it may be a little while before I can comment on the results. For my previous printer (the 4800) I also made custom profiles for most papers, including the Harman FB. Hopefully the process will be less time-consuming with the built-in (or rather clamped-on) spectrophotometer.
    The supplied profiles for Premium Glossy and Premium Semi Gloss give better results than I could get from the 4800.

    I've found that the Advanced B&W setting introduces unexpected changes to the image (it seems to have a mind of its own..) so I try to avoid it. At least that was my experience with the 4800, so I have just carried on the same way on my 7900. Basically I use the convert to B&W function in CS4, process until I like the result, and print via Q-image without changing anything from my normal colour printing settings. Results are very close to what I see on the screen and no colourcasts.

  6. #6
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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    i am zeroing in my 9900 with ilford galerie gold fiber silk, using the ilford website supplied profiles and paper set to premium luster on the printer. been comparing it to epson exhibition fiber with the epson profile (premium luster) both seem excellent and very close (color work only so far). just ordered a 50" roll of the ilford and will be cutting it into a 34 and a 16, mainly plan on 34 sq as my standard slze. was printing images from the rollei and P20. can't wait for the CFV39!

    Stuart: I went to Duggal, now a huge presence in the Navy Yard location, about cutting the roll. they use a table saw, if you can believe that, do it all the time.

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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    That's hilarious John...what kind of blade do they use? I have a hard time believing it cuts cleanly, but I guess they wouldn't do it if it didn't. What is Duggal doing there? Is it just the production and processing side, or do they have a retail front there too?
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    a sharp fine woodworking blade.

    Duggal has been expanding like mad over here; they have three of four bldgs and are going to be taking over the entire ground floor of my building about 50,000 sq ft with 45' ceilings, building mezzanines, etc, then giving up their other buildings. as far as i can tell, all production.

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 7900 experience

    In view of imminent massive Epson price increases due on 01 October, I have just upgraded from my trusty 7600 to a new Epson 7900.

    Everything works a treat on my Vista x64 bit system, except that Qimage does funny things to the print driver - like loosing any saved settings - so until I can work out why, I'll print from Photoshop CS4 or lightroom.

    Glad to say the canned profiles are excellent. I wasted far too much time profiling the 7600. Hopefully I can concentrate on the enjoyable part of the exercise, just printing...

    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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