EPSON Stylus Photo R2880
by Thomas Berg
Nikonian in Germany
Tell a friend about this Epson R2880
3.1. Printer driver
The default settings of the printer driver are, in my humble
opinion, slightly off the scope of use for such a device: I would
prefer to see “Quality” as default for the print
processing rather than “Speed” and I think that
AdobeRGB makes more sense for the default colour space setting than
sRGB. Again, this is just my opinion. If I was to procure such a
printer it would be because of its promised print quality and
colour gamut advantages. So, why not start with quality-oriented
driver settings right from scratch?
Admittedly, this is a minor issue. It just makes me wonder what
EPSON considers the target audience for this product. The driver
gives enough options to modify the settings according to personal
preference and save different settings with labels of your
The options for individual adjustments are plenty, albeit not
confusing. EPSON does not provide consumer-oriented features like
automatic image enhancements, saturation boosting and similar.
Obviously, EPSON expects the customers of such printers to be
skilled enough to process their photographs to a level where the
driver should not apply any kind of automatic
With the exception of the mentioned settings for print quality and
colour space, I found all driver defaults very reasonable, allowing
me to perform straight printouts right out of the box and a bare
minimum of nasty surprises. There is no need to walk through a
jungle of driver features, however this is always a wise way to get
acquainted with something new.
For my assessments, I utilized the Adobe CMM in conjunction with
Photoshop CS4 and Elements 6 and stayed with the driver default CMM
settings for Nikon and Fujifilm software.
Important remark for users of Windows XP:
Whenever you invoke a print from your picture editor
(normally “File” -> “Print” or Ctrl-P
shortcut), make sure the printer driver settings match the pending
job, which needs to be done through the page layout (Ctrl-Shift-P
shortcut) and subsequently manoeuvre right down to
“Printer” –> “Printer settings”.
This opens the printer driver window. Check the settings each time
before you print! It is of no help accessing the printer driver
from the Windows level; you must access the driver through the
application and set the paper characteristics correctly using the
The a.m. technique works with Photoshop, PS Elements, ViewNX,
Capture NX2 and probably other software which utilizes the page
layout functionality of Windows XP.
Users of Windows Vista and Win7 may relax. This trap does not exist
Plug-In accessory software
The installation process under WinXP is straightforward and bears
no surprises. After invoking setup, a read-me text window opens,
which basically informs about version incompatibilities.
The installation process under Vista behaves slightly different by
giving the option to specify the installation folder for the main
part of the application. However, the Plug-In part of the software
is installed in the standard plug-in folder of Photoshop.
To my surprise, the installation under Windows7 (Build 7100)
behaves exactly as with WinXP; no puzzling pop-up window concerning
target installation directory.
It is no problem to install the Print Plug-In for several versions
of Photoshop, in my case CS4 and Elements 6, just invoke the setup
routine once again and select for which version the installation
shall take place. Unfortunately, under Windows7 the plug-in does
not appear in the “Automation” menu of Elements 6
despite it installs seemingly correct. There is no such issue with
To eliminate any confusion: everything worked properly under
Windows versions XP and VISTA. Windows7 RC Build 7100 is a
pre-release version under evaluation and the observed malfunctions
just prove that yet not everything works flawless. The exception to
the rule is commented here.
I do not intend to blow this review up with an in-depth
presentation of the Print Plug-In for Photoshop. EPSON provides an
excellent introduction to this truly helpful tool in their
I just want to show you how easy it is to create personal layouts,
save them and utilize them just like the layouts predefined by
An easy way to create a user-defined print template is to select
one image with the intended aspect ratio and invoke the Print
|Epson Stylus R2880 - create your personla
1) Now we have this image present in the browser.
In the Layout, select the Free-form tab and tick the “by File
Information” button. Drag the sample image onto the template
and rotate it if necessary. Eventually, it should look like what
you see on the screen capture. Note that the generation of my
layout template is subject to the overall page size selection,
which is here set to DIN A4 size. Also note that the sample image
has been aligned to centered by activating the “Center”
button in the “position” row!
2) Now that the sample
is centered and correctly oriented, its size shall be adjusted.
Deactivate the “by File Information” button in favour
of “by Size”, select “User defined” and -
important - activate the aspect ratio lock button. Next, enter the
desired true print size for either Height or Width in the
appropriate input field. This results in the scaled preview of the
|Epson Stylus R2880 - create your personal
Epson Stylus R2880 - create your personal
3) Next, de select the “Center” button and modify the
X- or Y-Shift as desired. In the example, I shifted the left edge
of the portrait format print by 22mm, counting from the left edge
of the A4 sheet to the edge of the actual picture. The aim was to
mimic a layout that my Canon printer driver holds available and
which I use quite often in order to create albums. Admittedly, this
EPSON tool enables you to create much more sophisticated layouts;
however I had to start with something and even without consulting
the help function it worked out quite intuitively.
|Epson Stylus R2880 -
create your personal layout
4) When you are happy with the creation of your self-made layout,
it is time to save the work before the computer crashes ... or
whatever. Just click on Layout -> Save in order to open the
dialogue box where you can specify the filename (which follows the
vintage 8+3 convention of the DOS era) and supply both a
descriptive name and a short layout description.
5) In this screenshot, we see the real magic of well-thought
|Epson Stylus R2880 - create your personal
the next invocation of the Print Plug-In, the self-made layout
template appears amongst the pre-defined layouts under the Template
tab as if it had always been there - how cute is that?
No tricky search for my lovely self-made layouts, which I will most
likely use most often (why the heck would I create them at all, if
not for frequent use?).
3.3. Other EPSON
Well, EPSON provides image processing software for
download like competitive printer manufacturers do. I have neither
downloaded nor tested their offerings of that kind.
More of interest for quality-oriented users is probably the EPSON
ColorBase software, which is designed to enable printer profiling
with a spectrophotometer (e.g. X-RITE i1iO). Since I don't own a
calibration device suited for printers, I cannot comment
A definite plus for the owners of EPSON printers is the update
policy on ICC profiles. It is no problem to keep up-to-date with
the developments and improvements concerning print media.