I just recieved my Epson 2400 and I am testing paper. When I print on luster or gloss the highlights look like they have no ink on them and seem matte in that area. When I print on Enhanced Matte or 100% cotton art paper every thing looks good. This realy bothers me, especialy with a new photo printer. Does everyone just live with this on glossy/luster paper or does everyone print on matte?
esantos - Sorry about posting twice but it did not look like the first post went through. Please delete duplicate post.
Yes, I am changing black inks - PK for gloss and luster and MK for enhanced matte and cotton art paper. You only see the effect if you are holding the print in your hand and get the glare of the light right on the whitest part of the highlights. The whitest part of the highlights appear "matte" while the rest of the photo is glossy. After reading some on the web, I think what I'm seeing is called "gloss differential". I think it may be caused by the Ultra Chrome K3 inks on gloss paper. The Epson 1800 uses Ultra Chrome high gloss ink with a gloss optimizer and this eliminates the problem I think. When I was researching printers, I read that the 1800 does better on gloss and the 2400 does better on matte but I did not really understand the differences. I wanted to be able to print high quality B&W on matte(2400) but I also want to print HQ color on glossy or luster (without "gloss differential").
No problem about the double post. I locked it so that all the responses will be in one convenient place and so that all subsequent replies are in context.
You hit the nail on the head. What you are seeing is in fact gloss differential. What this is exactly is the lack of ink in areas of the printed image that represent white. The Ultrachrome K3 inkset does not have a white obviously so no ink is laid down in these areas creating a difference in surface reflectivity especially when the print is viewed at an oblique angle.
The Epson 1800 uses a gloss optimizer to address this problem. The optimizer is a coating that covers the print completely eliminating the differential phenomenon.
Frankly, I do not consider this objectionable since I frame all my prints, virtually eliminating the problem. One solution is to coat your prints with a post-print coating such as ClearJet. It works well and is easy to apply using the spray can version. I use it when I make prints on canvas.
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Thanks Ernesto. I guess I'll have to find a matte paper I like. Most of my prints are not framed and this gloss differential problem just jumps off the paper at me on luster and screams "inkjet" print. I'll check into clearjet and see if that helps.
Mr. Santos' answer is spot on. You are seeing the difference between inked and uninked sections of the print. In normal viewing, i.e., straight on, you don't see the effect so much. Of course, when we print our own work, we are often looking at it in ways (be careful with that nose grease!) that the typical viewer would never do. When you mount and frame picture, the glare of the coverglass trumps any of the inked/uninked areas. And if you use that special 'reflectionless' glass, you can't see the "imperfections" either.
Solution: Put you finished work in even a cheapo-cheepo frame, step back to normal viewing distance and look at your work straight on. The problem has probably disappeared.