I have had my R1800 for about seven years, and although at times it can be temperamental, I'm generally very pleased with the results.
In the last week I have been experiencing strange problems.
Using the identical TIFF file, I printed a copy on Red River Arctic Polar Gloss, using a custom profile developed for me by Cathy's Profile, which I have had for a long time. The print came out perfectly fine.
Based upon a recommendation, I recently decided to try out Moab Exhibition Luster 300 paper, using the Moab-supplied profile for that paper and my printer. With several printings, the results have been very disappointing — the skin tones and darker areas of the print are blotchy and uneven.
I thought the problem might be with the print head, so I have done multiple head cleanings over the last few days (consuming vast quantities of ink...) but the problem persists.
The strange thing is that when I do a nozzle check, the print pattern has no broken lines or spaces.
I have not yet gone back to print the same print using the Red River Arctic Polar Gloss.
I print 13" X 19" images, which consume large quantities of ink.
I am wondering if the problem is that some of the ink cartridges I have been using are over a year old (in order to get a better price, I bought a fairly large quantity). In researching this problem, I read somewhere that you should not use cartridges that are more than six months old. However, tonight when I checked the status of the ink cartridges, they seem to have more than adequate quantities, so I have no idea which cartridges to get rid of. And getting rid of all of them would set me back over $100.
I do fine art photography, and have never printed large volumes, so it is hard for me to believe that the print head has worn out.
After struggling for three days I still don't have a solution, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
#1. "RE: Epson R1800 — strange problem" | In response to Reply # 0bobjoek Charter MemberWed 29-Feb-12 07:03 AM
I do not think the problem is with your printer or ink, as you have been getting good results with the Red River paper. Your poor results with the Moab paper may be the result of double profiling, where both the printer and your printing software are attempting to manage the colors. Just make sure when using the Moab profile you have the printer managing colors turned off.
Regarding the age of ink, it does not suddenly go bad after six months. I have an Epson R1800 that is currently using ink that is well past a year old, with no ill effects. Your printer uses pigment ink which will settle over time. Just shake a cartridge before installing in your printer. Once installed, the movement of the printer head provides sufficient agitation to keep the pigment in suspension.
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#2. "RE: Epson R1800 — strange problem" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 29-Feb-12 07:59 AM | edited Wed 29-Feb-12 08:02 AM by blw
I doubt that the age of the ink is the problem. I've had cartridges well past expiration date and never had any issues other than clogging. (I'm pretty sure that my Epson 875DC had 8-year-old cartridges when I retired it in favor of a much larger Epson 9600. I didn't print seriously until I got the 9600.) Not a direct Epson source, but I had a conversation with Jon Cone about ink life and it is his belief that his inks are good for at least five years, and he thinks Epson's are of similar stability.
My guess is that if you go back to the Polar Gloss you'll get your normal results, so it's not the ink or head. You should do this part of the experiment to close the loop, though.
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#3. "RE: Epson R1800 — strange problem" | In response to Reply # 0Wed 29-Feb-12 01:41 PM
Based on my experience with the Moab provided paper profiles you can rest assured it is not your printer or your print workflow. I have tried several Moab papers in the past and every time they have been handicapped by unacceptably bad profiles. I have not personally profiled these papers using my own profiling system but I suspect that they would perform well with a good set of profiles.
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#4. "RE: Epson R1800 — strange problem" | In response to Reply # 3Brodstein Nikonian since 03rd May 2007Wed 29-Feb-12 09:06 PM
Well, what an experience!
Kudos and thanks to Bob and Brian for expressing doubt that the age of my inks was the cause of the problem. They were absolutely correct — that was not the issue.
But the Oscar goes to — drum roll — Ernesto for identifying that the problem was the Moab profile. What a genius!
Here's what I did:
1. Using the identical TIFF file, I made a print using Red River Arctic Polar Gloss paper and my custom profile for that paper from Cathy's Profiles. The print came out fine!
2. I had read that with Moab papers you can use the Epson profiles. So I printed the same image on Moab Lasal Exhibition Luster 300 paper, but this time, instead of the Moab profile, I used the Epson R1800 Premium Luster Photo RPM profile. This print was also terrific!
Now my editorial: I am shocked that Moab would release such "unacceptably bad profiles" (to use Ernesto's phrase). And I am angry that they wasted so much of my time and ink. What kind of a business approach is that? Is it likely to engender love and affection for Moab papers? (Rhetorical questions...)
This experience reinforces to me — once again — what a fantastic community this is.
Finally, my compliments and gratitude to Ernesto for nailing the problem.