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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Taking The 7900 Leap

Over the last year or two, I have watched as various new papers have come out for black and white inkjet printing. I have really wanted to venture into black and white, but just never really liked the appearance on matte paper, though I do love the appearance of color prints on matte watercolor paper. In theory, I could change my 7600 printer over to photo black ink to use the new highly touted Baryta papers for black and white printing, but it is quite expensive as well as being a hassle to change over.

I have watched Epson printers morph from the 7600 to 7800 to 7880 and never really had a desire to upgrade, mainly because of the dual black ink issue. But now, with the advent of the new Epson 7900, changing the black inks is automatic and entails minimal wastage. Still, there is a small amount of ink thrown away when making the switch, but not very much....I believe it is 2-4 ml. One would think that since Epson totally revamped the head technology, they might have factored in separate nozzles for each of the two black inks so that no ink would be lost when switching, but then again they do sell ink...so not surprising. I understand it actually took a competitor's printer that makes such switches easily to motivate Epson to do so as well. But.....I digress.....

I decided to make the jump and ordered a 7900! I had been thinking about it for a while and, frankly, was not really ready to buy just yet. However, Epson has a $500 cash rebate on the machine if purchased before 3/31, so it didn't make sense to wait. I purchased it from Shades Of Paper, which is where I purchase all my media and ink and have been extremely impressed with their prices, superb and personal customer service, and rapid shipping. It should also be noted that the price listed on any of the printer vendor's websites (including Shades Of Paper) is not the real price. It is similar to buying a car. You have to get on the phone and talk to someone to get the real price. Sometimes you have to call more than once. Truth be told, when you include the $500 rebate, the final phone price, and the fact that the 7900 stand is included in the price of the printer I actually got the 7900 for less than I purchased my 7600 plus stand for back in 2004.

So, I am looking forward to experimenting with black and white printing as well as luster/semi-gloss color printing all with a wider color gamut, smaller droplets, improved dithering and at a faster speed. It had been my experience from back when I was printing with an Epson 870 that prints on luster papers matched the soft-proofing in Photoshop much better than matte papers did, and others have reported this as well. I am hoping that there might even be some time savings due to less required 'tweaking' of images with these papers. This is also quite important to me as I tend to be an incessant 'tweaker'.

The printer won't arrive until late next week and I plan on making some diary type posts about the machine, my impressions, and any problems that might occur. I can say right now that my first problem is going to be getting home for the delivery truck and hoping that I can get the delivery folks to take the machine through the front door of my home. My understanding is that with the packaging it weighs over 300 pounds. Then I have to try to get it up a narrow winding staircase. It can be carried up unpacked and off the stand, but it is still quite large, long, and heavy. Even in this 'naked' state I believe it weighs over 150 pounds. I managed, with some help, to get my 7600 up the staircase and this is just a bit bigger in dimension, so I am hoping it makes its way up 'with a little help from my friends' in an intact state as well.