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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.

Epson 7900 Experience - Printing

I suspect this will be the last of my sequential posts about the new Epson 7900, with plans for scattered additional posts about it as I become more facile with using the machine.

The 7900 is up and running and I can make some general comments to start with.

1. Printing is definitely faster than with the 7600; the printhead is much larger

2. Printing is far quieter though one could not call the overall machine startup etc quiet (not that this is a significant consideration for me).

3. I love the automatic head alignment...fast and easy.

4. I like the new automated method of loading for cut sheets very much. You simply rest the sheet in the slot, where it is supported from below, and make sure the side of the sheet is at the alignment marker on the side and press a load button. No more worrying if the sheet is going in perfectly parallel to the printer.

5. While the new 'spindle free' loading of roll paper is also nice I do worry a bit about the locking mechanism of the roll holder as it does have a feel or sound to it like it could break after a good deal of use...we shall see.

But what about printing? In short, the prints are absolutely superb. To be sure, I have never used photo black or semigloss papers before, so it is difficult for me to make a comparison in that regard to the 7600, and I have not yet changed out to matte black. Nonetheless, the prints are really gorgeous.

One thing that I have noticed is that the 'canned' 7900 profiles are quite good, as are the profiles I have downloaded from third party paper manufacturers. It seems the paper and printer companies are getting serious about these. I can also say that it seems, at least to me, that it is far easier to softproof and make a really nice print on the semigloss type papers that use photo black ink than it is on the matte fine art printers. I presume that this is because of there being less compression of the dynamic range and increased reflectance form the surface of the paper.

There are now two issues to work out and which I will report back on in the future. The first is what papers to use for printing with photo black in both color and monochrome as well as learning to use the Advanced Black and White mode driver to make black and white prints. Lots of experimentation to follow!