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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 - Epilogue

Several weeks ago, I wrote a series of posts (starting here) about my new Epson 7900.....my review was not particularly glowing because of a number of difficulties I was having with the machine. I suspect that I may well have left people with the opinion that I was not pleased with the printer and that I was sorry that I had purchased it. In fact, I received several e-mails from folks who were considering buying one. I thought I should write one final post to 'clear the air' about the machine and my personal experience.

It is true that I was quite dissatisfied with the printer as it originally functioned. I fully documented that in my original series. What I would like to make clear is that once I had the printhead changed (by an extremely knowledgeable and easy to deal with technician) and turned off the automatic nozzle check the machine has functioned perfectly.

Specifically:

I have always had difficulty in the warmer months with ink clogs. While I still do get them on occasion, I can say that I am getting fewer of them than I did with my 7600 and they seem to clear easily with just a single cleaning from the front panel. My problem with persistent clogs with green ink has totally resolved.

Since keeping the platen gap setting at normal, I am no longer getting the "zebra striping" that I described in my first series of posts. Why opening the platen gap wider seems to make things worse is not at all clear to me.

The output is absolutely lovely.

I really enjoy making prints on papers using the photo black ink. I also find soft proofing with these papers much easier than with matte papers.

I should mention that it does seem 'easier' to get 'mild' head strikes on the 7900 as compared to the 7600. I have to make sure that the paper is as flat as possible. With sheets I will gently bend them as needed before printing to get them to lie flat, and with rolls I will gently curl them in the opposite direction around a tube (a home made D-Roller) prior to printing. This may be because with the 7600 I kept the palten gap set to 'wide', which seems to cause problems with my 7900 and the papers I am currently using.

At this point I am very pleased with the printer and very glad to have bought it. In fact, I am thinking about selling the 7600. Do I wish that I hadn't had all my initial difficulty which necessitated two visits from a tech and replacement of the printhead? Sure. But I don't think that one can extrapolate from this single printer that there is a generalized problem. When it comes to technology I guess there will always be the occasional device that comes off the assembly line a bit out of whack.

One thing though, in several years, when the technology has jumped forward yet again, it is going to be very difficult to upgrade if Epson makes this beast any bigger or heavier!