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Epson Stylus Pro 4900 - part 3 of 1 2 3

by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2011

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Colour Audit

Out of the box, the 4900 produced prints that were slightly dark and we will probably tune the linearistion to reduce this as we get more experience with the machine. Profiles made with Monaco Profiler Pro are routinely about 5% too dark and this was also repeated. However, with a single profile edit we obtained excellent results with Standard Proofing Paper. The data are tabled opposite. As might be expected with an ink set capable of delivering higher final density the Earth Tone values are excellent.

Printing Black and White We used the Advanced Black and White driver (ABW). In the absence of a 'No Color Management' option in Photoshop CS5 we used 'Printer Manages Colors'. Normally we make a series of test prints onto the same A2 sheet using full colour printing and the five tone settings of ABW (Light, Normal, Dark, etc). This proved to be impossible - as far as we could tell the paper feed mechanism was detecting the initial printing and failing to initiate printing of subsequent runs. We changed over to a third-party gloss paper and made individual prints. The relevant data were as follows:

Initially we thought that the darkness of the Traditional Photo Paper might be due to the choice of media setting. However, the test data indicates that this was not so, the differences between media settings are smaller as shown below for nominal 50% density patches: PLPP260 PGPP250 PSGPP250 PSmPP260 PGPP


Density and Metamerism

The density (Dmax) on the colour test prints was measured at 2.33 on Premium Luster and 2.43 on Standard Proofing Paper. Both values are very high, the 2.43 is the highest we have measured on a full-colour print. Although we do not get too excited by high Dmaxes, the values do show the capability of the ink set and the monochrome enthusiasts will be licking their lips! As shown in the table above the densities using ABW onto a gloss media reached 2.60, again probably the highest ever recorded.

Metamerism was measured at 1.78 on Standard Proofing Paper and 1.96 on Premium Luster. This is the Colour Inconstancy Index (CII) measured between D65 and Tungsten A on a 50% grey tone. These are slightly higher values than the norm in our database but more testing will be needed to check if the additional colours are slightly increasing metamerism. Either way, the values are not a concern.

SUMMARY

We are some way from completing our deliberations on the 4900 but all the signs are looking good. We have developed and started testing a new, more stringent, auditing routine to explore the outer margins of gamut reproduction and will report on both that and our testing using fine art papers in the next issue of Professional Imagemaker.


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1st Published 01/02/2011
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