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09-10-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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Epson Printer Artisan 710 Quality

Hi friends,
It's been a while since I posted here, but I'm very interested in your experience in printing photos. I have an Epson Artisan 710 and I generally like it very much. However, I've had a color/brightness printing consistency problem and I'm not sure why. I have hundreds of photos from African photo safaris and I have a "store" on Zazzle including them, so I'm often involved in photoshopping the size, pixel number, etc. I also have prints hanging all over my house and every time I look at one of a rhino with white egrets on his back it looks too "muddy". So today I decided to lighten it up a little. Well the first try ended up too light and it lost definition. So I thought "why not just print the original and see what happens?" Re-printing the original, with no changes in either computer settings or printer settings made the color "pop" and took out the dark muddiness. Hurray! But I trimmed the photo too much when framing it and re-printed again - within a few minutes of the former printing - and the color and definition between the re-print and the second re-print were noticeably different.

Does anyone know what's up with that? If it were a difference of days rather than minutes I could easily attribute it to the amount of ink used of the various colors, but MINUTES??? I don't understand and would like to know that I can get prints of consistent quality from my printer. Do I need a better printer?

Thanks for any input from your experience. I value your comments.

Mary Lippold
Los Angeles

09-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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For consistent professional quality results, you absolutely need a WAY better printer -- a professional class model with archival inks or dyes (and on high-quality paper, preferably without "brighteners" because those will fade in a few months). And you need to learn about color profiles, etc etc etc. Your printer is fine for personal use, but that's it.

This is going to sound harsh, but if I bought a print from someone and they sent me something from an Epson Artisan 710, I'd be pissed if I paid more than a couple of dollars or it was advertised as a professional or quality print. Not up to snuff. And selling such prints also drives the "inkjet is bad/cheap" reputation for prints, which is totally undeserved for those that do it right. Because the pro-model inkjet printers can make gorgeous prints that will last 100 years. (That's why the word "giclee" was invented, which is just a made-up term that is supposed to sound artsy but really just means "high-quality inkjet print".) From the Epson line, the least expensive model I would consider using for prints I was selling is the R2000, which is quite capable, but can be a little fiddly to get things right.

You can also just use one of several labs, prices are quite reasonable, although for print sizes small enough to do at home, the inkjet prints on good paper actually are nicer than what you get from the lab...
09-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
dms
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Emphatically disagree about the cheaper epson printer w/ clara inks

VonBaloney--obviously you have not used the Epson clara inks all in one printers. I do the photo's for my college theatre department, and have another college print shop w/ high end large epson printers make 2ft by 3ft prints--and except for size the clara inks rival the pigments used on high end epson--anyway for my matte prints they do.

I print from photoshop and don't know what the OP problems are but the cheap printer is not the issue--assuming it works properly. I have printed 100's (1000's?) of photo's for both my colleges and have shown/am currently setting up a show of my work--and the prints are uniformely praised by everyone--and NYC Cooper Union art students/faculty are not to be sneezed at.
09-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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It is not just the ink itself, but the consistency of color-matching, etc. I do find it hard to believe you're getting it all for a sub-$200 printer. But I'm sure things are getting better and better as time goes on.

09-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
dms
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As I said I just got back 2x3 ft prints from high end epson that match my RX595 prints--in fact I first have test prints of a small segment (2"x24") to check the color and they are essentially identical. Meaning if I don't put them next to each other, but look from one to the other, I would say they are the same. My printer was 2009 vintage, and I print on epson heavyweight (premium presentation) matte--not the best but matches epson fine art paper visually and light fast for the 5 years I have had some on display.

For the OP try following settings when printing from photoshop (you use the term photoshop so hopefully you have it .
open file in photoshop and choose <Print w/ preview>
then in the print screen:
document--pick your color space (I use prophoto RGB)--it should match what you used for the photo
color handling--let photoshop determine colors
printer profile--your printer or if not same as RX610 (and proper type--matte, etc)
rendering--relative colorimetric
then pick print--and on next screen
media type--similar to above (epson ... matte, or whatever)
color--advanced
print quality RPN
09-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
VonBaloney--obviously you have not used the Epson clara inks all in one printers. I do the photo's for my college theatre department, and have another college print shop w/ high end large epson printers make 2ft by 3ft prints--and except for size the clara inks rival the pigments used on high end epson--anyway for my matte prints they do.

I print from photoshop and don't know what the OP problems are but the cheap printer is not the issue--assuming it works properly. I have printed 100's (1000's?) of photo's for both my colleges and have shown/am currently setting up a show of my work--and the prints are uniformely praised by everyone--and NYC Cooper Union art students/faculty are not to be sneezed at.
Your comment makes sense. I do a lot of printing on an Epson Artisan 50- nothing wrong with the results. The small printer is handy for making greeting cards and other minor projects.

Mary- I think you may be having problems with colour management. There are a number of things you have to get right in order to achieve consistently high quality results. Your monitor needs to be calibrated. You should make sure you use appropriate printer settings for the materials you are printing on. You need to use image editing software with adequate colour management capabilities, and you need to understand how to use your software to control your printer's colour behaviour. (I use Photoshop, but LIghtroom seems OK for printing purposes.) I'm sure there are various books and tutorials that will guide you. Your printer and software manuals might even do the job. I can't recommend anything specific in terms of beginner learning aids because I've been doing digital printing for about 20 years.

(Other possible causes for your problems include clogged heads or non-OEM inks.)
09-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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To the OP (presumably you know but anyway) make sure the settings are the same each time you print--I find my printer has a mind of it's own about setting/remembering paper size--and you may find other settings are changed back to some (undesired) default. Once you have it set up it must look the same each time--if not a setting is being changed, so look at all the options and what you choose each time--and of course the same paper.
09-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
It is not just the ink itself, but the consistency of color-matching, etc. I do find it hard to believe you're getting it all for a sub-$200 printer. But I'm sure things are getting better and better as time goes on.
I have an Epson Artisan 50, which cost under $100 You can set it up to print from Photoshop using profiles just as you can larger printers. The results are just fine. I use it for small, non-archival projects and for proofing colour for my usual 2x3 foot prints. Quality is excellent, and ink longevity is supposed to be quite good.

I've also had very nice results with a couple of cheap Canon printers.

I think the inexpensive printers from Epson and Canon offer an excellent option for those who want to try doing their own printing without breaking the bank. Just use OEM inks and, to start, OEM papers- and learn to set up colour management properly.

09-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Wow! Thanks everyone for the great amount of info. Yes, I do have Photoshop (Photoshop Elements - not the pro version). In this particular case I was not printing from Photoshop, which I obviously should have been doing. Now that I remember that, it may explain some of the issue. I was simply printing through the Windows Photo Viewer (which was probably stupid). So, firstly, that will change in future. I do use genuine Epson ink as well as Epson photo paper. I have a couple of "how to" Photoshop books which I've studied but need to study in more depth.

So, was it my mistake of using the stupid Windows program for printing, and perhaps not the printer at all? I wouldn't be surprised. If I consistently print through Photoshop and make it the program to decide the color management (disabling the printer from making those choices), is that the best place to start? I am obviously still learning all this stuff. That's why I appreciate so much hearing from those of you who have had so much more experience than I.

Luckily for my Zazzle store, I don't have to do the printing at all. I only upload my images, create product for them, or set them up as photo prints, wrapped canvas, etc. and Zazzle does the printing work. So my use of my Epson printer doesn't have to be professional, but only for home use and the occasional print for a friend.

I will dive into my Photoshop books and continue to learn.

For home use, I've been happy with Photoshop Elements. I'm wondering, however, if I should get a better Photoshop version. I would also actually like something that does basic editing of videos. Not pro quality, but mostly brightening up video taken in low light. I've been in Africa several times and have a few videos of local people singing/dancing around a bonfire that I would like to be able to enhance to see the people's faces more clearly if possible. So that's the only kind of video editing I'm interested in at present. Very basic. Any ideas?

Thanks again for all the input. I appreciate it very much.

Mary
09-10-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mary Lippold Quote

So, was it my mistake of using the stupid Windows program for printing, and perhaps not the printer at all? I wouldn't be surprised. If I consistently print through Photoshop and make it the program to decide the color management (disabling the printer from making those choices), is that the best place to start?
You're on the right track.
09-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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Mary, I would add that printing yourself you can try different settings for the image--e.g., more/less contrast, and print on different papers (e.g., matte, gloss,etc.) at relatively low cost. And no matter what the monitor shows the print is seen by reflected light and thus often can be significantly more of what you want to say after some trials. I would be surprised if after some trials/experience you don't find your prints to be more to your liking than the commercial prints.

One more thing with commericial printing (I believe) you generally must go with their paper sizes). The nice thing about using your epson is you can take 13"x19" paper (for example) and cut it to any length and width (subject to a maximum of 8.5" wide) and print the picture as it wants to be--not to some arbitrary size. BTW I suggest you NOT use borderless printing--as you will not get precisely the crop you want.
09-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mary Lippold Quote
Wow! Thanks everyone for the great amount of info. Yes, I do have Photoshop (Photoshop Elements - not the pro version). In this particular case I was not printing from Photoshop, which I obviously should have been doing. Now that I remember that, it may explain some of the issue. I was simply printing through the Windows Photo Viewer (which was probably stupid).
Hi Mary. If you used the same app for both prints then I am not sure this is your problem. I was wondering if it may have been the state of your paper-- maybe the first print was the sheet at the top of the heap and it may have been at a different temp/humidity than the next one. My printing room is the spare bedroom for Antartica and in winter I often preheat the individual sheets on a heater for a superior outcome.
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