November 29th, 2009

A good friend of mine asked if I can print some of my landscapes for her so I spent two days printing my Utah images. I almost forgot how “exciting” this process can be if you are unprepared. First, I had to update my Epson drivers to the latest version - but after all it went pretty smooth, I downloaded latest version 6.11 from Epson web site and installed it without any issue. After reboot, the printer was recognized and ready to go.

I usually print several proof images before I waste any large sheet of paper. Since I decided to print all my B&W on matte paper, I tried to use Epson UltraPremium Presentation Paper for proofs. So I loaded about 10 sheets of paper, tweaked Levels a little bit, added some unsharp mask, chose Advanced B&W in Epson dialog, added slight cold toning ¬†and pushed Print button…and the print was just horrible! No details, no contrast, nothing! Even my HP Officejet would produce better results!

Long story short, I spent about an hour trying to make a acceptable print but without any success. Then just out of desperation I decided to try one sheet of UltraSmooth Fine Art paper before I officially call it quit. I loaded it into manual rear feed of my 3800, set all default parameters, Black mode, 1440 ppi, Fine Detail, no High Speed - and…OMG, that was just perfect! Al details were there, blacks were deep and rich, whites where shiny and bright! What a great printer and paper! I printed several B&W and color prints and everything was literally “picture perfect” (I only had to increase contrast and saturation a bit for color images).