Difficulty getting a fine print on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk on R2400

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jimsimmons, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. I'm close, but struggling to get that last bit of perfection needed. I can make great prints on matte papers, but here's the problem(s) I'm having with the Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. First prints were looking great, but these were images with no dark areas in the image. But the first prints with large areas of rich black started to show up the tiny pizza wheel marks running the length of the black areas. I can spot the marks with a touch of Light Light Black, but believe it or not the LLK is dense enough when spotting that it leaves a mark that is darker than the ink on the paper. It does not show at a distance, but up close I can see the spotting.
    OK, some web searching led me to get some 1mm thick board and use the method of front loading for printing on thick boards. I put the Fibre paper on the board to reach the required 1.3mm thickness for front loading, and that worked pretty well except for a couple of things. First, the image is not printing in the centre of the paper, as it does when printing normally. I'm printing on 13x19 paper cut in half. I have a custom printer setting for this paper and size, and it prints properly when using the normal feed, but when using the front load approach, the image is off centre in both directions. I am definitely loading the paper according to Epson directions and definitely have the paper size selected correctly.
    The other problem is that the printing seems to be a hair off-register, leaving the slightest of horizontal lines in the image. Not vertical lines that indicate print head alignment issues. An Auto Nozzle Check shows that all nozzles are printing properly, so I'm wondering if the paper might be slipping slightly on top of the board underneath it. The seem to stay in register while printing though.
    I will contact Epson support, but I also thought I'd check with my photo.net mates too. Anybody else having these types of problems, and have you solved them?
  2. Which paper setting are you using? It may be the case that it's laying down too much ink, which you may be able to fix by either choosing a different paper setting, decreasing the print density, or increasing the drying time.
  3. I'm using the semi-gloss setting, as recommended by the woman who creates my colour profiles. I would think that too much ink might actually give the ink a chance to spread into the tiny pizza wheel holes, whereas a light ink laydown would not have a chance of doing that.
  4. Jim, I don't have any experience with the 2400 although I do have a 3800, I have printed matte and also used the GGFS with no issues. One thing that may be happening though(especially if you have printed a lot of matte) is that matte paper tends to leave fibers on your printer rollers which may be causing you paper to slip because the rollers can't grip it. Put some alcohol on a paper towel(as lint free as possible), press the feed button and as the roller spin, gently hold the paper towel on them. Do this a couple times and then try to print. Hope that helps
  5. Darrin, that sounds like excellent advice. I have indeed printed mostly matte paper prior to this portfolio. When using the pizza wheels, I don't have feed problems, so maybe this is the issue. I'll try that tonight.
  6. jtk


    Rather than paper towel/alcohol (which may fall apart in the printer), do the obvious: get an inkjet cleaning kit (eg Staples). Ignore the unnecessary bits.. you're after the sealed envelopes with damp fibreglas-like paper. Instructions say to run paper through once, but I've done twice in quick succession (while still slightly damp) with good results.
  7. I am sure the kit will work as well, although I have done this many times and never had a paper towel fall apart.
  8. Just a side note, if this does turn out to be the issue, you can avoid or at least delay the fiber build up by wiping both sides of your matte paper with a lint/acid free cloth. I do this every time I print with matte paper and it has greatly reduced how often I need to clean my rollers.
  9. This has not solved my problem. There is very little dust buildup in my machine. For one thing, it's not had that much paper put through it. For another thing, the matte paper I use is not very dusty, and finally, I brush my matte papers off anyway with a china bristle brush. So, very clean rollers.
    So I'm back to the problem of the pizza wheel marks. I've also discovered that this happens on Innova Semi-matte and on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta. Tracks of white pin pricks in the black sections of the prints. I wrote Epson tech support, and they told me that if it's not happening on Epson paper, then they can't help me. Great. So now I'll go spend serious money on Epson Exhibition Fiber paper tomorrrow (the only equivelant they make, and I'm sure it will happen with that paper also. Then I'll see what they have to say.
  10. Jim,
    I thought maybe build up on the rollers was causing your paper to slip sorry that didn't help.

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