Epson 3880 and Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk problems

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by kat d., Jan 11, 2013.

  1. I attempted to print on Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk with my Epson 3880 with horrid results. The colors in the print were not just slightly off, they were totally out of whack, missing most of the reds and yellows.
    I have a hardware calibrated Eizo monitor, have had photos printed at labs match what I see on my monitor, do print design work all the time -- so the problem is not on monitor end.
    The photo is in Adobe RGB (1998), 16 bit. Photoshop CS6.
    This is my first real effort to print photos on the 3880. I must be doing something wrong with the settings in Photoshop. I believe I followed the instructions in the Read Me that Ilford supplied with the ICC profile. The instructions were written for earlier version of Photoshop, so they didn't exactly match what I was seeing on screen. One thing they said to do which I didn't do was "select ICM" in the printer setup box (I didn't see anything like that).
    If anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong, I'd appreciate it. Below are the settings I used:
    In Photoshop CS6 Print Settings window —
    Print Settings in Printer Setup box:
    Color Matching: Color Sync and EPSON Color Controls are greyed out
    Printer Settings:
    -- Advanced Color Settings: “Epson Driver Color Management is Off”
    -- Basic:
    Media Type: Premium Photo Paper Semi-gloss (selected per Ilford Read Me for Galerie Gold Fibre Silk)
    Print Mode: AccuPhoto HD2
    Color Mode: Off (No Color Management)
    Output Resolution: SuperPhoto - 1440 dpi
    High Speed, Flip Horizontal, Finest Detail unchecked
    Color management box:
    Document Profile: Adobe RGB (1998)
    Printer Profile: IGGFS13_EPP3880_PSPPn
    Send 16-bit Data is checked
    Normal Printing
    Rendering Intent: Relative Colorimetric
    Black Point Compensation is checked (unchecking it didn’t help with color)
     
  2. I'm assuming that you did a print head check. I'd try doing another print using the profile for Epson's fiber paper to check if it's a profile problem. When I was printing this paper on a 3800 I used to have problems with head strikes even with the platten gap set to the widest setting
     
  3. >>> Color Matching: Color Sync and EPSON Color Controls are greyed out
    Are you saying *BOTH* are greyed out? Colorsync should have been active/selected.
     
  4. You probably want to uncheck the 'Send 16 bit data' selection.
     
  5. Thanks, Douglas and Howard, for your replies.
    Douglas: The printer cleaned the print heads when I turned it on (then I later turned printer off and on again and heads cleaned again). But I will use the utility for checking print heads. I now see in the manual that color issues can be due to expired inks. Bought this printer a few years ago, will have to check dates on ink. Will be a drag if I have to buy all new ink. But I kind of doubt if this is the problem. Platen setting: I'll adjust (was at default before).
    Howard: ColorSync was selected (not by me) but greyed out. I don't check "Send 16 bit data" even if images are 16 bit?
    After I posted here, I poked around the web and found some people unhappy with the Ilford profile for this paper and the 3800/3880. Being a novice, I just assumed the paper manufacturer's profile would be good. I will try the Epson fiber profile, as you suggested Douglas.
     
  6. Epson's own profiles generally work very well on the 3880 (I love that printer!). I generally let the printer driver mange the colors for me. Simple. Works. Great results.
     
  7. Are you saying *BOTH* are greyed out? Colorsync should have been active/selected.​
    That is exactly what you should see in a few smarter applications like Photoshop, Lightroom etc. You will not see this auto graying out in all app's however and you'd have to set them correctly as Photoshop is doing for you. Even if the Epson ran a check, you should always do a manual nozzle check (the quick one where it spits out those squiggly lines for each ink). There should be NO gaps anywhere on those lines! The 16-bit check box has no effect here (you'd be hard pressed with a good loupe to see any difference with or without the check box on). Either the profile sucks, the heads are clogged or there's another setting that isn't correct in the print driver (media setting?).
     
  8. Yet another double post from the fine forum delete.​
     
  9. I stand corrected on this. I think I was looking at printing out the Colormunki targets where they are not greyed, not from PS (which has never given me problems and I use a 3800 and same paper, well, Canson)
     
  10. ColorMunki software should look the same too but maybe they haven't updated it in awhile. The newer, higher end i1Profiler package does behave like Photoshop. The Adobe Color Print Utility used to print targets without color management also behaves this way. Any product using the private, (undocumented) Apple SPI called kPMApplicationColorMatching can produce this behavior which is correct for printing with ICC profiles or targets.
     
  11. Update:
    I checked print heads. No broken lines in printout.
    I downloaded the Epson profile for Exhibition Fiber, installed, used settings in the ReadMe for the profile, printed on the Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. Same result as before. Found a couple sheets of Exhibition Fiber in sample pack, printed on one. Basically same result as on the Ilford paper.
    Settings that I changed from what I had before (per Epson ReadMe): used Superphoto 2880 instead of 1440, checked "high speed," media type to Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster.
    I'm attaching a jpeg of my file and a scan of a print (on Epson paper; looks very similar on the Ilford paper). The colors not exactly right in the scan, but you can get the general idea. You see how the reds and yellows are lacking. I wonder if there's something wrong with those ink cartridges. When I printed the test for the nozzle check, the yellow looked very light.
    Checked expiration date on the ink: August 2012. Read a lot of posts on net where people say they have used ink up to 2 years after expiration date without problems.
    I have not used this printer in many months. Should have mentioned that earlier. I wonder if the ink has settled. Have seen mention of tilting the printer back and forth to mix the inks. Do you think I should do that? I will need to get someone to help, too heavy for me. Read that taking cartridge out and putting back in can cause air in line (?).
    Thanks everyone for your help.
    00bEGO-513453584.jpg
     
  12. And here is scan of print. (Her skin looks especially red in original file when it is next to the print which is lacking red, doesn't look so odd when standing alone. She was actually sunburnt that day.)
    00bEGb-513453784.jpg
     
  13. Use a Color Reference image to evaluate the print:
    Printer Test File
    How are the skin tones and neutrals in that?
     
  14. Hi Andrew.
    I printed your Printer Test File with same settings I had used for my image, on the Ilford paper, and it turned out great. So I printed another of my photos (jpeg version of file shown here; this is not scan of print), and it also turned out well, except for half a dozen spots of magenta ink in various parts of image.
    I wonder what could be going on with my other image? Both images in Adobe RGB (1998), both viewed on same monitor.
    Do I need to change the paper thickness setting to avoid the splashes of ink?
    Thanks so much for taking the time to help.
    00bEJD-513505684.jpg
     
  15. Kat, I've been using this printer recently, so let me throw out my problems, in hopes that they help you to fix your problems.
    For starters, make sure that the printer OR Photoshop is managing your colour. If coloursync and Epson Colour Control are both greyed out, then that means that Photoshop is currently set to handle colour management. That means that all the printer colour settings you're picking aren't being applied, and the printer is printing at its default settings. If the Ilford paper runs a little green, that would completely explain your problem.
    To check that in CS4 or newer, open up the print dialog. On the screen that shows your image/soft proof on the left, there should be a dialog box for print/Photoshop management. Either works fine, but make sure you have the right one selected, because it's an either/or thing. Personally, I've found that colour prints using non-Epson papers usually come out better if you let Photoshop do the colour management, but your mileage may vary.
    I have no idea how to check that setting in older versions of PS, so hopefully you're at least at CS4 :)

    Either way, remember to look at that box again right before you print. If you change a printer colour setting, it might snap the printer back into 'printer manages colour.'
    Here are some other ways to check: if your printer colour settings are greyed out, then Photoshop is managing colours. If you have an option to select an ICC profile, then Photoshop is managing colour. If your soft-proofing boxes are greyed out, then the printer is managing colour.
    As far as your ink sploches (as possibly even the colour itself), try cutting up a piece of paper into smaller sizes, and printing with different paper handling types selected. I like to use Canson Platine, which is a semigloss/lustre finish. However, it actually prints better if I tell the printer that it's a glossy paper. It shouldn't, because it isn't, but it does. This is because all printers are secretly operated by magical demons that want to confound and annoy their users.
    That said, it doesn't look like you have any sort of an ink blockage. Since you're missing an equal amount of magenta throughout the entire image (or roughly equal - I messed around with your scan a little), that tells me that it's probably just a print setting. If it were the heads themselves, you'd either see some sections that had better colour, or you'd see a greater difference in how much magenta was lost between your shadows and highlights.
    Good luck!
     
  16. Hi Zack. Thanks for your detailed reply! You are right, it's crucial that I specify that Photoshop manage the colors. I'm in CS6, and I believe I have chosen all the right settings in that regard.
    Glad you don't think it's an ink blockage issue.
    What is confounding me now is that one image out of three printed so far turned out perfectly fine (plus the test image from Andrew). Don't understand why some prints will match what I see on screen and others won't -- with exactly the same print settings, paper, and color space. One image I printed a little while ago turned out partially posterized.
    I think you are right that all printers are secretly operated by magical demons that want to confound and annoy us.
     
  17. "I have not used this printer in many months. Should have mentioned that earlier. I wonder if the ink has settled. Have seen mention of tilting the printer back and forth to mix the inks. Do you think I should do that?"

    No, I don't think you should be tilting the printer back and forth but from my own experience with a 3800 printer (basically the same even down to most of the ink cartridges) removing the cartridges and giving them a mild shaking does no harm. If your printer has been sitting many months as you say I would certainly give the cartridges a shake before use.
    The fact that you are now getting good and bad and partially posterized results could be an issue of poor pigment distribution in the cartridge, shaking as per recommendation before initial installation of the cartridge could help this. Just remove them one at a time, shake, replace and do the next one. Then do a nozzle check again to make sure all is well.
     
  18. On you question of thickness setting...

    GFS is 315 microns thick. Default setting on Epson's I have used are '3'. This should be changed to '4' (400 microns).

    John
     
  19. On you question of thickness setting...

    GFS is 315 microns thick. Default setting on Epson's I have used are '3'. This should be changed to '4' (400 microns).

    John
     
  20. Mac: Thanks for your advice. I think shaking the ink cartridges is the next thing to try. It doesn't seem to be a software issue at this point.
    John: Thank you for pointing out that I should refer to the paper's thickness as specified on the box when setting thickness in Photoshop print window. Should've been obvious, but it didn't occur to me!
     
  21. Also, you could try using the Canson Baryta Photographique profile from the Canson website. These papers are very similar. The Canson profile works very nice on my 3880.

    Have you softproofed the problem photo in PS? What does the softproof look like?
     
  22. I printed your Printer Test File with same settings I had used for my image, on the Ilford paper, and it turned out great. So I printed another of my photos (jpeg version of file shown here; this is not scan of print), and it also turned out well, except for half a dozen spots of magenta ink in various parts of image.​
    Sounds like it's in those image, are you soft proofing?
     
  23. Hi Russell and Andrew.
    All images soft proof just fine with the Ilford Gold Fibre Silk and the Epson Exhibition Fiber profiles. I often have images printed at Labs, with no issues, so I know my monitor and image files are good. Now that we've discussed the printer settings in Photoshop, I also believe we've eliminated that as the problem. I'm thinking the ink cartridges aren't working properly due to many months of sitting there unused. I will shake each one tomorrow and see if that helps. Haven't had time to work on this today.
    Any advice about the shaking? Just gently roll the horizontally-held cartridge from side to side as illustrated in the manual? Or shake more vigorously? Don't want to cause a new problem, and they are so expensive to replace.....
    Thanks for your input.
     
  24. The fact that you printed the test image and another one of your images successfully makes me doubt it is an ink cartridge problem. Seems to be an isolated problem with that file / image. Maybe let someone else try to print it if you can?
     
  25. The fact that you printed the test image and another one of your images successfully makes me doubt it is an ink cartridge problem. Seems to be an isolated problem with that file / image.​
    Exactly my take too. It has to be the images themselves or intermittent settings used.
    This is why using reference images helps point towards the issue.
     
  26. What could be wrong with the files?
     
  27. Good article about infrequent printer use, settling of pigments in ink:
    http://www.inkjetmall.com/wordpress/maintenance/infrequent-printer-use/
     
  28. But the cartridges worked fine on the test pattern and the other image. File could be corrupt? Hasn't ever happened to me, and I'm not a computer guru. I am inclined to think it's a setting problem. This is one of many reasons that I like printing from Light Room. You can make presets and not have to worry about hitting all the settings every time. In my opinion the printing module alone in LR is worth the entire price of the software.

    You could try printing either the image you printed successfully or the test image immediately followed up by the problem image. This might give you assurance that all the settings are the same. You could also try the Canson profile I suggested. Remember that in trouble shooting, it is important to only change one thing at a time.
     
  29. "This is one of many reasons that I like printing from Light Room. You can make presets and not have to worry about hitting all the settings every time"
    I haven't printed from LR myself just from PSCS. With CS I save all my print setups with a Paper type and Paper size name so I can just choose it again when I'm doing the same reprint. I was just wondering if LR's print module makes this process different or is it just more automated when you use it?
    "Any advice about the shaking? Just gently roll the horizontally-held cartridge from side to side as illustrated in the manual?"


    Yes, just as you would when first inserting a new cartridge. Make sure to aim the ink nozzle away from anything that wouldn't want a bit of ink getting on it if some came out. I've never had any come out myself but one person's gentle shaking may be another's vigorous. You could hold a piece of tissue paper over, but not in touch with, the nozzle opening just in case. You'll feel the ink swirl in the cartridge as you shake and just imagine all those settled pigments getting distributed around and stop when you're happy they're unstuck.

    At least having done this (and the subsequent nozzle check, don't forget) you'll know that whatever problems remain are most likely located elsewhere. You should always make sure your inks are flowing correctly before printing as a first measure, everything else is then down to settings....or color blindness.
     
  30. What could be wrong with the files?​
    They are too blue? I don't know. Drag and drop a crop of the girl's face you have above into the Printer Test file and make another print. How do both skin's look?
    You could give us the Lab values of the skin in your images (and those in the Printer Test File) after watching a video on correcting skin tones without having to resort to CMYK:
    Low Rez (YouTube)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWaFDKrNrwc
    High Rez
    http://digitaldog.net/files/SkinToneVideo.movp
     
  31. Okay, worked on this most of the day yesterday.
    First of all, there’s nothing wrong with my files. The problem was that what I saw on screen (calibrated Eizo) did not match what was printing (as shown by file vs scan of print posted above).
    After reading article I posted above about settling ink and problems in lines, and knowing my printer has been sitting unused for almost a year, I thought ink / head / line problem most likely. Writer of article said you could possibly have intermittent problems, especially at beginning, which would explain my two prints that printed fine. So I shook all the cartridges, did nozzle clean.
    Made a Photoshop file with the three images I had been working with as well as the test file from Andrew.
    Printed, using same settings I had been using (Photoshop manages color, 16 bit, Relative Colorimetric, Black Point Compensation, Exhibition Fiber and then Gold Fibre Gold profile). Same results. Prints dark, posterized, colors whacky. The test image which had printed fine alone (but was now included on page with my images) now looked too blue, like my images.
    Shook cartridges again. Did a power clean which used a lot of ink. Still no help.
    Decided to import the images into InDesign to bypass all the Photoshop settings so I could see if problem there or physical problem in printer. Printed from InDesign. Used cheap HP photo paper. Prints looked pretty good. Color not perfect, but they were close, and no posterization at all.
    So I knew nothing wrong with printer.
    Went back into Photoshop. Tried a new paper and its profile: Harman Photo Gloss FB Al. Same bad results.
    Did something I should’ve tried earlier — let printer manage color. Used these settings:
    Printer settings:
    Luster
    Accuphoto HD2
    Color Mode: EPSON standard (sRGB)
    2880 dpi
    high speed
    16 bit
    Advanced Color Settings at defaults (all zero)
    paper thickness 4
    Color Matching: EPSON color controls
    In Color Management area: 16 bit and Relative Colorimetric checked.
    Print turned out fine.
    Okay, that was great. Just have printer manage color, forget using the paper profiles.
    But why did two of the prints I made at the beginning — one of my images and Andrew’s test file — using the paper profiles (Exhibition Fiber or Galerie Gold Fibre Silk) turn out okay?
    Since I had made smaller versions of those images to place in a new Photoshop file so I could print all four images on one sheet for my new tests, the printer settings were still intact when I opened the original files. Very convenient! I saw what I had done differently when I printed those two images: I had NOT checked 16 bit in either the Printer Settings or Color Management.
    So I tested this. Printed my image with 16 bit checked. Colors dark, whacky, posterized. Printed with 16 bit unchecked, colors good.
    So, with the paper profiles, I cannot send as 16 bit to printer.
    However, when I let printer manage color, 16 bit works fine.
    The image files are 16 bit.
    Isn’t this weird?
    Howard M suggested I uncheck 16 bit early on, but I think I just accidentally didn’t check 16 bit for those two images, because I figured if the images were 16 bit, it should be checked. You were right, Howard.
    On another subject: When I was thinking I would have to let printer manage color, I was wondering if the fact that Epson color control uses sRGB means I would be losing color information from my Adobe RGB 1998 files (since sRGB lower gamut). Is more info sent via the paper profiles?
    Thanks all for your input.
     
  32. P.S. I also reprinted the image of the girl with the red hair (shown above), using Exhibition Fiber profile, with 16 bit unchecked. Colors perfect.
     
  33. Did something I should’ve tried earlier — let printer manage color.​
    Not if you want to print using color management fully.
     
  34. If Mac, then maybe you have a driver problem? I think 16 bit option may have started with Snow Leopard.
    I don't believe 16 bit works on Windows. I actually don't remember if the option is even there in the driver on Windows.
     
  35. Good thought, Russell. I'm on a Mac, OS 10.6.8. I just checked Apple software update, and there are no printer-related updates for the system needed. Also just downloaded and installed the most recent printer driver from Epson site. I don't know if it is more recent than what I had because I couldn't find the Epson driver on my computer. But I will retest printing 16 bit with Photoshop managing color and see if there is improvement. As I mentioned, the colors turned out okay in 16 bit when printer managed colors. Don't know what that means. Haven't found posts by anyone on net, so far, who have had same problem. Thanks.
     

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