Review Of The Epson Stylus Pro 9800 Its First Year In Retrospect

Review Of The Epson Stylus Pro 9800 Its First Year In Retrospect

Review of​ the Epson Stylus Pro 9800: Its First Year in​ Retrospect
I think there are far fewer negatives than positives, so I​ will address them first .​
1. You have to​ perform an​ ink swap to​ switch your dark black ink from photo-black to​ matte black .​
For a​ brief time Epson offered the Stylus Pro 4000 which had 8 inks including both the matte black and the photo black, there was no need to​ swap dark black inks if​ you changed from photo paper to​ mat paper .​
This new generation still uses 8 inks but has added a​ light light black ink instead of​ offering the two varieties of​ dark black inks .​
The additional of​ light light black ink has enable the printer to​ produce finer gradations of​ tone and finer detail in​ the highlight area, but having to​ swap out the dark black inks to​ optimize printing on photo paper as​ opposed to​ matte paper is​ an​ inconvenience and an​ unfortunate waste of​ money .​

2. There are quirks with the LCD menu on the printer .​
One in​ particular, comes up frequently with a​ message that says Power Cleaning? Y or​ N .​
Having been prompted many people select yes to​ this prompt, thereby executing a​ power cleaning cycle which wastes a​ good bit of​ ink and maintenance tank capacity .​
I​ have had a​ number of​ clients really upset about this situation and I​ hope Epson will rectify it​ soon in​ a​ firmware fix.
3. Dark ink density not improved when using matte black ink on matte papers .​
The new K3 inks made a​ giant leap forward in​ providing richer blacks when using the photo-black ink on photo surface types of​ papers .​
The K3 matte black ink on matte papers seems not to​ have improved black density, and some users report that matte black is​ less dense on matte papers than the previous UCM matte black ink .​
I​ find the blacks to​ be the about the same density as​ with the previous inks, but had hoped for more from the matte black K3 ink.
4. Epson designed the new 220 ml ink cartridges to​ fit inside the ink bays, unlike the previous 220 ml cartridges that stuck out to​ the point where you could not close the cover .​
Well you can close the cover with the new cartridges but the new cartridges are pressurized and occasionally arrive leaking .​
This has led us to​ always check cartridges for leaks before sending them out .​
If you are using the new 220 ml cartridges, check them for leaks as​ soon as​ you receive them .​
5. A final negative, although not affecting the quality of​ the printer, was that for nearly 7 months of​ last year, dealers like myself, that focus mostly on the Epson printer line, had no Epson printers to​ sell .​
Epson announced the new printers, stopped supplying the previous models, and was unable to​ ship the new generation of​ printer for what seemed an​ eternity .​
Our belt was tightened more than a​ few notches.
That’s it​ on the negatives, so here’s some of​ the positive highlights:
1. The printer is​ about 2.5 times faster than the previous generation, but Epson hasn’t sacrificed quality for speed .​
Epson built the new model with a​ print head that is​ more than twice as​ large as​ the previous print head, thereby more than doubling the speed .​
2. Time consuming and confusing manual nozzle checks and print head alignments have been streamlined and are now carried out automatically, at​ the touch of​ a​ button.
3. Metamerism and bronzing, which were significant problems with the previous UCM inks, have been virtually eliminated .​
If you don’t know what these are, consider yourself lucky and know that you won’t have them with the new printers and K3 inks .​
4. Deeper, richer blacks when using photo-black on photo surface papers .​
This represents a​ significant improvement over previous models and inks.
5. A new advanced black and white mode in​ the driver that produces stunning black and white prints .​

6. Improved color gamut- not earth shattering improvement like in​ black density but still a​ nice addition to​ the color palette .​

In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives and this new generation of​ Epson Stylus Pro printers will take their rightful place in​ Epson’s track record of​ award winning, superior value and outstanding quality, large format inkjet printers.

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