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|Comments about my great new Epson 7600
The canned profiles that are installed with the printer software on my Mac work very well with the papers I have tested so far, Epson Premium Luster and Epson Photo Glossy Paper. When I printed my calibration image using the steps outlined on page 151 of Photoshop 7 Artistry, the image on both these papers had very neutral grays and pleasing colors. The two calibration images also matched when I compared them with each other. These profiles were certainly good to go when I installed the software and the printer and the prints look great. Black and White prints made with these canned profiles also look very neutral when viewed at 5000K in a GTI softview box and also when viewed outside in midday light. Via my steps on page 153 of Artistry 7, I created curve and Hue/Saturation settings to tweak the canned Premium Luster profile results and add a little contrast and saturation. This came out well and the same tweaks worked for the Premium Luster, Premium SemiMatte and Photo Glossy canned profiles and also produced close to identical results when printing my calibration image.
If you are trying my steps on page 153 please note the typo in step 2 where the 750 Pixels/Inch should really be 375. I've posted an updated version of these page 153 steps in this same printer section of Latest Tips. It's called "Editing Profiles with Photoshop Adjustment Layers." This is great that I'm able to get quality prints using the canned profiles and that the prints match fairly well between the papers I've tried. It's even better that a tweak of one profile also works for the other, some of the time. My favorite paper on this printer so far is Epson Premium Luster. The Premium SemiMatte is also very nice with a slightly lower texture than the Luster. The Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper also works well and I finally got a 24 x 100 foot roll of that which has been stuck on a ship due to the west coast dock strike. Starting mid November, I'll be testing that more along with the Somerset Velvet for Epson and the Epson Enhanced Matte.
Switching between sheet paper and roll paper is also very easy. It is also easy to load sheets and get them lined up properly. The vacuum mechanism which holds the paper to the printer is very slick. Smaller sheet paper is held at the end of a print until you release it from the vacuum by pressing a button on the printer's control box. Very Slick Indeed! Over the next few months I'll be comparing the canned Epson profiles with ones I'll make using Monaco EZ Color 2 with the Epson 2450 and Monaco Proof 3.5 with the X-Rite DTP-41. I also now have some super neutral profiles from Bill Atkinson to test. I'll post updated comments from time to time as I make new discoveries about my favorite printer.
I've been testing Bill Atkinson's profiles for the 7600 and 9600 and they are very neutral yet provide a bit more color saturation than the canned profiles. Bill's profiles have a slightly larger color gamut and are very consistent from one paper type to the next. You can download Bill's profiles from the 7600/9600 download area of the Epson web site. Try them, I think you'll like them. Make sure you follow the directions Bill gives out with his profiles for exactly how to set up the prints. From that same download area there are two 7600/9600 driver upgrades that will save ink. I have also been testing the 2200 and find that it produces similar results to my 7600 using the same paper and a small tweak using my page 153 instructions. If you have a 2200, 7600 or 9600 please let me know how your's is working and any tips you have to pass on to me and other users.
Based on my own experiences and the comments I have been getting from many users, I believe that with the 2200, 7600 and 9600 the need for each user to make their own profiles has greatly diminished. It seems that Epson has done a much better job with these printers at making sure that the differenced between each unit sold, in the way they handle inks and color, is so small that the need to make a custom profile for each person's particular printer may no longer be there. You'll still need to make custom profiles if you are using 3rd party papers or Epson papers that don't have a canned profile installed with the printer. Many people have sent me e-mails stating that they are getting great results using the canned profiles with the 2200, 7600 and 9600.
Bill Atkinson has also made his set of profiles, which I now have and am testing, that are even more neutral and better than the Epson profiles. The point is though that if you are using a common paper, like the Epson papers, where a quality profile has been made, there is less of a need to make a special profile for those papers for your particular unit of that printer. This is great news. If anyone feels this is not true and has been getting poor results using the canned profiles, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you do this though, please make sure you are using the correct print dialog settings with the canned profiles. These dialog settings are described on page 151 of Photoshop 7 Artistry. Note that on page 151 the top left screen grab should have "Use Black Point Compensation" turned off! Page 153 of Photoshop 7 Artistry describes how to use Adjustment layers to make small tweaks to the standard profiles so they can more exactly match your monitor. Please give me feedback on how the info on these pages helps you get what you want from your printers. Thanks!
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