Epson R800 - A waste of money ... NOT!

Joined
Mar 14, 2005
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104
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Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
I just bought one of these beasts with the hope of being able to print my own shots - and I'm fairly dissapointed with what it does so far.

I'm using genuine inks, maximum quality, Epson high gloss 200gm photo paper - and I'm getting significant banding - in fact, the same sort of banding I used to get from my little HP deskjet I bought 4 years ago for a third of the cost. I've run it through the cleaning cycle and sat it firmly on the ground to minimise any vibration, but I'm still getting banding.

I've taken a shot of the last print I did, it's original size(huge) at
http://www.pbase.com/dmcg/image/46820865

With a zoom of the particularly bad area around the tower at
http://www.pbase.com/dmcg/image/46820888

It's particularly bad across the sky on the right and the water at the bottom. The banding is quite visible holding the A4 print at arms length - so there's no way I'd ever put it in an album.
Is this the best I'll get from this printer ? Or can someone cheer me up and tell me I'm doing something wrong - if not, it's going straight back to Epson with a complaint.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
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2,322
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nashville
Yeah I have had great prints with mine. I assume you have all the software and profiles installed? The banding is another issue though:( I would send it back
 
Joined
May 11, 2005
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Chicago, IL
Doug... Before you pushed the button on your computer to print, did you go into "preferences" and select which resolution you wanted? for example..."best quality"...did you select the type of paper you are using? In the preferences box...you have to choose all of those issues each time. I learned that when I set up my Epson R1800 for the first time.
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
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4,638
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Orlando, FL
How are you handling color management? Make sure that if you are doing it in PS, that you are not also having the print driver profiling also. I had the R800 (and now the R1800) and it should not show obvious banding.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
104
Location
Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks for the replies.
I'm glad to hear that the R800 should produce fantastic prints after all.
I'm made sure everything is set to highest quality possible but still no joy.
I've flagged a call towards Epson in Australia to see what they say and I've also alerted the supplier than I may have a return.

Now I just need to wait :-(
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
1,524
Location
Penryn Cornwall England
I have had mine for 15 months now, and I am delighted with it.
Only problem I had, which was a big one, was due to Microsoft's SP2. That screwed it up entirely, but I know that they have now solved this with new drivers.
BW. Bob F.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
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1,640
Location
Huntsville, AL
I once had this problem with another printer. It turned out be related somehow to my screen resolution. In any case, I suspect it has something to do with your setup. I also recommend sizing your prints yourself before printing. (at 300dpi). I'm sure you'll work it out. YOu might also try your printer on a friends computer to help determine if it could be a problem with the printer itself.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
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6,099
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Denver, CO
You already ran a cleaning cycle, but did you run the head alignment cycle? I had to do this with my old R800 right out of the box.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
104
Location
Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
I've run the head alignment three times with minor tweaks each time.
It didn't seem to make a lot of difference.
It looks like I've got two options, I can declare it DOA and the supplier will ship me a new one, or I can persist and see if it is a setup issue. I've got a year's warranty in any case, I'm just wondering how much ink I'm going to use up to find out what's wrong.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
301
Location
Huntsville, AL
I had serious banding issues with my older Epson printer (C82). I had bought it because of the purported quality and longevity of the Durabright inks. Unfortunately, the C82 also has a design flaw. While changing cartridges, there is a vacuum hose on the head cleaner that can dislodge causing it to eventually stop printing black. Well, that happened and it sat around for 1.5 months until I figured out the problem (after buying another expensive black ink cartridge). After much finagling, I reconnected the hose. No black printing and very streaky color printing. Hmmm.

Another bit of research found that Durabright inks can seriously clog up the print head if you don't print frequently enough. Evidently, the 1.5 months was too long. I went through four or five cycles of head cleaning, but only got marginal improvement. Print head replacement must be done by Epson service centers and, although I didn't research it, I'm sure it would be a significant percentage of the price of a new printer.

After a bit of research, and a very shallow wallet, I bought a Canon Pixma i4000 (or something like that). It was $99 after rebates, does duplexing, uses cheaper ink (that uses a simple optical system for detecting ink levels, none of those "smart cartridges" that can get reset and think they're out of ink when they're not) and it has a user replaceable print head.

I did not research the estimated longevity of the prints, but I can go to a service printer if I want longer lasting prints. As is, the Canon produces beautiful prints, up to 8.5x11" borderless and is a very fast, very high quality b/w printer and the duplexing is nice since my wife and I wind up printing a lot of text (she's a teacher).

The only other contender in my research (since I wasn't going to get an Epson this go around) was one of the new HP's that have a grey ink cartridge that produces high-quality, untinted BW prints, but after looking at the ink costs, I went with the Canon.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
104
Location
Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
OK, I decided to eliminate the last variable and try printing from Paint shop Pro instead of PS Elements 3, and ...

It's perfect, well maybe not 100% - probably about 99.5 - I can see very faint banding if I stare at a particularly dark patch, but at arms length, it's invisible. A second shot I printed turned out 100%.
This is what I'd hoped the printer could do - and I'm now happy with it.
I'm just annoyed that it's taken me a third of a set of ink cartridges to find out that Elements is doing something crap with my prints.

Thanks all for your advice :)
 
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