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by signgrap on Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:54 pm
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Problem: All my prints are coming out with a slight magenta cast even my B/W prints.
At first I thought it was the new paper BC Luster, profile downloaded from the BC site but then I tried a different brand, paper and profile - still a slight magenta cast.
I always print out of Qimage but in trying to isolate the problem have printed straight out of Lightroom to see if Qimage was the problem - still a slight magenta cast.

Here's my setup which I've been using for years without problem:
Computer - Windows 8.1 x64
Monitor - NEC SpectraView 2690 recently calibrated
RAW conversion software - Lightroom 6.1 
         Image converted to 
                 TIFF 16 bit 
                 Color Spaced ProPhoto RGB
Printing Software - Qimage setup:
         Monitor Profile most recent selected
         Paper ICC Profile BC_VibranceLuster_4800_pk_plpp.icc
         Perceptual
         Black point compensation 

Printer Epson Stylus Pro 4800
        Media Type - Premium Luster Photo Paper (260)
        Mode - No Color Management (Qimage manages)
        Have done numerous Nozzle Checks and all nozzles print no lines missed 

I have even tried to print older TIFF's that I converted more than a year ago same problem.

I have run out of ideas what to check. ANY IDEAS ?
Dick Ludwig
 

by Diane Miller on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:56 pm
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Have you done a print head check? A subtly plugged head can cause a color shift.
 

by signgrap on Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:49 pm
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Yes that is what the Nozzle Check does and it comes out perfectly not even one clogged printing nozzle. The prints look perfect except they all have a slight magenta cast.
Dick Ludwig
 

by Diane Miller on Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:01 pm
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Has anything changed about your monitor profile?
 

by signgrap on Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:43 am
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Diane Miller wrote:
Has anything changed about your monitor profile?

No, the monitor profile looks the same as before the prints started having a magenta cast. All images look perfect on the monitor.
I'm hearing from some people that when a printer prints with a magenta color cast, that it's a sign that the print head is bad. 
I'm going try to contact Epson tomorrow when they're open. 
Everything I've tried so far points to a problem with the printer.
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:51 am
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Yesterday I tried to use a couple of printers that I hadn't used in about two years. The HP printed out a clean test print, but when I tried to do a print that had a lot of black in it, the black parts were left white. I knew the black ink was OK, so I decided to try and force the ink through the black tube by printing a solid black page. It worked and now it prints fine. The point being that even with a clean test print, there may be a problem. What you might try is to print a page with wide solid color stripes or large blocks similar to your ink set (including blacks) and see if any of them are not printing quite right. I'm having a different problem with the Epson, but I ran out of one color ink and can't test it out further. Now for the two Epson 7600s and a 9600 that haven't been used in a few years!!!!

Joe
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by SantaFeJoe on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:56 am
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Here's a link to a similar problem and if you Google "Epson printer magenta cast" you will find more:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/3642909

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Royce Howland on Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:51 pm
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Dick, I don't have any immediate ideas on a "smoking gun" in this case, since you appear to have checked off most of the basic issues that could cause this. Unfortunately I'm working extremely long hours these days so I won't be able to help much in diagnosing this; it can get pretty involved, especially when exchanging info at remote.

A number of the basics, most of which you've covered, include: make sure the monitor calibration actually works; make sure all application & printer driver settings are correct; make sure the driver hasn't been corrupted (delete and reinstall the printer from scratch if necessary); make sure the printer ICC profiles in use are good; make sure the printer is laying down ink properly (nozzle check may not be enough to verify, so print ink purge patterns that force the lay-down of pure (ish) blocks of C, M, Y, etc.); consider the impact of any changes in the lighting under which you're reviewing prints. Probably others, though they get more esoteric after these items.
Royce Howland
 

by signgrap on Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:11 pm
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Thanks Joe. Can't quite figure out what he's talking about with the 'gray balancer'. I don't have a similar adjustment on the 4800 that I'm aware of. Certainly have not changed or adjusted it.  I've been using the 4800 since I bought it new in 2005; been using it with essentially the same software / hardware configuration since I bought it. Never had a problem except for clogged nozzles (which the 4800 is known to be one of the worst that Epson made in this regard). When the color cast first appeared the only thing that I changed was the paper I was using nothing else. After I couldn't figure out what was wrong I printed 3 other different papers and many different images old ones that printed well in the past . Changing papers is something I've done many, many times and is very easy to do in Qimage. The only problem I've had when doing this; once or twice I selected the wrong ICC paper profile. But I've checked the profile and have had my wife check what I was doing and making sure I selected the correct profile for the paper being used (she prints also).

I had a similar thought as your suggestion about about printing out solid colors. So I printed an image of the Color Checker card (that I use to profile my cameras) out a number of times full page. The colors all print, no missed areas or variations in color/tone except that everything has a magenta color cast.
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:54 pm
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Hey Dick
I was hoping you would read a bit further down that thread. I only read a couple, but this is the one that caught my eye:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/3655126

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by signgrap on Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:31 pm
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Thanks Royce.
Printing from old TIFF files that were previously printed without a color cast should eliminate any monitor/calibration issues, since now these files print with a color cast. At this point I'm fairly convinced that it's a printer issue not a software or ICC profile or computer related issue. But I will try re-installing the printer software which is a real pain since Epson refused to release a new version of the driver for Win 8/8.1 x64. Epson just did a work around in 3/7/08 that lost some of the functionality it had in Win XP / 7 (over 7 years without updating). I guess Epson figured since the 4800 was discontinued they didn't have to update the driver like they did for the 4880. Just because Epson discontinued the printer doesn't mean customers stopped using the printer (end of rant).
Dick Ludwig
 

by signgrap on Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:36 pm
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
Hey Dick
I was hoping you would read a bit further down that thread. I only read a couple, but this is the one that caught my eye:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/3655126

Joe

Thanks Joe, Don't have time at the moment to go through the entire thread but I will, later today.
Dick Ludwig
 

by Royce Howland on Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:25 pm
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I hear you on the driver madness. When you get back to testing stuff, print a purge file designed to lay down blocks of pure C, M, Y, etc. Don't print a color checker chart or the like. You need to see if any of the ink channels are being tainted with ink from a different channel. Since you're getting a magenta cast, one possibility is M ink is leaking into the C and/or Y channels. If that's the case, it's definitely hardware and no amount of software fiddling will deal with it. You're looking at replacing dampers, perhaps ink lines, some possibility of the head itself. Qimage added a function awhile back that should be able to print blocks of pure ink channel colours.

As for replacement printers, I can't recommend the Epson 4900 model at all. Too many issues with that one. The new Sure Color P800 17" desktop model might be worth a look, but it's early days and so hard to guess what gremlins might lurk in it. There's really nothing else unless you're prepared to look at Canon's new Pixma PRO-1000, lacking roll support and being a more pro-sumer build than you're probably used to with the Epson 48xx series. Of course the same is true of the new Epson P800, it's really a lighter weight model as well compared to the 48xx series' vacuum system, paper transport, etc.
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by pleverington on Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:46 am
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Royce Howland wrote:
I hear you on the driver madness. When you get back to testing stuff, print a purge file designed to lay down blocks of pure C, M, Y, etc. Don't print a color checker chart or the like. You need to see if any of the ink channels are being tainted with ink from a different channel. Since you're getting a magenta cast, one possibility is M ink is leaking into the C and/or Y channels. If that's the case, it's definitely hardware and no amount of software fiddling will deal with it. You're looking at replacing dampers, perhaps ink lines, some possibility of the head itself. Qimage added a function awhile back that should be able to print blocks of pure ink channel colours.


I was just going to say the same as Royce has here above. This is your starting point. If there is a magenta cast in all channels then its most likely in the software or settings where the problem lies. But you'll be at least able to eliminate some of the possibilities like ink starvation or whether it's just one color nozzle problem or two or all.

You might post some screen shots of all your settings Dick. And have you wiped clean and reinstalled your software? Do you have another computer to try the printer on? You just may be missing something , a setting somewhere, that is on the computer your on and may not be if you use a different computer, say one without Qimage installed.

Try printing with PS and make sure the color management setting is turned off.

Paul
Paul Leverington
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by signgrap on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:25 am
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Paul, I have tried printing directly out of Lightroom 6.1 (didn't use Qimage at all) and color management was turned off - printed with the same magenta color cast. Have carefully checked all the Epson print driver settings. I'm about to delete and reinstall a newly downloaded driver.
Dick Ludwig
 

by Mark Picard on Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:18 pm
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Occasionally I will print this out to help diagnose and clean out the nozzles  -give it a try, can't hurt and might give a clue as to the problem: - 






Image


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Maine Photography Workshops
 

by signgrap on Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:36 pm
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Thanks Mark
Dick Ludwig
 

by signgrap on Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:09 pm
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Okay here’s the update on what I’ve done and discovered so far.
I uninstalled the Epson printer driver and as I had previously mentioned this is a printer driver that was designed for Win Vista x64 (never updated for Win 7 or 8.1).  As I had remembered it was a pain to install mainly because the software keeps telling you that the printer could not be found and I finally discovered after a couple of failed attempts that the printer had been found and the software just didn’t know it.
Once installed I decided I better do a nozzle check.  The nozzle check showed that the light cyan nozzles were partially, 10-20% clogged.  So I spent a good portion of yesterday trying to unclog the nozzles with no success.  I am usually quite proficient at unclogging nozzles after 10 years of practice with the printer (I use the puddle method / distilled water) but this was a particularly stubborn case.  
This morning I downloaded the most recent version of Qimage to eliminate this software as part of the problem.  I then used the Qimage’s ‘Print Unclog Pattern’ protocol to unclog the light cyan nozzles by printing a cyan pattern. (Qimage has 8 different patterns – Red, Blue, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta, Orange, Green and Black.  (Note that Red, Blue Orange and Black use more than a single ink cartridge to make the color e.g. Red is 100% Yellow+100%Magenta, Green 100% Cyan+100% Yellow, Black combined all 3 black cartridges etc.)  After a number of attempts some of the light cyan nozzles remained clogged.  Then I decided to print the Blue Unclog Pattern and noticed that the blue had way too much magenta in the printed color so it looked like Purple instead of Blue.  This led me to do and unclog pattern for each color separately.  Both the blue and the black patterns showed way too much magenta in the printed pattern.  At this point I picked up one of the Epson nozzle check patterns where it prints each one of the 8 separate ink cartridge colors in a separate bock pattern.  When I looked at the Light, Light Black pattern closely, with a magnifying glass, I noticed that some of the printed lines instead of being Light, Light Black were actually magenta. On close examination I could clearly see some lines were Light, Light Black and some, 4 out of 15 lines were pure Magenta and 2 out of the 15 lines appeared to be a mixture of magenta and Light, Light Black.  
It appears that in some way, magenta is being printed or mixed with the Light, Light Black and blue colors when printed.  So it seems that this is what is causing the magenta color cast in my prints.  Now the million dollar question - any ideas on what might be causing this phenomenon?
Dick Ludwig
 

by signgrap on Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:25 pm
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Called Epson Tech Support - after a 50 minute wait and a 10 minute back and forth about the problem they said it was the 'Pump Cap Assembly' that was the problem and it needed to be replaced. The cost was not available from the rep other than a $100 trip charge and a $175/hr.  So to get the repair person here is $275. The rep could not tell me how long it would take nor the price of the assembly. So now I have to call the repair service people to give me the actual cost of the part. (The printer is much too heavy for me to carry to the service center.) If I want to go ahead with the repair I'd have to call back Tech Support (probably another hour on hold) to make the appointment. What a run around!
Just talked to the repair people (answered on the 2nd ring) and the part costs $146 + $25 shipping and probably could be done in an hour PROVIDING nothing else is wrong.
I'm on the fence since this was an over the phone diagnosis by someone who had to ask another person what the problem was. The repair guy said that the cost could quickly rise if some other parts are found defective during the part replacement. 
Any thoughts on repairing the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 (10 years old professional 89 lb  printer) vs buying new Epson SureColor P800 prosumer 43 lb printer which is new to the market without a track record concerning reliability - specifically clogging issues?
Dick Ludwig
 

by signgrap on Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:53 pm
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Well for better or worse I pulled the trigger on SureColor P800.
Why?
A number of reasons:
1. The 4800 is 10 years old.
2. I still haven't been able to unclog the Lt Cyan nozzles completely - remains about 15% clogged. Very unusual since I've been using the printer regularly for the last 2 weeks trying to diagnose the magenta cast.
3. The Minimum cost of repair would be $450 PROVIDING NOTHING ELSE WAS WRONG but with the clogged nozzle I feared that a new print head was in order which cost $600 + at least $175 in labor = $1225. Now I exceeded the cost of the P800 by $330
4. I made a mistake when I brought the 4800 i.e. it was a production printer that needed to be used regularly and frequently which I did not do which caused all my nozzle clogging issues in the first place. I talked to a Epson Tech who confirmed all of this. He also said that by buying the P800 I would encounter far fewer clogging problems since the printer is designed for periodic use not constant production use.
5. According to this tech the P800 is the next evolution of the 3880  which has a reasonable good record in regards to clogging and repairs I felt that seemed the way to go. Over the 10 years I've owned the 4800 I'll bet I spent about 1/2 my ink costs on cleaning nozzles and printer startup.

So we'll see if this turns out to be a smart move. At least the P800 has the ability to print from a roll which is nice :) 

Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions. 
Dick Ludwig
 

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