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by signgrap on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:26 pm
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Purchased a new Epson SureColor P800 from Adorama for $1195 less a $300 rebate, price net to me after rebate $895.  Printer was delivered to me (northeast PA from NYC) in less than 24 hours - price included free shipping.  The P800 is considered a replacement for the Epson 3880.  It is certainly not a professional printer like the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer it is replacing or the Stylus PRO 4880 ,4900.  The P800 at 43 pounds is less than half the weight of my old 4800.  Currently Epson does not make a replacement printer for the 4800 which had a 17 inch wide print bed.  So if you wish to print 17 inch wide sheets or roles the P800 is the only option.  The P6000 is the next size professional printer which is 24 inch wide bed at nearly 3 times the price of the P800.

Unpacking, set up and installation was fairly easy.  I watched a YouTube video that was pretty good about the process which I believe made it much easier and certainly made me feel more confident about what I was doing.  One of the things the video had you do was a Printhead Alignment prior to using the printer.  This is not mentioned in the Epson set up literature but I believe is an important step to assure that you get quality prints from the get-go.

These are 1st impressions and they may change as I gain proficiency with the printer.  B/W prints appear to have blacker, blacks which give the prints more visual "punch".  I'm quite pleased with the way the B/W prints look.  Note most of my testing is being done on Breathing Color Luster.  I have not tested other papers at this time with the exception of Red River Pecos Gloss 7 x 10 card stock.  Color prints look very close to the prints made with the 4800.  P800 color prints appear to have slightly more vibrance also exhibiting blacker, blacks.  The richer vibrance that I'm noting in the colors may be a result of the darker blacks.  When comparing the 4800 prints with the P800 prints of the same image the P800 prints certainly look as good if not slightly better than the 4800 prints.  One thing that appears to hold true for most of the color and B/W prints I've done; is that they need about plus 0.25 in exposure increase.  Without the increase in exposure the prints look a little dark.  These were images that I had previously printed on the 4800 using the same files and settings that were used on the 4800.  With the 0.25 increase in exposure the prints match fairly well.  Please note that not all prints needed this exposure increase.  I haven't been able to determine at this point why some need the increase while other images do not.

My wife sells a lot of 5 x 7 (7 x 10 unfolded) photo note cards.  When we printed these cards on the 4800 we never experienced miss feeds or jamming from the paper tray.  The card stock we're using is Red River Pecos Gloss which has a score across the paper where you fold it.  This score makes a slight indentation on the print side of the paper and a corresponding ridge on the backside of the paper.  When we placed the card stock in the P800 auto feeder we experienced paper jamming, where the printer pulled multiple card sheets when feeding the paper into the rollers causing the printer to jam.  This jam caused 2 problems.  The 1st problem was very noticeable in that the paper stopped moving and ink was puddled where the printhead kept printing without the paper being transported.  It took a number of sheets of paper to remove the excess ink from the underside of the printhead - kept leaving black streaks across the paper.  The 2nd problem was more subtle.  Overall the prints looked less saturated and on close inspection the prints had slight banding in areas of even tones.  It took quite a while and a number of prints to figure out what was wrong.  Apparently the paper jam caused the printhead to go out of alignment.  After realigning the printhead everything looked great again.  Since the 4800 never gave us a problem when printing 7 x 10 card stock we never took any precautions prior to printing the card stock on the P800.  When we looked on the Red River site we found them mentioning that pre-scored card stock frequently jams in printers.  The fix is to feed the card stock one sheet at a time.  What we ended up doing is while a sheet is being printed we inserted one single sheet into the auto feeder and everything works fine as long as you don't try to print stacking multiple sheets of card stock in the auto feeder.  When printing 8.5 x 11 and 13 x 19 Breathing Color Luster we never experienced any paper jams or problems when using the auto feeder.  So I'm pretty certain that the jamming is due to the score on the card stock and not something that is systemically wrong with the auto feeder.  My wife's evaluation of the finished note cards is that the photos look a slight bit more saturated, more vivid with again richer, darker blacks.

On balance I am pleased with the prints that the SureColor P 800 produces.  I haven't tried printing with the matte black ink as I want to wait until such time that I have quite a number of prints to make before switching the ink over from the PK (photo black) ink to the MK (matte black) ink.
Dick Ludwig


Last edited by signgrap on Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 

by Primus on Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:03 pm
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Dick, very interesting. I too had a 3880 which stopped working at the same time as my Stylus 9000, had to upgrade both printers and now have the P800.

My impression is the same as yours, the blacks are truly much richer and better. I find the color profiles are also more accurate. I print using QImage which makes a world of difference.

I found that the autofeeder is actually better than the 3880, I am able to load at least a dozen sheets of 300gm paper without any problems, with the older machine it would invariably feed more than one or none at all with anything more than 3-4 sheets.

I am using the Canson Infinity Baryta with the Ilford Prestige Gold Fiber silk profile, the one from Canson is too yellow. I wrote to them but they say it is accurate which it isn't.  BC has no profiles for either the P800 or P9000 yet, at least as per their email to me. I have some Canvas Lyve and Vibrant metallic paper left.

My metallic paper of choice now is the Moab Slickrock Silver  and for other prints I love the Baryta from Canson or Ilford. FWIW, these are said to be made in the same factory and are virtually identical. Also interesting is that Atlex's own brand 'simply elegant' is also the same but quite a bit cheaper.

Pradeep
 

by signgrap on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:48 pm
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Pradeep I also use Qimage and wouldn't print without it.
Strange that BC said they didn't have any profiles for the P800 as they sent me the below link to the ICC profiles.
Here's their quote from the email with the link:
"We have the P800 profiles, but they have not been added to our website yet since the printer is so new. You can find and download all of our available profiles here:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ihs3lk7zoh52u8q/AADvkRcDbFakUuveyi5KnNUNa?dl=0 
Dick Ludwig
 

by Primus on Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:55 pm
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Dick, thanks. Will check those out.

Pradeep
 

by Dan Berg on Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:55 am
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Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Dick,
An error in your post I would like to respectfully correct.
The 4880 replaces the 4800 and the 4900 replaces the 4880.
and yes the P800 replaces the 3880.
 

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