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on Mar 10, 2011 in Digital Darkroom

The Epson 4900 – 3 Months Later

I’ve been printing with the Epson 4900 for three months and wanted to pass along some thoughts. The 3800 is long gone, the 4900 taking over nearly all printing in the office. The only exception is when I have to go to paper bigger then 17×22. I went through about 300 sheets of 17×22 and I have no clue how much 8.5×11 before I had to change my first ink (Lt Blk). It’s speed, quality and ease of use just rocks!

I always have Premium Luster loaded in the paper cassette since that’s what I use to produce the match prints we send to editorial clients. The only think that is slow (and that’s not really slow) is having to change the Black ink from luster to matte paper. I do that alot. The 4900 is not always in a cleaning mode, it’s just ready to go the moment you turn it on.

I’ve been printing on Hot/Cold papers and Premium Luster exclusively with the 4900. I wish I could show you the quality on the web but its meager sRGB color space won’t even show off the dramatic color of this printer. For your basic “clean” images, I like the Hot Press Bright and for “moody” and B&W images I like Cold Press Natural. The one think I don’t like is the manual paper load in the back. You have to shove the paper into the platten and it makes a real thunk when you do it. While I’ve never had any issues, I’m always concerned I’m going to damage the paper before I print. It does have a giant orange light when something is wrong like the paper is askew. I like that visual since I can see it from anywhere in the office. Dealing with paper issues with the 4900 is a snap which is nice as well.

I do realize it costs more then the 3880. I also know that providing folks a 17×22 print makes a huge impression, more so then a 24×30. Why is that? Wall space is hard to come by for the majority of folks and the 24×30 framed is a wall hog. 17×22 though works on most walls and makes a equally large impression. Until I got the 4900, I didn’t even take this into consideration. So my bud Jeff at Adorama will have to keep me in supply of three papers now. And if you wanna give these papers a try, Epson now has a Signature Worthy Sample Pack so you can run your own tests and make up your own mind.