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Epson 2200When I started my digital darkroom education, I was given one piece of sounds advise that I want to pass along to you. Get an Epson 2200! (in the same breath was calibrated monitor and profiles).

That was such great advise. Not until you have a printer with the quality of the 2200 will you truly understand the potential quality you can produce in your digital darkroom. You've got to start with the great image, there's no cutting corners. Once you have that, you've got to have the digital darkroom skills, Photoshop, to maximize that great image to create the print. But you've got to have the printer to see what you've done right, or wrong and the finished, gorgeous piece.

What makes the 2200 so killer? The price certainly has to be the first attraction. But it's the ink of the 2200 that truly makes it so great. I personally like to print on the Enhanced Matte and Velvet Fine Texture. The 2200 with its two black inks and in this case using the Matte Black produces quality that I personally find is better than any lab. The 7 color ink system is what makes the prints so alive (along with the paper). And when you make that print and place it next to the monitor and see the same thing, it's a great feeling!

Many folks have problems with Epson printers for one very simple reason, they don't read and think through the instructions! Profiles are so important throughout the entire digital darkroom process. This is especially true when you make your print. Epson has created profiles for each and every one of their papers. If you don't have the correct profile selected, then your print will not be correct. You can over profile, such as turn on two profiles and when you print, you'll have a magenta cast to the print.

The Epson 2200 PDF (printable guidelines) contains screen shots from the Epson dialog when making a print. You should mirror my settings in most cases. The exceptions has to do with landscape or portrait mode and selecting the correct paper profile for the paper you're using.

Do I still have and use the 2200 with a 7600 in the darkroom? You bet, it's way too much fun to forget using it. The 2200 is a workhorse around our office and is rarely turned off. Best advise I can give you for your digital darkroom, get the 2200!

Epson 2200 Specs

  • Color - UltraChrome™ inks and individual ink cartridges
  • 2880 x 1440 dpi resolution with ultra-fine 4-picoliter ink droplets
  • Roll paper holder and automatic cutter
  • Interchangeable Photo and Matte Black inks
  • PRINT Image Matching™ technology (P.I.M.)
  • Fast USB, FireWire® IEEE 1394 and parallel connectivity

Cutting-edge Performance. Quality Made to Last.

With 7-color UltraChrome™ inks, 2880 x 1440 dpi resolution, and ultra-fine 4-picoliter ink droplets, the large-format EPSON Stylus® Photo 2200 delivers remarkable archival photos. It even offers true borderless photo printing on glossy media in six popular sizes, plus PRINT Image Matching™ technology for the best quality photos from PRINT Image Matching-enabled digital cameras.

The first desktop photo printer to use seven pigment inks, the EPSON Stylus® Photo 2200 provides the highest quality output available from any pigment-based ink jet. And, with its innovative ink system design with individual ink cartridges, it ensures the deepest, darkest blacks for prints and enlargements on both glossy and matte paper. By exchanging the Photo Black ink and optional Matte Black ink cartridges, users can optimize their black ink coverage based on the corresponding paper.

Perfect for portrait or fine art photographers who need archival images that will last up to 90 years1, this high-speed ink jet makes it easy for anyone to create long-lasting photos and artwork on a variety of media up to 13" x 44". A power-packed performer, the EPSON Stylus® Photo 2200 comes with an easy-to-use roll paper holder and automatic cutter for a quick, simple way to create borderless 4" x 6" photos. It also includes high-speed USB and FireWire® IEEE 1394 connectivity, and a convenient Parallel port.

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