The Epson 2400
When I started my digital darkroom education, I was given one piece of sounds advice that I want to pass along to you. Get an Epson 2200! (in the same breath was calibrated monitor and profiles). Now, it’s time to move up to the beautiful 2400!
That was such great advise. Not until you have a printer with the quality of the 2400 will you truly understand the potential quality you can produce in your digital darkroom. You've got to start with the great image, there are 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 2400 so killer? The price certainly has to be the first attraction. But it's the ink of the 2400 that truly makes it so great. I personally like to print on the Enhanced Matte and Velvet Fine Texture. The 2400 with its three black/gray 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 2400 with a 7800 in the darkroom? You bet, it's way too much fun to forget using it. The 2400 is a workhorse around our office and is rarely turned off. Best advise I can give you for your digital darkroom, get the 2400!
Epson 2400 Specs
What is really cool about the 2400 is its black and white printing! The print driver for the 2400 has a B&W RIP called Advance Black & White. Man, click on that and watch the magic!
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