Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Printing Insights #033

Epson R1800 Experience Report

A review diary by Uwe Steinmueller



If we quote other authors this may not be our opinion but we consider them of course qualified statements.


4/30/2005 Initial Impressions

Basically the Epson R1800 shares the same inks as the R800. We found the Epson R800 overall a very nice performer except for:

  • Profiles that come with the printer had severe problems in some areas (please check our R800 review).
  • Limitation to Letter sized images

Note: At first we did not find anything wrong with the R800 profiles as the problems shows only on some sort of images and our own rarely fall into this category. Try some images with fine green foliage to check for possible problems. Again, read our R800 review as it features some problem images. With good custom profiles the prints were much better.

The R1800 features print sizes up to 13x19 inch and will appeal to more photographers. Epson also provides more profiles than for the Epson R800. So far we have the impression that they are improved and they are also available for more papers.


The installation was fast and easy on our Windows PC as with most of our Epson Printers over the last 5 years. We downloaded the latest drivers and also new profiles from the Epson site.

First prints

We printed quite a few of our portfolio photos on Epson Enhanced Matte, Premium Semigloss and Premium Glossy papers.

Epson Premium Semigloss & Semimatte papers

Up until recently we only printed on matte fine art papers. But the HP Designjet 30 opened our eyes in how much we lose gamut printing on matte media. This is just plain physics and not that much a shortcoming of the printers (although we wish for blacker matte black, here the pigment inks are challenged right now). On the other side we never liked the pure Glossy or Luster surfaces.

Recently we discovered the Epson Premium Semimatte paper that features a very nice satin surface. Unfortunately this paper is only available in rolls or larger 17x22" sheets. This means that we would need a larger printer or have to cut down the sheets.

Now we checked out the Epson Premium Semigloss paper that can be only bought in Letter and 13x19" sheets. This paper is also very nice and comes close to the Semimatte. We still think that Semimatte has the nicest surface of all Epson glossy papers. It can be a good compromise to use Semigloss on the R1800 and Semimatte on larger printers.

Auto Alignment

The R1800 shares also the "Auto Alignment" feature with the R800. We find it way more convenient than a manual operation. We expect this feature in all future Epson printers (also the professional models).

Overall we feel that we are at a good start with the Epson R1800. We plan to use the R1800 for smaller gallery prints and our portfolio test prints.


5/1/2005 Alain Briot's R1800 FAQ
5/6/2005 Smudging on some Prints

We got a sample from a reader that shows a potential problem with some images:

Left normal view/right soft proofing with R1800 profile

Here is what we found out:

  • We checked this image with quite a few profiles and got smudging with many profiles (even those made for non Epson printers)
  • It is clearly a profile and not a printer issue
  • It is also not limited to the Epson printers
  • It happens with quite high saturated brown and green tones (this explains that we did not encounter any problems with our prints). Out of gamut colors are mapped to the same color.
  • Profiles be Drycreek Photo seem to have the least amount of smudging
  • It seems to be a know problem so that we expect to find better profiles for the R1800 in the near future
  • See our R800 review for more samples


  • Avoid as much as possible out of gamut colors
  • Use perceptual
  • Try other profiles for the time being

We keep you posted.

7/5/2005 Check also out the R2400 printer

If you are shopping for the R1800 printer then also check out the new R2400.





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