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Printing Insights #045

Epson Stylus Pro 3800

Part 2

review diary by Giorgio Trucco

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Note: All comments are by Giorgio Trucco and not Digital Outback Photo

 
 
 
 

02/22/2007 High Speed vs. Uni-Directional Printing UPDATE

After my last post about the -lack of- difference between the High Speed and the Uni-Directional Printing mode, I intended to extend the range of my testing by checking the appearance of some real image. As suggested in a forum thread on this website (here), I printed 4 times the target provided by Bill Atkinson and also a Grainger Rainbow + Grayscale target I put together myself and that I normally use to verify the softproofing capabilities of my custom made profiles.

I ended up with 8 prints, printed in 4 different ways:

1-1440dpi-uni-directional printing
2-1440dpi-bi-directional printing
3-2880dpi-uni-directional printing
4-2880dpi-bi-directional printing

To my surprise, even to the closest inspection, I could NOT detect any visible difference in the test prints. Not only all the colors looked the same to my eyes (this was actually expected) but I could NOT see any difference in the color transitions, and these targets do have a lot of tonal transitions!

Using real photographs as in the test image below, I did see some subtle differences in the finest details due to a coarser dither algorithm when printed at 1440dpi-bi-directional mode.

My conclusion, so far, is that on the Epson 3800 there is only a slight advantage in using the printing modes traditionally associated with better print quality and that in many instances the slight quality loss is adequately compensated by the improved print speed, especially in a large volume print-on-demand environment.

 

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