Untitled (#110 Memory Pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale
Over the weekend my HP four-in-one (4>1) business copier/printer-scanner-fax machine sort of died or at least one of the two print heads did. After considering the cost of the replacement print head to what a new machine would cost (as well as I was not in love with the printing output of the HP machine) it was a good opportunity to check out a nice replacement.
First, this machine was to support my day job but if it had some interesting photographic qualities, better yet. So I needed to find another 4>1 machine that could easily scan legal documents on the flat bed, provide decent scans, and have a document feeder. And of course print, but I already knew that this machine was not going to replace my Epson 4800, but it might make a nice proofing machine.
What I purchased was probably the top of the home-consumer Epson Workforce machine, the WF-7620. It can scan very large documents, including legal, prints with 4 Epson pigment inkjet inks up to a size 3A print, which is the same as the Super B; 13″ x 19″ paper. The 4 color inks will not provide the same luminance and depth of color and hue that an 8 ink printer like my Epson 4800 or the newer Epson 3990. Nevertheless, this Epson 7620 might make a good proofing printer, especially since my Epson 4800 is set up for matte black and not glossy black printing. Occasionally I want to evaluate a glossy black print as it should provide a little more d-max, thus a blacker black in my print than I can obtain with a matte print.
So the first thing I did was pull up one of my recent photographs from my Memory Pods project in which I have some really solid blacks. I also noted that the WF-7620 has an option in the dialog box to select either color or black & white, so I made two prints from the same photograph. I also selected an image that I had converted to Grayscale so that I knew I was working entirely with a black & white (data) image.
The WF-7620 states that for a glossy image allow 15 to 20 minutes for the image to dry down before judging the results. hmmmm. Bases on my initial results, maybe more! A black & white glossy print hot out of the printer has a very strong magenta color cast. For the first couple of prints yesterday, I also noticed some very slight ribbing, ink lines, running the length of the print. These lines have disappeared over night and I do not see these lines on today’s prints. So whether they appear or not, given enough time, they are gone. whew!
Regretfully, there appears to be an ever so slight color cast difference between the two prints when I was using either the color print mode or the black & white print mode. Oddly the stronger color cast (purplish plum) was from the dialog box set to the black & white mode. That I would not have anticipated. But again, this is a four color ink cartridge machine not really meant for fine art printing.
What I don’t know is the relative permanence of the color glossy prints on the Epson premium glossy paper (as well as the matte prints). If I recall, the HP 4>1 glossy prints (HP glossy paper) lasted about 6 months on interior display before the print colors started to fade. After a year, these prints looked pretty sad.
So at this point, so far so good for a proofing printer that also allows me to scan and fax (yeah, some folks still do that).