I think that most may not believe me, but I have had my Epson 4800 for about two years and yesterday after my last post, I made my first color print on this printer.
Even if my Black and White prints are in RGB color mode with a added Hue adjustment layer to provide my warm tone, I don’t think of them as color prints, but warm toned Black and White prints. I do use a monitor color calibration program and I think that when my Black and White prints dry down, they are about dead nuts on as to a match with my monitor. Since my Hue is a pretty low threshold, about a 6 or 7, the ‘color’ is not that intense. Which is different that a full color image.
The other issue is that I like the matte papers and medium for my Black and White prints. Sort of a blend of platnimum print and almost an etching. I was never a big fan of the high gloss Black and White prints even when I was in the wet darkroom. I would use a double weight F finish paper, such Seagull Oriential, that was air dried on a screen, so the print surface had a little sheen, but not a high gloss. Of course, the matte papers are even flatter with no sheen. Remember, I set up my printer to the matte finish before some of the recent ‘near-photographic F’ papers were available. And as a reminder, I have to go through about $70 to $80 in ink to switch my 4800 from matte to gloss. So up to now, I was a happy camper with matte for my Black and White prints.
As a painter in the late 1990’s, I was not happy with the surface and look of watercolor on the watercolor papers. I struggled with this for a while before I switched over to acrylics on a treated watercolor paper. Essecntially I had one layer of a acrylic medium to support the aryclic paint, which I would water down to use in a near water color consistancy. I did not use a gloss coat over my finished paintings. Hmmmm, the result looked a lot like a F grade air-dried image. Well what do you think of that, the fruit does not fall far the tree.
So as I looked at my color images on the monitor, I think I was visualizing the F grade print look for the resulting color images, which is not what I get with my matte black and matte papers. Duh.
So I have printed a bunch of my photographs from China on the matte paper and I will show them to some friends tomorrow night. I am a little undecided right now, but I sure wish that this printer would instantaneously switch from matte black to gloss black so that I could easily experiment with the various other papers that are available. Grrrrrr.
And I do not have the funds or available space to buy another 4880 printer to dedicate to gloss. And if I did, I’d be looking at a larger printer (HP Z3100 44″ wide) and one that would easily convert between the two blacks and sell this 4800. I might even consider getting a larger printer and a smaller printer (13″ wide) in liu of this printer. So another option is to take the time and ink expense to convert this printer to gloss, but I still like and want to print my black and Whites on matte.
Oh, well, if not one thing, it’s another;- )
Bset regards, Doug