Epson 2400 & Epson R1800 vs Epson 2200

From: [email protected]
Date: 07/29/05-04:01:53 PM Z
Message-id: <>

I've had a lot of queries regarding which of these printers might be best for
making digital negatives. Also people have registered concern regarding the
new 2400 and whether or not the inks would have sufficent densities to handle
paper with long exposure scales. I hope the following information is
helpful. I must also say that I am still testing! If I find anything further
that is important, I will post it.

Epson 2200 - No Longer Listed by Epson was $750?
Epson 2400 - $849.99
Epson R1800 - $549

All three printers offer USB or Firewire connection.

I think both the new printers are quieter—I sometimes have to look closely to
see if it is printing.

All Printers handle 13" x 19" — R1800 & 2400 Offer Borderless Printing. All
printers will print 13 x 44 also .

Both the R1800 and the 2400 use almost identical construction/chasis. They
are both an improvement over the 2200 in that the paper carriers fold down/in
and are self storing, making the printer pretty much dust tight.

Epson 2200 - 96
Epson 2400 - 180
Epson R1800 - 180

I think the additional nozzles makes the new printers print more smoothly.
The R1800 is VERY smooth in large areas where there are subtle transitions in
tones, such as clouds and skintones in a PT/PD print. I will be testing this
on the 2400 also.

Epson 2200 - 7 Color UltraChrome (Swap Matte Black for Photo Black)
Epson 2400 - 8 Color UltraChrome inkset (Swap Matte Black for Photo Black)
Includes 3 blacks—dark, light & light light
Epson R1800 - 8 Color UltraChrome High Gloss (Matte & Photo Black both
loaded, a very nice feature) Includes a slot for Gloss Optimizer and uses Red Ink &
Blue Ink in addition to CMYK.

The 2400 with the 3 black inks will print very nice black and white inkjet
prints—the best yet. The driver has a feature which allows you to change the
image from warmer to cooler black and white. I think this is done by not
using dark Cyan and dark Magenta and only using Light Cyan and Light Magenta.

The 2200 & 2400 require you to swap cartridges, which is time consuming and
wastefull of inks (15% of all cartridges get blown away as the printer
recharges. It is too bad that Epson could not have added a slot for the Matte Black

Epson 2200 - minimum dot size 4 picoliter
Epson 2400 - minimum dot size 3.5 picoliter
Epson R1800 - minimum dot size 1.5 picoliter

Epson 2200 - 2880 x 1440
Epson 2400 - 5760 x 1440
Epson R1800 - 5760 x 1440
Notice the last figure shown for each printer- 1440. There is very little
difference in the ability of all three printers to print the PDN sharpness
target at 360 pixels per inch. While it looks impressive to see the number 5760,
these printers do not print significantly finer/sharper detail.

Epson 2200 - All Inks but Matte Black
Epson 2400 - All Inks but Matte Black
Epson R1800 - All Inks but Matte Black - These inks are slower drying though
and for some reason tend to capture dust particle in the negative much more so
than the 2200. The Gloss Optimizer is compatible and adds about .05 Log UV

Epson 2200 (UltraChrome) - This was the best of all printers I ever tested
for the ability to adjust the density of the negative exactly to the exposure
scale of the process. I had very good luck with Palladium and long exposure

Epson 2400 - (UltraChrome K3) This inkset is capable of even slightly higher
densities in certain color ranges than the Epson 2200. It has a different
"signature" than the 2200 when you map the UV densities with a UV densitometer.
 When printing Palladium, the ink densities as measured by a UV densitometer
seem to be right on. I think I will probably like the ink signature just as
well as the 2200, if not better.

Epson R1800 (UltraChrome High Gloss) - This inkset is a comparitively low
density inkset and I don't recommend it for someone who would like to work with a
variety of processes including those with very long exposure scales. To
handle a really long exposure scale, you have to use black ink and this limits
you to just one density range in a high density range negative.

With Color Density Range Control and not using Ink Configuration, I was able
to get densities of:
Epson 2200: Log 2.47
Epson 2400: Log 2.55

With Color Density Range Control and USING Ink Configuration, I was able to
get densities of:
Epson 2200: Log 3.38
Epson 2400: Log 3.05
Oddly enough, neither the R1800 nor the 2400 have the density that the Epson
2200 black ink has.

NOTE: I have not tested these two new printers with Silver Gelatin. I
suspect that Ink Configuration will also be an important feature on the 2400 when
printing Silver Gelatin, as it was on the 2200.

Epson 2200 - YES
Epson 2400 - YES
Epson R1800 - NO

This feature of both the 2200 drivers and the 2400 drivers allows you to
increase the amount of ink laid down when printing negatives. While the slider
goes from the default of "0" up to "+50", you will not want to go much over +15
and at +20 you will get severe puddling and distortion, pizza wheel marks,
etc. I have not noticed any degradation in the image when boosting the ink by
a reasonable amount (+15 or less).

Which printer would I buy at this time? If I could afford it, the Epson

What does this mean for the Epson 4800? Hopefully it will have the INK
CONFIGURATION feature in the driver, as the 4000 did. This was very helpful
because—even though the Epson 4000 was supposed to have the same inks as the 2200,
either it didn't, or the driver was so different that it was difficult to get
the higher densities needed for negatives unless you used INK CONFIGURATION
to boost it.

Mark Nelson
Purchase the eBook & PDN System for Your Own Custom Digital Negative Workflow
Precision Digital Negatives
PDN's Own 31-Step Tablet Now Available—produced by Stouffer Industries
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Received on Fri Jul 29 16:02:12 2005

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