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A new printer: Epson SC P700

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by Brian, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Well had it a couple of weeks and thought I would give a view of my impression.

    Now, in the first instance the background. Thought I should let everyone know a little bit about me so that they may know from whence I cometh.

    Taught printing at the Royal Airforce School of Photography, did one of those silly Royal Society things. Also had a spell lecturing at the Chelsea College. Fifty odd years analogue printing, . My monitor is the iMac 27" Retina 5000K, calibrated with a Spyder every couple of weeks. After calibration for printing I turn the monitor down to 50% brightness. I also use a Grafilite True Color viewing lamp.

    I only print b/w.

    So that's the background.

    For the past four years I have been using the SC P 600. A very good printer but producing consistent b/w prints has been slightly problematic. It has involved a lot of playing around with hard copy profiles etc.

    So when the SC P was announced I couldn't resist.

    Now I will admit it is rather expensive, nearly £700. O.K. that does include a set of inks but as it says on the tin " a starter set" and that's what it is. Install them and two A3 prints later warning signs " low ink" appear. So to the initial cost one must budget for the printer and a full set of inks total close on £ 1,000. Expensive yes but is it? I look upon printing in some respects as entertainment. Anyone tried buying tickets for a pop concert or playing a round of golf at a decent club. Buying a meal at a restaurant. And the result. earache , frustration and indigestion. At least I have a few prints to stick on the wall. I love the actual production of a print, for me that is the reason for capturing an image. It's a bit like taking a record out of its sleeve or streaming sound through cyber space.

    So how does this new printer stack up.

    The printer? All I'm going to say that the main problem with printing is trying to match screen to print, very difficult and of course the transmitted light will always outshine the reflected light of the print. Also most printers are designed primarily for colour, b/w an afterthought hence colour caste being a nightmare. Hitherto cosistancy of digital printing output has been highly problematic......and that's being polite.

    But hang on, I'm not going into details, other than to say the two images , monitor/screen are virtually identical in terms of depth of tone and brightness. On Marrutts Pro Glossy paper the print is spectacular......far better than anything I have ever produced in a darkroom. In fact I would go as far as saying the print is superior to the screen, particularly with the depth of the blacks. With the new printhead the detail resolved is nothing short of amazing.

    No hard copy profiles are available at the moment hence this is just using a generic paper type with the ABW printing mode. However I don't think the prints using these simple settings could be better. Even the gloss is like a mirror.

    Of course there are other improvements, my favourite being able to watch the print head laying down the inks, illuminated by the built in colour corrected internal illumination. Not as good as watching the print in the dish develop but rather good fun.

    I have just finished printing 6 A3s and they are now framed and hanging on the wall without any form of test print being made. If you know what a good print should look like then produce that on your monitor and press print.....it's as easy as that.

    So my final judgement. At last we have a printer that is capable of producing a print that hitherto has been merely a hope, a dream for those of us who still think the print to be the end result, the product of our photographic endeavour.

    I would also say that anyone contemplating the purchase of this printer might also consider buying the SC P900. O.K. its another £400 ish but the inks cost about 30% less.

    I should add that I am in no way connected to Epson publicity department.......however if they read this another set of inks would be Nice ;)
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  2. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Six prints hanging already? Be careful or you could end up running out of wall space.

    Though you could build a long-gallery extension, I suppose...

    EightBitTony likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That's needed for the panoramas!
    EightBitTony likes this.
  4. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

  5. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to have to start printing more. I found a sample pack of Fotospeed paper the other day and printed the photo of my daughter that I posted in the Appraisal gallery. It was a matt paper - Platinum Etching - and really suited the image. I ordered a box of it, so now I just need to take some pictures that will look good on it.
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I recently resurrected my Epson R800 but I don't really print enough to justify keeping it running. I probably should print more too.
  7. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that review Brian.
    I'd been thinking of a new printer to replace my current R2400, and the P700 was high on my list.
    Currently printing some of my Astro photos and looking at papers, coming back to Harman Gloss FB AL, now made by Hahnemühle.
    Planning a lightroom.

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