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D'Lynn Waldron, Industry Insider - AOL Degrades Graphics

Awesome
Photo Quality Imaging
with Archival Pigment Inks

by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD. August 2000©

The Epson 2000P combines awesome photo quality imaging with archival pigment inks and archival papers. The 2000P prints full bleed and up to 13 x 44 inches.
Image Quality

I have long preferred the Epson digital ink jet prints to traditional photoprints because the Epson prints have a wider range of detail in highlights and shadows than can be obtained on silver halide paper. Now, with the 2000P, all those things are even better, plus the prints are rated to remain free of color shift and fading for 200 years.
__ The Epson 2000P dots are so fine at 0.1 microns as to be undetectable. The resulting image is as smoothly continuous tone as a dye sub print.
__ I find the colors to be more accurate than dye sub, especially for faces, because the Epson 2000P has the hexichrome ink system which uses the traditional CMYK plus a light magenta and a light cyan, for much smoother, more natural skin tones - in some cases even better than a sliver halide photo print.

Ink
Epson's Micro Piezo ink jet technology has tiny, variable microdroplets of ink which, combined with Epson's new MicroCrystal Encapsulation technology, provides the widest color range and the most highlight and shadow detail available in any form of permanent ink printing.
__ The ink comes in two cartridges, one black and the other the five colors. When any one color runs out the whole cartridge must be replaced. There is now a chip built into the cartridge to provide the driver with readout of the precise amount of ink left in the cartridge.
The inks for the 2000P are significantly more expensive than the previous Epson dye inks, and are not available from third party manufacturers.

Paper

The pigment inks use special resin coated papers that come 8" x 10", 11" x 14" and up to 13" x 44", with rolls available.
__ As of August 2000, media presently comes in Archival Matte, Semigloss Photo, Premium Luster and Watercolor Radiant White, with canvas media to follow. These papers are significantly more expensive than other Epson papers (especially now that one can find packages of 100 sheets of Epson's heavy, glossy Photo paper for under $20.)

Speed
The 2000P at 1440 by 720 dpi is slower than printers with lower resolutions, but it is very quiet.

Interface
The 2000P comes with USB and parallel connections, and has available Ethernet and a Postscript 3 software driver.

The Look Of The Printer
The Epson 2000P is undoubtedly the handsomest printer on the market with its sleek, streamlined, silver and black case.

PRICE -- The list price for the printer is just under $900.

Conclusion

For me, the Epson 2000P will certainly replace silver halide for my archival color and sepia-tone prints. Archival quality is very important for my portrait commissions, which are intended to hang on the wall and last for generations. The Epson 2000P allows me to do this with inkjet.
__For my inkjet printing, I prefer the new high resolution digital cameras to film because digital cameras have greater latitude of highlight and shadow detail, more accurate color under diverse lighting conditions, smoother gradients, and no film grain. And of course digital cameras have the advantage of providing an immediate, first generation digital image for use in the computer, Web and DTP, without the time and expense of film processing and the loss of quality from scanning.

D'Lynn

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