Epson R2400 Ink Usage

I’ve had my Epson R2400 for a couple of months now. In that time I’ve run off something like 60-70 4X6 prints and 15-20 6X9 prints. This last weekend I had to change the inks for the first time; Light Magenta was the first to go, followed by Light Cyan and then Light Light Black. A few prints later the Photo Black and Magenta inks went out. Although I probably could have guessed it if I had been thinking about it, I was initially surprised to learn how much color ink goes into B&W prints – all these prints save one have been B&W. Also, interesting but not surprising is the degradation of print quality after the low ink warning light goes on. I scraped out a few prints after the inks hit 10%, but then banding started to appear. It’s probably best just to go ahead and change them when the light comes on, although the prints that I ran with a nearly dry Magenta cartridge are an odd and kind of interesting purple tone. Almost like a purple sepia.

I’m pretty pleased with the number of prints I’ve been able to make from a set of inks (and there are still a few inks unchanged). Some quick back of the envelope calculations suggest that a 4X6 printed on 5X7 Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl costs about $1.25-$1.50. That sounds outrageous compared to the mini lab, but it’s fine for my volumes. I never worried about costs when I had a chemical darkroom, but with all the waste that went on tossing out bad chemistry and doing test strips and test prints and all manner of calibrations etc . . . well, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t cheap. The Epson is a heck of a lot easier and more consistent to work with, so I’m not going to worry about the costs, yet.

Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl & The Epson R2400: How do you work this thing?

Does anybody know how to print B&W from an Epson R2400 on Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl? I’m following the instructions outlined in the Ilford PDF, but I’m getting a lot banding. It’s not the printer or the inks, as I can switch back to Epson Premium Luster with no problem. It seems like it must be a software setting, but I’m setting things as instructed.

Thoughts or advice appreciated.

Update: Uh, installing the profile helps. DOH!

We Are All Photographers Now!

Cell phone Tower, Hexar RF, 50 Hex, Delta 400, Tmax Dev
Cell Phone Tower

Apparently, the times are changing. Emphasis below mine.

Meanwhile telephones become cameras, desktop printers morph into mini-printing labs, and high-definition screens threaten to dislodge the venerable photographic print from gallery walls.

Guess that’s why my printer was so cheap. Is an inkjet print venerable? Or only traditional process prints? Should I have bought a couple of those really nice Mac Cinema Displays instead of a printer? Can you get nice linen bound albums for a Cinema Display? How do I send a Cinema Display to a friend, a relevant question since I can’t trust them to have Cinema Displays of their own. Lots of questions. Not many answers.

So what do I do with all these prints?

I bought a refurbished R2400 last week ($500 shipped from Epson’s online store). I unpacked it Saturday after a late lunch, but by 2:00PM I already had a half dozen great B&W prints. I think Kate’s reaction to this sums up my first impressions of the printer: “Wow, that many prints from the old printer would have taken all day and a hell of lot more cursing.” This is true. The old HP was a pain in the ass. The Epson, so far, is not.

Although I’m sure my printing skills will improve, straight out of the box the prints are better than anything I ever managed in the darkroom. And on comparitively el-cheapo Epson Ultra Premium Luster no less. Now the question becomes, what the hell do I do with all these prints? I owe a couple of people prints – a few of which are embarassingly overdue – but after that, what do I do with the rest. How do people display these things?

A few prints will end up on the walls, but I’d like books or albums of some sort for the majority. And a source for mats and frames. A cursory look around the internet suggests that most of this stuff is aimed at folks that print much larger than I’d ever go for. Six by nine on a 8.5 by 11 sheet already seems huge, but I’m seeing books designed for 13 by 19 prints. Do people really print that big? I guess you can with digital, but whatever happened to 5 by 7? Or even 8 by 10 for that matter? 5 by 7.5 prints on 8 by 10 paper would be a bit more suitable for handling than these super-sizes.

Guidance appreciated if it anyone has it. And let me know if you want to swap a print.