Epson 3880 front feed weird cloudy spots

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#1

Hi!

I just purchased an brand new Epson 3880 which I will convert to piezography as soon as my inks arrive (I am waiting excited as a little child).
I have been testing it to see if there was any problems with it, and everything seems to be good in terms of nozzle checks, etc. My favourite paper is harman gloss baryta - which is a very fragile and delicate paper, which bends and twists a lot. Giving the fact that I will have to send this printer through the printer two times (due to GO) I have been experimenting with ways to handle the paper in the best possible way - and it seems to me the only way that works with this paper without scratching it or embedding some pizza wheels into its delicate surface is using the front manual feed. And when I use this feed it does produce gorgeous scratch free prints. What I do is I use a heavy weight paper as a backing board to my sheet of harman gloss baryta and feed it through the manual front feed.

But I have been noticing this strange “cloud” of black dots on one side of the print (in the white border around the print itself). I have attached a photograph that shows this cloud - which I observer severa places on one side of the print in the white border. I have also attached a photograph showing how the print exits the printer - it seems that it is only in the side closes to the right most side of the printer that is affected - I get these clouds around three places on the print. I have printed the same print twice and the clouds forms exactly the three same places.

I have tried printing color prints using the OEM Epson print driver and black and white prints as well using the Quadtone RIP driver as well - I have observed these clouds using both methods but only using the manual front feed. Anyone has any ideas what could cause these clouds of dots?

FYI my platen gap is standard. No high speed printing involved - don’t know if that makes a difference?




#2

Can you do a standard nozzle check and upload a high resolution scan of that? If you see the misting there or any irregular patterning then the issue is most definitely electrical and you would probably want to replace that printer. Epson will ask you to repeat the image tests on their own paper so do you notice this mist on Epson Glossy paper or is it purely the Harmon?

Harmon is not the best printing paper for Piezography - its coating is less hydroscopic than desirable and the inks have to be cut way down. The dMax suffers a bit as a result - but after that it’s a gorgeous paper to be sure. I just wished it had a better coating.


#3

[QUOTE=jon;7741]Can you do a standard nozzle check and upload a high resolution scan of that? If you see the misting there or any irregular patterning then the issue is most definitely electrical and you would probably want to replace that printer. Epson will ask you to repeat the image tests on their own paper so do you notice this mist on Epson Glossy paper or is it purely the Harmon?

Harmon is not the best printing paper for Piezography - its coating is less hydroscopic than desirable and the inks have to be cut way down. The dMax suffers a bit as a result - but after that it’s a gorgeous paper to be sure. I just wished it had a better coating.[/QUOTE]

Hi Jon,

The misting does not appear when I print using normal sheet feet for instance - exact same photograph (or any photograph for that manner) - same paper. Seems odd the electrical issue would only exist for manual front feed?


#4

If the misting occurs on all papers - this type of issue is electrical.

Are you saying that the misting does not occur using regular feed?

Are you saying that the misting does not occur using other sheets?

Because you are using a backing sheet you may wish to increase the platen gap to wide setting.

Let me know about the misting on other media…


#5

Hi Jon,

Yes if I use the regular feed the misting does not occour.
I tried printing one a different paper (ilford galleri smooth perl) - again using the backing paper and the front manual feed. Misting occours then.
I then tried printing with ilford galleri smooth perl using backing paper using wide paper gap and setting the paper as being 0.6mm thick in the driver - again misinting occours.
Then I did an last attempt - went in the opposite direction - I taped four papers together on top each other creathing a thick sheet more like a mm thick and printed again using ilford galleri smooth pearl and using the front feeder - then the misting seems to considerably reduce - I think the misting is somehow associated to the thickness of the paper.

I noticed on the front feed tray that there is an indication that looks like the paper should be 1.2-1.5 mm thick, so I am now starting to wonder if my papers I am sending through is actually to thin?

MTW Jon - allow me to say this: color prints, printed with a second layer of GO looks absolutely stunning!! I had a guy in the US print a GO layer on top of one of my colour prints - looks absolutely stunning!