When I first discovered this issue I was dismayed. I don't mind leaving an inch border on A3, A3+, 13"x19", but on A4 & Letter sizes that's a lot of paper lost. (I find that 20mm is sufficient to leave, even though you often see banding beyond that if you only leave the minimum 1/8" border. If you leave 20mm, I don't see any banding. Don't ask my what happened to the banding you saw beyond that point - the QTR dithering algorithm is beyond my understanding.) This is almost enough to send you back to K3 printing.
But help is at hand. There is a solution, which is to use a lead sheet and trailing sheet, as is recommended for gloss overcoat printing. See
While this is intended for a gloss overcoat, you can also print the image this way. So I tell QTR that I have a 2" lead sheet and 2" trailing sheet and use a suitable custom paper size. I centre the print on the page. So I do all my A4 printing this way. A couple of tips:
- I don't actually use a trailing sheet - it's too hard to tape it on so that it doesn't get ripped off and jam the paper path and ruin the print by damaging the page. So long as QTR thinks it's there then there's no banding that I can see, and if you try to print too close to the physical end of the page then the printer will sense that there's no more paper (at least that's what it does on my R1900) and won't print anything on the last 1/8" / 3.12mm.
- In order to be able to remove the masking tape afterwards, you need to use a very good quality painter's masking tape and be careful in removing it. Gloss papers are not so bad, but matte papers are trickier and HPR is especially difficult not to remove a bit of the back of the paper with the tape. I don't peel it away from the edge of the paper, I lift it from the edge of the tape and peel towards the edge of the paper.
- And if you do print on gloss and need to dry it with a hair dryer before you apply the gloss overcoat, then whatever you do don't dry it with the tape attached, because that seems to set the masking tape glue and makes tearing the paper even more likely.
This may sound hard and a lot of work, but it's not really. You get used to it, and it works. What's the alternative? Huge borders around your prints?
I've seen reports from people using 3880 printers who claim not to get this leading and trailing microbanding. I don't understand this, especially as you printer is in effect a smaller version of theirs. You do, as do I, and here is my solution.