Red is mostly Orange


Suddenly most bright reds have begun to print orange. Highlights and much lighter reds print ok, shadows are ng.

I have used several different papers and profiles and different saved profiles for the same paper, but with the same results.

I use Windows 7 and an Epson Stylus Pro 7880. There have been no recent upgrades to anything. There have been no system changes or changes in Photoshop print settings.

I have run nozzel checks which show nothing clogged and have run a single channel flush for vivid magenta and a comparison between vivid magenta and light magenta. These single
channel flushes look normal. However, the nozzle checks show that the vivid magenta is lighter than the LM and it appears to be somewhat orange (see pic below).

Can anyone give some advice?

Interesting, I’ve noticed a similar thing on my R3000. I’ve been assuming it’s a colour gamut issue that I’ve just never noticed before. It also improved a little when I decreased the brightness slider in LR. I first noticed that a few skin tones seemed off which is when I started looking at this. If I’d never seen the real object before, or when I look at the print away from the object, it looks normal. If you look at my thread on this, you’ll see the difference. However, the on screen images seem to exaggerate the effect. The print does not appear as orange, but when compared side by side with the real object you can tell. I understand that it will be impossible for several reasons to get a perfect match.

However, you experience is interesting. I’d really like to see the outcome of this thread, in case any of it applies to me.

Are you using QTR Calibration Mode to print the flush image for the VM? This will print only from the VM channel and not pull other colors into create the VM image, as it would if printing through a color managed system. Here are the instructions for printing pure flush image through QTR

Yes, the single channel flush was from the VM QTR image.

I ran several prints and they all looked like the QTR image.

How often do you shake your ink cartridges?
How often is your printer used vs. how long does it sit unused?
Had your printer sat unused for a while before the VM started printing light/orange?

There should be an obvious difference between VM and VLM, so I suspect your VM is settled (?)
Typically, if a damper has a lot of build up, you will experience missing nozzles, which you’re not having.


I shake the printer every week or so and some times the carts.
The printer is not used for 24" x prints frequently, but used every few days at least for test 8x10’s to stuff wet.
The printer had not sat before noticing the change, but I had poured a new 350ml bottle of LM a week or so before.
I have also printed at least 12 sheets of 8x10’s with single channel QTR M over the past week.

Thanks for the additional information. I don’t suspect filling your LM cartridge would effect your VM channel…
I attached an image you sent, comparing your VM and VLM print outs:

These 2 look very similar…have you done a swab test out of the cartridges themselves to verify you didn’t fill LM into your VM cartridge by accident?

The VM is almost empty and is an older ink purchased Oct 2012. The LM is brand new and was filled very full. I never removed the VM, but I will swab the two as you suggest.

I would suspect your VM ink is simply past it’s expiration date and has lost it’s density. I would recommend removing what you can from the current VM cart of old VM ink and filling it with a new bottle, then running 3 Power cleaning cycles to get the new ink worked into the system.

I believe that I now know what is happening and tomorrow I should know for sure after about an hour of work and I will let you know what I find out.

I am sending pics of the cart swabs and you will be surprised. I believe the swabs are the answer, but it is not what you said.

I do thank you very much for that recomendation. Perhaps you now know what I am thinking.

I fixed the problem.

I did swabs directly from the VM & LM carts and since the swabs from the carts were very different, like you said those colors should be, I suspected a clog since the VM channel printed so light in a auto nozzle check.

I looked at the VM cart since I had cleaned the print heads and the capping station and the cleaning station last week.

The VM cart ink delivery nozzle and the printer receiving nozzle were covered with gunk and gummy stuff.

I cleaned them with swabs, a little windex and then a final wash with distilled water on a swab. I then poured the ink out of the cart through a filter and cleaned the inside of the cart with warm tap water then windex and finally distilled water. The spring & ss ball inside of the cart that closes the nozzle seemed dirty because I could not see through that area. I cleaned it with help opening it with a thin round plastic tooth pick and by keeping the cart cap open windex flowed out nicely. The windex really helped to clear that area. I don’t think it was blocked inside, but just a precaution.

There was nothing I could see in the filter, I let it drip for minute or two and I didn’t squeeze it out. I shook out the water from the cart and refilled with the filtered VM.

I made a test print and there was red just like that.

Now I have get rid of the air bubbles.

Thanks so very much and make sure KellyC sees this post if you could

This could have been compounded due to settling pigments in your old ink, causing the “gumming” of your exit valve in your cartridge and not allowing for unrestricted flow. Although you have seen improvement as of now and are up and running (minus the air in the lines) I would still advise replacing your VM with a new bottle of ink to ensure for proper flow. I would also recommend for an added precaution, replace the VM cartridge at the same time.

I’m happy to hear you made some forward progress on this problem. I suspect the problem will arise again in the near future, at which point replacing the ink and cartridge would be the recommendation.