Printing and Scanning
by Tony Butka
on the OS/2 Platform
Honest I'll finish off the series about the Epson C80. After last month's demo and questions at the SCOUG general meeting, here are a few answers and links.
First, I promised a semi-lucid explanation about this printer's pigmented inks and how to get better blacks on glossy photo papers. Big thanks to the folks at a company called The Stock Solution for the sleuthing, by the way.
The short answer is that the black ink cartridges do not use the same kind of ink encapsulation as the color inks do. For those who really want to know, here's the explanation from the article:
"Epson's pigmented inks feature a MicroCrystal Encapsulation technology, where pigment crystals are coated in uniquely engineered resin polymer to ensure even particle size and distribution for a color gamut and gloss that far exceeds other pigment solutions and rivals dye. The resin polymer also enhances durability by pulling the pigment deeper into media crevices rather than resting on top of the surface." Got that, right?
What it all really means is that this is how the C80 works so great with plain paper, and why it gets better results with matte paper than with glossy photo paper, where the black ink doesn't lay down into the paper.
For all the gory details, as well as tips for using the C80 with glossy paper, check out the full article at Stock Solutions very cool website
The Inkjetart.com web site is a great resource by the way, particularly for Epson printers and inks and papers; as I write this article they are selling Epson C80's for $129 with no tax and free shipping. Check it out.
Also, I promised to get information on the matte papers that I like for the C80, together with pricing. The Epson Archival/Matte paper in letter size comes in 50 sheet boxes. The Weber- Valentine Photo Matte paper comes in 100 sheet packs. I paid $15.99 for the 50 sheet Epson matte and $25.21 for the other. So the bottom line is that you will pay around 25-30 cents per sheet for these papers and get some impressive images in return. Also, these papers are archival in nature, so teamed with the Epson pigmented inks, your images will be good for longer than you will.
Note these prices are what I got from Inkjetart the last time I ordered and prices can (and will) change. On the other hand, these matte papers deliver simply wonderful results from a 4 color printer that works very well indeed under OS/2 with native driver support. Great for those photos that you want to keep.
As to the other non-plain paper that I demonstrated at the SCOUG meeting, the Epson Premium White papers which come bundled with the printer, they currently list for about $7.99 per 500 sheet ream. On the other hand, Georgia-Pacific Premium Inkjet paper seems to be a match for the Epson and usually costs less at Staples and Office Depot.
Note that I only mention these papers for some specialty work like photos and line art, since plain paper works just fine for the bulk of print jobs. Remember, that's what makes this printer so special and lowers the cost per page compared to other inkjets.
This week, however, I needed to do an original brochure with a shaded background and inserted graphic. The original was going to Kinkos for a few hundred run. In this instance, I wanted the highest resolution I could get for the image, and used the ink setting for premium white at 1440 dpi. The result was noticeably clearer than my plain paper copy, and reproduced very nicely. Your mileage may vary, of course.
OK, enough about this Epson. A couple of other Ink type notes.
- First, there is a new release of Lotus Smart Suite, this time at Version 1.7.1; check out the Fix List.
Basically, the new build represents more stability and bug fixes, an admirable concept in today's software world. Of note to Word users are better Word formatting and html import functions. For these you will need (of course) Software Choice or eCS subscriptions.
- Finally, there is a new version of GhostView, the pdf/postscript file viewer/printer for OS/2. Get the latest at: ftp://mirror.cs.wisc.edu/pub/mirrors/ghost/AFPL/test.
I'm downloading a copy as we speak and will be trying it out for next month's column.
'Til then, you can reach me via Tony@SCOUG.com.
You might want to read the last Ink.
By day, Tony Butka is a bureaucrat for Los Angeles County. In his other life he lives in a loft surrounded by computers, printers, and a host of vinyl records.
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