[Alt-photo] epson p800 problems

Anne Chansonette chansonette at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 00:54:22 UTC 2017

Hi Keith,

     I was hoping this might be it---a clear cause and fix, but I think I
have more than one thing going on. The printer problems do need to be
addressed, but I am also seeing black specks after coating, before exposure
and without a negative in place, so it seems pretty clear that there is a
chemistry problem too. I have been trying everything---

I stopped tearing my paper using a stainless steel rule and used the edge
of a piece of glass instead and have been making sure there is no contact
with any metal at any point.
I have replaced chemicals with fresh ones.
I have developed and cleared out my brushes, as well as trying new brushes.
I put new droppers in all bottles.
I stopped using, for now anyway, my beakers for soaking brushes, shot
glasses for sensitizer, etc and have been using only brand new, clean,
disposable containers.

And still, I am getting black specks.

My preferred method for palladium printing is to use Ferric #1 and Na2 on
HPR. However, one test I have done is making me suspicious of the Ferric
#1. I tried coating with FeO#1 and FeO#2 instead of the Na2, and found that
if I used more FeO2 and less FeO1, I saw very little black plague, tough of
course the contrast levels are all off then. I've been buying FeO#1 in
solution from Bostick and Sullivan. Chris suggested I try buying from
Artcraft instead. What do you think? Also, I had some Rives paper here from
gumming so just out of curiosity I coated a little of that---the problem
was much worse than on the HPR---larger black spots and more of them.

I'll start tackling the printer and will definitely check your website for
that info, but am pretty sure I have contamination somewhere in the
sensitizing process. I suppose it could be in the environment, but I can't
think what would cause that.

I'm such a fan of your work, Keith---thanks so much for taking the time to
help me.


On Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 5:25 PM, Keith Schreiber via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:

> Hi Anne,
> Marek may be on to something ... take a print and the negative and line
> them up over a light table to see if spots happen to correspond to
> star-wheel (the term Epson uses for the wheels) created pinholes. This
> actually was the source of someone's black spots on Pt/Pd prints on another
> forum not long ago.
> There are a couple of ways to go about eliminating the star-wheel problem.
> The simpler one, if you are lucky and it works on your particular printer,
> is to use the front feed. The problem with this is that front feed is
> intended for thick materials like poster board, and it seems to override
> any platen-gap setting. I have 2 3880s. One of them works well for
> negatives using the front feed, but the other has a lot of what I call
> overspray indicating too large of a gap. No setting change either on the
> panel or in paper configuration made any difference.
> The more complicated but more effective way is to disable the star-wheel
> mechanism by tricking the printer into thinking the front-feed in being
> used even though it's not. Walker Blackwell shared how to do this with me
> and I wrote it up as an article (with illustrations) that is posted on my
> website. It is written for the 38xx models specifically since that is what
> I have, but it works on the P800 as well. The only difference is in how to
> remove the front left cover to access the cam mechanism. Here is a link to
> the article:
> https://jkschreiber.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/how-to-disable-
> star-wheels-on-an-epson-3880/ <https://jkschreiber.
> wordpress.com/2016/08/08/how-to-disable-star-wheels-on-an-epson-3880/>
> As to the linear striations you mentioned, which direction do they go?
> Parallel to paper to the paper path, or parallel to the print head
> movement? For that matter are they parallel to edges of the film or do they
> wander, are they all oriented the same, always in the same locations, ink
> side or back side?
> Cheers,
> Keith
> Keith Schreiber
> jkschreiber.com
> > On Sep 28, 2017, at 6:13 PM, Anne Chansonette via Alt-photo-process-list
> <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
> >
> > Hey list friends,
> >
> >     I put out a cry for help last week here regarding what I think is
> > black plague in my palladium prints, but as I am trying to solve that I
> am
> > also finding that I have some printer issues going on, I use an Epson
> Sure
> > Color P800 to make my digital negs on Pictorico, as I know many of you do
> > as well. I am suddenly seeing weird linear striations as well as tiny
> > spots, flecks and other issues. There are tiny holes in areas that should
> > be dense black. I'm even getting some scratching or scarring of the
> > surface---I am guessing what I have heard on here referred to as "pizza
> > wheels"?
> >
> >     Questions: what paper width and platen gap are you all using---I am
> > wondering if these are part of the problem... I'm not sure though why
> > things would change when I have been generating negs for a couple years
> now
> > on this printer. Any thoughts?
> >
> > Best,
> > Anne Eder
> > www.anneeder.com
> > _______________________________________________
> > Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org
> _______________________________________________
> Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org

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