[Alt-photo] epson p800 problems

Keith Schreiber keith at jkschreiber.com
Sat Sep 30 21:25:50 UTC 2017

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?


Keith Schreiber

> 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

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