Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/06/27

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Subject: [Leica] Digital darkroom update
From: Darrell Jennings <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 06:19:06 -0700 (PDT)

So now I am a few weeks and many sheets of paper into
this thing and here is how it is going....

Peizotone inks have pretty well solved the clogging
problem on the black and white printer.  Pretty well
meaning that yes it clogs (usually only the grey that
is plugged into the cyan feed), but seems to clear
easily with simple head clean routine from the prtiner
driver software. Initially I was getting pristine
prints out of this one, but now am getting some
banding noticable in the deep blacks.  I've done a
head alignment which helped but didn't make the
problem go away.  Now I'm running a large test print
to verify that the paper feed is within specs.  Next
steps will probably be take it back to the local Epson
repair tech.  He has several alignment methods that he
ran run that can't be done from the alignment tool in
the printer driver. Hopefully it will not require a
new print head. 

The generations printer is working very well now,
though not producing good prints (more on that is a
second).  It required a new print head last week (glad
I bought a new printer because it was covered under
warranty). It did take several trips to the Epson
repair guy before we attempted everything and swapped
the heads as a last resort. 

More now on not producing good results....I printed a
number of pictures that had odd un-natural grain
patterns, one even had a "vortex" pattern in the
middle of the shot. As I explored these more I found
that they could be traced back to the scanner. Scans
that printed fine on my HP 970 do not print well on
the 3000.  The reason seems to be that the 970 is a
bit muddier, and masks the bad scans. The pictures
that fare least well are those that have large blocks
of smooth color with subtle changes in hue (skys for
example). I fear that my 2450 is not going to get the
job done...but will do a few more tests before looking
at other scanners. I swapped the cable yesterday, and
will re-scan some of the harder to print images....

Any thoughts on high quality scanners that will handle
medium format and 35mm are appreciated.  I'd like to
be able to actually take one of the problem images and
test scan it on new scanner candidates before spending
the rather large sum necessary to go to anything
better than the 2450...Any history out there with the
Nikon 8000?  Any other scanners around that are good
without having to sell a car to buy an Imacon? 

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