The Epson Stylus Photo R1900 printer delivers A3 sized prints and features a new ink set to improve skin tones.
Look Up Table Processing
Epson is continuing to dominate the A3 market and the latest in the line-up proves that printer and inkjet technology is still improving. Among that technology is Epson’s LUT (Look Up Table) colour processing, which the company claims provides smooth and accurate colours.
New Ink Set
After the image processing come the inks, and the R1900 uses the latest generation of Espon UltraChrome High Gloss II ink. The set uses separate ink tanks for each colour and aside from the standard cyan, yellow and magenta inks, it also features matte black, photo red, red and orange. There’s also a gloss optimiser for improving the finish of glossy and semi-gloss prints.
Previous UltraChrome inks, such as those used by the R1800 used a blue ink, but the new orange cartridge has replaced this. Epson claims this allows the printer to offer better, more natural skin tones. Other inks have been re-formulated, including the magenta and yellow to provide better green and blue tones, while the gloss optimiser has also had a makeover.
Epson claims that the eight ink formulation of the R1900 can produce a wider colour gamut over a range of 18,446,774 trillion colour combinations. The LUT algorithm is designed to navigate this potential sea of colour and has been designed in partnership with the Munsell Color Science Lab, a leading science institute. To further facilitate smooth images, the R1900 has variable droplet sizes down to 1.5 picolitres, with small drops of ink used for fine detail and larger droplets used in areas of larger colour blocks.
The feed tray accepts cut sheet paper up to A3+ including fine art papers and other heavyweight printing materials and also has a roll adaptor for roll papers. Aside from pure photo printing, the R1900 also has the facility to print on to CD and DVDs.
Print quality is excellent on the whole, especially when using the ICM profile within the print driver. The standard driver profile tends to print slightly colder, with neutral greys veering towards blue. The images pack plenty of detail too, with very good results from print resolutions over 200dpi, which may be needed if printing from lower resolution DSLRs.
Monchrome or split toned images can be difficult for inkjet printers to deal with, but the R1900 handles these pretty well. Epson has long been the printer of choice for the fine-art photographer, and the R1900 continues that tradition. We used the printer straight from the box, and produced great results on various Epson papers, as well as on the gorgeous Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper.
We loved the Epson R1800 and the R1900 has remarkably improved on that model, providing excellent results within a reasonable time of around five minutes for an A3 print. Not only that but it’s also a quiet running baby too. A price of £400 may seem steep but we think it’s worth every penny. Now, where’s the chequebook?