This department will attempt
to provide solutions to problems readers may have getting into and using
digital cameras, scanning, and using digital photographic images with
a computer and different kinds of software. All questions sent to me
will be answered with the most appropriate information I can access
and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this
department. Readers can send questions to me addressed to Shutterbug
magazine, through the Shutterbug website, directly via e-mail to: email@example.com
or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Epson Stylus C82
Q. I want to buy an Epson Stylus C82 printer but would like
to get some experienced feedback on it if possible. I make note cards
and want to know if the cards are not enclosed in glass or framed will
they fade? Can you print on paper that is not ink jet coated and still
get sharp results?
To answer your last question first, because the C82 inks are pigment
based they do not soak into the paper and diffuse as much as dye inks
applied to "plain" uncoated papers, so provide better print
performance. In fact Epson has optimized print performance for the C82
with plain and fiber-based matte-coated papers.
Print image life is also enhanced by the fact that the C82 uses pigment-based
inks which are inherently more stable and impervious to changes affected
by exposure to the elements. However, there are two considerations that
must be taken into account. Even pigment inks will change and fade eventually
when exposed to sunlight, moisture, and airborne contaminants, all of
which will also affect the paper on which the image is printed. This
is especially the case with plain, non-pH-balanced stock with an acid-residue
That said I am sure images printed with the C82 on good quality neutral
pH paper stock will maintain color integrity under any conditions much
longer than those printed using dye inks. I don't believe for
the purpose you described you can obtain any better printing solution
at such a reasonable cost.
More On The Epson
Q. Your digital reviews and Digital Help department in Shutterbug are
great! Prior to the introduction of the Epson 2200 and the smaller 960
printers, you have not been satisfied with gray scale printing using
black ink only. But all of that changed this year with the 2200 and
the 960, both of which impressed you very much when printing gray scale
using black ink only.
Now, in the May 2003 issue of Shutterbug, you have high praise for the
black ink only printing of another Epson Stylus printer, the C82, which
sells for about $149. You state, "Black and white photographic
images are reproduced exceptionally well by the Epson Stylus C82...not
just using the color ink mode, but using the black ink only mode which
reproduced very sharp, crisply detailed images with a full range of
neutral tones." The C82 also has separate ink cartridges, however,
nowhere near the number that the 2200 or the 960 use. My question is
simply this: Does this relatively inexpensive Epson printer "really"
do a bang up job in gray scale using the black ink only selection? Or,
am I reading more into your review than is actually there?
The black ink only gray scale (black and white photo) printing on the
newer Epson ink jets is far improved over older versions of the printers
for two primary reasons: 1) these printers have a higher resolution
at which they can print and 2) there are more and finer ink jet nozzles.
The ink applied is done more finely and has a greater range of potential
tones even though you might be using one ink color and set of jets.
However do not expect the inexpensive C82 to produce prints with quite
the same refinement of quality as the much more expensive Stylus Photo
2200--that would be unreasonable to assume or expect.
Support In Applications
Q. In a recent Digital Help you wrote: "First of all, neither
PaintShop Pro or FreeHand are color managed applications as are the
Adobe applications like Illustrator and the recent versions of Photoshop
No questions or complaints here, just an FYI. After spending some time
learning and reading this weekend, it appears both programs actually
do have some kind of color management in their latest versions (PSP
7.04 and FH-MX). How well this works compared to how Adobe does it,
I cannot say.
FreeHand uses a different system for color management and I haven't
totally figured it out yet. They say, "The Kodak Digital Science
and Apple ColorSync color systems use standard profiles approved by
the International Color Consortium (ICC) to help you manage color in
FreeHand. These model-specific, ICC-compatible profiles supplied by
the manufacturers appear in the FreeHand Color Management dialog box,
along with custom profiles. FreeHand reads all ICC Version 2 compatible
profiles. Additional manufacturer profiles are available on the Internet
at www.colorsync.com. Device manufacturers' websites may also
I looked into PaintShop Pro's latest version. What they are calling
color management is simply enabling control via sRGB color space. This
is to be avoided like the plague, because sRGB reduces the color gamut
to the mean average of standard monitors, a color gamut that drops out
as much as 30 percent or more of the information in a scan from an Ektachrome
transparency. sRGB is intended only for web use, not for full photographic
image processing and reproduction.
In other words, if you have this latest version of PaintShop Pro you
should not enable color management. However, without it you are working
in monitor color space, and unless your monitor is calibrated and profiled,
your system and printer is blind in terms of knowing what the source
is you're printing from.
With FreeHand in the latest version apparently the Windows version installs
the Kodak Precision CM engine for internal use by FreeHand. This should
allow printing from a known source to a specific printer profile via
the printer driver from FreeHand. However, that does leave the question
whether or not FreeHand is using a proprietary standard workspace profile
as Adobe does or if you are working in monitor color space. You will
have to establish that from Macromedia documentation.