Some early thoughts on using the Epson XP 970 printer


brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 2:25PM
Having finally decided its time to stop selling my prints through local galleries and craft fairs (it was getting too much for me physically now I'm old and decrepit Smile ) I have sold on my Epson SC-P 400 to a camera club member.

To replace it I needed an A4 sized printer that could handle the occasional A3 print and in my searches I found the Epson XP 970 (an A4 printer scanner capable of A3 prints ) for 170 so thought I would give it a try.

I have been using it for a couple of days now and thought others may be interested in how its performed so far (in summary - I'm happy)

Setting up was simple and quite rapid, in size its just a little larger than the footprint of my Canon MG7150 which is my general purpose / office printer and it is significantly lighter and easier to handle than the SC-P 400

I plugged it in and connected it to my ethernet, switched on and followed the on- screen instructions when I met the first potential "gotcha"

Loading the ink cartridges it is possible to appear to have set them in place correctly, then get the message that they are not present. Taking them out and replacing them deeper into the head carrier sorted that out.

The rest of the install went smoothly and took around 7 minutes, after which the installation cartridges provided still appeared to be full (a nice surprise as many in the past have been down to around 50%)

Putting the paper into the upper and lower cassettes was a bit of a fiddle after the SC-P 400 but after a bit of mucking about I got the hang of it

I'll stop here and comment on the printing tests next

Software installation of the PC from disc was smooth, fast and uneventful and intitial print tests showed it was all working

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brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 2:42PM
Printing tests:

Initially I have been using my favourite lustre paper, Permajet oyster which has provided first rate prints with the XP-970

the printing process at A3 is a bit unintuitive in so far as you set the print job up and print it WITHOUT FIRST INSTALLING THE PAPER. If you do it normally you get the message to remove it and start again

The printer then tells you to install the paper (instructions shown on the LCD screen if you need them) so you lift the flap at the back and insert the paper in landscape mode until you get a "beep". Then press Installed and of it goes

Using my normal technique, Epson SRG-B colour, printer set to manage colour the output is sharp, detailed and well coloured (my first tests were for a commissioned baby and family shoot for friends and they were delighted with the results). My "Art Critic" wife, who is an artist reckons she likes the pictures better than those from the SC-P 400 (but she doesn't look at them like a photographer Smile )

I would rate them as certainly of saleable / competition quality but they do lack the subtlety of colour transition / tonality on close inspection (behind glass they would be hard to tell apart)

Just for fun and because I had some left over I then printed out an image of an American Kestrel on the Permajet museum heritage textured fine art paper I use for a lot of my commercial work. (I had to lie and tell the printer it was photo lustre as it doesn't have a setting for the fine art paper)

Feeding it was a bit of a fiddle but once sorted the quality of the output surprised me with great colour accuracy and detail, I will definitely try it again

So far I'm impressed with the balance between cost vs quality, ink use seems a bit high, with light magenta and light cyan down by around 50% but the others are still at 75% +/-
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 4:39PM
A quick test of a black and white image of Scotney Castle surprised me, I can see any colour cast, I'll have to get some of my picky photography mates to give a good stare to see what they reckon

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