More on the Epson 780
The following information on the Epson 780 (now available for about $70) is from Jeremy Bruskotter.
After Jim's first e-mail on the 780 a few months back, I decided to "bite the bullet" and get one. About the same time, I finally made it
over to Galen Rowell's gallery in Emeryville, California (I'm living in Oakland only a few miles away). Rowell hung for comparison a traditional Ilfochrome print and a Digital LightJet print. There was no question that the
LightJet had more accurate color, better rendition of shadow details, and (and this
I decided to stack my 780 up against the LightJet to see how things came out. I had an 8x10 image printed on a LightJet printer and had them save the
scan to a CD. I then printed the same image on my 780. The result- The
A few more observations:
One of the downsides to both the LightJet & Epson prints is that color saturation is not quite what it is in a really nice ilfochrome. I've been to both Rowell's & Thomas Mangelsen's Galleries recently, and Mangelsen's Ilfochrome's have far better color saturation. The problem is that ilfochromes are expensive, far more contrasty, and it's almost impossible to find a printer that will really do an exceptional job. Also, increased saturation is not always a good thing- especially with wildlife and portraiture. In addition, they now have a super-gloss paper available for LightJet prints that should help to increase visible color saturation.
A minor annoyance with the 780 is that when your printing at the highest quality settings it can be incredibly slow! Unfortunately for me, all of my USB ports on my computer are in use, so I've been forced to run the printer through the printer port (Parallel interface). Using this configuration, high res prints can take up to 25 minutes for a single 8x10! However, unless you are printing in large quantities, this should only be a minor annoyance.
All in all I would recommend the Epson 780 as a wonderful way to make high-quality, photographic prints and save a bundle on printing!
December 4, 2001
Copyright © Jim Doty, Jr. All rights reserved.