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Epson Debuts UltraChrome K3 Inkset and Four Printers

(June 2005) posted on Mon Jun 06, 2005

Designed for high-resolution photographic printing


Epson has released its next generation of
inks"?UltraChrome K3"?for high-res photographic
printing. In addition, the company
has designed four new printers to
use these inks.

Epson worked with a team of wellknown
photographers to develop the inks,
including Greg Gorman, Jay Maisel, and
Stephen Wilkes. The resultant pigment-based
aqueous inks offer CMYKcm plus
Light Black, Light Light Black, and a Matte
Black that can be switched out with the
normal Photo Black. Epson reports that
this new inkset offers a wide color gamut
due to the high density of the pigments.
The inks also offer high scratch-resistance,
stable color immediately after printing,
and a black density up to 2.44 (L*
value of 3.17).

By using black, light black, and light
light black simultaneously, repor ts
Epson, photographers can achieve: an
improvement in gray balance; the elimination
of color casts; impressive midtones
and highlights for a smoother tonal
scale; and a reduction in metamerism,
gloss differential, and bronzing. In addition,
the inkset allows photographers to
produce salable neutral or toned blackand-
white prints from a single inkset.
Plus, the availability of both a photo/standard
and matte black allows users to print
with standard photo black onto a wide
variety of standard media, or switch to
matte black for better results on Epson
media such as Velvet Fine Art, Enhanced
Matte, and UltraSmooth Fine Art.

Preliminary longevity tests performed
by Wilhelm Imaging Research indicate
that UltraChrome K3 ink users can expect
prints to last from 76 to 310 years under
standard display conditions. With professional
UV display conditions, users can
expect a print life of 100 to 300 years or
longer. Both results are dependent upon
substrate.

The four new Epson printers include
the Epson Stylus Photo R2400, Epson
Stylus Pro 4800, 7800, and 9800. All of
these printers use the UltraChrome K3
inks and feature variable-droplet Micro
Piezo DX3 technology. The Stylus Pro
machines also offer Epson Colorimetric
Calibration technology, automatic head
alignment and cleaning technologies,
Epson PrintJob information system,
FireWire connectivity, and a built-in
media cutter. The two smaller printers are
shipping now, and the larger printers will
ship this fall. Full specs on the printers
were not yet available; we'll provide these
when released.

The 44-in. wide Epson Stylus Pro 9800
features resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dpi,
and 110- and 220-ml cartridges with pressurized
ink technology. Price: $4995; shipping
fall 2005, replaces the 9600.

The wide-format Epson Stylus Pro
7800
is a 24-in. printer that offers a maximum
resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi, 110-
and 220-ml cartridges with pressurized
ink technology. Price: $2995; shipping
fall 2005, replaces the 7600.

The 17-in. Epson Stylus Pro 4800
replaces the popular Epson Stylus Pro
4000. The new printer can handle rolled
and sheetfed media and features 110-
and 220-ml cartridges, and a maximum
resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi. Price:
$1995; shipping now, replaces the 4000.

The Epson Stylus Photo R2400 is a
roll- or sheetfed 13-in. printer which features
eight ink cartridges, maximum optimized
resolutions of 5760 x 1440 dpi,
Epson RAW print software, nik Multimedia
Efex Pro 2, and an X-Rite color guide. Price:
$849; shipping now. (Epson: www.epson.com)


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