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At last Epson is recognizing the bad PR resulting from serious metamerism with the Epson Stylus 2000P and 7500 Print E-mail

New printer drivers with new profiles are supposed to eliminate or at least minimize the unacceptable metamerism which affected many people who had unwittingly purchased a printer prone to this malady. Almost every week or so an e-mail comes in from an Epson inkjet printer user whose prints have been ruined by metamerism. Some people have come close to losing their business. Fortunately most businesses use more stable printers which don't suffer metamerism as seriously as do Epson printers. Epson printers are primarily used by hobbyists. Pros tend to prefer a Roland, I-Jet (Mutoh), Mimaki, ColorSpan, Hewlett-Packard 5000, Iris, or the top-of-the-line Ixia.

epson 7500 metamerism with epson stylus 2000 7500
Epson 7500

It is noteworthy that most complaints on metamerism are with some of the Epson desktop printers such as the 2000p and especially the Epson 7500. It would seem that the Epson 9500 may also be prone to this malady.

Metamerism used to mean the effect when a color looks different depending on whether it is viewed under tungsten lighting or out in natural sunlight. However beginning about last year, metamerism took on a new meaning, namely the defective color that irritate buyers of Epson printers were subjected to.

The first defense that you hear is "well all inkjet prints suffer metamerism." That is like saying that "everyone gets cancer from breathing industrial fumes." Of course, but why is it that owners of Encad, HP, and ColorSpan don't deluge editors with complaints about metamerism? That's because the issue is not metamerism per se, but Epson metamerism. Any attempt to bluff by saying metamerism is normal is like saying cancer is normal.

So why do people who work in screen-printing shops get diseases from the screen printing inks? Why do people who work in a dry cleaning establishment get ill?

Nice thing is that metamerism is not hazardous to your health, aside from pain and suffering combined with mental anguish. But metamerism is hazardous to your pocketbook.

It is noteworthy that millions and millions of dollars of fancy ads did not warn users of metamerism. If these printers were cars, there would have been a federal recall. I guess Ralph Nader does not know much about digital printers.

The Epson 7500 was first presented at DRUPA trade show. FLAAR editor was present, and amazed that an unfinished prototype would be shown to the public with all its flaws, especially to a European public and especially to inquisitive Germans.

Within a few months, however, the new printer improved. It took about a year for adequate media to be developed. So by this summer the printer was mature, indeed was ready for obsolescence because the Epson Stylus Pro 10000 appeared in March 2001, at CeBIT in Germany (sure helps to live in Germany so you can see all the printers before they reach America).

But metamerism has continued to ruin the hobby of countless photographers. Here at our university, the continual "metameric inks" of the Epson 7500 results in it simply sitting unused. Instead we prefer either the Hewlett-Packard 5000ps or the ColorSpan Displaymaker XII since neither exhibit debilitating metamerism.

If you would like some additional documentation, check out.

A notable-quotatable is: "The 2000P has been well reported as suffering from anomalous colour reflectance under daylight, tungsten and fluorescent sources. Pigment inks tend to suffer from metamerism within the CMYK set, and this fault also applies to most comparable products, but Epson as a mass market supplier to a public largely unaware that even regular photographic prints can display this colour shift under different lighting, have encountered some surprise."*

During the last days of August we were notified by Parrot Digigraphic that Epson has finally gotten around to issuing an attempted fix. However it will be necessary to try these out before we report whether they work our not. Surely Epson has enough capable engineers to make a fix that functions, but then again, why did they create metametic inks and media to begin with if their engineers were so capable?

But better late then never. It may turn out that the Epson 7500 is a good choice after all. We hope so, since in the meantime we have two that are semi-abandoned. One suffers a bad case of metamerism; our other Epson 7500 suffers a more severe case of banding, so bad it has led to "dropping out colors." This is probably a result of clogging of the printhead nozzles, a typical problem of Epson piezo printheads. I usually get reports of this problem with Roland printers (which also use Epson piezo printheads, as do Mimaki and Mutoh printers).

Just as soon as we can actually eliminate metamerism we will report back. And as soon as we try out the new improved Epson media (and get the printheads clean) we will report back on our other printer as well. In the meantime now you see why the thermal printhead technology is so well received... these HP and ColorSpan printers escape the problems of an Epson because it's piezo printheads that cause the problems to begin with. No piezo, then no problems of piezo nature.

However piezo printheads also have advantages, indeed we will install a piezo system in a few weeks, an I-Jet (Mutoh).

If you have the Epson metamerism problem, we will update this page as soon as the trade show season is finished.



Last checked by webdesigner Jan. 15, 2003.

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