Epson provides an array of business, consumer, and professional graphics equipment, including printers, projectors, and scanners. The U.S. affiliate of Seiko Epson Corporation staffs more than 70,000 employees globally.
The company creates accurate, color matching devices. Its current portfolio includes the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 Proofing Editions, 7890, and 9890.
The 7900 and 9900 are a fit for production houses with multiple printers. Both are bundled with EFI’s Colorproof XF, which provides Color Manager to build profiles and three-dimensional color correction that lowers delta e. Colorproof XF allows for simultaneous color matching on a portfolio of devices. The 7900 and 9900 printers are similar to the 7890 and 9890, except they include an expanded color gamut using additional orange and green ink.
The Designer Edition package bundles the Stylus Pro 7890 printer and UltraChrome K3 ink with EFI’s eXpress RIP. The combination is designed to perform high-end printing and proofing for graphic designers, photographers, and print providers.
The 24-inch Epson Stylus Pro 7890 Designer Edition bundle includes the printer, stand, media catch bin, inks, and RIP.
The printer’s roll and cut-sheet media loading process is simplified with automatic media loading, movement, skew adjustment, and tracking. Highlights include electronically controlled roll back tension and automatic roll rewind upon release.
It combines eight-color Epson UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta ink technology with auto-sharing matte and photo black inks, and Epson’s micropiezo TFP printhead. Featuring ink repelling coating technology and auto printhead alignment and cleaning, it produces a maximum resolution of 2,880x1,440 dpi.
A benefit to those interested in using the Stylus Pro 7890 for more than proofing, the printer’s UltraChrome K3 ink is rated with a print permanence of up to 200 years in color and over 200 years in B&W. Print permanence is based on accelerated testing of prints on specialty media. Actual print stability varies according to media, image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, and atmospheric conditions.
The company rates print engine speed in various modes. Normal mode speed is three minutes and 47 seconds for 16x20-inch prints or six minutes and 39 seconds for 20x30-inch prints. Total throughput depends on front end RIP, file size, printer resolution, ink coverage, and networking.
The EFI eXpress RIP features complete compatibility with the latest design software suites from Adobe Systems Incorporated. It handles file formats EPS, TIFF, PDF, PS, JPEG, and layered PSD.
During Digital Output’s tests, we created a PDF of the September cover and dropped it into EFI eXpress. The cover was automatically added onto a rendering of 11x17-inch paper; here we enlarged, minimized, nested, tiled, and scaled. We printed at 100 percent of the original file.
Users can also open files directly in programs such as InDesign. When the EFI eXpress RIP is installed, a driver is automatically added in printer/fax settings.
Matching and maintaining exacting color results is achieved with the aid of the RIP’s 16-bit math that handles precise definition of L*a*b* values to find the best color match, as well as built-in Pantone, HKS, Toyo, and DIC spot color libraries. In addition, Epson Professional Media is calibrated for optimal performance.
For designers looking to color match proofs, the Epson Stylus Pro 7890 Designer Edition is ideal. We contacted our commercial printer for its color standards to ensure accurate color matching. SWOP2006_C3 was imported into the EFI eXpress application using profile preferences. We then renamed it, added it to presets, and set it as our default profile for future use.
Using the September cover, we imported the PDF file, choose the new preset, and printed. Epson Standard Proofing Paper SWOP3, a semi-matte finish, 9-mil, SWOP Grade 3 certified paper was used for the final output. Matching our proof with the original cover from our printer we found little to no difference.
The EFI eXpress application includes controls such as Absolute Color Metric and Relative Color Metric that help designers during the proofing stage. The Relative Color Metric option eliminates a white cast that may surround a graphic when printed. If the white point of the paper is brighter than the defined output, this occurs.
The EFI eXpress RIP is compatible with Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard and Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. EFI eXpress software for Windows is a 32-bit application compatible with 64-bit operation systems.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 is supported by a standard Epson Preferred Limited Warranty, a one year program that includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday and usually next business day on-site service in the unlikely event of any hardware failure.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 Designer Edition is a worthwhile investment for designers looking for crisp, accurate proofs. Its ease of use—from the media take-up reel to plug and play—is ideal for those not able to devote time to programming and operating a wide format printer in house.