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First test

PRICES: £1086


Epson SureColor SC-P900

With an expanded blue colour gamut, three paper paths and no need to swap over black inks, the Epson SureColor SC-P900 is the ideal printer for creatives wanting to produce gallery-quality prints at home

EPSON HAS UPDATED its popular SC-P600/800 printers with the SC- P700/SC-P900, the newmodels offering performance and handling benefits. If you own one of the previous generation of Epson printers and, assuming you output in gloss/lustre finishes and regularly need to move on to art/matte finishes, or vice versa, the single biggest handling benefit is that there is no need to switch between photo black and matte black inks. With the SC- P700/900, both are permanently on tap, which is very much a good thing. If you’re approaching this test from the perspective of a photographer wanting to produce exhibition-quality A2 size prints from a desktop unit, the SC-P900 could be your dreammachine. Folded up, it’s not much bigger than some old A3+ printers, but of course you do need more roomwhen it’s opened up to use. For example, to use the rear feed slot, you need plenty of room behind the unit – at least 42cm with A2 paper. Space behind is also needed if your aim is making 17in wide prints using the optional roll paper holder, which costs £213. My sample was ready and wirelessly connected to my computer within minutes of unpacking. All the usual sticky tape holding down parts of a new printer had already been removed and inks (about one third full) were loaded. A head check revealed that the seven of the ten heads needed cleaning, so I went

through two head cleaning cycles before the printer head test print looked perfect and I was all set. I tried a range of papers that included Traditional Photo Paper, Premium Lustre and Fine Art Cotton Textured Natural, all fromEpson, plus FotospeedMetallic Gloss, Canson Edition Etching Rag and Permajet FB Gold Silk 315. Using an X-Rite i1Studio kit, I made custom profiles for them all before starting. My test prints included a range of subjects, from portraits and street shots to landscapes and nature. I was very happy with the SC-P900’s output. I like gritty black &white prints with solid shadows and I got those thanks to printer’s claimed 2.91 D-Max rating, but it was equally at home with subtle colour, flower shots on textured papers. And being able to go from baryta paper to matte without any costs in time and ink is a big plus for me as an SC-P800 owner. I did some comparison mono prints on both printers and, while both looked great viewed in isolation, the SC-P900 prints were a little better. Colour prints looked lovely too and I made several that tested the printer's expanded blue gamut. Yes, those came out very well too. Handling was good and I didn't have any paper feed issues and I love the printer's interior light so you can see immediately, for example, if the print is being made in the right orientation so you can cancel it if not. WC

SPECS ›  Prices SureColor SC-P900 £1086 Ink cartridges £37.99 each Maintenance tank £19.99 ›  Maximumprint size A2 59.4x42cm, 43.1cm (17in) wide ›  Maximum resolution 5760x1440dpi ›  Printingmethod Variable-sized droplet technology ›  Ink system UltraChrome Pro 10 ›  Colours Cyan, vivid magenta, photo black, matte black, grey, light grey, yellow, vivid light magenta, light cyan, violet ›  Ink cartridge capacity 50ml ›  Nozzle configuration 180 nozzles for each colour ›  Control panel 4.3in LCD touchscreen ›  Paper handling Cut sheet – 8.9cm (3.5in) to 43.1cm (17in) ›  Paper thickness Front thick media: 0.3-0.7mm Front straight path: 0.7-1.5mm Roll path: 0.12-0.70mm ›  Roll paper unit Optional £213 ›  Power consumption 24W during printing 1.1W standby mode ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 61.5x19.9x36.8cm (closed) 61.5x52x90.5cm (open) ›  Weight 14.8kg without cartridges ›  Contact

ABOVE Print on Canson Infinity Edition Etching Rag, a softly textured matte paper ideal for delicate shots like this, and the SC-P900 did a great job with the colour rendition

The Epson SC-P900 is an impressive, very capable machine. Being able to produce A2-size gallery-quality prints at home in a unit with such a small footprint is wonderful. PROS No black ink swapping, printing performance, black enhancement features CONS Touch panel was not very responsive on our sample Verdict

ABOVE Test scene printed on Epson Traditional Photo Paper. Strong and delicate colours came out equally accurately and tonal range was impressive

68 Photography News | Issue 83

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