Epson P900… here we go again

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    Topic: Epson P900… here we go again Read 319 Times
  • Eric Brody
    Eric Brody
    Participant
    Posts: 66
    Epson Printers
    on: May 2, 2024 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve written a fair amount in various fora about my problems with the Epson P900

    In the last day it has started spewing small amounts of black ink on the margins and onto the print area. Of course, I’m preparing for a workshop and need to have some prints.

    My first P900, purchased in November 2022 worked well for about six months and then it would not feed even thin papers through the rear feed. After much fuss, Epson replaced it with a refurbished unit in June of 2023. I had a few problems with the front feed popping out in the middle of a rear feed print and ruining the print. Then it seemed to work reasonably well.

    For my luster paper I use Canson Platine, with the rear feed as it is 0.4mm thick, less than the 0.5mm recommended for the front feed. My matte paper is Canson Arches 88, a fairly thick paper at 0.48mm which I use with the front feed.

    Nozzle checks are fine and in desperation I even did a print head cleaning to no avail.

    I have read reviews of the Epson 5370 and, according to both Mark Segal and Keith Cooper, it sounds like a solution even with the almost US$2K price tag.

    The 5370 seems to be hard to get. B&H isn’t even allowing backorders which makes me nervous. I’ll likely call Epson tomorrow and see what they might do.

    Any thoughts would be welcome. At this point Canon printers seem attractive (?) but they do not run QTR Rip which I like to use for my black and white work.

    Thanks to all,

    Eric

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 948
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #1 on: May 2, 2024 at 8:42 pm

    I think you should definitely call Epson ProGraphics Tech support about the ink drops on the margins. That sounds like a mechanical/electrical problem from the print head or its ink-feeding structure that shouldn’t happen, but they’ve probably seen it before and will know how to advise you.

    I don’t believe this problem relates to the kind of paper or the feeds for the papers you are using, however, just in case, if you can, I suggest trying some Epson Legacy Platine or Baryta II for luster and Epson Legacy Fibre, Etching or Textured for the matte and see whether that improves the situation. Platine, Baryta II and Fibre can all be fed through the top feed (what they call the back feed) successfully.

    As for the SC-P5370 – ya, it’s a step up – very robust chassis designed for high production, and yes, from all I hear it’s in short supply because demand for it has been stronger than expected. I must advise, however, that if you are printing with the combination of Mac OS Ventura/Sonoma and Lightroom you may experience colour management problems which can be avoided using Epson Print Layout or Photoshop, but neither of those print directly from raw files – you’d convert to TIFF. Or use an earlier MacOS.

    The Canon Pro-1000 is a nice printer, produces very good results, but is more limited than the P900 and given its age probably due for replacement, though Canon has not made any announcement that I’m aware of. Based on my objective and subjective testing I am of the view that both the Canon and Epson printers can make stunning B&W prints just using their native software and Lightroom or Photoshop.

    Eric Brody
    Eric Brody
    Participant
    Posts: 66
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #2 on: May 4, 2024 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks so much for your always helpful comments.

    Mirabile dictu, (miraculous to say)  ( I took Latin in high school and rarely get a chance to use it).

    I’ve managed to solve my problem, at least temporarily. I did as you suggested and called Epson Tech Support. They were polite and pleasant as usual but ultimately were not much help. I was disappointed to hear that the one year warranty does not cover replacement units and is based on the date of purchase of the original machine (which I sent back to them in 2023/06). My original purchase was November 2022. That machine was replaced in June of 2023, less than a year ago. So the machine is off warranty and repairs are at my expense.

    I called around to see if there were any 5370’s available and there are none (if anyone reading this knows of somewhere I can get one, please let me know). The nearest official Epson Approved Service Center is in Idaho! I live in the Portland, Oregon area. I called a local service shop and was told the machine could be cleaned for US$144 with any parts added to that and that it could be US$400-500. To me that makes repair of the machine a non-starter. I cannot sell this machine in good conscience but considered buying a new one, and assuming it works well, selling it when the 5370 bec0mes available but decided to hold off.

    I then opened the Epson Media Installer and copied the settings for both Premium Luster (the media for Canson Platine) and Enhanced Matte (the media for Canson Arches 88). I increased the platen gap for both papers and also adjusted the paper thickness. I renamed the settings for Platine and Arches and proceeded to make prints.

    Amazingly, the prints had no black smudges!

    I’m holding my breath that it continues to work.

    Best to all,

    Eric

     

     

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 948
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #3 on: May 4, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Eric,

    That is very interesting. It means that the cause was probably head strikes, which didn’t occur to me as head strikes don’t usually present themselves as “spewing ink”, but now that you have taken those measures, which is what one does for head strikes, this may well be what happened and you’ve solved it. Let’s hope is stays well.

    Mark

    George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 70
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #4 on: May 6, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    I purchased the P900 when it was introduced and have been printing on Canson Platine since day one… I have found that whenever I have ink smudges of any kind it is because I forget to toggle the thick paper setting within the physical printer menu….Every time the printer is powered off the thick paper setting returns to default setting if I don’t remember that when I power back on I usually pay the price with ink spots on margins of some type.

    You’ve probably already played with this setting but wanted to throw this out there just in case….

    Cheers,

    George

    Eric Brody
    Eric Brody
    Participant
    Posts: 66
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #5 on: May 6, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks George, I’ll try that should the problem recur. Your suggestion is certainly appreciated.

    I’m still unhappy with my P900 refurb. While it now no longer smears ink, since I adjusted the platen gap and paper thickness in the Epson Media Installer, the paper feed is still a problem. The front feed works with thicker matte papers, eg Canson Arches 88 and Moab Entrada 300, but I seem not to be able to use thinner papers with the front feed for some reason. I tried the front feed with a piece of 11×17 Canson Platine and Epson Premium Luster and it repeatedly gave me a paper loading error and spit the paper back out. When I use the top feed with Platine, it feeds, but consistently produces a small bend near the top of the print, not in the print area but annoying nonetheless. I watched Keith Cooper’s excellent video on using the front feed set to “no eject feed-roller paper glossy” with thin papers to avoid pizza wheels. It worked for him, not for me. I kept it to “no eject feed-roller paper glossy” and it failed (paper feed error) as it did when I set it to thick paper, nothing seemed to work.

    I know… I sound like a broken record. I just reviewed various forum commentaries comparing the Epson P900 with the Canon Pro 1000. If there’s any consistent trend it is that the P900 has more problems than the Pro-1000, mostly with paper feed. The Canon seems more sturdy but is an ink hog. People seem to be able to tolerate it and it has a vacuum to hold the paper flat. Both reportedly make great prints.

    I’m impatient; I really want an Epson P5370 but cannot find one for sale anywhere. I’m still considering getting another P900 to tide me over until a 5370 is available (a month? two months? longer?) but have become convinced that the P900 is fatally flawed despite the great reviews and the obvious fact that many people seem to be able to use it successfully. Another option is getting a Canon Pro-1000 to tide me over. Decisions, decisions. My local store sells both and tells me the Canon’s outsell the Epson’s. I’d rather spend money on ink than time fussing with the P900. Another consideration is that the Pro-1000 has been around for a while and there have been rumors of a replacement… for a while. With my luck, I’ll get one and then a week later, there will be a new version.

    I earn no money from my obsessive hobby but do really like to print.

    Best to all,

    Eric

    George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 70
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #6 on: May 6, 2024 at 7:16 pm

    I feel your pain and you have my sympathy but unfortunately no real answers….

    I print mainly on 8.5 x11 and 17×22  Canson Platine Fibre Rag 310g and Canson Photographique 310g… Occasionally Epson Hot Press Bright and a few sheets of Epson Exhibition Fiber all of which were fed through the printers sheet feeder.  I have never used the front loading feature of the printer.

    I’ve had occasional issues feeding paper probably due to curl or alignment but have always managed to get it through. As I described above the Ink smears in the margins and on edges no longer happen if I remember to toggle the  Paper Thickness setting.

    Best of luck I hope your current setting continue to hold out!

    Cheers,

    George

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 948
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #7 on: May 6, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    Eric – when I reviewed the P900 the paper feeds worked well. I had a lot to say about using those feeds in my review article. If following all the advice there you are still having trouble it means either you are not following carefully enough the instructions as to which feed to use for which type of paper, or more likely as you seem to know what you are doing, there are mechanical problems with your particular refurbished unit. I have had trouble with refurbished office printers in the past, so it being a refurb is for me automatically at least an orange light. If you are certain to be using the correct feed for the paper per my advice in my review, and you are still having loading damage, call Epson and ask for a new refurb. After I went through three of their refurbs on the office printer I demanded and received a new printer and it worked fine until I decided to replace it for an Ecotank.

    Eric Brody
    Eric Brody
    Participant
    Posts: 66
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #8 on: May 6, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply. I did try to get Epson to send me another refurb but they said the one year warranty is based on the original purchase which, for me was November 2022. Maybe it’s different, better, in Canada, (as are many things).

    I’m sure there are mechanical problems with my printer based on the paper damage when feeding through the top. I’m reasonably sure I’m following the directions for which feed to use. It sounds like there are potential problems with thick paper through the top feed, which I’ve never done though I’ve seen comments from people who’ve done it successfully. I use the top for Platine 0.4mm and Epson Premium Luster 0.25mm and the front for Moab Entrada 300 0.48mm and the thick Canson paper, Arches 88. The front feed works fine for those.

    My problem is that I am impatient. Were I not, I’d just relax and wait for a 5370 to be available. I have a LOT of P900 ink so may just get a new one, hopefully it will work well, and then sell it locally when the 5370 becomes available.

    Best,

    Eric

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 948
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #9 on: May 6, 2024 at 8:37 pm

    Most things Epson in Canada are controlled by and serviced from Epson America, so I doubt conditions would differ. I forget whether I was within warranty for my issues back at the time – I probably was. The supply situation for P5370 printers is tight. The Canon Pro-1000 is a good reliable printer but it isn’t a P5370 – doesn’t provide for the same range of feed options. You can read my review of the Pro-1000t on LuLa. The thing is that it is of Epson P800 vintage – i.e. a good 7 or so years old by now, but depending on what features you need perhaps not a bad idea, partly depending on price versus another P900. If you are not in a big hurry to print, you could also just put your name on a list for a P5370. It seems to me to be very robust; I had no mechanical issues with the one I tested. Just beware that if you are on Mac Ventura or Sonoma you could run into printing fidelity issues if printing from Lightroom.

    Simon Simpson
    Simon Simpson
    Participant
    Posts: 60
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #10 on: May 9, 2024 at 1:23 pm

    Mark, can you say more about printing fidelity issues with Ventura and Sonoma.  Could this affect Canon printers as well ?

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 948
    Re: Epson P900… here we go again
    Reply #11 on: May 9, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Simon,

    In a nutshell, the problem is I discovered that printing with the new SC-P5370 and its driver using Lightroom in Mac OS Ventura simply doesn’t work properly. The results are wrong colours – very obviously wrong colours. I am given to understand the same kind of problem occurs with Sonoma,  but since I don’t use Sonoma I could not test for that. As well I could not test for Canon printers because I don’t use any of those. That’s about it.

    Mark

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