The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review

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  • Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Keymaster
    Posts: 750
    New Article Announcements & Discussions
    on: December 7, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Our long-awaited review of the long-awaited Epson SC-P900 is now available, and I’ll stress the word “long” in respect of this review as well. Mark has gone out of his way (and he tells me almost out of his mind) to present a truly comprehensive, in-depth analysis and evaluation of this printer “because of where the new features took me as I poked around”; he emerged from the work liking what he saw. His summary observations are at the end of the paper (before the Annexes) for those who wish to cut to the bottom line quickly, but I would very much urge you to delve into the content – there’s a lot here. Topics covered include set-up, finding Epson’s profiles, key operational features, comparisons between this printer, the SC-P800 and SC-P5000, printer economics, Black and White printing, the new Black Enhance Overcoat/Carbon Black, new software, wireless operation, use of the paper feeds, driver settings (much new), making panoramas on canvas, printing accuracy with Platine and Matte papers, printing workflow, Epson Print Layout and printing from a mobile device, the new Epson Media Installer, plus, plus……. Enjoy. 

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Brad Smith
    Brad Smith
    Participant
    Posts: 17
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #1 on: December 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Wow!  No, not the printer ……which is very impressive.  Wow is for Mark’s effort.  Spectacular

    Brad Smith

    Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Participant
    Posts: 38
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #2 on: December 7, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Mark-What a spectacular review!  Many, many thanks.  I will certainly need to read the review multiple times.

    Amongst the questions that immediately come to mind:

    1. Is the quality of the printed images “noticeably” superior to those obtained from the P800?  Of course, one understands the subjectivity of the question.  However, knowing your modus you might have already compared gamut of a given print of the P900 with the P800.  Perhaps I missed the comparisons in your article?  More important than the quantitative review using the software….will small improvements in gamut really be noticed when holding the print?

    2. Smaller and the greater number of ink carts will mean more replacements needed.  One must suspect that the eventual cost for ink will be more than for the P800.  We know that Epson will certainly be increasing the selling prices for their carts.  I have read that the “lockout” provisions of the new P printers will definitely prevent the use of third party inks….once Epson has a monopoly on the inks, then buyers must expect the worst.

    3.  Obviously paper manufacturers will eventually have to profile their papers for the new P900.  However, for those of us who have already profiled our papers using experts who provide profiling services the cost of new profiles must be added to the cost of the printer.  If quality is only marginally better, and if one has the space…well, even thought the controls on the printer are excellent…you get my drift!  Some paper manufacturers provide free profiles for those who purchase their paper.  It would be great if Epson would provide free bespoke ICC profiles for those who purchase their Legacy papers AND switch to the P900.  Don’t hold your breath…

    4.  Yes, there is an inconvenience switching inks to and from glossy to matte.  The cost of convenience might be rather high when considering the P900.

    Again….your review is encyclopedic and will enable many to decide if the purchase of a P900 is worth the cost.

     

    Elliot

    Mike Broomfield
    Mike Broomfield
    Participant
    Posts: 26
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #3 on: December 8, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    + 1 …incredible detail and a lot of work.  Many thanks Mark

    Mike

    John McCormick
    John McCormick
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #4 on: December 8, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I am new to the world of color inkjet printing coming from over 40 years in the darkroom where 90% of my work was black and white.  I have had my SC-P900 printer for a bit over three weeks.  I have been very pleased with prints I made for an upcoming exhibit.  I still have a lot to learn.  Your comprehensive review of this printer is a lovely contribution.  It deserves several reads.  Thank you for all your efforts in creating your review!

    One area in which I am confused is the choice between using the top (rear) paper feeder and the front paper feeder.  The folks at Red River paper recommend that the front feeder be used for papers 13 mil and thicker.  You recommend the front feeder for papers 19.7 mil and thicker.  In his reviews of the P700 and P900, Keith Cooper of Northlight Images puts all the fine art papers through the top (rear) feeder.  So, certainly a wide range of opinions.

    I have been following the guidelines in the Media Loading Section of the Epson user’s guide which gives a list of papers for the rear paper feeder and a list of papers for the front paper feeder.  I have reproduced those lists at the end of this note.  I notice that each Epson paper is in just one of these lists.  And the lists are missing some Epson papers such as Baryta.  I have not experienced the problem you mentioned loading the front feeder.  I have only used Epson Hot Press and Cold Press papers there.  I have experienced problems with the top (rear) paper feeder when loading multiple sheets.  Following Kevin Raber’s suggestion in his P700 review, I had thought of leaving a small stack of glossy or luster paper in the printer so my wife could easily make prints from her iPad/iPhone.  The printer fails in loading from this stack.  It works well for a single sheet.

    I welcome further thoughts from this forum on loading media.

    John

    —————————————————————–
    Media Loading Capacity from the Epson SC-P900 online user’s guide

    Rear paper feeder
    Plain paper
    Epson Bright White Pro Paper
    Epson Premium Photo Paper Glossy
    Epson Premium Photo Paper Semi-gloss
    Epson Photo Paper Glossy
    Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy
    Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte
    Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster
    Epson Presentation Paper Matte
    Epson Presentation Paper Matte, Double Sided
    Epson Photo Quality Self-adhesive Sheets
    Epson Proofing Paper White Semimatte

    Front paper feeder
    You can load one sheet of posterboard or other thick media 0.02 to 0.059 inch (0.51 to 1.5 mm) thick in the front paper feeder. You can also load one sheet of the following types of media:

    Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper
    Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper
    Epson Watercolor Paper Radiant White
    Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper
    Epson Exhibition Watercolor Paper Textured
    Epson Hot Press Bright
    Epson Hot Press Natural
    Epson Cold Press Bright
    Epson Cold Press Natural

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Keymaster
    Posts: 750
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #5 on: December 8, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    I have had issues, too, in the rear paper feed.  I have noticed that if the paper, when laid down flat, has even a minimal wave to it, it won’t feed properly.  I have days and days where I have no errors and then open a new box, and the per doesn’t feed.  It works if I sit there and tap the paper as it is about to feed it.  But many times, I am printing from other parts of the home and can’t sit by the printer.

    Check the paper and see it is has a wave in it.  Also, make sure the paper guides are tight against the paper.

     

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    John McCormick
    John McCormick
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #6 on: December 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Agh.  I tried to edit my long post about paper feeding to correct “top (front)” to “top (rear)” and the post disappeared.  Anyway to retrieve it?  Perhaps someone has it in an e-mail notification.

    Christopher Sanderson
    Christopher Sanderson
    Keymaster
    Posts: 186
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #7 on: December 8, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    John, there is a non-secure URL (http rather than https) in your post which forum software disallows.

    John McCormick
    John McCormick
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #8 on: December 8, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks so much Christopher!  I redid my correction and eliminated the URL.

    Kevin, I will have a look at my paper to see if it has a slight wave.  I was successful loading half a dozen matte 7″ x 10″ 10 mil greeting card paper.

    Mark Farber
    Mark Farber
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #9 on: December 9, 2020 at 12:13 am

    Thank you, Mark, as always.  I hope you’ll post updates as long as you have it on clogging performance, which has been an issue for some printers more than others, particularly for those who print infrequently.

    Here’s a small contribution to the comparative economics of the printers Mark mentions, based on current B&H prices in USD/ml.  (So this doesn’t address ink usage, which Mark discusses, merely the cost of the liquid that he cautions us against drinking.)  3880 $0.94/ml; P800 $0.73/ml; P900 $0.84/ml; and P5o00 $0.46/ml.

    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Participant
    Posts: 80
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #10 on: December 9, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Hello Mark,

    a very interesting and detailed report about the relatively new Epson SC P-900 inkjet printer.

    After this year’s sale of my Epson Stylus 3880 (before I had the HP z3100) the SC P-900 is supposed to be my next printer, if there are any devices available in Germany.

    But since the whole thing was planned for 2021 anyway, I can approach it with the necessary calm.

    Regrads
    Oliver

    http://www.riwodot.de/wc/pages/ueber-uns.php http://shorturl.at/dlDFZ

    Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Participant
    Posts: 38
    Re: The Epson SC-P900 Printer Review
    Reply #11 on: December 9, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for the information about ink costs Mark and Mark!  One might reasonably posit that the costs of ink for the P900 which are already about 15% greater then the P800 will in the long run be appreciably greater than the costs of ink for the P800….no would should be at all surprised.  After all, the profits in printers almost certainly involves the inks rather than the hardware.  Moreover, third party inks are now locked out and thus Epson can raise ink prices with impunity.  For most who print small numbers of prints perhaps the additional prices will be easily justified.

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