iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Printout of panoramas

If you have read the previous article, you know how wespliced the shots and what we brought from our White Sea expedition. It's not very fascinating to show the panoramas on a display because one is eager to show all even little details at once. The display allows to view either minute things or the general sight. A sheet of paper has also definite proportions. I see that the golden section (sides ratio is 1.618 or 0.618) is an ideal form but it is not for panoramas. That's why I'm looking for the material where one can demonstrate the landscapes in large scale and with all merits. Epson company produces special panoramic paper (two sheets of the standard A4 which are connected by the narrow sides - S041145). Unfortunately, it wasn't available when needed, so we have to act alternatively. The shop assistants offered two appropriate materials: very long (8 m), but narrow (10 sm); it was of high quality and stability but not every printer could use it. And very wide (42 sm) and quite long (3m); but again, not for every printer. I couldn't choose among the variety of printers, and the only one I had was Epson Stylus Photo EX. So, I decided to make two narrow rolls of a wide one and then bought a roll of Artist material for color Ink jet printing S041132. First it sounded attractive but not quite clear. Artists used different kinds of material; and on my way home I recollected them: rocks, papyrus, silk, dry plaster, canvas. On unpacking I saw that I have guessed: canvas is probably the most popular artists' material.

Canvas allows to make the photos of large size since its texture conceals the dot matrix, so you can print with the grid of approximately 120 lines per inch without prejudice to perception. In the previous article you could find the panoramas of 1500x10000 pixels which you can printout on the canvas of 0.3x2 m. It's the appropriate width for the printer (A3). As I had bought the fabric of A2 I have to cut it. First I thought that it must be hemmed, but then I found out it to be unnecessary, however you must put the uncut side near the cartridge.

Since Stylus Photo EX is not intended for roll paper, I had to make a roll-holder and put a sheet of carton for loading without problems. Another problem is following: on finishing the printer tries to run the other part of the roll through. It can cause lines on the paper and none could use it any more. The solution is simple: you have just to cut a part of the roll in the same size as the panorama. But we were happy to learn that the calculation made by Photoshop is not equal to the print size when printing on the non-standard demy paper. Besides, the driver menu doesn't contain fabrics, and when choosing the material type it's better to set glossy opaque film. In case of photographic paper setting, you will get the deficiency in purple color.

But to my mind, the the game is worth the candle! The print-outs impressed me much. It's something average of a photo and oil on canvas. For some pictures, i.e. sunsets and sunrises it seems to be the best material. And in most cases you needn't to improve the quality because matrix noise add some artistic effect. Some photodetectors even have the filters such as "to add noise".

A first of Epson company, Premium Photo Paper, is able to compete with the best sorts of paper in quality. There produced two types of it: glossy (S041303) and half-glossy (S041330). I was lucky to get the rolls 10 sm wide and 8 m long.

The similar problem is connected to the end of the paper. Since the driver doesn't contain the mode "roll", the printer, as I have said already, tries to run the paper through (8 m). This paper is intended only for the last printers Epson 870, 875DC, 1270, 2000P, however, other printers of the photo series can also use it. There is also lack of purple color. The best choice in the menu is glossy film. So, I think it's better to change the original image colors to match. Having this high quality paper, the color mode choice becomes essential (Color Management).

In sRGB mode the image is quite realistic; it's denser than in Color Adjustment mode with zero correction. And in PhotoEnhance3 mode the image gets richer, elaboration of details is higher, but the shades got too much light, sometimes they are even brighter than half-tints.

Media Type
Color Management
Media Type
(driver set)
Photo Paper
Photo Quality Glossy Film
Photo Paper
Photo Quality Glossy Film
Photo Paper
Photo Paper

While using the printer, I have made some changes in the drivers: PhotoEnhance3 replaced PhotoEnhance2. However, new printers have much more settings. In my opinion, Stylus Photo, Stylus Photo EX, Stylus Photo 750 can be improved, but the company is not eager to prolong the lifetime of the old printers and urges us to buy new ones. It's important to develop not only new kinds of ink, but also new alternative drivers. It would be useful to add new types of paper and roll load support into old drivers.

P. S.

We used the native ink as well as some Goodwill chinese ink. The cartridge worked for 3 ink-pots and is still "alive". But still, one big particle is enough to destroy the cartridge completely. And since we are not sure the Goodwill ink is refined quite well, we won't recommend it, though the price is attractive.

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