EP­SON SURECOLOR P5070

Aimed at both photo pros and en­thu­si­asts, Ep­son’s A2 for­mat P5070 is a big printer ca­pa­ble of big re­sults. Trevern Dawes puts this for­mi­da­ble ma­chine through its paces.

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Get the (re­ally) big pic­ture with Ep­son’s A2+ for­mat photo printer which packs pro-level ca­pa­bil­i­ties and per­for­mance into a mode still (just) suit­able for desk­top use.

Ep­son’s SureColor P5070 re­places the Pro 4900 model (which we re­viewed back in 2011) as the only avail­able A2 for­mat photo printer to utilise 200-millil­itre ink car­tridges and in­cor­po­rate a per­ma­nent roll holder.

The P5070 (des­ig­nated P5000 in most other coun­tries) is de­signed to ad­dress the ex­act­ing re­quire­ments of job proof­ing, pack­ag­ing mar­kets and fine-art pho­tog­ra­phy en­deav­ours and it does so in three edi­tions – Stan­dard with light light black (LLB) ink for 98 per­cent Pan­tone range ca­pac­ity, Com­mer­cial with vi­o­let in­stead of LLB for 99 per­cent Pan­tone range and De­signer which adds EFI Fiery eX­press, a soft­ware RIP with Adobe PostScript 3 for ac­cu­rate CMYK and spot colour print­ing. The Stan­dard ver­sion is best suited for photo print­ing, par­tic­u­larly for black and white work.

Com­peti­tors for the SureColor P5070 are the Canon im­agePROGRAF PRO-1000 and Ep­son’s own SureColor P1800 model. Both pro­duce ex­cel­lent re­sult and both utilise 80 millil­itres ink car­tridges. The P5070 es­sen­tially stands alone as a heavy-duty work horse in­tended for com­mer­cial use or for the en­thu­si­ast who ei­ther in­tends to pro­duce a heap of prints or who sim­ply en­joys work­ing with a solid and ver­sa­tile printer.

The printer ar­rives on a tim­ber pal­let so, if col­lect­ing it your­self from a sup­plier, you’ll need a large ve­hi­cle and two peo­ple to deal with the 100x 91x59 cen­time­tres box weigh­ing a sub­stan­tial 62.5 kilo­grams. Even if you have it de­liv­ered, you’ll still re­quire two peo­ple to move this box, un­pack it and place the printer on a very solid bench or desk.

IN THE (BIG) BOX

The pack­ag­ing box con­tains the printer, roll media adapter for two-inch and three-inch cores, the power cord, 80 millil­itres ‘start-

up’ inks, a main­te­nance tank, a bor­der­less main­te­nance tank, the in­stal­la­tion/safety man­ual, util­i­ties soft­ware and a user man­ual (on CD). Both the vi­o­let and the light light black ink car­tridges are in­cluded, with the owner mak­ing the choice about dis­card­ing, sell­ing or swap­ping the car­tridge no longer re­quired.

The P5070 has Ep­son’s ‘Pre­ci­sionCore Thin Film’ (TFP) print head with ‘Vari­able Sized Dro­plet’ tech­nol­ogy (the min­i­mum dro­plet size is 3.5 pi­col­itres) and a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 2880x1440 dpi. This en­ables su­pe­rior fi­delity and tonal gra­da­tions. The lat­est Ep­son Ul­traChrome HDX pig­ment aque­ous ink set en­hances colour gamut, Dmax and im­age dura­bil­ity with bet­ter wa­ter and scratch re­sis­tant prop­er­ties. An op­tional Spec­troProofer (ILS30) – de­vel­oped in as­so­ci­a­tion with X-Rite – is avail­able for pre­ci­sion colour man­age­ment and ISO stan­dard proof­ing work.

Sig­nif­i­cant changes have been made with the HDX inks com­pared to the HD and K3 sets. There is less bronz­ing and gloss dif­fer­en­tial char­ac­ter­is­tics while a new resin coat­ing and much denser blacks im­proves den­sity by a fac­tor of 1.5. Ep­son quotes op­ti­cal den­si­ties of 2.8 on its Premium Gloss Photo pa­per, 1.77 on the En­hanced Matte pa­per and 1.65 on the Ul­tra Smooth Fine Art media.

A new ink-re­pel­lent sur­face coat­ing is in­cor­po­rated in the Pre­ci­sionCore TFP print head. The tighter seals and re­duced static en­hance­ment are in­tended to both min­imise any like­li­hood of noz­zle clog­ging and limit main­te­nance.

DE­SIGN AND CON­TROLS

The printer is fin­ished in a hand­some black ex­cept for a 30 mil­lime­tres wide sil­ver dec­o­ra­tive strip across the top, a clear lift-up panel over the print head and a translu­cent lift over cover for the roll holder.

All the con­trols are lo­cated on the right-hand side. Above the 2.7-inch colour LCD screen are the ‘On/Off’ and ‘Pause/Can­cel’ but­tons, while un­der the screen are but­tons for auto/man­ual black ink switch­ing, roller pres­sure re­lease and man­ual pa­per cut from the roll. The menu is ac­cessed via four ar­rows plus the ‘OK’ but­ton with the up ar­row serv­ing to re­lease pa­per and the down ar­row to in­sert pa­per. At the end of the sil­ver strip and above the SureColor P5070 badge is a large white light cover which glows or­ange when pa­per is not loaded cor­rectly.

The pa­per re­ceiv­ing bay han­dles smaller prints, but for large prints a tray ex­tends out 34 cen­time­tres in two sec­tions and has a small foldup pa­per stop­per at the end. Un­der the tray is the pa­per cas­sette. The front load­ing path­way lies on top of the re­ceiv­ing tray, and the rear man­ual load is lo­cated un­der a lid im­me­di­ately in front of the roll holder. Six car­tridges re­side at the front in the lower left cor­ner and five on the right cor­ner.

There are four pa­per load­ing sys­tems – front man­ual, rear man­ual, front cas­sette and roll. Bor­der­less print­ing ca­pac­ity is pro­grammed to print on stan­dard sizes of cut sheets.

SET­TING UP

Al­though go­ing through the user man­ual (in­stalled with a desk­top icon) in de­tail might take quite a few hours, it’s time well spent, as it pays to be fully aware of the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of this printer, in­clud­ing all the pref­er­ences. The on-screen man­ual is very well pre­sented, with quick cross ref­er­ences from the con­tents list­ing. Items like page print­able area, pa­per skew on and off, auto or man­ual switch­ing of black inks, sleep times etc., can be left at the de­fault or changed as re­quired.

The set-up pro­ce­dure be­gins with the in­stal­la­tion of the ink car­tridges and prim­ing of the print head. This will take about 18 min­utes. A fur­ther six min­utes is added as the printer per­forms an auto noz­zle check. In­stal­la­tion of the soft­ware driver fol­lows, adding about an­other 15 min­utes.

About 20 millil­itres of ink from each start-up car­tridge is re­quired to fill the sup­ply lines to the print head. This leaves about 60 millil­itres per car­tridge or a to­tal of about 660 millil­itres to start mak­ing prints. As the P5070 is in­tended for vol­ume print­ing, it won’t be long be­fore you’ll need to ac­quire a full set of 200 millil­itres Stan­dard car­tridges at $139 each. Al­though this rep­re­sents a con­sid­er­able out­lay on top of the printer ac­qui­si­tion, it does mean a heap of ink (start-ups plus stan­dards) ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing over 700 A2-size prints (al­low­ing four millil­itres per print) at a very eco­nom­i­cal cost.

PA­PER HAN­DLING

The pa­per cas­sette can han­dle up to 100 sheets of A2 pa­per with pa­per thick­nesses of 0.08 to 0.27 mil­lime­tres. Pa­per must be placed coated side down so, when each sheet is trans­ported, it rolls through at 180 de­grees to the print head po­si­tion.

The rear, sin­gle sheet, man­ual feed can han­dle pa­per that’s 254 to 610 mil­lime­tres long, and 203 to 432 mil­lime­tres wide with thick­nesses of 0.08 to 0.79 mil­lime­tres. After rais­ing the pa­per support, a sheet is in­serted and pushed down gen­tly down un­til it stops. The edge guide is se­cured and the down but­ton pressed. Print­ing can then pro­ceed at the ‘Ready’ mes­sage. If the pa­per is not po­si­tioned cor­rectly, the big or­ange light comes on and a ‘Pa­per Out’ mes­sage ap­pears, ad­vis­ing press­ing the up but­ton to re­trieve the pa­per and start again. Al­ter­na­tively, the print file may be sent first and the or­ange light plus mes­sage will ad­vise to load up the pa­per. The printer is very par­tic­u­lar with man­ual pa­per load­ing so ex­pect some ini­tial re­jects.

The front man­ual feed is in­tended for heavy­weight pa­per from 0.8 to 1.5 mil­lime­tres in thick­ness (e.g. Ep­son Cold Press Bright at 340 gsm). It in­volves press­ing the re­lease pres­sure but­ton, open­ing the print cover

PRINTS MADE ON EP­SON’S HOT AND COLD PRESS BRIGHT PA­PERS WERE EV­ERY­THING ONE COULD HOPE FOR. HERE IS WHERE THE SURECOLOR P5070 EXCELS.

to fa­cil­i­tate the hand feed­ing of a sin­gle sheet over the black rollers and un­der the grey rollers, and fi­nally the ac­cu­rate po­si­tion­ing of the trail­ing right hand cor­ner of the pa­per against the cor­ner guide marker. A4/B4 pa­pers take a dif­fer­ent cor­ner guide. After clos­ing the lid and press­ing the re­lease press but­ton the ‘Ready’ mes­sage ap­pears. Get this wrong and the ‘Pa­per Load Er­ror’ mes­sage with the or­ange light will ap­pear to in­di­cate start­ing again. This is not the best of man­ual front load sys­tems, but after a lit­tle prac­tice it is sim­ple enough. Be­cause of the amount of pa­per han­dling in­volved the use of gloves is rec­om­mended.

The user man­ual pro­vides an ex­cel­lent guide – along with the menu – for the assem­bly of the roll holder and load­ing a pa­per roll. The lead­ing edge of the pa­per roll is in­serted as far as it will travel and the LCD screen then or­gan­ises pa­per type, auto or man­ual pa­per cut and print­ing of a cut line if re­quired. Man­ual cut­ting via the printed line is rec­om­mended for heavy-weight pa­pers in or­der to pre­vent dulling the blade. No is­sues with pa­per trans­port should oc­cur, thanks to its own pow­er­driven mech­a­nism.

The pa­per width must be es­tab­lished (e.g. 406 or 432 mil­lime­tres ac­cord­ing to roll width) in cus­tom siz­ing and var­i­ous heights stip­u­lated and saved. This might in­volve set­tings such as 406x350 mil­lime­tres for typ­i­cal 3:2 as­pect ra­tio im­ages to be printed across the pa­per, or 406 x 610 mil­lime­tres for max­i­mum en­large­ment of 3:2 ra­tio im­ages. Panora­mas take on other sizes such as 406x900 mil­lime­tres. Max­i­mum pa­per length ex­tends all the way to 15 me­tres!

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the roll are

es­tab­lished on the menu where the re­main­ing length of pa­per is shown. There is even an alert to no­tify when it’s close to the end of the roll ac­cord­ing to a value de­ter­mined by the user.

The roll feed and the three pa­per feed sys­tems work in uni­son and all it takes is a but­ton press and a dis­en­gage­ment/link up of the roll.

PRINT PANEL

The ‘Main’ print panel con­trols the media type, colour mode, print qual­ity, pa­per source, pa­per size and ad­vanced pa­per op­tions. ‘Page Lay­out’ and ‘Util­ity’ are sup­port­ing pan­els. In the ‘Main’ panel Ep­son Stan­dard sRGB, Adobe RGB and Pho­toEn­hance are the printer’s ba­sic colour man­age­ment op­tions, while for the most ac­cu­rate re­sults ICM locks into ICC pro­files. Pho­to­shop devo­tees usu­ally let the printer man­age colour (if Pho­to­shop is to man­age colour then ‘Off –no colour ad­just­ment’ must be se­lected).

Right click­ing on the mouse over any fea­ture in a print panel will al­low ac­cess to a ‘Help’ fa­cil­ity for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. The ‘Main’ print panel has ini­tial de­fault set­tings. When dif­fer­ent set­tings are es­tab­lished for a print, they can be saved for quick re­call in sub­se­quent print­ing ses­sions. Ideally, ev­ery favourite pa­per will have its own name and that will make work­ing with dif­fer­ent pa­pers quick and con­ve­nient, in­stead of need­ing to con­struct a new set from the de­fault for just one print.

A se­ries of tests will need to be con­ducted to de­ter­mine the most ap­pro­pri­ate set­tings for the Qual­ity Lev­els and the ‘High Speed’ op­tion. Nor­mally the de­fault level of qual­ity of four (i.e. Su­perFine, 720x1440 dpi) would be adopted but go­ing up to level five (Su­perPhoto, 2880x1440 dpi) with the ‘High Speed’ set­ting switched off may be pre­ferred, de­spite the sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in print times.

If im­posed non-print­able mar­gins be­come a prob­lem and the pre­view im­age is not cen­tred, then there is scope to over­ride via ‘Main/Pa­per Set­tings/ Print­able Area’. Changes may be nec­es­sary here to al­ter the se­lec­tion for ‘Stan­dard’, ‘Cen­tred’ and ‘Max­i­mum’, with re­gard to the ad­vi­sory note that “Ex­tend­ing the print­able area could lead to a de­cline in print qual­ity”.

‘Media Type’ is di­vided into five cat­e­gories. ‘Photo Pa­per’ has 11 pro­files (in­clud­ing baryta), ‘Proof­ing Pa­per’ has two, ‘Fine Art’ has five (in­clud­ing Can­vas Matte and Can­vas Satin), ‘Matte Pa­per’ has five and ‘Plain Pa­per’ has two. Pa­per man­u­fac­tur­ers like Hah­nemühle, In­nova, Can­son and Moab al­ready pro­vide ICC pro­files for the printer. Al­though the pro­files in­cor­po­rated in the printer and those pro­vided by third­party pa­per man­u­fac­tur­ers will be per­fect for most users, those who like to ex­tract the ut­most per­for­mance will in­vari­ably re­sort to cus­tomised ICC pro­files.

All print files used in this re­view were as­signed the Adobe RGB (1998) colour space. Print­ing via Pho­to­shop in­volved lock­ing into ‘ICM’ and the ap­pro­pri­ate pro­file for each pa­per.

BLACK SWITCH

The photo black and matte black inks con­tinue to share a com­mon line to the print head. Swap­ping from one to the other takes two min­utes for the photo-to-matte changeover and 3.40 min­utes for matte-to-photo, purg­ing four and five millil­itres of ink re­spec­tively.

This sit­u­a­tion has been in prac­tice over many Ep­son mod­els and for a good rea­son. If a ded­i­cated ink line doesn’t get used over a long pe­riod, it can lead to se­ri­ous clog­ging prob­lems. Hav­ing the switchover be­tween photo and matte blacks sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the pos­si­bil­ity of a block­age, hence a small in­con­ve­nience in the sys­tem to en­sure trou­ble-free op­er­a­tion. Ideally, if print runs are well or­gan­ised, ink swap­ping can be kept to a min­i­mum.

TIME TRI­ALS

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween print speed, print res­o­lu­tion and ink con­sump­tion is some­thing only the in­di­vid­ual can as­sess ac­cord­ing to the tasks in­volved.

There are five lev­els of qual­ity, start­ing with ‘Draft’ at 360x360 dpi, through’ Nor­mal’ at 360x720 dpi, ‘Fine’ at 720x720 dpi, ‘Su­perfine’ at 720x1440 dpi and, fi­nally, to ‘Su­per Photo’ at 2880x1440 dpi. Print times for an A2 size print – as spec­i­fied by Ep­son – are 0.5, 0.8, 1.8, 3.6 and 7.0 min­utes.

A3+ size prints on Ep­son Cold Press Bright at the de­fault Level Four qual­ity (i.e. 1440x720 dpi) took 4.30 mins, while step­ping up to Level 5 (2880x1440 dpi) took 10.40 min­utes. Both prints were pro­duced with ‘High Speed’ switched off. Gen­er­ally, the de­fault level is ap­pro­pri­ate as it locks into the ICC pro­file. How­ever, there may be ad­van­tages in chang­ing the qual­ity lev­els. This is a mat­ter for the in­di­vid­ual, de­pend­ing on var­i­ous fac­tors such as im­age qual­ity, pa­per type, time frames or client stip­u­la­tions. Need­less to say, we might well ask who uses a mag­ni­fy­ing glass to view prints or is it sim­ply that, if the high 2880x1440 dpi res­o­lu­tion, is avail­able then why not use it?

Pa­per se­lec­tion is purely a per­sonal mat­ter, but with the P5070 the most ap­peal­ing gloss type pa­per proved to be a baryta gloss (such as Ep­son Tra­di­tional Fi­bre or Hah­nemühle Photo Rag Baryta). These pa­pers have sub­stan­tial weight and have the im­pact of a gloss sur­face with­out the high sheen – ideal for both hand view­ing and fram­ing. A2 prints at max­i­mum qual­ity (and ‘High Speed’ off) took 10.45 min­utes. Cer­tainly not quick, but when ul­ti­mate qual­ity is in­volved then print times re­ally don’t mat­ter.

PANORA­MAS

As noted ear­lier, the max­i­mum print length from a roll is 15 me­tres. Any at­tempts to pro­duce a banner or panorama ex­tend­ing over many me­tres would re­quire a check on avail­able pa­per length

on the roll and ink sup­ply, sev­eral small test prints be­fore com­mit­ting to the job and con­tin­ual mon­i­tor­ing to support the print as it emerges.

The first panoramic pro­duced was or­gan­ised to fit a frame size. The im­age was 80x25 cen­time­tres and printed on a 406 mil­lime­tres wide roll of Ep­son Lus­tre Premium Photo Pa­per (260 gsm) on a cus­tom pa­per size of 406x900 mil­lime­tres. At Level Five qual­ity and with ‘High Speed’ off, the print time was 10.30 min­utes.

The long­est panorama print pro­duced was an im­age of 980x370 mil­lime­tres made on cus­tom-sized pa­per at 406x1100 mil­lime­tres. For this print Level Four qual­ity was set with ‘High Speed’ switched on which gave a print time of 7.10 min­utes. On that ba­sis, a 15 me­tres long panorama print would take nearly one-and-ahalf hours!

BLack and White

The per­for­mance of Ep­son printers us­ing Ul­traChrome inks for black and white print­ing has al­ways been of the high­est or­der and the SureColor P5070 just keeps this tra­di­tion go­ing.

The ‘Ad­vanced’ black and white mode al­lows a high de­gree of con­trol. Print­ing on gloss and semi-gloss media with pig­ments usu­ally re­sults in gloss dif­fer­en­tial prob­lems, but the Ul­traChrome HDX ink set goes a long way in keep­ing this to a min­i­mum. Then there is the op­tion in ‘Colour Con­trols’ of hav­ing the ‘High­light Point Shift’ set to ‘On’. This places more dots to slightly grey out the non-inked ar­eas in a print. The black­ness of the photo black ink on gloss media is more pro­nounced than the matte black and this helps to pro­motes top-class black and white print­ing.

The process of re­view­ing an inkjet printer in­volves putting the unit to work with typ­i­cal projects. In the case of the SureColor P5070 this meant con­cen­trat­ing on A2 dis­play prints made on a va­ri­ety of pa­pers, a few panorama prints and a D-I-Y photo book.

The book for­mat was 345x297 mil­lime­tres with 70 pages, and the pa­per was Schoeller 230 gsm du­al­sided matte. The ICC pro­file was down­loaded from the Schoeller Web­site. Ev­ery­thing pro­gressed beau­ti­fully and the fi­nal, bound book looked splen­did. Text was clean and crisp, right down to the 8-point Gara­mond cap­tions.

The pa­per cas­sette is ideal for D-I-Y photo book projects. Pa­per is in­serted, print­ing is or­gan­ised for the odd page num­bers, the print pre­view is ac­cepted and the op­er­a­tor walks away to let the printer look after ev­ery­thing. After dry­ing down, the even-num­bered pages are at­tended to.

Pig­ment printers and matte or fine-art pa­pers are a popular com­bi­na­tion. Prints made on Ep­son’s Hot and Cold Press Bright pa­pers were ev­ery­thing one could hope for. Here is where the SureColor P5070 excels.

Gloss dif­fer­en­tial oc­curs with pig­ments on gloss/semi-gloss or lus­tre sur­face media and hap­pens around clear or un-inked ar­eas of a print. Chroma or gloss op­ti­miser car­tridges are used in some printers to place a clear layer over the print. Those that work well tend to dull down the sur­face, while oth­ers have lit­tle ef­fect at all. The im­proved mi­cro­crys­tal en­cap­su­la­tion of the Ul­traChrome HDX inks lessens the prob­lem and rep­re­sents a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment on older ink sets. On a Gloss Tra­di­tional Baryta pa­per, gloss dif­fer­en­tial is not as no­tice­able be­cause the sur­face is not en­tirely smooth. For some peo­ple, gloss dif­fer­en­tial is not an is­sue and is some­thing only vis­i­ble when the print is viewed at an acute an­gle. Fur­ther­more, once prints are framed un­der glass the prob­lem goes away.

Through­out the extensive print-mak­ing tests we con­ducted with the P5070, there were no pa­per jams or head strikes, the pro­files were spot-on and the de­tail ren­dered in shadow ar­eas was ex­cel­lent. Op­er­at­ing noise is rel­a­tively quiet. Print head ac­tiv­ity is barely au­di­ble and, while the ex­haust fan does buzz away, it is hardly ob­jec­tion­able. When ‘Auto Noz­zle Check’ is se­lected (rather than timed in­ter­vals), the printer will stop when­ever it needs to, and dis­play a “Clean­ing, Please Wait” mes­sage in the LCD panel.

Longevity

The life span of an ink/pa­per com­bi­na­tion should be a crit­i­cal fac­tor in any high-end inkjet printer.

The per­for­mance of ep­son prinTers us­ing ul­Trachrome inks for black and whiTe prinT­ing has al­ways been of The high­esT or­der and The p5070 jusT keeps This Tra­di­Tion go­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ep­son re­port on the Wil­helm-Re­search.com Web­site, the longevity rat­ings for the Ul­traChrome HDX inks are ex­pected to be up 200 years for colour prints in dark stor­age and in ex­cess of 400 years in dark stor­age for black and white prints. These rat­ings would be about twice that of the ear­lier gen­er­a­tions of Ul­traChrome inks.

All Wil­helm Re­search rat­ings are pro­jec­tions based on lab­o­ra­tory-con­trolled ac­cel­er­ated fad­ing tests. There may in­deed be some scep­ti­cism in­volved be­cause most of us don’t have ac­cess to ideal dis­play or stor­age en­vi­ron­ments while the real, long term be­hav­iour of inks and pa­per can­not be as­sessed. Even so, it’s still a com­par­a­tive mat­ter and the Ul­traChrome HDX inks just hap­pen to be on top of the list.

The Ver­dicT

The avail­abil­ity of a five-year on-site ser­vice pack with the P5070 which costs $3895 in to­tal rep­re­sents top value for com­mer­cial en­ter­prises as this pro­vides peace of mind. Like­wise, once the out­lay for a set of 200 millil­itres inks has been over­come, the value and con­ve­nience of those large, low­cost-per-millil­itre car­tridges can be im­mea­sur­able.

The ca­pac­ity to have the printer loaded up with media in the pa­per cas­sette tray, two man­ual feed and a roll means plenty of guns to go. A sec­ond or third spin­dle with dif­fer­ent pa­per can fur­ther en­hance this ca­pac­ity. The con­ve­nience of be­ing able to print from rolls – where han­dling re­ally only re­lates to col­lect­ing from the re­ceiv­ing tray – is a ma­jor ad­van­tage. Ac­cu­rate pa­per align­ment and smooth pa­per trans­port mean pro­duc­ing panorama prints is a sim­ple process.

The SureColor P5070 is es­sen­tially a ju­nior ver­sion of the much larger SureColor P7000 (24 inches wide) and P9000 (44 inches) pro­fes­sional printers. It doesn’t re­ally have a di­rect com­peti­tor in the A2/17 inches wide cat­e­gory be­cause of the in­cluded roll feed sys­tem and gen­er­ous 200 millil­itres car­tridges.

For those who are fa­mil­iar with inkjet printers the set-up and run­ning of the P5070 will be straight­for­ward. How­ever, new­com­ers would be ad­vised to talk to a dealer, not just about the pur­chase and de­liv­ery, but also about hav­ing an ex­pert look after the set-up and pro­vide in­struc­tion.

It is likely to take sev­eral days, if not weeks, to be­come fully con­ver­sant with all the fea­tures of the P5070 and to or­gan­ise the de­faults and reg­u­lar rou­tines. There­after, though, this solid and ver­sa­tile printer is ready for work.

Longevity rat­ings for ink and pa­per com­bi­na­tions are most im­por­tant when fine-art print­ing is con­cerned. The rat­ings for the Ul­traChrome HDX ink set could well be the fac­tor that ‘seals the deal’. En­hance­ments to the ink set en­sure the best com­bi­na­tion of print longevity, colour range, neu­tral­ity in black and white work, ink econ­omy and the re­duc­tion in gloss dif­fer­en­tial and bronz­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics that no longer need limit the use of gloss and semigloss media for pig­ment print­ing.

The pre­vi­ous Sty­lus Pro 4900 model was one of those heavy­duty units that sim­ply de­liv­ered the goods with a de­cent ink sup­ply. Its re­place­ment unit adds a few fea­tures, ex­tends both gamut and print life, comes with lower prices, and car­ries on re­gard­less to be­come a stand-out choice for the busy print-maker.

EP­SON SURECOLOR P5070

The ‘Main’ print panel con­trols the media type, colour mode, print qual­ity, pa­per source, pa­per size and ad­vanced pa­per op­tions.

The ‘Page Lay­out’ panel.

The ‘Ad­vanced’ black and white panel pro­vides ac­cess to com­pre­hen­sive con­trol op­tions for B&W print­ing.

All man­ner of ad­just­ment are avail­able in the ‘Colour Con­trols’ panel.

The ‘Pre­view’ panel is the fi­nal and crit­i­cal stage for print­ing.

Qual­ity lev­els range from One to Five with the op­tion of hav­ing ‘High Speed’ print­ing switched on or off. The ‘Util­ity’ panel con­trols the printer’s var­i­ous main­te­nance op­er­a­tions.

For the most ac­cu­rate print­ing, se­lect­ing an ICC pro­file is the best method.

The LCD read-out screen pro­vides an ink level and main­te­nance tanks check, but for more ac­cu­rate re­sults plus a print progress the ‘Ink Level’ panel is pre­ferred.

Cus­tom pa­per sizes are es­tab­lished and saved to a list­ing.

With the re­ceiv­ing tray fully ex­tended, a very wide ta­ble is re­quired for the printer.

All the printer con­trols and the LCD panel are lo­cated at bot­tom right of the printer.

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