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Epson 3880

when printing in the Epsom 3880
There is a choice of letting photoshop manage colors or printer manages color
Which is the best one to choose?
Also on the ink levels diagrams the 1st color is matte black indicated by a dotted pattern and all the other print color levels are indicated with a solid column
What is the reason for this

My prints are not looking right and I think matte black is empty but the cartridge feels heavy when I take it out
The matte black on the printing window is a completely dotted pattern so I'm guessing it's empty



  • First of all, your matte black is not empty. The printer has two modes, one that uses matte black and one that uses photo black. If you're printing on glossy paper, as you should be, you're not going to use matte black at all and it will indicate (with the pattern you mentioned) that the matte ink is not used in the current mode. Switching between the two modes uses up ink as those two blacks share a nozzle and the nozzle has to be cleaned out (automatically by the printer) every time you switch modes, so I avoid switching to matte mode unless a student is late to the airport and needs to print a boarding pass or something.

    You shouldn't be taking the cartridge out — the printer and the printer utility software will let you know when an ink is running low (so you can order a replacement for that color) and they will also let you know when the ink actually runs out (so you can replace the cartridge).

    As far as why your prints are "not looking right" and which option to pick for color management, please review Section 7 of the photography guide:
    [Deleted User]Summer
  • @Cotton27 I just purchased an Epson 3880 also. As well as reading the great tips from Mark and David on DMP, I watched a half dozen videos about Epson printers in general on YouTube and now I have a better feel for my new Epson printer. In particular, you might want to watch this link for an explanation why we should be careful when handling the Epson carts (ink cartridges). Summer
  • thank you for your help
    i read the photography guide and have followed the directions i think but its as if the black ink isnt reaching the paper. the green landscape behind the subject is blurry
    i did the nozzle clean and the alignnment
    the problem started when my light black was at about 5% and I have replaced it.
    i can see the ink level going down a bit so I know it is being used.
    Im watching the youtube videos to see if i can pick up any tips
    thank you
  • Have you cleaned the nozzles using the printer utility app? There is an option to run an ink check where it prints out a bunch of squares, one of each color, so you can see if one is not coming through. Then you run the nozzle cleaning process and do the check again to verify that all is well.

    If it turns out that is the problem, I would recommend printing at least one photo a month. The 3880 is relatively resistant to clogging, but it still happens sometimes.

    And as it says in the guide, make sure that "black point compensation" checkbox is checked. Beyond that, assuming you're using all the correct settings, I don't really know what to say without looking at your prints and digital source.
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